Although the war between the Templars and the Assassins has 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, handhelds, and mobile devices that have fleshed out the complex world of the assassins.
The Assassin Order is a secret organization that has been fighting a shadow war with the Templars, a group that aspires to control society in the name of "peace". Meanwhile, the Assassins hope to give society free will to choose their own destiny. From the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt to the Queen of England in Victorian London, and even Viking Kings, these games have explored the history of many Assassins and Templars through a future tech device known as an "Animus". And, there are plenty of incredible time periods left for these games to utilize.
So today we are going to explore the fifteen worst assassins (and the fifteen best) in the Assassin's Creed franchise. To separate them into "best" and "worst", we'll have to look at every assassin's achievements, history, training, personality, character flaws, and more. So, let's dive right in.
Updated April 29, 2021 by Jacob Buchalter: There have been a few new Assassin’s Creed games released since this list first came out, namely AC: Odyssey and AC: Valhalla. And looking at those games made us realize that there were a lot more notable assassins in the franchise than we first thought. So, we wanted to go through again, bring the new AC protags into the fold, and go over some lesser-known powerhouses and weaklings that have appeared in the series over the years.
Disclaimer: There will be story-related spoilers for certain characters, if you're worried about that, just skip past specific characters you want to stay blind on.
30 Best: Eivor Varinsdottir
Let's start things off with the main character from Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, the most recent game, who goes by Eivor Varinsdottir. Whether male or female, Eivor was by far one of the most powerful assassins in history. Part of this was due to their Isu-connection (no spoilers, it's very confusing anyway), but a lot of it had to do with how much battle experience Eivor had. They could wield a variety of weapons most other assassins weren’t familiar with, had superhuman strength, mastered the art of stealth, and could even see through their eyes of their raven, Synin. Outside of maybe Kassandra or Alexios, there’s no one even comparable to Eivor in terms of raw talent and strength. It's sort of like comparing Hercules to any other mortal man.
29 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, this, of course, being Michael Fassbender. Though sadly, The film assassin, Aguilar, did not live up to the name of the video game heroes. Aguilar was a Spanish assassin, and a very interesting character, yet he 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 1400s during the Spanish Inquisition and was tasked with protecting the son of a Sultan and securing A Piece of Eden. And, he eventually achieved this goal, but not without losing most everything he held dear. There's plenty of reasons why this guy isn't high on our list of "powerful" assassins, and it's mostly due to how little the movie showed him off.
28 Best: Alexios & Kassandra Of Sparta
Canonically, Kassandra is the assassin of the family, while Alexios worked for the Cult of Kosmos. But, since players can choose either one of them to take the mantle of the “Eagle Bearer” in Odyssey, we’ll talk about them as if they’re the same person. The Eagle Bearer was one of Sparta’s best warriors, a precursor to the Assassin Brotherhood, an immortal being thanks to the Staff of Hermes, and someone with power comparable to the Isu Gods. To put it in simpler terms, the Eagle Bearer and Eivor are the two strongest assassins in the history of the franchise. They were a master of stealth, combat, and almost any other skill you could name. And, thanks to the Spear of Leonidas, a Spear of Eden, they even had supernatural abilities that made them into pseudo-demigods (though this was most explored in the incredible Atlantis DLC). Quite frankly, these two Isu-connected assassins are in an entirely different league than (most) any of the other assassins on this list.
27 Worst: Henry Green (A.K.A Jayadeep)
Son of Arbaaz Mir, the Master Assassin of the India branch of the Brotherhood (and protag of AC Chronicles: India), Henry Green, whose real name was Jayadeep, 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, who you’ll recognize as the main characters of Syndicate. Partnering with the twins, Henry shows off his formidable skills as an assassin and helps them secure the boroughs. 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. Frankly, he’s sort of a genius. So far, this all sounds good, but then why is he on the "worst" side of this list. Well, the guy isn’t a killer, he doesn't have that bloodthirsty spirit, and this causes him to almost always hesitate when loss of life is involved. So, in terms of his skill set and power, Henry is one of the strongest. But, since he can’t do the main thing assassins are known for, assassinate people, it sadly puts him near the bottom of the list.
26 Best: Achilles Davenport
Achilles Davenport, the only other Assassin other than Ezio, who died peacefully in their home. Achilles has ties to so many other assassins from both his game and some of the other ones. He was trained by Ah Tabai, was permanently injured thanks to Haytham, met Adewale a few times, trained Hope Jensen, trained Liam O’Brian, trained Shay Cormac, trained Kesegowaase, and then finally trained Connor. Achilles had a long and exciting career with the Assassin Brotherhood and contributed a lot to future generations thanks to the work his pupils would eventually accomplish. And, as an Assassin, Achilles was one of the best, that is, before he was crippled by Haytham. He wasn’t exactly known for anything unique, but Davenport was one of the most well-rounded Assassins of all time.
