In recent years, Ubisoft has gotten into a rhythm where all of its games are almost repurposed from the one that came before. They all consist of an open world in which players unlock more of the map by climbing up clock towers or radio towers and triggering some kind of activation. It’s not all formulaic and uniform, however. Ubisoft has been breaking new ground when it comes to animation styles and narrative choices.
For some players, it understandably comes off as a little repetitive, but many of those games introduce a unique way of tackling the open world, whether it’s through hacking or parkour. And because of those games, many people forget about the wide range of other titles Ubisoft has put out, including some of the best platformers and two incredible tie-in movie video games.
Updated on June 5th, 2021 by Kristy Ambrose: Ubisoft games continue to be a force in the entertainment industry, holding their own when it comes to some of the best RPG, fantasy, and platforming titles. The library has its highs and its lows, but we’re most interested in the highest-ranking games today. Here are a few more we can add to the roster of the best Ubisoft games from music-themed games to war-themed games to more classic platforming. There’s a little of something for everyone with this list of great games.
14 Rocksmith 2014 Edition
The original Rocksmith was released in 2011 and wasn’t as popular as other games in the same genre, but that has more to do with a late release and fumbled PR as opposed to quality. The design has some unique features but also looked too much like the games that had recently come before it.
It was a guitar sim game that was more technically inclined than other games like Guitar Hero, and teaches real guitar theory and fingering as opposed to just pretending to do it. Players can actually plug their own guitar into the AC adapter. That means positive reviews from critics but a lukewarm response from fans, at least at the time. A remastered version was released in 2014 to a fanbase that had come to know and love the game, the Rocksmith 2014 Edition.
13 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005)
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith might be one of the most polarising movies in the Skywalker saga, but the tie-in video game is one of the best Star Wars games ever, and that includes the beloved LEGO series and the original Battlefront games.
Not only could players control Anakin in the most exciting moments of the movie, but it even features an alternate ending, which might actually be a more satisfying pay-off than what fans got in the film. And the DS port is one of the best Star Wars games for Nintendo too.
12 The Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2003)
The Prince of Persia is one of the most treasured games that Ubisoft has, and it’s considered one of the greatest video games of all time. The Sands of Time is even getting a remake, which one of the most anticipated game remakes of 2021, as it’s something that fans have been requesting for years now.
The game features the meat-and-veg climbing up mountains and castles that have become popularized by the likes of Uncharted and Tomb Raider, but with one twist. Players are able to rewind time, which saves players from plummeting to their deaths for dumb mistakes time and time again.
11 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent (2006)
15 years ago, the Splinter Cell series stood with the likes of Metal Gear Solid as some of the greatest stealth games players could get their hands on, and the three green lights on Sam Fisher’s night vision goggles became iconic.
However, the series reached its peak with Double Agent, as Ubisoft doubled down on the narrative and gave Fisher more of a backstory, and it sees players controlling Fisher as he tries to infiltrate a terrorist group. It’s one of the video games to play if you love James Bond due to its unique espionage gameplay, and the series hasn’t reached this level of greatness since.
10 Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009)
The Assassin’s Creed series is Ubisoft’s bread and butter, and it’s what started the whole Ubisoft style of an unlockable open world by climbing up towers and activating them. The first Assassin’s Creed was a welcome addition to free-roaming games as it introduced a fresh new take on how to travel around.
Not only did riding on the horse give such a frantic sense of speed, but free running up buildings and jumping over rooftops is what set it apart from all of the Grand Theft Auto clones that saturated the market. The second entry in the series did the same thing, only the gameplay was completely elevated, the story was more in-depth, and it made the first game feel more like a demo than anything, which is why it’s the best Assassin’s Creed game.
9 Child of Light (2014)
Developed by Ubisoft Montreal using hand-drawn characters and backgrounds, this unique and beautiful game is currently available on Steam for a variety of platforms. It combines the best aspects of RPG with platform gaming, which means it has volumes of lore, a leveling system, dangerous wonders to explore.
The game was a success with both fans and critics and was popular enough to warrant talk of a sequel, which reached a fever pitch when the game was released for the Nintendo Wii in 2018. Developers have also teased a prequel to this popular Ubisoft game but nothing has materialized as of yet.
