There’s plenty of reasons to love Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise. The series, which started as a game and has since ballooned out to comics, novels, and even a movie, is one of the most successful brands out there.
A large part of the enduring nature of Assassin’s Creed are the assassins themselves. The members of the Assassin Order, who fight for freedom and against the oppression of Templar Order, are the highlights of the franchise.
Since nearly each new story set in the Assassin’s Creed universe centers around at least one new assassin, it’s only natural to compare them. Not everyone who experiences the world of Assassin’s Creed might understand its more mystical elements, surrounding the enigmatic First Civilization. Everyone, though, has opinions about the assassins themselves and which are better than others.
This list doesn’t look to rank the assassins of the franchise on their likability or charm factors. This isn’t a definitive ranking of every assassin based on their popularity or the quality of their stories.
We simply examine where certain assassins are ranked to each other, based on skill, prowess, and what they added to centuries old Order. Not every assassin made the list, simply those who are the most powerful or the most worthless.
So with that in mind, here are the 9 Most Powerful (And 6 Completely Worthless) Assassins, Ranked
15 Powerful: Adewale
Adewale's an important side character in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. However, for those who just played the main game, they’re probably unaware of how accomplished Edward Kenway’s first mate was among the Assassins.
Adewale began life as a slave but he escaped and become a pirate. Eventually that led to him being put upon the crew of Black Flag’s main character, Edward Kenway. Adewale was instrumental in convincing the reluctant Edward to become an assassin. Later, Adewale swore the creed himself.
Documented, partly, Black Flag’s expansion, Freedom Cry, Adewale flourished as an assassin. He captained his own ship and sailed about the world trying to free those from slavery.
In a relatively short life, Adewale died when he was just 66, the assassin made many people’s lives better. Sadly, he was cut down by his old friend’s son, Haytham Kenway, and assassin turned templar, Shay Cormac.
14 Worthless: Altair Ibn-La'Ahad
Altair did launch the Assassin’s Creed series. As the protagonist of the very first game, Altair “created” many of the game’s classic mechanics and tropes. Yet in the context of the Brotherhood’s history, Altair is rather unremarkable and a bit of an idiot.
Altair did control the magical Apple of Eden (and its enormous power) for most of his life. This is saying something as Altair has one of the longest lifespans for an assassin, dying at age 92. However, most of Altair’s long life was spent being outmaneuvered and outmatched by opponents.
He was easily tricked by his mentor, Al Mualim, who started working with the Templars to obtain the Apple of Eden. While Altair eventually defeated Al Mualim, he almost ran directly into a similar problem.
After Al Malim’s death Altair began a lengthy civil war with his former friend Abbas. The conflict wasn't concluded until very late in his life.
13 Powerful: Lydia Frye
The granddaughter of Jacob Frye, Lydia is criminally underrepresented in her one game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Syndicate. Lydia is a briefly playable character in Syndicate.
Due to a “glitch” in the Animus, players can be transported from Victorian England to England during WWI where the point of view switches from the Frye Twins to the Frye granddaughter.
Yet just because she’s barely featured, doesn’t mean that Lydia is unworthy of respect. Lydia pretty much single-handedly protected England from German spies and British templars during World War I. At least that’s according to the weird alternate history of the franchise.
While most Assassins were off fighting in the trenches, Lydia stayed at home. She worked closely with Winston Churchill and managed to keep England free and stable. Rosie the Riveter has nothing on Lydia.
12 Worthless: Jacob Frye
Jacob's one of the more likable playable character in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Sadly, likability and capability are mutually exclusive. Jacob is a dummy whose surrounded by much more powerful and useful women.
As an Assassin and a person, Jacob is a bit of an "act first and ask questions never" type. Throughout Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate it’s up to his twin sister, Evie to reign him and keep him on mission. Jacob doesn’t have many long-term goals besides setting up a gang called The Rooks, which he does stumble into creating.
In Assassin Creed: Syndicate’s expansion, Jack the Ripper, Jacob is a little older and wiser. However, he still needs to be rescued by his sister, Evie, proving that some things never change. Jacob is a fan favorite, for good reason, but he’s just a pretty bad assassin.
