Assassin‘s Creed Games In Order (2023 Update) – A Complete Guide

Assassin‘s Creed is one of the most popular and long-running video game franchises spanning 15 main installments over a decade and a half. Since the first Assassin‘s Creed game released in 2007, the series has transported players to vivid historical settings like Crusades-era Holy Land, Renaissance Italy, Colonial America, Ancient Greece and Victorian London. But for newcomers, the question often arises – what is the best way to play these games and experience the epic science-fiction storyline? This complete guide provides crucial background on the series and then takes you on a journey through all Assassin‘s Creed games in order.

Overview of Assassin‘s Creed

At its core, Assassin‘s Creed is an action-adventure stealth game series set in beautiful open worlds brimming with secrets to uncover. Players control members of the ancient Assassin Brotherhood, sworn enemies of the Templar Order seeking control and power. While each Assassin‘s Creed installment features a different protagonist and period setting, they tie together through an overarching present-day story about reliving genetic memories using revolutionary technology called the Animus.

The Animus allows users like Desmond Miles to experience lives of their Assassin ancestors. This provides crucial clues in the race against Templars hunting for powerful artifacts from an ancient civilization. Over 15 games, the story spans centuries evolving from biblical times to 2021 AD – weaving history, conspiracy and sci-fi together in signature Assassin‘s Creed style. Core gameplay blends action combat, stealth assassination techniques and exploration/parkour mechanics for traversing stunningly-realized historical cities and landscapes recreated with immense attention to detail.

Now let‘s dive deeper into the chronology and order of releases over the years.

Release Timeline

Assassin’s Creed (2007) – The one that started it all
Protagonist – Altaïr Ibn-La‘Ahad
Setting – Third Crusade Holy Land 1191 AD

Assassin’s Creed II (2009) – Fan favorite Renaissance sequel
Protagonist – Ezio Auditore da Firenze
Setting – Italy 1476-1499 AD

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010) – Continue Ezio’s journey in Rome
Protagonist – Ezio Auditore da Firenze
Setting – Rome 1500-1507 AD

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (2011) – Final chapter for Altaïr and Ezio
Protagonist – Ezio Auditore da Firenze and Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad in flashbacks
Setting – Constantinople 1511 AD

Assassin’s Creed III (2012) – American Revolution with new Assassin
Protagonist – Ratonhnhaké:ton aka Connor
Setting – America 1753–1783 AD

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) – Piracy in the Caribbean
Protagonist – Edward Kenway
Setting – Caribbean Sea 1715-1722 AD

Assassin’s Creed Rogue (2014) – Templar perspective for a change
Protagonist – Shay Patrick Cormac
Setting – North Atlantic Ocean 1752-1760 AD

Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014) – Co-op play in French Revolution
Protagonist – Arno Dorian
Setting – Paris 1776-1800 AD

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015) – Twin Assassins in Industrial London
Protagonist – Jacob and Evie Frye
Setting – Victorian London 1868 AD

Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017) – RPG evolution with Bayek in Egypt
Protagonist – Bayek
Setting – Ptolemaic Egypt 49-43 BC

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018) – Dialog choices with Misthios mercenary
Protagonist – Kassandra or Alexios
Setting – Ancient Greece 431-422 BC

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2020) – Dynamic world of Vikings
Protagonist – Eivor Varinsdottir
Setting – 9th century England 872-878 AD

Assassin‘s Creed Mirage (2023) – Back to basics with Basim origin story
Protagonist – Basim Ibn Ishaq
Setting – Baghdad 9th century

The Modern Day Story

A key aspect that sets Assassin‘s Creed apart is how each historical tale connects to an evolving present-day struggle between the Brotherhood and Templars. Modern segments are seen from the perspective of a contemporary Assassin using the Animus technology to relive old memories and acquire new information. While later games increased historical focus, the meta story nonetheless remains crucial glue.

We begin in 2012 as bartender Desmond Miles gets kidnapped by Abstergo Industries, modern public face of the Templars. Forced into their Animus device, Desmond dives into Crusader ancestor Altaïr Ibn-La‘Ahad‘s life in 1191 AD during the Third Crusade in Holy Land to locate ancient artifacts. What follows over subsequent games is a globe-trotting journey through different genetic links across centuries. All connecting back to the central quest in present day – prevent impending disaster prophesied by an advanced pre-human civilization using their doomsday temple containing the Apple of Eden artifact.

The historical timeline builds up chronologically to the closest modern connection needed to open the temple by Desmond. As he uncovers more details through later ancestors like Ezio in Renaissance Italy to Ratonhnhaké:ton during the American Revolution, Desmond finds himself pitted in a final showdown against the Templars in 2012 AD to fulfill his ultimate destiny as "the Prophet".

Core Characters & Story Arcs

Let‘s explore some key figures in the Assassin‘s Creed universe further.

Desmond Miles

Desmond Miles

Desmond is the central modern-day protagonist players control between Animus sessions. Kidnapped by Abstergo to dive into memories of ancestor Altaïr using the Animus, Desmond uncovers a global conspiracy spanning centuries. As later entries build closer connections to the prophesied disaster in 2012 AD, Desmond himself becomes a reluctant hero integral to preventing the impending apocalypse.

