Although the war between the Templars and the Assassins have been fought for centuries in the game world, in the real world we have had the pleasure of diving into the massive mythology of Assassin's Creed for over a decade now. In that time we have had over a dozen games on both consoles, PC and mobile that have fleshed out the complex world of the Assassins, a secret organization that has been fighting a shadow war with the Templars, who aspire to control society in the name of peace while the Assassins hope to give society free will to choose their destiny. From the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt to the Queen of England in Victorian London, these games have explored the modern day assassin's and Templars as they explore their history through DNA memories using the Animus.
This franchise has brought to life some of the coolest characters in video game history. From Renaissance Italian Assassins who built an entire order from the ground up to a pirate discovering his humanity, the best and most powerful characters have come to life in this incredibly rich franchise. However not all characters are created equal, and some characters have proven to be less than equal to their brothers and sisters in the Assassin order.
So today we are going to explore the ten worst assassin's (and the ten best) in the Assassin's Creed franchise. From the powerful to the weak. From the witty to the dumb. We are going to explore some truly awe-inspiring and cringe-worthy assassins to bring to light.
20 Worst: AGUILAR DE NERHA
Believe it or not, but after a decade of entertaining gamers around the world, Ubisoft finally found an incredible actor to help bring the namesake and iconic story of Assassin's Creed to life in a larger than life cinematic experience. The cinematic assassin brought to life by Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creed, the film assassin, unfortunately, did not live up to the name of the video game heroes. A Spanish assassin, the character was not featured quite as prominently as his modern-day ancestor in the film, and thus wasn't given enough time to shine. He lived in the 1400's during the Spanish Inquisition, and was tasked with other assassins with protecting the son of a Sultan and securing the Apple, a Piece of Eden. He ultimately recovered the object and gave it to Christopher Columbus, and we all know what that guy went on to become.
19 Best: Henry Green
Son of Arbaaz Mir, Henry Green was one of the few surviving members of the London Assassins after the Templar order took control of the city.
Alone, he reached out for help from nearby assassins, which was answered by the Frye Twins.
Partnering with the twins, Henry shows off his formidable skills as an assassin and helps secure the boroughs won by the Fryes. He's also a historical genius, helping Evie to decipher the clues to the Piece of Eden the Templars have in their possession. His journey through the game mirrors the twins a lot, showing him grow from a survivor into a leader and developing his skills to the point where he can stand on his own two feet. He proves a formidable match for the Templars and shows the twins some unique moves and tricks that help them in their own personal and historical journey.
18 Worst: NIKOLAI ORELOV
The video game franchise has gotten to explore some of the most incredible moments of our world's history. From the fall of the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt to the French Revolution and even the founding of America as a nation during the American Revolution. The historical context in these games are amazing, but the only reason they stand out is because of the amazing depth and larger than life scenarios the game brings to life. Unfortunately, not all of the Assassins were given an exciting adventure to play through. Nikolai Orelov was an assassin in 20th century Russia during the Russian Revolution. He witnesses the murder of the Tsar and his family, and whisks Princess Anastasia away to a new life. This all sounds exciting, but the game was made into a 2-D side-scroller as part of the Assassin's Creed: Chronicles trilogy, and so we didn't get to really experience the full depth of the story as much as other games.
17 Best: Aya Of Alexandria
The newest game in the franchise is none other than Assassin's Creed: Origins. Exploring one of the most asked for periods of history, Ancient Egypt, the game showcases the origins of not only the Assassins but the war between the assassins and Templars, who also form in this game.
One of the characters we come to know and love in this game is Aya of Alexandria.
The second playable character in the newer Assassin's Creed: Origins, she doesn't garner as much screen time but still shows off incredible skills in the game. With an unwavering faith in the iconic and infamous Cleopatra, she often clashes with Bayek, who doesn't share her faith and single-mindedness. Her arch is really interesting but again we don't get enough time with her to really put her high on the list. Her story helps explore the significant moments of history within our world.
