For many long-running franchises, there is often the debate of whether a series should be watched or played in chronological order or in order of release. For example, perhaps the hottest debate is whether Star Wars fans should watch it in full chronological order (Prequel trilogy, Original trilogy, Sequel trilogy and filter in Star Wars stories as appropriate) or in order of release beginning with the original trilogy. Games do not often have this same debate, but many could wonder the best approach for franchises like Assassin's Creed.
Therefore, for anyone thinking about playing the franchise in chronological order or just want to know the historical order, here's every Assassin's Creed game in chronological order, including mobile games all the way through the latest release, Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey (431 - 404 BC)
Despite actually being the most recently released title in the franchise, it takes place prior to any of them. Its backdrop is the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Greece. While this entry has little to do with the Assassin Order, it provides a lot of context for the modern day Assassins, the First Civilization, and the rise of the Templar Order (the Cult of Kosmos works with the The Order of the Ancients who eventually become the Templar Order). It also doubled down on the RPG elements of Origins and has likely set the standard for Assassin's Creed 2020.
Assassin's Creed Origins (49-43 BC)
Set in Ptolemaic Egypt, Origins tells the founding of the Assassin Brotherhood, initially known as the Hidden Ones, and how the protagonist, Bayek, goes about confronting and defeating the Order of the Ancients. This sets the course for the Assassin vs. Templar conflict and began the new modern-day assassin storyline.
Assassin's Creed (1191)
Understandably, many question how Origins and the initial Assassin's Creed do not conflict, but they simply do not. Whereas Origins tells the founding of the Brotherhoood 1200+ years before, the initial game tells of Altair's re-creation of the brotherhood, as it had fallen from its initial purpose. Two games also correlate around this time, with an old DS game, Altair's Chronicles, telling of Altair and the Chalice a year prior, and the PSP entry, Bloodlines, detailing events immediately after the first game and how Altair and Maria fell in love.
- Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles (1190)
- Assassin's Creed Bloodlines (1191)
Assassin's Creed 2 (1476-1499)
Introducing the iconic Ezio Auditore, the second main franchise entry in Assassin's Creed takes place during the Italian Renaissance and details the early life and Assassin career of Ezio. His life is later explored through Brotherhood and Revelations, with Ezio perhaps being the most known-about Assassin in the franchise.
In the midst of Assassin's Creed 2, the events of Discovery take place, which sees Ezio temporarily leave his search for the Apple of Eden to help out the Spanish brotherhood.
- Assassin's Creed Discovery (1491 AD)
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (1499-1507 AD)
Ezio's story continues in Brotherhood, where he builds a Brotherhood to continue the fight against the Borgia. During this game, Identity also takes place - a mobile game released 4 years after Brotherhood where a player-created Assassin works closely with Machiavelli.
- Assassin's Creed Identity (1501-1506 AD)
Assassin's Creed Revelations (1511-1512 AD)
Revelations brings the Assassin career of Ezio to an end, showing him falling in love with Sofia throughout the events of the game. It brings Ezio's character development full circle, as over the games, he transitions from a young, carefree man to a devoted husband and wise assassin. Ezio's death is later detailed in the short film, Assassin's Creed: Embers.
There are two minor game that take place after this, one being Assassin's Creed Rebellion and the other is China. The former is a 2018 mobile game featuring Aguilar de Nerha during the Spanish Inquisition, and the other sees Shao Jun return to China to take vengeance for her Brotherhood following the events of Embers.
- Assassin's Creed Rebellion (1517 AD)
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China (1526-1532 AD)
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (1715-1722 AD)
After Revelations, Assassin's Creed 3 was the next to release, yet the events of Black Flag (as Edward is Connor's paternal grandfather) take place first. In a vein similar to Odyssey, Black Flag doesn't deal much with the brotherhood as it does events surrounding Assassin life until Edward joins it near the end of the game, which has the coming end to the Golden Age of Piracy as its historical setting.
Pirates is a mobile game following Captain Alonzo Batilla, a pirate with allegiances to neither the Assassins or Templars, but often finds himself crossing paths with. Freedom Cry was a standalone DLC detailing Adewale's devotion to the Assassin way of life, for that to later also be addressed during the events of Assassin's Creed Rogue.
- Assassin's Creed Pirates (1716-1718 AD)
- Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry (1735-1737 AD)
Assassin's Creed Rogue (1752-1776 AD) & Assassin's Creed 3 (1754-1783)
These two games occur mostly concurrently, but it's worth mentioning that Shay Patrick Cormac is grown when Rogue starts, whereas AC3 details more of Connor's young life. Cormac is the reason the Colonial Brotherhood falls, which Connor cleans up when Cormac sets out on his search for the box, thereby tying Rogue also to Unity. While the release order is confusing, these two games closely tie practically all the games from Black Flag to Unity.
Liberation also takes place during this time period, which details Aveline de Grandpre's attempt to stop the templars from gaining control over New Orleans.
- Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (1765-1777)
Assassin's Creed Unity (1776-1800 AD)
Unity begins where Rogue ends, but then goes on to detail the French Revolution, how the Templars and Assassins were involved, and the parisian love story of Assassin Arno Dorian with Templar Elise De La Serre.
India takes place a few decades after, detailing the events during the Sikh Empire vs. East India Company War where Arbaaz Mir fought against the templars to steal back a mysterious item.
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India (1841 AD)
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (1868 AD)
The last chronological "big" entry in the franchise is Syndicate, which takes place during near the end of the Industrial Revolution in London. Twin Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye navigate organized crime to take the city back from Templar control.
The last official chronological event takes place in 1918 Russia following the October Revolution. Assassin Nikolai Orelov must complete one mission for the Order before escaping Russia with his family, where he steals an artfict and saves the drand duchess, Anastasia.
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia (1918 AD)
Honorable Mention: Assassin's Creed Ragnarok
Although nothing is confirmed as of yet, all signs point toward the release of Assassin's Creed 2020 being AC: Ragnarok, or at least a game centered during the Viking Era. While the exact time frame has yet to be established, the Viking Era toughly ran from 800 AD – 1066, likely meaning that this game will take place shortly before the initial Assassin's Creed.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is out now for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.