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Best Assassin’s Creed games ranked from AC1 to Mirage

Here's the best Assassin’s Creed games ranked from worst to best so you know which of the 13 main entries from AC1 to AC Mirage you need to play right now.

With thirteen mainline entries in this iconic series, we sat down and played through all of them to give you our rankings of the best Assassin’s Creed games. There’s undoubtedly a lot to get through, especially with the daunting size of the RPG entries and even an exciting new entry, Mirage. But, where is Assassin’s Creed Mirage going to sit when it comes to the franchise’s main games? Is this new action-adventure game one of the series’ greats? Or, does it fall painfully short of everyone’s expectations? Well, we’ve put our experience with the series to good use to give you all the Assassin’s Creed games ranked – from worst to best.

Kicking things off with Assassin’s Creed in 2007, Ubisoft has released 13 main games in this series, each one pushing the series in a various directions. With stories and adventures spanning hundreds of years, this series has let players sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate, conquer 9th century England with a Viking clan, and even brush shoulders with Charles Darwin (and Dickens) in Victorian London. As incredible as all of these games sound on paper, though, there are some that are better than others.

Best Assassin’s Creed games ranked

So, without further ado, here’s every Assassin’s Creed game ranked from worst to best. Just to make it absolutely clear, we’re only talking about the main games in the series. We felt it would be unfair to compare a mobile strategy game like Assassin’s Creed Rebellion to a sprawling open-world action RPG like Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Altair from AC1

13. Assassin’s Creed

Now, we know we were getting pretty excited when evidence for an Assassin’s Creed 1 remake was mounting, but this 2007 release has not aged well at all. When you’re playing it, you can tell that this game is dated; every other Assassin’s Creed game plays better – which, we suppose, is a good thing considering this was the first one. The traversal mechanics in play are fine, but hardly anything special, and the combat is sluggish at the best of times. It does good work establishing core mechanics to the series, but Ubisoft builds on these and we don’t think it’s fair to rank this game higher.

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It’s also worth mentioning that while we all like to think of Altair Ibn-La’Ahad as something of a complete Assassin, he’s not very interesting. Adding to this, the narrative we’re offered in this game is forgettable and only really rescued by the fact that we haven’t seen anything of this period in the series since – and it’s certainly an era we’d want to explore more of. Also, it really doesn’t make sense that Altair has an American accent – right? It’s jarring, to say the least, to hear it alongside other accents that feel like they fit the contemporary era more.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Jacob on a horse cart from AC Syndicate

12. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

As fun as it is to run around Victorian London in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, this game is far from perfect and is yet-another game in the series that suffers from being quite forgettable. When everything is working as intended, this game is quite nice to look at – and Evie and Jacob are decent-enough when it comes to likable protagonists. However, so much of this game and the world it’s offering players feels like a caricature.

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It’s also a game, in our opinion, that tries to innovate too much – and this can take away from the core experience. As exciting as racing horse carriages through the streets of London is, it’s not exactly something that fits in with the wider gameplay experience. The evolving fight between the Rooks and the Blighters is also an interesting one but feels like something of an over-complicated addition to the game’s narrative – especially when you consider the fact that the eternal conflict between the Templar Order and the Assassins is something that should be the focus. It might sound like we’re judging Assassin’s Creed Syndicate too harshly because it’s still a decent game. But, something has to come second to last. It might be charming, but it’s far from the best game in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Shay swordfighting in AC Rogue

11. Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Ubisoft’s 2014 release, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, is something of a rogue title when it comes to the series – which makes it quite hard to place on a list like this. It’s the only main Assassin’s Creed game that has you playing primarily as a Templar – which certainly makes its narrative a little more exciting than it could be. However, it borders on being a spin-off title like Freedom Cry and Liberation – and this doesn’t help when it comes to making a case for it.