16 Worst: Haytham Kenway
Normally an assassin with Haytham's skills and cunning wit would make him as one of the most powerful assassins in the game series. Howeve, his actions and behavior in the context of the game world has lowered him to a much lower ranking. Going off his skills as an Assassin, Haytham has to be one of the biggest failures. Minor spoiler if you haven't played AC 3....Haytham turns out to defect from the Assassins and become a leader within the Templar Order instead. This is a shocking moment in the game because it's the first time you spend any time playing as a Templar, and as he is the son of a famous Assassin it's shocking to see this brutal betrayal play out. His betrayal knows no bounds, as he also seemingly falls in love with a Native American woman, only to abandon her and his allies to kill her and her entire village, leaving only his toddler son behind as a survivor.
15 Best: Bayek
The star of Origins and the hero who helps create the Assassin order is none other than Bayek. The latest hero in the Assassin's Creed games, the Origins character is considered the architect for the modern organization that is the Assassin Order. Traveling through Ancient Egypt, he helps uncover the true nature of the developing Templar order and begins the centuries long quest and war between the two factions. He fights the growing Templar conspiracy from the shadows, uses an Eagle to scout out enemy encampments and meets historical figures like Caesar and Cleopatra and stands toe to toe with these powerful rulers. His sense of honor and duty make him a man of conviction, and his belief in the shadow war he wages against this hidden society makes him incredibly deadly. From his actions and fights with the Templars he becomes an instant icon, which forms the cornerstone of the brotherhood.
14 Worst: Connor Kenway
The son of Haytham, the half English/half Native American born man lived most of his life with his tribe in the wilderness, until he set out on a journey of vengeance against those who killed his mother. Finding the last survivor of the American Assassins, he trains to become a legendary assassin, fighting amidst the American Revolution and taking out those who conspired to end his mother. Despite his cool backstory, the character seemed to lack the same depth and personality as his predecessors, and AC 3 is considered one of the worst games in the franchise. He spends a good chunk of the game fighting his trainer, wanting to go out and kill rather than focus on any deep or emotional story developments. The visuals and setting are incredible, but his near one-dimensional characterization in the game world is something that ranks him low on the list.
13 Best: Jacob Frye
While not considered the best of the franchise, the history and plot of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate helped to establish two very cool and action fueled characters.
The first of course is Jacob Frye, a headstrong and formidable assassin.
One of the Frye Twins, Jacob went with Evie to help establish the London Assassins once more after hearing of Henry Green's distress call. Head strong and brash, he used his skills as an assassin to destroy the Templar order and take out the high ranking members of the Templar order. His headstrong nature often clashed with his sister's analytical mind, and yet together they helped end the Templar presence in London once and for all. He also found himself facing one of the deadliest and most enigmatic figures in history, Jack the Ripper (in the game's DLC). Jacob Frye's presence within the game world has been felt deeply.
12 Worst: Mario Auditore
The story of Ezio Auditore and his rise to the level of Master Assassin would never have occurred had it not been for the cunning and careful training of his Uncle Mario. One of the last surviving members of the Renaissance Assassins, Mario runs the Villa Auditore, training soldiers and carrying out missions to protect the brotherhood. His physical prowess and skills as a general and leader helped train the legendary Ezio Auditore. He helped fight Rodrigo Borgia and his Templar lieutenants, organized what was left of the assassins and saved his nephew, niece and sister in law after his brother's brutal execution at the hands of their enemies. He spent years studying the ancient texts left behind by their ancestors, and without his grueling work at both the Villa Auditore and within the Italian Countryside Ezio's journey wouldn't have fared well. Despite this he only spent limited amounts of time in the field within the franchise. Yet who doesn't love that his first line to Ezio was, "It's a Me, Mario!"
11 Best: Arno Dorian
While a lot of fans had given up on the game due to it's launch day release problems, Assassin's Creed: Unity is actually one of the strongest games in the franchise.