8 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (2013)
Following the series’ best, Far Cry 3, which introduced a sense of unnerving chaos and fantastical elements that had never been seen before in the franchise, Ubisoft went even further with the release of Blood Dragon the following year.
Though not a proper sequel, as it’s considered a standalone expansion to its predecessor, it’s one of the most creatively absurd games ever developed, being a parody of 1980s action movies like Terminator and Predator. And coming from Ubisoft, which has become known for coloring within the lines and not taking any risks, it’s quite an adventurous game. Not to mention it has an incredible synth-wave soundtrack.
7 South Park: The Stick Of Truth (2014)
With South Park being one of the most outrageous TV shows on television and having a shoddily thrown-together animation style, the odds of a game based on the series had its odds stacked against it. However, with the show having loads of great specials that follow a particular style, whether it’s turning the main characters in World of Warcraft avatars or live-action, The Stick of Truth took that approach by making the game a role-playing fantasy.
There’s so much depth and customization in the game from the very beginning, as players make their very own character with the choice of starting out as a fighter, thief, mage, or Jew. The game was not only faithful to the source material and full of new disgusting jokes, but it played really well too. And of course, with it being a Ubisoft game, the town of South Park was totally open-world.
6 Watch Dogs 2 (2016)
Being one of the newer properties in Ubisoft’s canon of open-world games, Watch Dogs again puts a new spin on the game style. As players are able to hack into almost anything in the world from security cameras to vehicles, Watch Dogs was an impressive first entry into the series, especially the virtual Chicago that players could toy around in.
But the story was lifeless and lacked any kind of charm. With the sequel being set in San Francisco, the game had an all-around sunnier tone, and the new protagonist was far more interesting than Aiden.
5 IL-2 Sturmovik (2001)
This game was published and distributed by Ubisoft in North America, but it was developed in Russia by Maddox Games. The same company still owns the rights to the franchise going back twenty years, which means they have a long history.
It’s critically acclaimed as one of the best WW2 flight simulators in the world and represents a whole series of similar games that started with the original IL-2 Sturmovik. These were intended as spinoffs, sequels, and related historic flight simulators and had titles like IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles and Sturmoviks over Manchuria.
4 Rayman Legends (2013)
Being the fifth game in the series, Rayman Legends is easily the most fun party game of the past 10 years. It’s a platforming goldmine as there is so much content packed into it. The level design and soundtrack are unlike anything else on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox, and it’s worth playing for the music levels alone.
It’s a testament to how great Rayman Legends is that it sold poorly upon its release but eventually started seeing a huge increase in sales from word of mouth, whereas there’s usually a steep drop off in-game sales after the first week of release.
3 Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005)
Even though they have a bad reputation, video game tie-ins tend to have a bad rep, as they were mostly just used as another marketing tool instead of having any care being put into its development.
However, Peter Jackson’s King Kong is one of the few great ones, and instead of being phoned in, there was so much effort put into the game, including a surprising amount from Jackson, the movie’s director. In the game, players were able to play as not just the human characters defending themselves on Skull Island, but as the gargantuan ape himself as well, and it still holds up.
2 FarCry 3 (2012)
Far Cry 3 is the crown jewel in not just the Far Cry series, but in the entire Ubisoft back catalog. Being memorable for so many things, the game laid the foundation for all of the Far Cry games that came afterward, from the location to the customization to the quirky villains.
The third entry in the Far Cry series is best known for its sadistic villain, Vaas, and it is heavily theorized that Vaas is making a return in the upcoming Far Cry 6. The game also started Michael Mando’s career, as since playing Vaas, he has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has a main role in Better Call Saul.
1 Rayman Origins (2011)
There are several highly-rated titles in the Rayman franchise, but this one earns its place for the wonderous and wacky lore that surrounds the titular character as he begins his adventures in this prequel. It was the first game to use the UbiArt Framework, a graphics engine that allows developers to create unique interactive environments, and the style has become a company trademark.
Fans were slower to warm up to the game than critics, and sales were slow despite acclaim for the design and gameplay. That’s one of the reasons that the Rayman series doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but fans familiar with Ubisoft’s work know it’s just one great title in a whole series of games that started in 1995.
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