The Assassin’s Creed series has established a massive history and legacy in what feels like a very short amount of time. Over this history, especially the most recent decade of games, the series has shifted a ton, in terms of both gameplay and storytelling.
While change is generally a good thing, not all of these particular changes were welcomed by the fans. This decade of games has taken us from Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood all the way up to the latest installment of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey with seven main series titles between that, and the changes introduced along the way were definitely polarizing. Keep scrolling to find out which ones were big hits, and which others didn’t go over so well.
10 BEST: Origins/Odyssey Soft Reboot
After a long streak of yearly releases of very similar games, the Assassin’s Creed franchise took 2016 off resulting in the next two years releases to be extremely different games. Assassin’s Creed Odyessy and Assassin’s Creed Origins transformed the series from stealth-based action games into full-blown action-RPGs, loot systems and all.
This transition for the series marked a revitalization in not only people’s interest in the series but in the quality of the games as well. This soft reboot gave the series the change it needed to break free of the rut they dug for themselves.
9 WORST: No Multiplayer
It left almost as soon as it arrived but Assassin’s Creed no longer featuring the competitive multiplayer that started with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood in 2010 as was gone in the 2014 release of Assassin’s Creed Unity (which had co-op missions instead.)
Perhaps not the most popular part of the games, the multiplayer was not only extremely fun to play but very different than most other multiplayer experiences on the market. Unlike many other single-player focused games, the multiplayer felt like much more than an afterthought, instead being incredibly unique and well made.
8 BEST: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
In an unexpected twist, the stealth game series produced one of the best (and one of the few) pirate games of the past decades.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag takes the dark overtones of the series and blends them with a fun swashbuckling adventure, a much-needed fun story after the dark, brooding mess that was Assassin’s Creed III. Edward is also one of the few main characters in the series to actually match the charisma of Ezio. It’s a pirates life for me.
7 WORST: Unvaried Environments
The series has featured many titles but not as many types of environments. Prior to the Origins soft reboot, the majority of titles featured fairly built-out cities in Europe, between 1500 A.D. and 1700 A.D. with the exception of Assassin’s Creed III and IV (glad they stopped numbering these things.)
While only two games have been released since the soft reboot, ancient Egypt (Origins) and ancient Greece (Odyssey) both feel extremely similar, albeit not exactly the same. Hopefully, the next entry takes place somewhere much different.
6 BEST: Time Off
Very few video games actually seem to thrive from having yearly releases. Call of Duty seems to handle it decently and sports games don’t have much of a choice it seems. For a long time, the other series that could be counted on every single year was Assassin’s Creed but it lost a ton of momentum with Unity and Syndicate which resulted in a year off for the first time in seven years.
This resulted in the highly praised titles of Origins and Odyssey. Plus some breathing room lets people get interested again. the series also took this year off as well after releasing the mammoth of a title Odyssey that has more than enough content to justify having two years to play through it.
5 WORST: Lack of Assassins
While the two latest entries are great games and revamped the series, they left out a story thread that feels pretty important. The games don’t actually have Assassins and Templars in them.
While Origins gets away with it a bit by claiming to be the beginning of that story, Odyssey follows that up by taking place earlier and not having either parties. While the game features sets of good guys and bad guys that fill the roles, the series main thread has been that this conflict always exists and continues on but now the games take place before that.
4 BEST: Less Tedious Missions
There are many things to love about the soft reboot of Assassin’s Creed but one of the best is the changed mission structures and types. The games have moved away from stealth, for better or worse, but that does mean that missions like, tailing someone to listen to their conversations or missions that have to be completed in perfect stealth have gone away.
This is great because it takes away the tedious tailing missions and many of the walking around with someone while talking missions. It also gives freedom in how you want to approach a challenge, instead of forcing you into a single box.
3 WORST: Ship Combat
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a fantastic game and very well received. It’s not the first one of these games with ship combat but it’s the one to blame for ship combat being so prevalent in the rest of the serious. It’s also the only one with actually enjoyable ship combat.
Being a pirate firing cannons at other pirates is a blast but having archers and spear throwers attack other ships in ancient times is significantly less fun. It doesn’t help that the regular combat of the newer games is extremely fun, making the not great ship combat feel even worse.
2 BEST: Kassandra
Ezio might be the most well-known character in the series but he isn’t the best anymore. Kassandra from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is easy one of the most charismatic and enjoyable main characters in the series and in most games in the past decade.
Her attitude and toughness make for a very strong mercenary and she shows plenty of compassion to boot. Much of this can be credited to this being the only game to feature dialogue options but Alexios just doesn’t match his sister, even when played as the main character.
1 WORST: Modern Day Sections
One of the main story beats through the main series is that the games are being experienced by characters in the modern-day through the Animus. The story and prominence of these moments vary from game to game but the missions themselves are almost never fun to play.
Between doing full missions as Desmond Miles, the first-person detective work in Black Flag and the archaeology in Odessey the story and gameplay never manage to justify these parts being anything more than a cut scene.
NEXT: The 5 Best Outfits In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (& The 5 Worst)