Assassin's Creed games ranked

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson and Lee Brady,

Assassin's Creed games have been released by Ubisoft since the original on PS3 in 2007 and have come to PS4, PS5, and Vita in the 15 years since. Now, we are taking all 14 mainline releases and ranking them in order of greatness.

The Assassin's Creed series from Ubisoft heralded the new heights open-world games could reach the moment Altaïr found himself stealthing and parkouring through Jerusalem in 2007 on PS3. Since then, the games have taken us to Renaissance Italy, the Caribbean during the Golden Age of piracy, Middle Ages England, and so many more places while keeping an eye on a sci-fi modern-day story. With Assassin's Creed Infinity and Mirage coming soon, the TrueTrophies news team has agonised over a list for you: these are the all the Assassin's Creed games ranked — from PS3 to PS5.

Assassin's Creed games rankedAssassin's Creed games ranked

Assassin's Creed, would you believe, has become a contentious issue. However, we are firm believers in "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted," and have put forth our own opinions for you to openly agree or disagree with because they are not a linear constant. This is a marker of our taste as a news team and there is plenty of fun to be had answering what order you would put these games in. The history of the series marks exactly that — this is a series with an identity that has every truth permitted because every constant is false.

Born out of an idea for a Prince of Persia game, the original game established a gaming formula that would shift and change just like the sands of time. It started out in open-world cities with a reasonably linear mission structure between 2007's original and 2010's Assassin's Creed Revelations. We would follow characters with established connections to an order of killers working in the shadows — these were stealth games with occasional bouts of action and plenty of parkour for navigation. From 2011 to 2014 the series moved into frontiers wildernesses of the new world Americas as the Brotherhood tried to rebuild. We then had two more straightforward city entries, before we entered the massive, sprawling action RPG period from 2017 to the present.

This is to all say, welcome to our ranking of Assassin's Creed! It is strange and totally wild, but we love it all the same.

14 — Assassin's Creed Chronicles

Lee: The Assassin's Creed Chronicles trilogy was inevitably going to take the bottom spot on our list — although only because Chronicles' trophies meant it couldn't get away scot-free like the rubbish PSP title Assassin's Creed Bloodlines. Sadly, even if they were exceptionally good 2.5D platformers, the Chronicles games would look like odd ducks on a list of some of gaming's biggest, boldest 3D adventure titles.

The concept for Chronicles is actually very charming — it's a series of Assassin's Creed titles that play like Jordan Mechner's original Prince of Persia, which is an old Apple II game that would later be rebooted as Prince of Persia The Sands of Time. The success of the reboot would see its director (Patrice Désilets) up the scale of the world and eventually make the first Assassin's Creed game.

Having now successfully written around the subject of what these games play like for two paragraphs, hopefully I've impressed upon you just how uninteresting the Chronicles games are as actual games. They're fine little time-wasters, although the thought of us not getting to visit historical China, Russia, or India just because the Chronicles series already got to them makes me want to take back even the nice things I said about the charm of these games.

13 — Assassin's Creed Odyssey

AC OdysseyAssassin's Creed Odyssey is the 13th best game in the series

Kes here. We are in trouble over Assassin's Creed Odyssey, we feel. So, to help dig us out, I'm taking on one half and Lee is taking the other of our qualms with the game.
Lee: Assassin's Creed Odyssey felt bespoke; like a game designed only for me. On paper, the game sounds wonderful with its stunning ancient Grecian setting, its ambitious Witcher 3-esque narrative choice system, and its mercilessly thrifty take on Shadow of Mordor's nemesis system. Once I learned that Odyssey would not only bring back full-fledged ship combat, but it would also let me sail to Mykonos — a place I had sailed in real life, and perhaps my favourite spot on Earth — I simply could not resist the siren song of Odyssey's video game tourism.

However, upon playing, I crashed swiftly against the rocks of the late Assassin's Creed bloat, and from there I could not stop having a bad time. Odyssey's crushingly big-yet-paper-thin sandbox sucked all the fun I had out of going anywhere in it, even by boat. The missions ranged from tedious fetch quests to tedious fort infiltrations, many of which felt like playing a bad Metal Gear Solid 5 parody. The game's strict RPG levelling system only served to highlight how shallow Odyssey's Witcher-for-babies combat was — combat so uninvolved and lacking that it made taking on any mercenary in the world just two levels stronger than you a long-winded snore-fest. I could go on, but I have to leave something for Kes to write about.

