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A series this epic is bound to have some pretty incredible moments. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Assassin's Creed Moments." For this list, we’re looking at our favorite moments from Ubisoft’s fan-favorite game series, which takes players to various historic time periods.
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#10: The Auditore Family's Death “Assassin’s Creed II” (2009)
Here’s the thing about this series: it involves a whole lot of murder. Usually, it’s the bad guys getting dispatched by the shadowy heroes, but sometimes good people lose their lives as well. In the case of fan-favorite protagonist Ezio, an Assassin from Renaissance Italy, he lost almost lost his entire family after his father, a member of the Assassins, ran afoul of the powerful Borgia family. This traumatic event kicked off Ezio’s journey as an Assassin, and began a saga that remains near and dear to the hearts of Assassin’s Creed fans. Incredible stories often begin with tragedy, and this is no exception.
#9: Killing the Pope "Assassin’s Creed II” (2009)
Video games have the power to transport us to incredible locales and time periods, allowing us to experience things we’d never thought possible, albeit digitally. And of all the video games in existence, how many present players with the opportunity to get into an epic battle of swords and wits with the Pope himself? At the climax of the second Assassin’s Creed game, Ezio squares off against the patriarch of the Borgia family, Rodrigo Borgia, otherwise known as Pope Alexander VI. On top of being an intense and challenging boss fight, the sheer uniqueness of this scene is more than enough to put it on our list.
#8: The Death of Haytham Kenway “Assassin’s Creed III” (2012)
Love it or hate it, Assassin’s Creed 3 is still a pretty integral part of the series, and it has it’s fair share of powerful moments. Easily one of the strongest aspects of the game is the relationship between protagonist Connor and his father, a card-carrying member of the Templar Order named Haytham Kenway. Haytham believes in the Templar ideal of peace through oppression to his very core, and is easily one of the most charismatic villains the series has had. But the name of the game is still killing, and Haytham is one of the final foes you’ll face in the game. And sorry, there’s no pacifist option.
#7: “Why Not”? “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” (2015)
Sympathetic and nuanced villains are all well and good, but there’s also a lot of fun to be had with antagonists who just love being the baddie. Case in point, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate boss Maxwell Roth, a ruthless London gang leader and very brief ally of the Assassin Jacob Frye. After Jacob and Roth’s alliance falls apart, Jacob dispatches the gravelly-voiced adversary in a truly fiery confrontation. Before shuffling off this mortal coil, Roth delivers what may be one of the series’ very best deathbed monologues, one he buttons with a smooch to a very surprised Jacob. He may not have been the most complex villain, but he sure was fun.
#6: Ezio’s Big Speech “Assassin’s Creed II” (2010)
There are few better ways to close off an epic adventure than with a big-showstopping speech. Assassin’s Creed 2 proved this rather handily at the conclusion of its “Bonfire of the Vanities” DLC, in which Ezio delivers a speech to the crowd gathered before him. Mere moments after delivering a merciful death to Girolamo Savonarola, a radical monk burned at the stake by an enraged mob, Ezio gives an impassioned plea to the masses that they not give in to bloodlust and anger, and instead choose to walk a more merciful path. Which is a fine sentiment, but isn’t killing dudes in historical locations what we’re all here for?
#5: "We Have Done Good" “Assassin’s Creed Origins” (2017)
As its title implies, Assassin’s Creed Origins takes players back to the very beginning of the Assassin Brotherhood, which began in ancient Egypt with a group known as the Hidden Ones. At the climax of the game’s Hidden Ones DLC, this early iteration of the organization is formed, in a moment sure to send chills down the spines of fans. But this comes with a sad note, as founders Bayek and Aya must put aside their love for one another as they embrace their new destinies as shadowy freedom fighters. Being an Assassin is all about sacrifice, and this scene proves that better than any other.
#4: One Last Drink “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (2013)
Endings are often bittersweet, and this one is no exception. After hours sailing the high seas, leading your crew in sea shanty after sea shanty and generally being piratical to the utmost degree, this somber scene brings the fourth main Assassin’s Creed game to a close, as protagonist Edward Kenway departs from his life in the Caribbean. With one last vision of his fallen friends and a melancholy tune, Kenway bids farewell to his life of piracy to greet an equally daunting adventure: fatherhood. Black Flag is viewed by many as a highlight of the series, and this powerful ending goes a long way in ensuring that legacy.
#3: Desmond Learns the Truth “Assassin's Creed: Revelations” (2011)
The Assassin’s Creed series has a pretty straightforward setup at first glance: parkour, white hoods, historical settings, tons of stabbing, got it. But when you get a bit deeper into the underlying lore, it gets way more complicated. This scene more or less lays out a lot of the game’s lore on the table, finally pulling back the curtain on the mysterious precursor civilization whose artifacts we’ve been chasing this whole time. This sequence is where the game really lives up to its name, finally revealing the full scope of the series in all of its epic glory. And it only took four games to get there!
#2: Demond Dies “Assassin's Creed III” (2012)
Oh, Desmond. Poor, boring Desmond. Ostensibly the game’s protagonist since day one, this former bartender is the one whose genetic memories we’ve been traipsing through this whole time as he unravels this history of the Templar/Assassin conflict. But the parts where you’re wrenched from the swashbuckling period fun and forced to drive ole’ Desmond around in his time were never a series favorite. Still, as much as we wished we could just stay in the Animus the whole game, even we were surprised when Desmond bit the big one, sacrificing himself to avert the near-certain destruction of the human race. Aww, now we feel bad for calling him boring.
Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Desmond Kills Lucy Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010)
- Blackbeard's Speech Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)
- Achilles Welcomes Connor to the Brotherhood Assassin's Creed III (2012)
#1: Ezio Meets Altair & Desmond “Assassin's Creed: Revelations” (2011)
Given that the games are spread across numerous historical time periods, often centuries apart, the potential for the various heroes crossing over for a big Avengers-style teamup are pretty slim. But fans were eventually able to get the fateful meeting they had been hoping for. Kinda. At the climax of Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Ezio comes face-to-skeletal-face with Altair, the protagonist of the first game, before briefly meeting with his descendent Desmond. It’s a brief but memorable encounter, one that brings together the heroes of three different time periods in a way the series hasn’t replicated since. And hey, so what if one of them was a skeleton?