11 Powerful: Aveline de Grandpre
Aveline was the first playable female protagonist in the franchise. Thankfully she ended up being a character that both male and female gamers could admire and respect. Aveline is the protégée of Assassin Creed 3 hero, Connor Kenway, or Ratonhnhaké:ton. Luckily, she far proceeded the older assassin in skill and accomplishments.
Aveline was inducted to the order at a very young age. Quickly, she rose through ranks and fought against injustice and oppression wherever she found it. This was particularly in New Orleans, when it was under French control.
Born into a position of privilege, Aveline used her power to help those in need. Aveline eventually discovered her own stepmother was a member of the Templars. She used that relationship to infiltrate their ranks and kill all the Templars, freeing New Orleans from their control.
10 Powerful: Desmond Miles
Desmond is the definition of boring male gaming protagonist. He's about as bland and uninteresting as it’s possible to be and that’s almost by design. Desmond is the gateway into the series, as it's his DNA that allows the player to access the much more exciting lives of Altair, Ezio, and the Kenway family.
Even if Desmond is a bit of a wet blanket, he’s an incredibly influential and powerful one. Due to the bleeding effect, which allows Animus users to learn the skills and abilities of those whose memories they access, Desmond became a Master Assassin. Desmond wasn’t just the axis on which the first game spun, he became vital to saving the world.
In Assassin’s Creed 3, Desmond's action prevent the apocalypse. Desmond sacrificed his life so that Juno, the powerful and deranged god-like figure from the First Civilization, wouldn’t enslave the world.
9 Worthless: Connor Kenway
Connor is one of the more infamously boring assassins of the franchise. It’s an opinion that’s understandable as Connor is very monotone and self-serious. Although it could be argued that Connor is more stoic than outrightly bland. Regardless, Connor ends up being a lot luckier, than he is skilled, as an assassin.
Granted, Connor did play a surprisingly huge (and illogical) part in the Revolutionary War. He gained the respect and trust of influential figures like Paul Revere and, of course, George Washington. Connor even participated in the Boston Tea Party and several big battles. Still, his involvement in these huge events are more like bizarre coincidences than anything else.
Still, Connor’s place and impact on American history is like the Forrest Gump version of the assassins. He was there but didn’t do much to influence history in one way or another.
8 Powerful: Edward Kenway
If this was the list of the most charismatic assassins, Edward would easily top it. The hero of Black Flag, Edward is the perfect swashbuckling pirate captain and part assassin. He was expertly brought to life by his voice actor, Matt Ryan, who would eventually become the DC hero John Constantine.
Thankfully, Edward’s charm is backed up by some serious assassin cred. Although Edward spends most of his main game being more interested in being a pirate than an assassin, he does manage to do an awful lot of good.
As captain of the Jackdaw, Edward commanded a loyal and fierce crew. While Edward and his crew helped many individuals (and himself) as a pirate, his greatest assets to the Order was finding the Observatory.
As a site belonging to the First Civilization, the Observatory can access the point of view of anyone. It is a vital tool for a global lethal brotherhood.
7 Worthless: Nikolai Orelov
The side-scrolling Assassin Creed games, known by the distinction of Chronicles, are fun but disposable adventures. The best part of two of these bit-sized games is their heroes.
Although they’re not quite powerful enough to make this list, Shao Jun and Arbaaz Mir are enjoyavle. The third hero of the trilogy, Nikolai Orelov, is the sad exception.
As a member of the Russian Brotherhood, Nikolai ended up doing far more harm than good. Granted, most of the problems he caused were accidental and unintentional but that’s hollow comfort.
While assassinating the Tsar, Nikolai accidentally crashed a train which resulted in the Borki train disaster, an infamous event in Russia history. Likewise, Nikolai failed to retrieve the First Civilization object, the Staff of Eden.
This resulted in a massive explosion and another famous disaster, the Tunguska event. He's also the great-grandfather of Daniel Cross, a man who nearly destroyed the Assassins altogether.
6 Powerful: Bayek of Siwa
Considering the fact that he did found the Assassin Brotherhood, it would seem that Bayek should be much higher on this. Bayek is one of the most impressive Assassins to ever live and the series, according to the lore, would not exist without him. There are still others there who out rank him.