Assassin's Creed DLCAssassin's Creed Odyssey just isn't that interesting

Kes: Malaka. This game, like Lee says above, is just so shallow. I know that quite a few in the AC community highlight that it isn't an 'Assassin's Creed' game as the issue, but I think the core issue is much worse — it is an Assassin's Creed game. AC lore is fantastic in the right context, but Odyssey just isn't it. The whole Kassandra or Alexios character arcs are not only dull as basic stories, but are also frighteningly unaware of what made any Assassin's Creed continuity interesting — a complex ideology melded with a sense of historical place and time, made more compelling by its reflection on the present. When it takes the mickey out of the Assassin's Creed parts of Assassin's Creed, it doesn't do it to strengthen its narrative weight like a Black Flag or a Unity, it does it to say — "Nah, I can't be bothered to improve or continue what has come before."

If we separate from that heritage stuff, I personally think it fails as a turn-off-your-brain romp. It would be serviceable if it weren't for the tedium of the cut-and-paste open world that feels like you are on a treadmill, not actually exploring. If it was a good story game, it would be better written and not full of shortcuts to make sure its dual protagonist story worked with its 'different endings.' I have all the Assassin's Creed Odyssey trophies and messed around with the ending during that playthrough — nothing this game does story-wise holds weight. The superpowers, likewise, make everything so boring... just let us be humans in our history, please! The side content, though, has a habit of being genuinely funny.

ACOAssassin's Creed Oddysey is not out cup of wine.

I think Lee and I are both well aware that this game is AAA in scope and will have plenty of appeal to many out there. It's not bad, it's just so uninteresting and bland compared to the rest of the series we can't recommend it above even Liberation with its really cool main protagonist. If you want the expansive RPG this initially promises to be — we think Valhalla is much better. If you want something tighter and more gorgeous that balances old and new Assassin's Creed better, then Origins is for you. But for us, Odyssey is just Malaka.

12 — Assassin's Creed 3 Liberation

Assassin's Creed Liberation RemasteredAssassin's Creed Liberation is the 12th best game in the series

Lee: Assassin's Creed 3 Liberation's greatest crime is that many of its best ideas, and its wonderful protagonist, would have been a lot more fun had they been given the same budget and room to breathe as the title's fussier, even-handed big brother — Assassin's Creed 3.

Aveline de Grandpré is, as far as I'm concerned, the most interesting protagonist the series has yet produced. Born into a life of relative wealth, Aveline joins the lower-class Assassins faction because of her heroic impulse to free slaves — a choice that puts her at odds with almost everyone in her life, most of whom benefit from the riches and power that the Templars possess. It's a compelling story made great by its proxy to the alternating poise and rage of Aveline.

Gamifying Aveline's class divide by having her use costumes to blend into the various tiers of society is a concept that has a lot of potential, although unfortunately in Liberation it doesn't feel fun to mess around with at all. The world of Liberation feels small for Assassin's Creed, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so muddy and crammed full of boring architecture. Plus, Assassin's Creed 3 Liberation's multiplayer trophies forced us to interact with its weird, hands-off online mode, and that's definitely going to cost the game some kudos.

11 — Assassin's Creed

Lee: I know what you're thinking — without trophies, this game may as well not exist. I completely understand, for I held off playing the original game for 13 years due to this particular slight. However, having now played the original, it must be said that Assassin's Creed is surprisingly more interesting to play now that the franchise is a juggernaut than it might have been even at the time. Now we can see every germ of good game design the series has ever allowed to fester can be readily found somewhere in the original game.

Assassin's Creed even has some of the problems of the later games, like a map that is too big and dull to make travelling over it fun. It includes weirdly excessive game mechanics — does anyone remember the 'rubber hands' button? If you didn't want to draw attention moving through a crowd of pot carriers, you would hold a button that would make Altaïr's hands go all rubbery as he tried to ease himself through a sea of backs, shoulders, and synchronised pot-carrying squads. I say it's high time we brought back the rubber hands mechanic — or at least port this classic game with trophies, Ubisoft. Come on, guys, it's been fifteen years.