An incredible story forms around Arno Dorian, a boy left fatherless after the Templars killed him.
It turns out his father was an Assassin, and the man who adopted him was a Templar. He fell in love with the man's daughter, but while he adapted his Assassin heritage, she became a Templar. What didn't help the rift that formed between them was that the Templars framed Arno for the murder of his adopted father, pushing him into the life of an Assassin. The complicated tale of their romance and their duty to their respective orders made for an interesting tale, as did the backdrop of the French Revolution and his incredible skills as an Assassin led to a harrowing final battle.
10 Worst: Arbaaz Mir
Despite this next assassin's skills and historical significance, being regulated to a 2-D adventure set back this incredible character's standing quite a bit, as fans didn't get a chance to really explore the setting or this hero's skills properly. The hero of the second Assassin's Creed Chronicles game, the 2-D adventure found this hero in the 19th century India, in the later years of the Sikh Empire. He is tasked with recovering a stolen gem that now resides in London, which is naturally a Piece of Eden. He also turns out to be the father of Henry Green, who will later become a Mentor of the London Brotherhood. As fans will know Henry Green goes on to have a huge impact on the series. However his father sounds equally cool and cunning, and yet we don't get to really experience him fully, which makes his run a small disappointment.
9 Best: Altair
In 2007, one man became the face and icon for an entire gaming franchise. That man was Altair. The first assassin in the franchise, Altair was a stubborn man who lived during the Third Crusades in the Holy Land. After a failed mission that led to the death of a fellow assassin, his mentor demoted him and he was forced to retrain himself to become a better assassin.
In his journey, he fought and ended Templars, and eventually learned of a greater betrayal from within the Assassin order.
Between his character growth and larger than life fight, Altair helped establish what the game franchise would become. His actions led to the discovery of the Pieces of Eden, powerful weapons and artifacts left behind by an ancient society of powerful beings. While Bayek helped found the Assassins, Altair helped create the Creed that kept the Brotherhood strong for centuries.
8 Worst: Desmond Miles
The modern day hero of the original AC Trilogy, Desmond Miles is a young man who left behind the Assassins in order to live a normal life as a bartender. However he is soon captured and used by Abstergo Industries to unlock his hidden genetic memories of his ancestors, and he realizes his parents were right about the Assassin's war with the Templars. For five games in total we see the world through his eyes, and he gains some of his ancestors skills in real life. He ends up saving the world from a coming natural disaster that would have destroyed the planet, sacrificing his life in the process. However he ranks low on the list because he didn't really do a lot of action based missions on his part. Instead he was relegated to sitting in a chair and living his ancestor's memories. If only his last mission had been more action packed.
7 Best: Adewale
One of the most formidable and coolest assassins in the game franchise has to be Adewale. A former slave, Adewale escaped slavery during a pirate raid on his master's plantation, joining the pirate life and becoming the first mate of Edward Kenway. However he wasn't happy with a life of crime, and so he turned to the Assassins for a life of purpose and honor.
He lived a long life working as an Assassin, eventually becoming an Assassin Master himself.
He dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the cause, and ended up becoming one of the order's most deadly and honorable members. However his life ended tragically at the hands of Shay Cormac, after he had relocated to the American Assassin order. Adewale's fate is tragic to say the least, but the legacy and work he did while an assassin proved to be the driving force that helped the assassin's after him to survive and live up to his legacy.
6 Worst: Shay Cormac
If it wasn't for his incredible fighting skills, this next assassin would have been on the bottom of the list. Shay Cormac was an assassin who became disillusioned with the American Assassins and joined the Templars, using his skills as an assassin to betray and kill his former allies. He ended up becoming known as an assassin's assassin, killing several assassin members, (including one beloved character). It's despicable and cruel, but he's turn from the assassins shows a grim reminder that not all assassin's are heroes. Their actions have consequences that can lead to innocent deaths, and so they are not all heroes. He became so disillusioned with the order because of a mission he was sent on to retrieve a Piece of Eden. During the mission an entire city was destroyed, attacking several innocent people in the process. In his mind, the assassin's were just as guilty as the Templars.
