Whenever a new AC game comes out, fans always want to know three things – what are the new mechanics, what’s the setting, and is the protagonist going to sweep me off my feet?
More often than not the protagonists have been great characters, each with interesting backstories and motivations. But I certainly have my favourites …
Before we begin, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:
11 – Jacob Frye
Some AC protagonists don’t have a memorable personality, others feel like knock-offs of other characters that came before, but I don’t think any character was as utterly forgettable as Jacob Frye in Syndicate.
He’s just a typical, bone-headed brute that uses his fists rather than his brain, and it’s usually up to Evie to fix his careless mistakes. The worst part, and the reason he’s bottom of this list – I think Syndicate would have been better if they’d dropped Jacob and just focused on Evie.
10 – Eivor
Eivor is such an unfortunate character in the AC franchise – I think there’s hints of a personality there, but the writers weren’t brave enough to show it.
Worse still, the plot of Valhalla is so long and drawn out that you end up getting bored of Eivor’s generic comments and boring dialogue after a while, and I never felt as if she was being truly tested.
9 – Connor (Ratonhnhaké:ton)
Connor is a decent protagonist, but he suffers from one very crucial flaw – he’s not Ezio Auditore.
I’m glad the writers chose to follow a Native American in the lead, but unfortunately he just doesn’t possess the charisma and leading-man bravado of the previous (and most of the following) protagonists.
8 – Kassandra / Alexios
Fans at the time moaned about Kassandra as the protagonist, and I still hear complaints that she wasn’t charismatic enough in the leading role. I don’t believe that to be true at all.
My problem with Kassandra is similar to Eivor’s – I just never thought she was being truly tested or put through her paces, so her character just defaults to snarky, cookie-cutter comments and jokes.
7 – Altair Ibn La’Ahad
The first protagonist of the series, but I don’t think Altair holds up as one of the AC franchise’s leading men.
He’s a very muted, under-spoken guy, and it’s mainly the plot and conflicts he faces that brings the best out of him. That being said, he had a really great role to play in Revelations as an older, wiser man.
6 – Evie Frye
It’s a shame the AC developers wasted so much time on Jacob, as Evie could have been one of the great modern protagonists.
Syndicate’s story doesn’t really do her any favours, but her intelligent, calculating approach to missions was such a breath of fresh air compared to some of the hot-headed guys we’d seen before.
5 – Arno Dorian
Everyone complained that Arno in Unity just acted like Ezio 2.0, but I think there’s enough uniqueness to make him stand out.
He definitely doesn’t reach the heights of his Italian counterpart, but he’s got enough wit and charm to make an impression – and Unity’s plot, albeit not my favourite AC storyline, does well to test him to his limits.
4 – Haytham Kenway
I wasn’t sure whether to include Haytham in this list – especially since I didn’t include any protagonists from the spin-off games. He’s only playable for like three hours, and then after that he becomes the main antagonist in AC3.
Those opening sequences are my favourite part of the game, however, and it was fascinating to play as a character who didn’t have the assassins’ moral compass at heart.
3 – Bayek (and Aya)
There’s a huge gulf in quality between these top three protagonists and everyone else. Bayek could have easily been first place on another day, but I think there are a few things holding him back.
Bayek (and Aya by extension) have such an incredible story arc that focuses on grief and vengeance, and they make for the most compelling protagonists in years. Their story drags a bit in places, unfortunately, but when Origins’ story hits it hits hard.
2 – Edward Kenway
I’d always remembered Edward Kenway as a swash-buckling adventurer, one of the most fun protagonists in the franchise, but after replaying Black Flag I realised just how tragic his arc is.
He’s a man that wants it all, the plunder and the fame, but the closer he gets to notoriety the more he loses along the way. Even when compared to some of the heavy hitters like Origins and the Ezio trilogy, I felt that Black Flag’s story and script painted the most captivating picture of its leading man.
1 – Ezio Auditore di Firenze
The protagonist that every other leading man since has been compared to, and the assassin that made us all fall in love with the franchise, Ezio Auditore is one of the best videogame protagonists of all time.
He oozes charm and charisma with every line spoken and enemy taunted, and his story over his three games is the most complete of the lot. More so than any other protagonist, you desperately want the best for Ezio, and you’re on his side when he’s getting back at those who wronged him.
Aaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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