Bayek is a charismatic and skilled leader in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. It’s due to his strong moral fiber and beliefs that the Assassins have been able to flourish for generations. He realized that the best way to fight those corrupt with power is in the shadows.
Even with all of Bayek’s ideals, he’s still very easily influenced. Bayek’s strong faith in people end up repeatedly getting him into trouble during Origins. He also be hopelessly lost, literally, without his eagle Senu.
5 Powerful: Evie Frye
Evie Frye ended up doing a lot more than protecting and saving her doofus brother, Jacob. Evie did guide Jacob on the right path as they took over London from Templar control during Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. However, she also tirelessly searched for the Pieces of Eden.
This makes her unique among the assassins. Most of their numbers, like the gamers playing the franchise, ignored the weird and confusing First Civilization artifacts. Evie refused.
Evie honed her skills being an expert scholar and combatant. She freed London from Templar control, even if her brother did help. In addition, Evie managed to discover the identity of and kill one of the most notorious serial killers of all time, Jack the Ripper. Killing one of the most vicious murderers in history isn’t too shabby for an assassin.
4 Worthless: Arno Dorian
The release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity was a disaster for publisher Ubisoft. The game was riddled with bugs and savaged upon release by critics and fans for the technical shortcomings. The game has been patched and fixed since release. There’s no covering over the fact that it’s hero, Arno Dorian, is the most worthless playable assassin in the series.
Arno’s story is a sad one. Nearly everyone in Arno’s life from his father to adoptive father to best friend and lover end up being murdered. While most of those kills were outside his control, the last one he could’ve prevented.
Elise, Arno’s greatest love, turned out to be a Templar but Arno managed to sway her to his side… only to bring her into a deadly fight, where she was killed by her Templar Grand Master.
These tragedies, understandably, turned Arno into a cynical figure and a pretty piss-poor assassin.
3 Powerful: Ezio Auditore da Firenze
Ezio is the golden boy of the Assassin’s Creed franchise having way more games than any other hero. Ezio and his popularity are probably the cause of the game's durability and financial success. Yet even inside the world of Assassin’s Creed, Ezio is one of the greatest who ever lived.
Ezio backed into his assassin training. Only learning of his heritage after the public execution of his father and brothers. Yet once Ezio became an assassin, he wasted no time in dominating his enemies and protecting his homeland.
Ezio managed to rid Rome of the rule of the powerful, influential and corrupt Borgia family. He ensured that Christopher Columbus could travel back to the New World. He even helped the Renaissance movement spread across Italy and Europe.
On top of it all, later in his life, Ezio recovered the lost history of the Order, reconnecting to the old with the new(ish).
2 Worthless: Aguilar de Nerha
Arno might be the worst assassin in the games. He’s saved from completely humiliation though because the cinematic Assassin’s Creed still exists and it’s dreadful from top to bottom. If the hero of the 2016 movie, played by Michael Fassbender, had been a better character and assassin it probably wouldn’t have saved the movie. It certainly didn't help.
Aguilar de Nerha is really a footnote in his movie. The real protagonist is his modern-day descendent, Callum Lynch. Even so, Aguilar is just a pale imitation of the gaming heroes. He’s seemingly involved in important events but does very little to influence or change.
Aguilar’s main quest is securing the Apple of Eden but he doesn’t even keep it. Once Aguilar has this incredibly powerful object, he hands it off to Christopher Columbus.
1 Powerful: Aya of Siwa
Aya is one of the newer assassins-- in our world anyway. However, it’s hard to imagine the Asssasin’s Creed series topping Aya any time soon. As the wife of Bayek, Aya is just as important in founding the Order, if not more so. Bayek is the main hero in Origins, but Aya really drives the action being much more ruthless and dedicated to than her husband.
Aya managed to secure Cleopatra her throne. Yet, when the Egyptian queen betrayed her, Aya was merciless in her vengeance. Aya took on the name Amunet and ended up assassinating Cleopatra’s lover, Julius Caesar. Once that was done, Aya eventually murdered Cleopatra herself. Aya, as Amunet, is responsible for two of the most famous successful assassinations in history.
It’s no surprise that by the time of Ezio, she’s considered one of the greatest assassins who ever lived being revered by generations to come.
Who do you consider the best and worst assassins in the Assassin's Creed franchise? Sound off in the comments!
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