5 Best: Edward Kenway
Let's face it: a game about assassins and pirates was destined to become the most popular game in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Who doesn't love pirate stories? Exploring the true nature of pirate's and the lawless waters of the Caribbean made Black Flag a truly rich and diverse game.
However the game would never have become the iconic game it was if it hadn't been for the game's lead, Edward.
One of the coolest assassins around, Edward Kenway was a former privateer turned full time pirate, who was obsessed with gaining riches and fame to prove to his former wife his importance and success in life. Edward eventually found himself amidst the war between the Assassins and Templars, eventually realizing his mistakes and crimes as a pirate and turning to becoming one of the most powerful and coolest assassins in the order's history to atone for his past.
4 Worst: Shao Jun
An incredibly cool and amazing assassin, Shao Jun first started out training under the elderly Ezio Auditore, learning his skills before returning to China to establish her own order. Taking her skills, she fought a Templar aligned group known as Eight Tigers. What's shocking about this though is that Shao Jun is the final character in the 2-D side scroller Assassin's Creed: Chronicles. Ancient China is such a rich cultural and historical period of time, and it deserves to have a full fledged game with open world exploration.The plot surrounding the book and the mission to stop the Eight Tigers is really engaging, and so it would have been nice to get an open world aspect to her journey. Other than that the game was really well made and in it we received an incredibly powerful and cool assassin that will hopefully get more stories in the future.
3 Best: Evie Frye
It's safe to say that Jacob was the brawn of the Syndicate game, but his twin sister Evie was the true brains of the pair. The second half of the Frye twins, one would argue she is the better half. With an equally deadly skill as an assassin but a much calmer and critical thinking mind, Evie uses her skills to not only destroy the Templars but unlock the mysteries surrounding the Pieces of Eden.
She helps end the Templar threat and goes on to help establish several Assassin Outposts around the world.
Developing a professional and personal relationship with Henry Green, she works to live up to her father's legacy, and hopes to understand the work of their ancestors. She also becomes even more cool when in a future DLC she faces Jack the Ripper head on, eventually facing off in a deadly final battle that seals the fate of the famed murderer once and for all.
2 Worst: Aveline De Grandpre
An assassin in New Orleans during the French and Indian War, Aveline is the daughter of a French nobleman and African American slave woman. Her unique heritage and place in society gives her unique skills that other assassins hadn't been given up until that point. She could infiltrate high society parties dressed as a noblewoman, or she could dress as a slave and go unnoticed by local authorities. Her beauty, charm and skills made her a formidable assassin. Getting to explore the world through the eyes of someone on the fringes of two different groups of people, it's interesting to see how she incorporates the assassin life into her own life. What's also interesting about Aveline's story is how she tells another part of the American Revolution story, as her journey continues on for years and she ends up crossing paths with Connor Kenway, showing him what a true assassin looks like.
1 Best: Ezio Auditore
The master assassin himself, Ezio Auditore is the most successful assassin in the franchise. The man had three games under his belt, and his legend would survive throughout the entire franchise. The son of a banker, Ezio found himself protecting his mother and sister after his father and brothers were wrongfully executed. Ezio discovered his Assassin heritage, and trained in order to avenge his family's misfortunes and end the Templar threat, most notably Rodrigo Borgia, the future Pope. He helped discover the true nature of the Pieces of Eden, stopped Templars on several continents, met some of the world's most historic figures, stopped an evil pope and formed the modern day Assassin Order.
He is the one true Master Assassin.
Without Ezio, it's safe to say the franchise wouldn't have found their footing, and he's the true face of the iconic gaming franchise.
You can find these and more Assassin's Creed heroes here!
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