Every Assassin's Creed game ranked worst to best

The Assassin's Creed franchise is a long-running and storied one for publisher Ubisoft, who've put out plenty of sneaking, stabbing, and parkouring assassin adventures over the past decade. As with any series, there's the good, the bad, and the ugly—which is why we're here to rank them from worst to best, including all main console, handheld, and mobile releases. 

A few titles have been omitted from this list, most of which are companion apps built for babysitting their respective console counterparts, with the other smattering being so light on actual gameplay that they're not comparable to the full-fledged games on this list. Also, Assassin's Creed 4: Freedom Cry has been omitted as it is a standalone expansion pack for Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, rather than its own game.

Beyond those minor exemptions, we've got every single major inclusion to the franchise ranked below. Will your favorite be number one? Scroll down to find out.

Assassin's Creed Identity

Assassin's Creed Identity is the somewhat ambitious phone/tablet take on the franchise, wherein developer Blue Byte tries to cram in most of the series' console conventions onto a comparatively weaker set of devices. The biggest issue is the game's awful touch screen controls, hands down. 

If you thought the console games had unwieldy physics, watch out for this bad boy which exacerbates the issue tenfold by utilizing the mobile market's inherently awful touch-control system. And beyond the game being a hassle to operate, there's also greedy, poorly-implemented microtransactions to pony up to on top of a base game price. Greedy monetary systems and bad controls make this as bottom of the barrel as the franchise has sunk to—yet.

Assassin's Creed II: Discovery

For whatever reason, Ezio Auditore moves with the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog in this game, and while it kind of, sort of works as a two-dimensional platformer for that very reason, it's when the developers try to shoehorn in the series' trademark stealth that things start to falter. Stealth and speed rarely work when put together, especially in such watered-down, lackluster forms present here due to the Nintendo DS's hardware limitations. That, coupled with pretty gross presentation (again, a limitation of the system) make this an old entry in the series that no one will miss.

Assassin's Creed Bloodlines

Assassin's Creed Bloodlines is as close as we'd get to a true AC experience on a portable device until AC Liberation released much, much later. Released for the PSP, Bloodlines tried to emulate the majority of the series' hallmarks, including open worlds, lots of grand-scope three-dimensional stealth and action, and an actual story. While it falls short on most of these fronts due to over-ambition on underpowered hardware, it's a noble attempt that's definitely enjoyable for the brief spurts of time when it manages to capture the main series' magic.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India

For all its vibrant colors and culturally-accurate aesthetic choices, nothing changes the fact that Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India is a chore to play. Featuring a level of 8th-generation console game polish that still manages to set it above most of the other bite-sized Assassin's Creed games, the reality is that all the polish in the world doesn't fix the game's poor design choices. 

Timed sections greatly hamper the already stressful and poorly concocted stealth slant the game tries so hard to focus on and obnoxious sniper levels combine with this poor implementation of stealth to make racing against the clock an even more frustrating experience.

Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles (Nintendo DS Version)

Altair's Chronicles is made by Gameloft, which basically says it all. This mobile game, specifically the Nintendo DS port, is like grazing on potato chips: not terribly nutritious or full of expertly-cooked ingredients, but what's there is simple, chomp-worthy, and addictive. 

It's not the deepest Assassin's Creed game by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a fun platformer that stays true to the series' roots and makes good use of its hardware's limited resources. Altair's Chronicles knows its own limitations and sticks to providing levels that feel kind of like the more linear missions from the main console installments, and that's not a bad thing.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia

The entire game is stylized after communist propaganda poster imagery, meaning that from an artistic and aesthetic standpoint Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia is outstanding. But, while it may be a technological masterpiece in terms of visual creativity, the game flounders hard in its level design and core gameplay, much like its sister title Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India.

While this one slightly improves some of India's bigger issues such as pacing of the timed missions, the fact of the matter is that the level design on show here is poor and leads to uneven difficulty spikes while progressing through the somewhat interesting story. A little more QA testing would've gone a long way here.

Assassin's Creed

Though it's where it all began, the reality is that like any good series, the original has aged poorly when held up against its far superior successors. Assassin's Creed features the series' jankiest controls, most slippery physics, and blandest cities, all of which look pretty same-y. This means traversal is a chore and going through levels rarely ever looks great, especially when coupled with the early 7th generation's graphical standards. 

