12. Arno Dorian – Assassin’s Creed Unity
While Arno isn’t a bad character, he certainly pales in comparison to the other protagonists of the Assassin’s Creed series. The problem here is that Arno doesn’t grow as a character for quite a while, and he spends a good chunk of the main story being completely unlikable. He’s smarmy, makes a lot of bad decisions, and is only concerned about his own well-being and desire for revenge. The good news is that he does grow throughout Unity to become a robust hero, and a key piece of the puzzle in the overall story of AC and what happens to the Apple of Eden.
His relationship with Elise de la Serre is definitely one of the high points of Assassin’s Creed Unity, as it’s a caring relationship that puts tons of roadblocks in the way of things working between them. Even though he gets off to a rocky start, by the end of Assassin’s Creed Unity you’ll care about Arno and his tale of revenge.
11. Connor Kenway – Assassin’s Creed III
Connor, who’s real name is Ratonhnhaké:ton, was a fascinating hero for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, a Native American protagonist dropped into the middle of the American Revolution, this time filled with plenty of shadowy happenings and assassination. Connor has a deep rooted hatred for Charles Lee and the Templars, who he believes are responsible for burning down his village and killing his mother when he was a child. This sets him out on a path for vengeance that leads him to the assassin Achilles, who trains him.
Connor is a strong character rooted in his beliefs, but at times he can feel a bit wooden emotionally. Part of this is due to the sluggish nature of some of Assassin’s Creed III’s storytelling that just doesn’t move things along at a fast enough pace. Still, Connor’s tale is an interesting one to see play out, especially as so little of the truth behind everything is known to him at the beginning of the game. He faces betrayal after betrayal, and his nationality also plays a role in the story. One of the most interesting parts of AC III is seeing Connor’s brief relationship with his father, the Templar Haytham Kenway, and how what initially started as disdain grew into a bit of trust between the two, even with Haytham’s eventual fate. Connor remains one of the most skilled assassins of the series, and although he may not show as much emotion as the others, he’s no less interesting of a character.
10. Altair Ibn La-‘Ahad – Assassin’s Creed
Altair is where the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise started, and it’s hard not to give him a special place because of that. Altair is easily the most stoic of all the protagonists in the series, and he’s a faithful servant to the Assassin order, taking down Templar after Templar. Altair starts out as an impatient and almost arrogant assassin, although after taking down multiple targets in the first game he starts to reflect on his motivations and those of his enemies. Of course, he’s also responsible for rebuilding the brotherhood after the crusades and helping define their path in the future. One of Altair’s best traits is his foresight; he always has a thirst for knowledge and knew that future generations of the brotherhood would have no need for the traditions and rules of Masyaf.
Altair was proud until the end, but did find love with another assassin, Maria, later in life. Although he’s a cold and calculating character much of the time, he’s one of the most skilled assassins ever and the continued existence of the brotherhood is thanks in no small part to his actions and knowledge.
9. Shay Patrick Cormac – Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Shay Patrick Cormac is in a unique position out of the heroes of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, as he’s the only main character that functions as a villain. Starting out as an assassin initiate under Achilles in The New World, Shay became disillusioned with the brotherhood, and himself, after witnessing tragic events perpetrated by them in Lisbon. This lead to him joining the Templars, with his sole mission becoming hunting down and killing assassins. Shay initially started out as a brash young assassin, carefree of his role in the order, although he became much more serious as a Templar. Even with his new role, Shay took no joy in killing his former comrades, especially those he was close to.
He still has a caring nature, and is always willing to help those in need, including renovating properties across the colonies of America. Despite his nature, later in his career Shay became incredibly manipulative, never afraid to use those in the Templar order to achieve his goals. At the same time independence and ingenuity are most important to him, and he prefers to never rely on anyone but himself. Shay is a fascinating character to follow as he changes sides, and he’s a key figure in the events at the start of Assassin’s Creed Unity.
8. Jacob Frye – Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate gave us two different protagonists to play as, and one side of the coin was the carefree and cocky Jacob Frye. The brother of the Frye Twins, Jacob is a bit more impulsive than his brother Evie, which oftentimes gets him into trouble.This leads to him getting into arguments with Evie, and although he acts recklessly, Jacob is incredibly good at thinking on his feet. He functions as the muscle of the pair, often leading the gangs of London that you recruit in the game, and taking on the tasks that require a more physical approach.
It certainly helps that Jacob has a ton of charisma, he’s a charming gentleman that can easily sway the minds of people, even sometimes those of their Templar enemies. Part of what makes Jacob so darn likable is simply how on the fly he operates. It’s always great fun to see how he acts during the game, and the chaos that ensues in his wake. Although he is brutal and headstrong, Jacob is never above helping the disenfranchised and those in need, and he absolutely does not believe in harming innocent civilians. He’s basically the embodiment of the rogue with a heart of gold.
7. Bayek of Siwa – Assassin’s Creed Origins
Bayek of Siwa easily stands tall with his counterparts. Bayek is technically not an assassin, as the order isn’t established at the start of Origins. Instead he’s a Medjay, a protector of both the Pharaoh and the people the Egypt. As such, this shows off Bayek’s caring and protective nature. He’s constantly assisting the people of Egypt, whether it’s small menial tasks or taking down camps of bandits. He’s one hundred percent committed to his duty as a Medjay, but is also determined to take revenge for the death of his son.