Altaïr lbn-La’Ahad

The first Assassin we inhabit in 1191 AD during Assassin‘s Creed 1. Altaïr starts as a Master Assassin demoted for breaking Brotherhood tenets during a failed mission at Solomon‘s Temple. To redeem himself, Altaïr must assassinate 9 Templar conspirators aiming to use the Apple of Eden artifact to seize power in Holy Land. We uncover origins of Brotherhood founder Al Mualim and ancient war between Assassins and Templars vying for powerful First Civ artifacts like Apples of Eden that hold reality-shaping powers.

Ezio Auditore da Firenze

Ezio stars in the next three games ascending from young nobleman to legendary Mentor teaching fellow Assassins. We connect deeply with Ezio spanning decades of his life from birth in Renaissance Italy to near end as elderly Master Assassin recounting Altaïr‘s story. After father and brothers are betrayed and hanged by Templar conspirators, Ezio begins his quest for vengeance. Over years expanding the Brotherhood‘s influence across Italy, Constantinople and discovering Altair‘s lost library, Ezio comes to learn larger lessons around fighting injustice with wisdom. His arc culminates in a journey helping new protagonist Desmond open the pivotal temple using their genetic connection.

Edward Kenway

In this Caribbean adventure, we chart life of Welsh pirate Edward Kenway battling colonial empires and lawless seas across islands to uncover the secret of Observatory precursor site granting power over anyone‘s location across world. Edward‘s journey from greedy pirate turned honourable Assassin fills in crucial gaps linking him to descendants Shay in colonial Americas and Connor during American Revolution.

Historical Accuracy & Lore

A key aspect drawing fans into Assassin’s Creed is how it recreates pivotal historical episodes while seamlessly weaving its science fiction lore. Locations, architecture, societies and major events are presented with obsessive attention to accuracy and period detail. Players experience history come to vivid life whether walking streets of Florence during Renaissance or fighting alongside Spartans in Ancient Greece or raiding with Vikings. However, developers do take creative liberties by incorporating fanciful elements fitting the core struggle between Assassins and Templars vying for powerful artifacts through centuries. Historical figures often become intertwined in conspiracies, though many events unfold close to known facts. Nonetheless, experiencing intricately simulated periods through ancestors’ eyes makes for an irresistible portal to eras long gone.

Gameplay Evolution

Core mechanics mix fluid parkour movement, stealthy assassinations and as combat intensified in later entries, even large-scale epic battles. Controls follow standard conventions with free running, leaping across buildings, hiding in crowds, using tools likes smoke bombs and employing various weapons in close combat encounters. Stealth, subterfuge and planning surgical elimination of key targets is emphasized rather than brute confrontation. Naval warfare became a fun new aspect incorporated in Black Flag and Rogue allowing players to sail across oceans, attacking and boarding ships as Captain Kenway. RPG elements have taken the forefront instead of pure action in recent games like Odyssey and Valhalla, adding dialogue choices, side quests, skill trees and looting equipment to customize builds. However Mirage signals a return to the series‘ roots by focusing on bringing back a more concentrated stealth experience.

Critical Reception & Sales

Assassin’s Creed has shipped over 200 million copies worldwide, making it among gaming’s top 10 bestselling series ever. Combined unit sales are exceeded only by juggernauts like Mario, Tetris, Call of Duty, FIFA, Minecraft etc. Reviews range across spectrum between more dedicated fans of the franchise and some who felt formula has gotten repetitive. However there is unanimous praise for the commitment to beautifully reconstructing historical settings which transport players effectively into glorious eras of the past. Ezio Trilogy locales like Venice, Constantinople and Rome alongside lush jungles of Black Flag and Ancient Greece receive consistent acclaim as technical masterworks. Recently with Mirage, Valhalla and Infinity – developers have signaled re-focusing on core tenets while still evolving the meta story that has convincingly connected conspiracy, history and today across a decade and a half saga spanning millennia.

The Road Ahead – Mirage & Infinity

After 15 iconic games, Assassin‘s Creed arrives at a crossroads; gazing both back at its roots & forward to an ambitious boundless future. Assassin’s Creed Mirage goes back to basics – promising a compact 10-20 hour stealth action experience without RPG bloat. We inhabit Basim, an existing character from Valhalla in 9th century Baghdad traversing the bustling cities and merchant bazaars during Golden Age of Islam. Focus returns to true assassin fantasy rather than sprawling hundred hour odysseys of recent games. Series veterans Ubisoft Bordeaux drive this nostalgic revival targeting long-time fans.

However on the horizon lies the infinity of possibilities heralded by project Assassin‘s Creed Infinity. Envisioned akin to an evolving platform binding the franchise together, Infinity aims to be a gateway to the entire AC multiverse welcoming old & new fans alike. Expect live ongoing narratively-connected games set across history along with standalone single player stories like Mirage co-existing harmoniously. Whether it ultimately succeeds as intended remains to be seen. However with Ubisoft‘s assembled global talent driving this services-based iteration built on technical advancements of past decade, Creed seems ready to make that epic leap of faith into exciting uncharted waters!

So now you‘re all caught up on the complete backstory and order of releases across Ubisoft‘s flagship franchise that keeps on pushing boundaries of interactive historical fiction! Whether you wish to revisit eras gone by or dive into the conspiracy futurology, Assassins Creed offers a riveting portal through the ages like no other.

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