10 — Assassin's Creed Syndicate

assassins creed syndicateAssassin's Creed Syndicate is the 10th best in the series

Lee: Assassin's Creed Syndicate marks the last outing of the classic Assassin's Creed formula before Origins hit the reset button — something that would make Syndicate more worthy of your time and interest were it not teeming with half-finished game mechanics and weird series missteps that feel utterly bizarre in the grand scheme of things.

Syndicate sneaks in the RPG levelling system that has restricted recent AC titles; though without the massive overhauls to the combat Origins later brings, it feels even less satisfying than Odyssey to master. The game introduced one-off mechanics like dual protagonists, wagon riding, and grappling hooks that utterly invalidated the series' classic climbing mechanics. So much of Syndicate just feels like Ubisoft throwing game design at a wall to see what sticks with players, even the seemingly endless going of Assassin's Creed Syndicate trophies.

That said, industrial revolution London is a magnificent setting for an Assassin's Creed game, there is a fun smorgasbord of activities to enjoy, and the game places many of the stylish combat and movement enhancements that Unity borked on launch back onto the table. Plus, it's not like the one-off gameplay additions in Syndicate feel boring — rather, they feel weird, desperate, and poorly thought out. Yet. grappling around London is genuinely a good time, even if it does feel massively at odds with the core values of Assassin's Creed.

9 — Assassin's Creed Rogue

Kes: Assassin's Creed Rogue for PS3 got the short end of the stick on release in 2014, but it is being a little more recognised by the Assassin's Creed community now Assassin's Creed Rogue Remastered is out for PS4. The USP of this particular title is that you play as an Assassin-turned-Templar called Shay McCormac during the 100 Years War. This puts you in the thick of a beloved story arc that starts with Assassin's Creed IV and ends with... well, that would be a spoiler! The overarching story is very, very cool and small moments really pay off big time. This gives the whole game a really unique perspective, hence its position as the ninth-best Assassin's Creed game.

You have probably heard that this is constantly being cited as the 'underrated one,' to the point that it became a bit overrated. It is neither or in our opinion, it's the definition of middling. The actual moment-to-moment of the story is really sloppy and shallow even if the big picture context is gripping and keeps you playing. The reason that Shay becomes a Templar is not because of any interesting moral conundrum that makes you think about free will and human purpose like even the original managed — it's because two alpha males are too stubborn to bother explaining to each other what happened in a church in Lisbon. That means the game is almost constantly at war with its own themes because there is no sense of actual complexity, just that Shay and the returning Achilles from AC III should kiss and make up.

AC RogueAssassin's Creed Rogue is the ninth best game in the series

The world occasionally follows this shallowness with repeated side missions and bigness-for-bigness sake. There was more game planned here and you can really feel it. However, locations like Albany are amazing along with the icy seas, ship combat is as great as ever, and the Shay is delightfully quippy. The story missions are similarly fun, with some great side objectives if you want those Assassin's Creed Rogue trophies. It's mercifully contained even though it could have been trimmed further and that keeps its ideas fresh — a worthy ninth-place finish.

8 — Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Kes: Trying to justify this high of a finish for insanely massive and unwieldy Assassin's Creed Valhalla after our Odyssey slamming is going to make a few unhappy, we know. Let's get the major negative out of the way — everything bad about Valhalla can be put down to its absurd size. The map is so big it ceases to become remotely enjoyable in the late game; the story missions are spread out so lose total track of what is going on for hours at a time; the narrative repeats over and over to fill time with repeated sub-plots in every English Kingdom; the side content to fill the gaps if often petty and stupid, and the combat is good — but not after 50 hours. Let alone 150, when you will finish with the (base game) Valhalla trophies playing naturally. For some people, this will offer value, especially with all of the free and paid DLC expansions. Frankly, though, we just don't think it respects your time in any way, shape, or form.

