Best Assassin’s Creed games ranked, from AC1 to Valhalla

There have been many Assassin’s Creed games, but some are clearly better than others. Here’s every great AC game from worst to best.

As the excitement brews about the mysterious Assassin’s Creed Infinity, we thought it was time to take a look back at the series and rank the mainline entries from best to worst. While Assassin’s Creed is a hugely successful and popular franchise, it hasn’t exactly been consistent in terms of quality.

Some Assassin’s Creed games are considered groundbreaking classics, while others deserve to be forgotten by history. So what’s the best AC game? And which ones should stay on the shelf forever?

10. Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's Creed

The original Assassin’s Creed was a disappointment.

While it may be the first game in a classic series, and released early in the PS3’s life cycle to a lot of hype, the original Assassin’s Creed was a painfully boring experience. The story was inspired by author Vladimir Bartol’s novel Alamut, itself based on the historical Hashashins active during the Third Crusade, but the gameplay just didn’t match the fantastical setting.

Exploring the Holy Land during this period was interesting enough, as was parkour and the social stealth aspects of AC. Unfortunately, the game’s repetitive missions, battles, and boring assassination quests (which were jerky, glorified boss fights) let it down. Luckily, the sequel fixed those issues and transformed the game into the mega-franchise it is today.

9. Assassin’s Creed Unity

Assassin's Creed Unity

Assassin’s Creed Unity was truly a missed opportunity.

AC Unity squandered its incredible setting and made the French Revolution an afterthought in another silly quest for magic apples that hold messages from a long-dead civilization. To be honest, we were never quite sure which side the Assassins or Templars were on, even when it came to the Terror and other significant historical events like the storming of the Bastille.

Assassin’s Creed Unity is best remembered for its many glitches, often groundbreaking or hilarious. That’s a shame, because when it worked well, AC Unity looked absolutely lush on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. While the previous game, AC4 Black Flag, was also released for this generation, it was largely a port of an older game. Unity was made for the hardware and it should have been a classic.

8. Assassin’s Creed 3

Assassin's Confession 3

Assassin’s Creed 3 introduced some fun new gameplay elements.

After spending three games with the lovable villain Ezio, Connor Kenway was a bore by comparison. Assassin’s Creed 3 had some great ideas and the combat was better than ever, but AC3 couldn’t live up to its predecessor.

The game told a compelling story set during the American Revolution when the Assassins and Templars chose sides, and the family melodrama between Connor and his father Haythem was particularly well told. In many ways, Haythem was more likable than Connor, so the series enjoyed giving us a likable antagonist for the first time.

The real problem with AC3 was the modern story/gameplay sections. These interrupted the plot and became increasingly nonsensical, with the ending destroying the momentum of the series. This meant that Ubisoft had to think long and hard about the future of the series and what the next entry would be. Luckily they made it.

7. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Assassin’s Creed wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t anything special.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, it just doesn’t sparkle and is a rather forgotten entry in the long-running series. Although there were some bugs at launch, Ubisoft solved many of the problems that plagued Unity, and exploring Victorian London with gadgets that let us close buildings quickly could be exciting.

It was also a novel idea to play as two different protagonists, a duo of brothers and sisters who take over London’s seedy underworld while murdering notable Templars. Unfortunately, the formula was outdated and the stealth elements from previous games were mostly gone, leaving a mediocre action experience.

6. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Playing as a Viking sounds fun on paper, but Valhalla felt a bit mediocre at times.

Everyone loves Vikings, right? After God of War, that awesome History Channel show, and a revived cultural appreciation for all things Norse, an Assassin’s Creed game set during this period was a hit. And Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is great, it’s just not as good as many of the other entries.

It’s fantastic fun sailing the fjords looking for enemy settlements to raid, but like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, we felt a hint of fatigue while playing Valhalla. We appreciated the setting, but the game felt far too similar to AC Odyssey, which did a lot of the same things – only better.

Valhalla might not be the best Assassin’s Creed game, but it was the first to release on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, so it’s a great entry point for those looking to get into the series.

5. Assassin’s Creed villain

Assassin's Creed villain

Playing as a templar killing assassins was a new take on AC.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue was released around the same time as Unity, but for PS3 and Xbox 360. It should give AC fans who haven’t yet moved to the next gen something to play with. It’s since been ported to modern platforms, but the game is actually remembered far more fondly than Unity.

Rogue puts players in control of a former assassin recruited by the Templars who is now assassinating his former colleagues, giving players the opportunity to experience the conflict from the other side. In terms of gameplay, Rogue plays very much like AC: Black Flag, but lets players sail around the North Atlantic rather than the Caribbean.

It also serves as a sequel to Black Flag, a prequel to AC3, and sets the backdrop for AC Unity, providing some connective tissue for all three of those games. Not bad for a title that’s been accused of being glorified DLC.

4. Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins

Set in Egypt, Origins was just what the AC series needed.

Assassin’s Creed Origins was exactly what the post-AC Syndicate series needed – that and a break. Ubisoft has decided to halt the annual (sometimes duplicate) release of Assassin’s Creed, causing the games to go through a longer development cycle. The results were very welcome as AC Origins was a breath of fresh desert air.

The game has overhauled nearly every aspect of the series, improving combat, environments, parkour, and narrative structure. Origins also added some nice RPG elements and at times felt more like a Witcher title than an AC game.

The setting was ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic Wars and unlike previous entries, it made full use of that background in terms of gameplay and story. The game has also de-emphasized the now tiresome modern segments and even managed to make the Templar vs. Assassin story interesting again.

3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

AC Odyssey improved Origins in every way.

Odyssey took the template created by AC Origins and enhanced it, this time adding the famous naval elements of AC: Black Flag but without the cannon fire as the game is set in ancient Greece. It also took advantage of the final conflict between Athens and Sparta, which in history would see the former rise as the dominant power.

However, most of the game is geared towards hunting down the sinister precursors of the Templars, and while players can enjoy the slick combat system, AC Odyssey has made playing as a stealthy assassin a worthwhile playstyle again.

2. Assassin’s Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2

Ezio is still the coolest assassin in the entire series.

Assassin’s Creed 2 and its two standalone sequels, Brotherhood and Revelations, are collectively known as the Ezio Collection. They are also considered the culmination of the series and games that helped make Assassin’s Creed the iconic brand it is today.

Set in Renaissance Italy, specifically Venice, Florence and Rome, AC2 stars as the young nobleman Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who becomes embroiled in the war between the Assassins and the Templars. Ezio is a delight to control as a character and AC has struggled to keep up with his popularity ever since.

However, what makes AC2 really great is that it delivered on all the promises that AC1 failed to deliver. It was almost the best Assassin’s Creed game ever – but another managed to beat it for the top spot.

1. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Black Flag is still the most fun we’ve had in an AC game.

What makes Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag the best Assassin’s Creed game isn’t the fantastic naval gameplay or the fact that you can explore the Caribbean by sea, nor is it because it was the first AC game to be Released on PS4 and Xbox One. No, what makes AC4 the best Assassin’s Creed game is the freedom it entrusts to the player.

The ridiculous Assassins vs. Templars story eventually catches up with pirate Edward Kenway who, like the player, spends most of the game sailing away from it – content to enjoy life and be a pirate. And that’s exactly what AC4 lets players do.

AC4 brings together the best bits of Assassin’s Creed and more, then lets players simply enjoy the world they’ve created. At that point it’s time to get serious and kill some Templars, you won’t mind because you’ve already plundered the entire Caribbean and become the most feared privateer to ever sail the seven seas!

So there you have it, the best Assassin’s Creed games ranking. For more gaming guides and lists, check out the gaming content below:

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