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Top 5 Assassin’s Creed Games

Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed has celebrated its 15th anniversary. Yes, it’s been 15 years: if you remember the first game coming out, like myself, you may start to feel a little old. To celebrate, Ubisoft are hosting a variety of fun activities. In September, they’ll be announcing the future direction of the series, but until then I’m going to countdown my favourite Creed games and let you know why they’re a must play.

5. Assassin’s Creed

Back in 2007, Altair’s story invited fans into a historic landscape where they could relive the crusades. Admittedly, the graphics haven’t held up, and you can’t touch in the water without desynchronising, but this game is the “OG”. The questline paired factual figures with a fictious story which made for great entertainment. There were enough twists and turns to keep me on my toes and the final boss fight was challenging.

This game set the groundwork for all the others to come. But it’s not without its flaws. Altair is a moody protagonist and not the most interesting to follow. Parkour is clunky, and the game is repetitive as you do the same 4 missions. But as the founding game it earns its spot on this list.

4. Valhalla

Initially, I was nervous about Valhalla. After the expansive Odyssey I didn’t think they’d be able to pull off another hit. For me, the game series ran into a dry patch after Black Flag, and I thought it might be heading back there. Thankfully, it did not.

Valhalla lets you live your Viking dream. The game adopts a roleplaying foundation which gives players the freedom to level up their character and explore the map how they choose. The map is rich and vast, as you travel from Scandinavia to rural England. Each area is highly detailed and at times I got lost in its scenery.

Valhalla’s campaign is the biggest yet with quests and collectibles everywhere. This game is still being added to and the developers have announced lots of free content to come. Their newest addition to the campaign is The Forgotten Saga. In this mode players can venture down to the Viking underworld and engage in battle. It’s a rogue like mode where players can test their skill. Along the way you’ll unlock gear, perks, and cosmetic items. If you’ve recently finished Hades, this may scratch the itch.

However, this game isn’t perfect. Combat is slow to get going. The first few hours can feel like a drag as its reminiscent of a basic hack and slash. The sprawling open world also invites a host of bugs which can dampen the experience.

Despite its ever-growing catalogue of free content there are some niggles which push this game to the 4th spot.

3. Black Flag

After Assassin’s Creed 3, I was beginning to feel bored of the series, but when Black Flag came out, I was back on the bandwagon. This game is incredible as you get to delve into the world of piracy! Players get to traverse the sandy shores of the Caribbean and meet up with famous pirates like Blackbeard. It has a lightness to it which makes it different from its predecessors.

Black Flag introduced the ship mechanic. A mechanic that would later return in Origins and stay for the remainder. Captaining boats and hearing sailors sing shanties was my favourite aspect of the game.

Parkour was improved and Edward moves around the world with ease. He no longer clung to items like Ezio, and he’s happy swimming in the water. Black Flag is a gamers playground. It never holds your hand and instead invites you straight into the action.

The only problem with Black Flag is its underwhelming story. It’s a simple adventure which doesn’t seem as political or noteworthy as other games. The main quests are lacklustre, and I found myself wanting to do all the pirate things instead.

This game is one of the best in the series and still holds up today. Gameplay is solid and the visuals on last gen consoles are not to be scoffed at.

2. The Ezio Collection

Much like the first game, the Ezio Collection isn’t a looker. The graphics are old, and gameplay is heavy. Yet, the 3 games which span Ezio’s lifetime are the best campaigns created in the Assassin’s Creed universe. These 3 games tell the story of Ezio Auditore in Renaissance Italy and his encounters with the pieces of Eden.

Ezio is also the best assassin in the whole series. He’s charming, brash, funny and an Italian stallion. As the games progress his character matures, and he goes from liability to mentor. It’s a great journey to follow and by the time the credits rolled, in Revelations, I had a tear in my eye.

For me, this collection of games holds a special place in my heart as they made me fall in love with the series. These games were the reason I went on to play them all.

1. Odyssey

This may be a controversial first place! Odyssey was met with backlash from some fans as it deviated from the norm. The assassin isn’t really an assassin, and the story has nothing to do with Templars. Instead, it delves deeper into the lore of the first people who created the pieces of Eden. It’s not your run of the mill assassination game. Its flashy, fantastical, and lots of fun.

Origins first introduced players to a massive open world, but it was Odyssey which ran with the idea. From the get-go, players choose which character they want to play, Kassandra or Alexios. The game even has a cause-and-effect ripple which leads to different endings. It’s completely different to any other Creed game. Its DNA being that of a roleplaying game rather than an action-adventure. As a Misthios, you still go round assassinating targets, but players also have the freedom to go in swords blazing, quite literally. Stealth is still important but, playing as a demi-god, it’s much more enjoyable to tie combos together and use your special moves.

A bit like Black Flag, this game is lighter and the protagonist charismatic. Against the backdrop of Ancient Greece, you get to meet Spartans, Athenians, and everyone in between. Additionally, the boss fights explore fan favourite Greek myths like the Minotaur and Medusa.

Odyssey was the first Assassin's Creed Game to take a role-playing route, and Valhalla has continued the trend, albeit adopting a more serious tone. This approach to the game is refreshing. If I had one criticism, it would be the size of the map. The way it’s heading, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next map spanned the entire world!

Despite the games epic length, and generous lashings of DLC, I was sad when I had completed it and was hungry for more. That’s when I knew this game was my ultimate favourite. I managed to not only finish Odyssey but also platinum it. I was enthralled by its campaign and charging round as a witty powerhouse was bags of fun.

With loads still left in the pipeline there is lots to be excited about. In September, we’ll find out what Ubisoft has planned for the franchise. Until then, you should pick up Valhalla, Odyssey or Origins, if you haven't already, as free visual upgrades, modes and story content are on the way. Now, I shall leave you with the wise words of the assassins: “Nothing is true; everything is permitted.”