I'm sorry, you want me to spend ten hours in Norway for a prologue, conquer most of England, go Vinland, explore two Norse realms both the size of Assassin's Creed II... then have the gall to make me do more England and Norway still? You are deluded, Ubisoft, if you think any of your unlying mechanics support that timesink appropriately.

Assassin's Creed ValhallaAssassin's Creed Valhalla is the eigth best game in the series

The reason that is so rage-inducing is that often, Valhalla presents moments of unrivalled beauty in the series. Sailing through a river and watching as the sun dips and the cold draws in as you pull into Jorvic just works, especially with the godly score by Sarah Schachner and original composer Jesper Kyd. You earn your travel in the early game. Some of the stories are really intriguing, especially those with King Alfred. Raids are splendid fun the first few times around, as is sneaking around a city on an actual stealth mission. The sci-fi elements woven with myth end up — though the journey there is patchy — really intriguing when you realise this is Eivor's fabricated perception of humanity's Isu predecessors.

However, a lot of the shallowness occasionally bubbles up — especially with climbing — but we think it is generally much better handled than its Greek cousin when it comes to gear, story, and theme. We prefer some of the more grounded combat too, as well as medieval England. Eivor is a bit bland, but that is made up for with some really interesting leading characters that you will spend time with in your Ravensthorpe homestead. Personal taste will play a factor in where this and Odyssey place for you personally, but for us, it goes in at the lower-middle of the crowd in 8th. If restraint was shown and 100 hours were cut out, it might have been much higher.

7 — Assassin's Creed 3

Lee: Assassin's Creed 3 honestly gets a bad rap. It was always going to be a challenge to transition from as big a personality as Ezio. There was also roughly a ninety per cent chance that wherever the developers selected for their next historical destination, it was not likely to be either as fascinatingly dramatic or as sweepingly beautiful as Ezio's three-game long tour of Italy.

Landing on the American Revolution in an attempt to narratively and visually pull players as far from Rome as possible was genuinely a smart move — it's likely the most well-known pre-modern war going, plus players clambering to see what Assassin's Creed plays like with guns could finally get their fill without the series going all Modern Warfare on us. Also, Assassin's Creed 3 multiplayer trophies aside, revolution-themed multiplayer was great!

It just so happens that earlier games, and a handful of later titles, did more interesting things with the series' template. For all the good ideas Assassin's Creed 3 had — ships, split character narrative, side hustles — games like Black Flag and Origins did them better, deeper, or at least with a touch more flavour. ACIII ultimately represents the series at its most neutral — which is rather fitting for the seventh highest entry in a list of fourteen titles.

6 — Assassin's Creed Revelations

Kes: Here we are! The end of the Ezio trilogy that gave birth to one of the most passionately loved and hated series in gaming. Assassin's Creed Revelation wraps up Ezio Auditore's story really well with a final chapter that is, arguably, the most enthralling and well told one-game narrative of the series. It often gets critiqued for some of the unessential additions and ropey performances — but we think it actually just suffered from being at the tail end of a yearly release cycle when critics and fans were overloaded.

Revelations' Constantinople setting blossoms along with a few of the characters, especially Sofia Sartor. Ezio himself is really well written given his shift in experience levels since Brotherhood — don't forget to watch the animated epilogue Embers. The city is nice and dense with some great tombs for climbing, improved combat tools with bombs and the like, along with small changes to parkour that help extend your capabilities literally with a climbing hook. The send-off Ezio and Altair get from Desmond is actually incredibly emotional, if not always helped by the modern-day gameplay. The Revelations trophies are a jaunt to taking you through the whole game, though again the multiplayer trophies were a mistake even if the mode was good. We really like Revelations, so into 6th it goes as one of the most easily likeable entries.

5 — Assassin's Creed Unity

Lee: Despite what its disastrous, bug-filled launch might tell you, Assassin's Creed Unity arrived a little overbaked. With the template of the series firmly nailed down by its steady father Assassin's Creed 3, and with its trailblazing mother Black Flag experimentally injecting the series with a touch of swashbuckling to much critical aplomb, the framework for a successful Assassin's Creed game was well and truly set before Unity.