25 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 is amazing, and Ubisoft always tries to innovate with new modes that allow for more historical context. Nikolai Orelov was an assassin in 20th century Russia during the Russian Revolution. And, before we go any further, it must be said that Nikolai has to be one of the most tragic assassins in the franchise, suffering from failure, loss, betrayal, and torture throughout most of his life. He's a tough cookie, that's for sure, just not a great Assassin. His comrades betrayed him, his family was lost to him, he was always up against odds stacked way too much against him, it was rough. And, the guy managed to make it to a relatively old age before dying too. But, other than his durability (he survived a lot of trauma most others couldn't), the guy wasn’t known for being all too powerful or even successful.
24 Best: Aya Of Alexandria
Assassin’s Creed: Origins was the first game in the AC timeline to completely overhaul the combat system, and without it, we wouldn’t have Odyssey or Valhalla. And, we also wouldn’t have had Bayek of Siwa or Aya of Alexandria, two of the most charismatic assassins in history, and the original two founders of the Hidden Order. While most of Origins focuses on Bayek, there are a number of missions where you get to play as Aya, and she is one capable warrior. She beat Lucius Septimus in one-on-one combat, snuck through Cleopatra’s well-guarded palace undetected, and she even was an accomplished sailor. Quite frankly, we're not sure who the stronger one is in this pair, Bayek or Aya.
23 Worst: Clay Kaczmarek
Clay Kaczmarek, one of the first icons of the Assassin’s Creed series that showed all of you players just how crazy the narrative was about to get. Before Desmond even got to Abstergo, Clay was already dead, but thankfully, the overly cautious ex-engineer managed to hack the Animus and upload a “construct” of himself that was broken up into 30 different pieces for Desmond to find. Clay was incredibly intelligent and mind-bogglingly thorough in his work, but as far as his strength as an Assassin, Clay was pretty weak. Any other assassin would have likely been able to escape from Abstergo's imprisonment, but Clay couldn't.
And, thanks to Dr. Vidic forcing him into the Animus for long periods of time, Clay quickly started suffering from the Bleeding Effect, which started to take a toll on his sanity. So, without much power, and his brain failing him, Clay decided to leave everything up to his successor and left a message for Desmond Miles in his own blood. It was an incredible sacrifice on Clay’s part, and he acted like a true member of the Brotherhood. And that much is true, Clay was a model member of the Brotherhood, but he wasn't a great fighter.
22 Best: Haytham Kenway
Technically, Haytham is a horrible Assassin, considering he jumped ship to the Templar Order. Well, we say jumped ship, but the guy was converted at a young age. That said, if you were to compare his skills to anyone else in the Assassin Brotherhood, Haytham would likely come out on top. He took his first life at a young age, was a master of tactics and espionage, and even managed to beat Achilles Davenport in a one-on-one swordfight. This guy was devilishly strong. Honestly, the only bad qualities he held, outside of his dedication to the Templar order, were his pride and his arrogance. Outside of maybe Kassandra or Eivor, there are not many people who could stand toe-to-toe with Haytham, especially in a battle of wits.
21 Worst: Louis Mills
We’re almost positive no one remembers Louis Mills. If we told you this man fought to the death with Haytham Kenway in ACIII, you might still not even believe us, it was just that forgettable of an encounter. Louis was the sailor Haytham easily killed on the Providence, after trying to ambush him as the ship was being attacked by the Aquila. Not much is known about Louis’ training or his accomplishments, but he’ll forever go down in history as the inexperienced fool who chose to give Haytham a sword and fight him "fairly". Sure, a lot of assassins have been known for their honor, but that's not what assassins, in general, are known for. There’s absolutely no reason why this obviously weaker man would give his target the chance to fight back, especially with how infamously strong Haytham was known to be.
20 Best: Bayek Of Siwa
The star of Origins and the hero who helps create the Assassin order along with Aya is none other than Bayek. Traveling through Ancient Egypt, he helps uncover the true nature of the developing Templar Order and unintentionally kicks off the centuries-long war between the two factions. It didn’t start out that way, the guy really just wanted revenge for the death of his son, Khemu. But, since the Order of the Ancients was behind the whole plot that led to his son’s demise, that made this early version of the Templars his mortal enemy. Bayek was an incredibly interesting assassin, one who believed wholeheartedly in religion and faith, especially with the Egyptian God Amun. And, he was also masterfully skilled in every category. Combat, stealth, freerunning, you name it, Bayek had probably mastered it. Lastly, he was the first assassin (not historically, but in terms of game release) gifted with the upgraded version of Eagle Vision, one where he could literally see through the eyes of his bird, Senu.
19 Worst: Connor Kenway (A.K.A Ratonhnhaké:ton)
Ratonhnhake:ton, son of Haytham, the half English/half-Native American born man lived most of his life with his tribe in the wilderness. That is, until he set out on a journey of vengeance against those who killed his mother. Finding the last survivor of the American Assassins, who we know to be Achilles Davenport, he trains to become a legendary assassin, fighting amidst the American Revolution and taking out those who conspired to end his mother. But, despite all the training Connor received, the guy spent most of his time arguing with Achilles running around hunting animals. The visuals and setting of ACIII are incredible, but his near one-dimensional characterization in the game world is something that ranks him low on the list.