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Ultimately, this game’s release alongside Assassin’s Creed Unity is damning. The gameplay presented feels dated in comparison, as it’s identical to Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, and it doesn’t benefit from the likable Edward Kenway or the sheer scope the aforementioned title offers. Assassin’s Creed Rogue is short and sweet, but little else. As interesting as Shay Cormac is, his character alone can’t justify placing this game any higher on this list.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: An image of Ezio climbing from AC Revelations

10. Assassin’s Creed Revelations

Now, this is where things start getting tough. When you think about what Ubisoft was trying to do with 2011’s Assassin’s Creed Revelations – mainly wrapping up Ezio’s narrative while introducing a smattering of new mechanics – it does that very well. Not to mention, it further links this trilogy of games to the first Assassin’s Creed. However, it’s hard to say that this game is an innovation on what the series has offered prior, and placing this any higher just feels unfair to the other titles on this list.

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Revelations is the final chapter in a stretched-out story that, if you take it in isolation, is somewhat forgettable. The story content, though, is what makes this game. However, that story content doesn’t stand out without the support of Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 2, and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Exploring Constantinople is fun enough, but it also pales in comparison to the locations we’ve seen in the series prior to this and since. Sure, we all like old Ezio, but Revelations can’t just rely on that.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: An image of Conner on a roof from AC3

9. Assassin’s Creed 3

When it comes to discussing Assassin’s Creed 3 and why it’s so far down on this list, it’s important to make it clear that this is far from a bad game. Ubisoft doesn’t just offer players an insight into life as a Mohawk in colonial America, something you don’t often see in games as big as this, it also builds upon and improves a number of the series’ core mechanics. Albeit still a little clunky, the free-running is trying to be more fluid and the developer has built on the existing combat to include a number of new weapons and ways to attack. However, the stealth side of gameplay takes a huge hit here and Assassin’s Creed 3 is lacking when it comes to offering you more than one way to tackle enemies.

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So, why is Assassin’s Creed 3 this far down? To put it bluntly, there are better games on this list. The new gameplay features, like hunting, feel like last-minute additions and don’t actually impact your experience outside a handful of instances. Not only this, but Connor comes across as stubborn and unlikeable throughout and, as much as this makes him a unique and interesting character in the series, it does make this quite a heavy game to play at times. The Desmond-based gameplay segments also feel quite jarring, and despite what these have been building up to, it feels odd to see him fight quite so violently through an Abstergo facility.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of a spartan kick from AC Odyssey

8. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Ubisoft’s 2018 release, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, is a game of two halves, really, and that’s why it sits in the middle of this list. There is so much to explore, and so much worth experiencing, when it comes to this title. However, there’s also quite a lot of it that feels like it’s over-complicating and elongating an otherwise enjoyable game. The narrative we’re presented with in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is interesting enough, but it feels more far-fetched than what we’ve seen from the series before (and we know that’s saying a lot). It feels far too loosely connected to the Assassins and the Templar Order. The combat gameplay also feels like a step backward when you compare it to what Assassin’s Creed Origins offers players; Odyssey’s fighting is lighter and more extravagant but lacks shields and the iconic hidden blade.

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In addition to this, we really need to talk about the vast difference in quality when it comes to Alexios and Kassandra as protagonists. When you compare Alexios in The Eagle-Bearer role and his appearance as Deimos, it becomes apparent that Kassandra is the much better main character. We know she’s the canon protagonist, but it would be nice to see both options equally as interesting as one another – like Eivor in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. If you’re looking for a sprawling action RPG with a stunning world, you’re in the right place. If you’re looking for a decent Assassin’s Creed game, there are better options out there.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Edward from AC 4 Black Flag

7. Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag

Before we explain why Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag is sat smack-bang in the middle of our ranking, we just want to say that we agree with all of you out there saying that Black Flag is a phenomenal game. In a lot of ways, it’s the series at its best. The naval combat presented is easily the most enjoyable and exciting iteration of this feature we’ve seen so far and Edward Kenway is one of Assassin’s Creed’s most entertaining protagonists. Everything about this experience captures and presents the fantasy of swashbuckling, from sword fights to sailing. So, why is this so far down on our list?