So, like any child might do when tasked with following up the legacy of the refined and the daring, Unity decided the only way to stand out was to go bigger and louder. Smoother animations, new combat finesse, next-gen graphics, new engine, four-player simultaneous campaign missions, bombastic new time-warping campaign, massive crowds, le Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris painstakingly rendered in pristine detail — oh, don't forget online co-op Unity trophies! It works coherently and often with style, panache, and genuinely head-turning story themes.

Had Unity only been planned by cooler heads, perhaps more resources could have been poured into its engine's stability, rather than needlessly dense crowd numbers for the time, though. Had the developers been content to first attempt a two-player campaign before jumping straight to four-player, perhaps we would still be feeling Unity's impact on modern narrative games today. Instead, Ubisoft tried too hard to achieve too much with this one, and while today it does indeed play rather well, it will always have missed its window; always have failed to live up to its potential. That being said, for what it did attempt and succeed with, we love it enough to put it in fifth and call it the most underrated Assassin's Creed game.

4 — Assassin's Creed Origins

The Hidden Ones DLC screenshotAssassin's Creed Origins is the fourth best game in the series

Kes: Assassin's Creed Origins isn't just the best in the new RPG trilogy — it's a hidden blade in the neck of the gluttonous open-worlds of the two games that succeeded it. The tale of Bayek and Aya in ancient Egypt makes a beautiful emotional core for a gripping game that won't let you go. Origin's gorgeous recreation of Egypt under siege by the Romans in an era when the powerful legacy of old has begun to crumble is stunning, with the desert whipping the sand and the sun looming. Some of the cities and towns are visually masterful and crammed with a kayak-load of stuff to do, even if it doesn't always succeed at letting go of the past.

The combat might be simpler than both Valhalla and Odyssey, but it knows what it is and works perfectly given the trim length of the game. You have a cool array of weaponry — again because it is stripped back and given meaning — and the story is much more tightly woven than in the later games. Bayek and Aya have lost a son to a hidden organisation and set out for revenge in two different ways. Simple concept, sure, but told with complexity and gravitas. This is the gut-wrenching reality that buoys the rest of the game well. There are still issues. Aya should have been the protagonist, even though Bayek is incredibly well-acted by Aboubakar Salim. It often fails to unite the 'Origins' stands of the Assassin's Creed history like it promises, almost like it is scared of that weight. Don't let that detract, though, no game in the series has this strong of a human story.

The Assassin's Creed Origins trophies are well measured, just like the pace and length of the game itself. This measured approach to a then-new genre makes it superior to its RPG brethren, but also a game that outclasses a lot of its ancestors with a unique spin on the series. Assassin's Creed Origins comes fourth in our rankings.

3 — Assassin's Creed 2

Assassins Creed IIAssassins Creed II is the third best game in the series

Kes: Assassin's Creed II is an incredible game that deserves every ounce of popularity it earned in 2008. Introducing us to Ezio Auditore in Renaissance Italy was a bold move, but it paid off in spades. The story grounds it — a tale of revenge after a young man loses his father and brother to a Borgia dictatorship. It's affecting not because of the incident, but how well it is written throughout the game. Moreover, it is incorporated so fluidly into the shadowy Assassin's Brotherhood that it keeps you enticed throughout. This game just oozes cool because of that. You believe in what you are seeing and the band of stealthy killers trying to end a tyrannical reign is totally grounded in reality and interesting moral philosophy.

Moreover, the past and present collide spectacularly well — though let's be honest, Florence, Venice, and Tuscany will not be topped. They are gorgeous and the perfect playground for parkour and hidden blade stealth kills. Speaking of, we think this is the game that solidified how important sneaking and hoods are to the franchise because it embodies what the Assassins are. The complexity of the parkour is fantastic too; some of the climbs to the top of towers to unveil the map are breathtaking and complex ordeals that were removed in future games.

Ultimately this game is in third because it is showing its age with some of the jankiness, slightly broken combat, and poor mission design. However, if you are going for those Assassin's Creed II trophies you won't notice any of it because it is just such a good time. The soundtrack by Jesper Kyd is outright legendary stuff and Ezio's Family will no doubt bring a tear to the eye of many. This is masterful Assassin's Creed and elite gaming — a bronze medal for the game that started it all!