18 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. Headstrong and brash, he used his skills as an assassin for years to fight against the Templar Order. In terms of actual assassination practices, Jacob much preferred a street brawl over an espionage mission, but he could do either masterfully. Frankly, because he was trained from a young age, Jacob was easily one of the stronger assassins in the series. Then, on top of that, add in all his extra weapons like the Kuriki Blade, Cane Sword, or hallucinogenic darts, and Jacob becomes even more of a fearsome opponent than he already was.
17 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 remaining family 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. It’s no exaggeration to say Mario is one of the most important characters in Ezio’s life. But, the guy rarely spent any time in the field from the time we saw him, so as far as his “power” as an Assassin is concerned, it’s a bit lacking.
16 Best: Arno Dorian
While a lot of fans had given up on the game due to its launch day release problems, Assassin's Creed: Unity is actually one of the stronger games in the franchise, in terms of the narrative and characters. An incredible story forms around Arno Dorian, a boy left fatherless after the Templars killed him. Luckily, he gets adopted, but by a Templar no less. And, he ends up falling 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. Honestly, Arno reminds us a lot of Ezio, a man who can’t stop making jokes, but is somehow no-nonsense at the same time. But, while Ezio took quite a while to make it to “Master Assassin”, Arno managed to pull it off by his mid-20s. That isn’t to say he was better than Ezio, just a bit more focused on his combat skills. Plus, Arno used almost as many tools or more than Jacob Frye and carried around a (broken) Sword of Eden. There’s no doubt about it, Arno is one of the stronger assassins in the timeline.
15 Worst: Arbaaz Mir
Despite this next assassin's skills and historical significance, being regulated to a 2-D adventure meant that we wouldn’t be able to see him display his expertise and power nearly as much as other AC protags. Arbaaz Mir was the hero of the second Assassin's Creed Chronicles game, father of Henry Green, and a Master Assassin in 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. While Jayadeep (Henry Green) was a prodigy that sadly had no killer instinct, Arbaaz was a decent enough Assassin but was a bit too strict. He’s not necessarily weak, that’s for sure, but Arbaaz has nothing about him that lets him stand above any of the other Assassins on this list, and his son ends up being stronger than him in most aspects.
14 Best: The Apprentices Of Achilles
We mentioned that Achilles was the Mentor for the Colonial Branch of the Brotherhood, and as Mentor, he trained quite a few Assassins. The most obvious one is Ratonhnhaké:ton (otherwise known as Connor Kenway), but he had a few others before him. The most notable were Hope Jensen, Liam O'Brien, Kesogowaase, and one other. All of these trainees eventually became big-name icons, mostly for good reasons, except for one. Hope eventually controlled most of the Organized Crime in New York, Liam was an expert marksman-type Assassin with 10+ years of experience in the Brotherhood under his belt, and Kesegowaase was the first Native American Assassin. All of them were experts in their own fields, but all met unfortunate ends at the hands of one of their peers and heartless betrayer, Shay Cormac, who sadly was also trained by Achilles.
13 Worst: Darim Ibn’La ‘Ahad
Moving on to Darim, Altair’s eldest son, Darim isn’t an Assassin known for being charismatic, or even particularly interesting. But, he was a key figure in the early days of the Brotherhood, was a proficient Assassin, and was the man who put down Ghengis Khan. But, that's about as far as his notability goes, there aren't any other achievements of his that are remembered. He's basically the less memorable Altair, but that's still a pretty big thumbs up.
12 Best: Shay Cormac
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 since he knew all their moves and was able to counter them expertly. It's a sad path he walked down, but one that he believed in.
For as much as the audience seems to hate Shay Cormac, the guy was insanely powerful. He took down so many big-name assassins in his lifetime, and thanks to learning from all his “friends” when he was still an Assassin, Shay was sort of a “Jack of all Trades”. It’s a shame that someone so misguided was so strong, but it did make for a very interesting narrative.
11 Worst: Abbas Sofian
Abbas Sofian is one of the most infamous Assassins in history, as his reign over the Levantine Brotherhood was one of the darker times for the Assassins, both in their power and reputation. Abbas is a pretty integral character in the first AC game, as he was Altair’s childhood friend. But, after Abbas’ father, Ahmad, caused the death of Umar, Altair’s father, Ahmad committed suicide in front of Altair as some sort of penance. But, Abbas wouldn’t believe Altair’s story and quickly grew to hate Altair. The two then spent their whole lives working for the Brotherhood, and Altair eventually became the head of the Order. But, once Altair left with his son, Darim, to put a stop to Ghengis Khan, Abbas took advantage of the situation to kill Altair’s youngest son, Sef, and wrench power for himself. Eventually, he was killed by Altair at the hands of the first Hidden Gun, and up until his dying breath, Abbas still wouldn’t believe the truth about his father. The man was petty, conniving, and cowardly to his core, and was not remembered as powerful or anything of the sort.
NetEase called it a bug, but others called it a feature.