But if the first Assassin's Creed gets one thing right, it's that it has the player focus almost exclusively on being an actual assassin. This is a point of contention throughout later installments in the franchise, which often diversify mission structure to the point where the series' title is lost in translation. So props for sticking to the name of the game, AC1.

Assassin's Creed: Liberation

In what remains the most ambitious and fully-functional portable attempt at capturing the series' magic to this day, Assassin's Creed: Liberation is a handheld marvel. Originally released for the under-loved and criminally undersold PS Vita, Liberation is technologically sound, plays well, and looks great.

The issue, however, lies in the fact that the main character, Aveline, is just not that interesting, nor is the gameplay itself. The mission structure is bland, the maps are boring to navigate, and it feels like the development team spent too much time trying to capture the scope of the main series rather than actually fine-tuning the smaller parts therein.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China

For what it is, the Chronicles series is an interesting attempt at a morsel-sized Assassin's Creed experience, and the first entry in the saga illustrates this best. Departing from typical AC stylistic tropes and instead infusing a cool female protagonist into a world of hand-brushed, inky graphics and awesome 2.5 gameplay, China remains the best installment in the Chronicles line. This is thanks to its stellar presentation and sharp level design, the likes of which facilitates stealth better than either India or Russia and makes China a generally more fun experience than any of the series' other small-scale releases, Liberation included.

Assassin's Creed Rogue

Even if Assassin's Creed Rogue is a budget-title that's deliberately lifted most of its assets and models from Assassin's Creed 3, that doesn't change the fact that it's a well-made product featuring good level design, fun naval sections, and a generally well-put together experience that encourages exploration and improvisation. Furthermore, it's one of the only games in the series that lets us see things from a Templar's perspective, hence the Rogue subtitle. In short, the game's got a fun narrative and enjoyable gameplay to match. What more can one ask for?

Assassin's Creed Origins

While it's ambitious in scope, Assassin's Creed Origins fails to do anything beyond capturing the core essence of what a standard triple-A open world game should be: big, beautiful and busy. It does those three things to a masterful degree, providing a sprawling Egyptian sandbox that's filled with painstakingly crafted historical artistry, but at the end of the day, all Origins can hold over other entries in the franchise is that it's the best at providing the most shiny, attractive distractions. Technical merits aside, it lacks anything to set it apart from the standard open-world game.

Origins' narrative is lacking, featuring a core relationship dynamic between the protagonist and his wife that really only gets played up over the final third of the game, leaving you with dozens of hours of underwhelming plot to trudge through first. Its gameplay is undercooked as well, failing to introduce any game changers like cooperative multiplayer or naval combat, additions that helped make previous installments stand out from the rest. Instead, Origins remains content with the idea that sheer quantity can outshine quality. 

While there is a fun time to be had here and a lot of enjoyability to be found solely in exploring the most gorgeous digital recreation of Egypt to ever be produced, the game doesn't push the boundaries of the Assassin's Creed series—it simply covers old territory with a fresh coat of paint.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Oddly enough, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood feels like a step backward from its predecessor. A small one, but a step nonetheless. While Brotherhood did introduce the very useful (and titular) brotherhood mechanic to the series, it implemented it way too far into the game itself to really alter the standard AC formula for the duration of Brotherhood's singleplayer portion. 

That, coupled with a vast open world that takes forever to trek across unless you can find one of the poorly located fast-travel points means it's a little too formulaic and boring to warrant a higher spot on this list. However, it did introduce the series' absolutely amazing multiplayer component, so it definitely earns massive props for that—so massive that we can overlook the singleplayer portion's shortcomings.

Assassin's Creed II

Now we're really getting toward the absolute best of the best in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Assassin's Creed II is when most people noticed this was a series worth keeping an eye on, due to its aesthetically rich and beautifully recreated historical setting of Italy and its wonderful, spritely protagonist Ezio Auditore. The lively character made traversing the game a joy and the historical cameos from the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci only served to boost the game's enjoyability that much more, especially during the segments where you could utilize his inventions and essentially rewrite history. 