2 — Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Kes: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood manages to pip its predecessor to the post for being a perfect version of Assassin's Creed and a masterful continuation of the story. Even the entry ahead in first doesn't have the same kind of energy that Brotherhood does — so personal preference is absolutely in play. The stealth is better than in AC II, the story continues being exceptional, and Rome as a location is not only stunning — it is better constructed as a playground for the wonderful Ezio Auditore. You will have moments in this game — in creepy tombs with technical challenges, climbing the colosseum, or in the story — that will blow you over in a way that is irreplicable.

Everything good about Assassin's Creed II is back in force in Brotherhood, then. However, it also manages to make small changes to combat and parkour that make it easier to play without frustration. The returning cast of characters — like Leonardo da Vinci — is deepened, broadened, and heightened with superb narrative stakes. It's the Brotherhood feature though — where you can build a collection of Assassins, rank them up, send them on missions, and use them in combat — that we cannot believe hasn't made a comeback. It works as a metagame, as a way to improve Ezio, and it builds out his climb to the top of the politicking Brotherhood. Seeing one of the lads take out the guard you needed to get rid of so you can sneak by is an unrivalled experience — we love it.

The introduction of multplayer was a great stroke of genius because it is fun and enticing — as well as absurdly competitive. It's a shame that Assassin's Creed Brotherhood trophies were tied in, though. In short, it's a perfection of the formula of the more traditional games. This is a worthy second-place finish for Ezio's second outing, one that deserves its beloved status and is a massive part of what makes this series legendary.

1 — Assassin's Creed Black Flag

Kes: Ahoy matey — are you here, with the wind billowing in the sails and sea roughly churning around us, to tell us this ain't the truth? Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is the best game in the series, on guard! Let’s circle a bit, touch cutlasses, and pull out our four pistols over it. The pirate life isn’t the setting you thought you’d get the perfect Assassin experience in, but somehow, with the swaggering Edward Kenway at the stern, it gave us exactly that.

The sea is the real charmer here, distinguishing the unique Caribbean setting from the rest of the series. From island to island you travel in the Jackdaw, an upgradeable ship that you will shelter in for many a fine ship battle before coming home to your residence in Nassau. The story is on point — with Edward going through a redemption arc that, for our doubloons, rivals even that of Ezio. He starts as a rogue only wearing the robe for personal gain, but — as he grows his personal attachments to historical figures like Blackbeard, Charles Vane, Anne Bonny, and crew — he begins to change his values from pirate-aligned to Creed-aligned. Key figures in his life, like first mate Adewale (who features in the elite-level DLC Freedom Cry), really do make an impact — even the modern-day stuff is compelling if a little dull to play.

Assassin's Creed IV Black FlagAssassin's Creed IV Black Flag is the best Assasin's Creed game, for our doubloons

This fantastic setting and story are matched by Assassin’s Creed staples. The open world is restrained, meaning the activities are way more focused and compelling than in later titles (looking at you, Unity). Parkour through the palm trees, sails of a ship, or across ruins and shanty town roof-tops might not be at the level of an Assassin's Creed Unity or Brotherhood, but it is still a much cleaner rendition than AC III. Even with more open spaces, traditional cities like Kingston and Jamaica have some fantastic climbing and running action. Even the stealth is in good form here, even with slightly less hidden blade action than an AC II.

With the Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag trophies requiring story mastery, you will run into the major hurdle of dated main mission design, but you can shrug off that particular nuisance because of a few spectacular set pieces. The fact we haven't mentioned the OST by Brian Tyler is outrageous, given it's complete with sea chanties and straight-up drunken swagger. So, let us keep our cutlasses raised for a fun fight, you and I, but give a rum-soaked toast to the best game in the Assassin's Creed series — Black Flag.

Thank you for reading! More Assassin's Creed is on the way for you, but in the meantime get in the comments section for some healthy debate! Any disagreements with our list? Is anything sticking out to you? Let us know!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Associate Editor Kes is our resident expert in PlayStation news. He writes about upcoming exclusives like The Last of Us and God of War, PS Plus and PS Studios news, and his favourite games — The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed, and The Outer Wilds — before an evening swim.