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Well, we hate to say it, but it’s not a very good Assassin’s Creed game. While the narrative is closely interlaced with the conflict between the Assassins and the Templar order, so much of it feels much more focused on Kenway’s piracy and creating a safe haven for all pirates in the Caribbean. Much like Assassin’s Creed 3, the stealth gameplay is lacking and the mission structure can be tiresome in its repetition. For everything great Ubisoft has done with Black Flag, it’s missed the mark on some core features of the series – thus, as great as it is, it can only sit here on our list.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Bayek fighting from AC Origins

6. Assassin’s Creed Origins

As the first Assassin’s Creed title to step away from the city-scale stealth-based action gameplay and introduce deeper RPG mechanics and a much more open world to explore, Assassin’s Creed Origins was a huge gamble for Ubisoft – and one that really could have not paid off. But, as we all know now, Assassin’s Creed Origins did pay off for Ubisoft. It really is a fantastic game that pays homage to what makes Assassin’s Creed games special while also taking us on a journey through Ancient Egypt that we couldn’t imagine this game series would take us.

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As the name suggests, it’s something of an origin story for the Hidden Ones – a precursor organization to the Assassins – and it does that through the lens of Bayek of Siwa and Aya, his wife. They are, without a doubt, some of the best protagonists we’ve seen in the series. When you couple this with the spectacular environment, and emotional motivations that drive Bayek through a narrative littered with intriguing mysteries and excitement, it’s hard to imagine this game any lower on our ranking.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Ezio on a rooftop from AC2

5. Assassin’s Creed 2

But, of course, we have Assassin’s Creed 2 to talk about – and Assassin’s Creed 2 is one of the best games in the series. Of course, there are a lot of things that AC2 is lacking, aspects of the game that Ubisoft has gone on to improve and near-perfect in later titles, but it’s something of a classic. The combat is as robust as the traversal mechanics and Ezio is a fantastic protagonist throughout – even if he is quite cocksure at the start.

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But, what makes this Assassin’s Creed game really tick? We have to say that it’s the narrative. Outside of the Animus, Assassin’s Creed 2 reveals the wider world around Desmond and truly raises the stakes for the franchise. It puts the eternal struggle between the Assassins and the Templar Order into perspective and highlights larger themes that the series is still dealing with now. Inside the Animus, we’re taken through a deeply personal story of revenge and acceptance wrapped up in an exciting conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. What’s not to love about that?

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Eivor fighting from AC Valhalla

4. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

We know Basim and Hytham are the only assassins in AC Valhalla (and you can find out why by following the link), but Valhalla really is a great Assassin’s Creed game. We know Eivor never quite joins the ranks of the Hidden Ones, but she fights alongside them throughout while also exploring her role as Jarlskona of Ravensthorpe. When you couple the deep stories told as Eivor travels England and beyond with the most interesting insight into the precursor civilization yet, a core part of the Assassin’s Creed series, it’s hard not to get excited about exploring everything this game has to offer.

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Of the most recent three games in the Assassin’s Creed series, it offers the best combat and traversal mechanics – without a doubt. Not only this, but it builds on the RPG elements established prior to create a rich experience that you can quite literally spend hundreds of hours in. It isn’t the quintessential Assassin’s Creed game, but it wouldn’t feel right to rank it any lower than this on our list when considering just how incredible the game is as a whole. Outside of the Animus, it also ties in nicely with Desmond Miles’ story and – as always – leaves us with so many more questions. Eivor is a wonderfully likable protagonist and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla lets players spend a lot of time with them in a rich world packed with content.

Best Assassin's Creed games ranked: Basim from Assassin's Creed Mirage looking over a busy marketplace.