Bayek is a well rounded character, as comical and compassionate as he is determined and deadly. He has a strong relationship with his wife, Aya, who’s also a key player in the story of Origins. Seeing his story and the founding of the Assassin Brotherhood unfold is a must for any fan of the series, and he’s one of the most engaging and easy to care about characters of the entire series.
6. Basim – Assassin’s Creed Mirage
On the surface, Basim seems like a very average Assassin’s Creed protagonist, and for the most part, he is. Right until you get to the end of the game.
Basim served as one of the more intriguing side characters you’d encounter in Valhalla, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage serves as a fascinating origin story for him. Growing up as a street thief in Baghdad, Basim’s initiation into the Brotherhood is swift and cookie-cutter, but as the story progresses, you quickly learn that there’s much more to him than meets the eye.
While we still feel the story and characterization in Mirage could’ve been better, there’s no doubt that Ubisoft took some swings with Basim, and we can respect that.
5. Eivor – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
For the most part, Eivor is a great Assassin’s Creed protagonist. Unlike in Odyssey, where Kassandra and Alexios are very much their own person, both versions of Eivor are essentially the same person. You can play them however you want to: as a snarky know-it-all, or as a more straightfaced character who keeps things serious.
Both ways are equally valid, and they don’t detract from Eivor’s origin as a viking, which adds so much richness to their history and their character arc going forward. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch how Eivor eventually joins the Assassins and grows from there, especially as they interact with more interesting and colorful characters, including the aforementioned Basim.
4. Edward Kenway – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Edward Kenway is first and foremost a pirate. Edward’s initiation into the assassins doesn’t happen for quite a while in Assassin’s Creed IV, and much of the game is spent following his rise as a famous pirate and captain. Kenway dreams of fame and fortune, looking out mostly for himself in his quest for both. His craving for fame was so large that he ended up leaving his first wife to become a British privateer.
As Edward became more and more infamous throughout the Caribbean, he drew interest from both the Assassins and Templars. Despite getting embroiled in this age old conflict, Edward cared little for either side and remained focused on his goal of obtaining power and fortune. Once this life leads to tragedy and loss, however, Edward looks inward and realizes his mistakes, also coming to understand what the Assassin’s Creed truly promised. Edward is a brutally fierce fighter, an idealistic dreamer, and someone that goes through self reflection to try and better themselves. Basically the perfect recipe for a pirate, who just so happens to be an assassin too.
3. Evie Frye- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Evie Frye is the level headed, more strategic side of the Frye twins. She constantly has to pick up the pieces from the chaos her brother causes, and she finds herself much more bound to the Creed of the Assassins than Jacob does. While she may not be as brutal as Jacob, Evie is no less skilled, preferring to take a quiet methodical approach to each situation.
Evie has the quick wit to match and even outdo her brother, as Jacob sometimes struggles to keep up. She’s calm, collected, studious, elegant, and more, making her a deadly force to be reckoned with in Victorian London. While her way tends to be more successful than Jacob’s, the pair is most successful when they combine elements of their own respective strategies. Evie just has a certain charm about her, and she’s completely confident in herself and her abilities. She’s a talented assassin, and surprisingly a more interesting character than her brother, which is really saying something.
2. Kassandra/Alexios – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Kassandra and Alexios are siblings in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and they’re very much their own character, even if they do ultimately go down the same path in the story. While you can play both characters the same way, there’s just something about Kassandra that makes her shine a little brighter than her male counterpart. Her voice actor twinkles with each line, adding to her charm, and making her feel like a more fun and witty character to play as, whereas Alexios can come off as a bit more stoic.
Still, the arcs that both characters go through are compelling. The sibling rivalry dynamic adds a layer of complexity to the story that we’ve never quite seen before. While Syndicate did originally attempt this with Jacob and Evie, things feel much more serious and high stakes with Kassandra and Alexios. The story is often punctuated with lighthearted moments, but things can get intense as well, and it’s hard to pull away from either of these characters.
1. Ezio Auditore da Firenze – Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood, Revelations
It’s no surprise that Ezio is the most popular assassin of the entire series. After all, he had three of his own games, whereas most protagonists get one. There’s good reason for this, of course, as it’s hard not to like the headstrong, cocksure protagonist. We first see Ezio as a young man, one who has a bit of a soft spot for the ladies. At first Ezio is a bit too impatient, rushing into situations, as he’s desperate to get revenge for the death of his family. He quickly became one of the most skilled assassins of all time, even founding a new brotherhood after the events of Assassin’s Creed II.
Ezio isn’t just likable because of his charming personality, but also in how we see him grow, and he’s easily the most fleshed out character of the entire series. Because of how Ubisoft focused on Ezio we get to see him as a young man, middle-aged, and later in life. This gives us a clear timeline of how Ezio grows as a person, going from an unsure and inexperienced youth, to a skilled and confident leader, and then finally a seasoned and wise older man. In spite of how he changes, Ezio’s kind and playful nature always remains. He’s almost become the poster boy for the entire franchise, and will always go down as one of its most memorable characters.