Factoring in these aspects while also considering AC2's refinements to the series' core gameplay as well as its fun story and epic soundtrack reveal it to be a far more than just an ordinary sequel. AC2 was, in fact, the precursor to all of the series' best singleplayer design choices—not all of which were present in this game, but all of which were conceived here.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

While Syndicate is definitely not reinventing the Assassin's Creed wheel, it's a highly polished game with a well-designed open world, awesome new grappling hook mechanic, and fun pair of protagonists. Really, it's the pair dynamic that makes this game so interesting—not only because you've got a story revolving around two unique characters, but also because you can play as both, leading to diverse and exciting gameplay situations. Plus, this is the first AC game with trains! It's awesome: old-fashioned Victorian steam engines roll through the city and lead to some very exciting encounters that really spice up roaming about the open world.

Assassin's Creed III

Beyond the generally fun multiplayer and overall abundance of content, this game has one big thing going for it that no other AC game has yet to achieve: an absolutely outstanding story with a protagonist who really grows. Even better, the game starts with a massive, three-hour bait and switch that doesn't reveal the true protagonist until after the end of the jaw-dropping prologue. 

From there, it's an epic story that comments on the nature of race, trust, ideological hypocrisy, and so many other mature themes that you can't help but identify completely with the game's hero, Connor Kenway, by the time it's over. It's a nuanced narrative with a subtle but real emotional punch at the end (if you completely ignore the Desmond portions of the story), and that's what really sets AC3 apart from its brethren. Well, that and the introduction of the series' awesome naval combat.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Building upon the strong foundation AC3 started with naval combat, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag turns the series into a massive pirate simulator. Featuring the most fun, frenetic, and weighty naval combat to ever grace the medium of video gaming, Black Flag lets you conquer the high seas all while singing sea shanties and fighting the winds of the ocean. Couple that with the traditionally fun stabby-stabby action of the land portions of the game and it's a recipe for one of the most enjoyable, ground-breaking Assassin's Creed games yet. And the series' traditionally amazing multiplayer is still present, to boot.

Assassin's Creed Unity

Assassin's Creed Unity is a technological masterpiece and easily the most visually arresting Assassin's Creed game to be released thus far. Its visual fidelity is unrivaled, as is its recreation of Paris. There's nothing quite like standing inside the painstakingly crafted digital replica of the Notre Dame Cathedral and seeing the sun glisten through stained-glass windows onto Arno's cool assassin robes. It's incredible. Not to mention the gameplay has seen some major improvements that make controlling Arno a breeze when compared to earlier Assassin's Creed games, such as letting him slide under carriages and lithely hop over benches, additions which make chases and general traversal much more exciting. 

It's also the debut of cooperative play in the series, which is a well-executed and welcome addition that features unique missions designed for multiple assassins, each of which demands a breed of stealthy teamwork no other game on the market has ever dared to offer players. Admittedly, it had a very bumpy and unprofessional launch, but the fact of the matter is that the final product, after all its patches, is stunning and a testament to the developers' raw ambition.

Assassin's Creed Revelations

The fact that this game exists in our dimension, in our timeline, is a miracle. Not only is Revelations the epic, and we do mean epic, conclusion to Ezio Auditore's three-game journey, but it's also the most complete package that any Assassin's Creed game has ever delivered. 

While AC3 might feature the strongest story in the series, there's no dodging the fact that Revelations' narrative is still an expertly told, conclusive tale powered by expert voice actors and great writing, one that really has something to say about its star Ezio. And, in terms of pure gameplay laurels, Revelations sports a lengthy campaign that implements previous mechanics such as the brotherhood and climbing systems much more effectively than its predecessors, leading to a more cohesive and exciting experience than in previous games. It's also got the best soundtrack of any Assassin's Creed game ever, usurping the throne from AC2. And let's not forget that this game remains the absolute pinnacle of AC multiplayer thanks to outstanding level design, character and ability diversity, and a near-perfect competitive balance of the mode's many mechanics. 

From start to finish, be it in the singleplayer campaign or online, Revelations lives up to its name and reminds us what the franchise can be when Ubisoft really tries.