3. Assassin’s Creed Mirage

The latest entry in the series, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, is noticeably smaller in scope than the RPG games that came before it. In fact, the Assassin’s Creed Mirage length is one of the shortest of the bunch. However, it’s all the better for it – as our Assassin’s Creed Mirage review will attest to.

You won’t find a massive open world to explore, overflowing with side content, but you’ll instead be met by an incredibly rich and dense 9th century Baghdad. Covering the Round City, it’s many districts, and the surrounding wilderness, there’s still lots to find in this world if you take the time to explore it.

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Even better though is how Mirage encourages the more stealthy – dare we say Assassin approach that was largely lost in the RPG trilogy. Taking advantage of the series’ defining mechanic – parkour – you’ll clamber across the rooftops chasing targets and setting up for the perfect assassination. This is helped by the diverse range of Assassin’s Creed Mirage tools that give plenty of room for both stealth and all-out action playstyles.

While most of the core mechanics in Mirage are certainly a call-back to older entries rather than pushing the series forward, it’s not hard to enjoy the more traditional approach. And for those fans who love the RPG style of Origins through to Valhalla, there’s still plenty to enjoy. With a wilderness area to explore, plenty of AC Mirage weapons to find, puzzles to solve, and side activities to complete, Mirage blends the successes of the RPG trilogy with the heart of the series.

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Ezio leaping from AC Brotherhood

2. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

An ungodly amount of content is far from a bad thing if you’re looking to sink your teeth into something, but we can’t help but place Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood ever-so-slightly higher in our ranking of all the Assassin’s Creed games. In this entry, Ezio is sent on a larger – more dangerous – vendetta mission (which does undo some of the character progress we saw in Assassin’s Creed 2) against the Borgias. Taking place primarily in Rome, this world is exactly what we expect from an Assassin’s Creed game. It takes full advantage of the parkour traversal mechanics pioneered by the game series, with densely packed streets and more than enough rooftop running, while also improving the combat systems in place to reward aggression and building on the social stealth systems in play.

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To put it simply, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is really the perfect sequel. Of course, it’s far from the perfect game, but it builds on everything the series is offering and delivers something truly special. We really can’t think of a game that better captures what makes the Assassin’s Creed series so special. Well, except for one…

Assassin's Creed best games ranked: an image of Arno on a roof from AC Unity

1. Assassin’s Creed Unity

We know there were quite a few performance issues at launch, but if you look past them and what Assassin’s Creed Unity is offering players, you’ll find a truly exceptional AC game – the best one, in fact. Not only does this game practically perfect the counter-based combat of the series’ earlier games, but it also improves upon the series’ traversal mechanics. Though a rather simple change, the introduction of “free-run up” and “free-run down” help Ubisoft create the smoothest parkour movement the Assassin’s Creed series has ever seen. This is also the first game in the series to offer fully customizable clothing – each item with its own benefit to your stats – and a skill tree. Unity really does strike the perfect balance between the open-world RPG mechanics the recent releases do so well, and the classic Assassin’s Creed experience we all remember so fondly.

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Set in revolutionary Paris, Assassin’s Creed Unity pulls players into a densely populated, activity-rich city through Arno Dorian – easily up there when it comes to the most charismatic characters in the series and a fantastic focal point for a narrative full of intrigue, betrayal, and heartbreak. It touches on the French Revolution and key participants, like Maximilien Robespierre and Napoleon Bonaparte, but this is a story deeply invested in the struggle between the Assassins and the Templar Order.

Well, there you have it. We’ve ranked the best Assassin’s Creed games and settled on Assassin’s Creed Unity as the cream of the crop when it comes to one of the best video game series out there. While Mirage didn’t quite make it to the top, it’s still one of the best open world games you can play, and one of the best games in the Assassin’s Creed series. If you haven’t played all the entries in this list, especially the top three, then we highly suggest you do. You’re missing out!