Since its foundation in 1986, French developer and publisher Ubisoft has worked on hundreds of games, spanning across multiple genres and generations of consoles. In its earlier days, the company focused on smaller titles, as well as a handful of games based on licenses such as Indiana Jones, Sesame Street, Batman, and even Charlie’s Angels. But Ubisoft has a tremendous catalog of original games such as the Far Cry, Rayman, Assassin’s Creed franchises, along with many others that put it on the map as one of the most prolific video game studios.
Ubisoft has a rich history spanning over three decades of games and we’ve compiled a list of its absolute best, from platformers, action games, and even some licensed titles.
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The Rayman games have always taken a backseat to the likes of Mario — at least from a commercial standpoint — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play them. In fact, some argue Rayman is the superior platformer, particularly citing 2013’s Rayman Legends as one of the best in its class. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, there’s no denying the absolute marvel of a game Legends is. Its visuals are a spectacle in and of themselves, and when combined with incredible music, and a plethora of content, you get Ubisoft’s absolute best platformer. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since its release. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a new Rayman game for the PS5.
When it first launched in 2015, Rainbow Six Siege was light on content, though its foundation set the stage for what would become one of the best tactical shooters ever. Now, five years later, Siege is highly regarded — giving its community a smart online FPS, with an emphasis on teamwork and class-based competitive action. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill run action shooter. Instead, you must communicate with your team effectively, use the environment to your advantage, and make good use of your laundry list of gadgets to achieve victory. It’s a game that is still supported today, with a wealth of content to enjoy.
Sadly, the Prince of Persia series has been dormant for around a decade now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce about The Sands of Time. It debuted in 2003 and introduced players to a blend of 3D platforming, fast-paced action, and a time rewind mechanic that made it stand out. It was a much darker take on the 3D action genre, which had only been around for a few years prior. Though it certainly shows its age today, The Sands of Time stands as one of Ubisoft’s most important games. You can clearly see the impact it’s had on the action platformer genre, even 17 years later. Like many games on this list, we’re hoping Ubisoft brings back Prince of Persia sometime soon, perhaps for the upcoming generation.
Far Cry had been around for nearly a decade before its third mainline entry popularized the series, and we’re glad it did. Much like certain films, Far Cry 3 portrayed a villain you’d practically root for, with the focus on narrative and believable performances stealing the show. And it was an absolute blast to play. There was something exciting and beautiful about exploring the deadly Rook Islands, which were full of creatures you were able to hunt to scavenge for parts. Make all the “it’s Skyrim with guns” jokes you’d like — Far Cry 3 is still one of the best single-player shooters out there, and the best in the series.
It’s not easy to pick which Splinter Cell game is the best. All of them have unique qualities that make them stand out in their own right, but we have to go with 2004’s Pandora Tomorrow. Numerous quality of life improvements from the original entry are found throughout, but the main draw is its exceptional multiplayer mode, that pit Spies vs Mercs. This threw players against one another in a balanced, nuanced, and diverse online gameplay experience. There was a period of time in which we’d get frequent entries in the Splinter Cell series every few years. Unfortunately, that time has passed, leaving us to pray to the Ubisoft gods for a new entry sometime soon.
It’s easy to want to roll your eyes at Just Dance. Sure, you might look like an absolute buffoon while playing it, but that’s what makes it so much fun. And after 11 mainline entries and millions of copies sold, it’s a game that brings people together. The latest entry, Just Dance 2020, featured the All Stars mode, containing a playlist of fan-favorite songs from previous installments. And with the implementation of Just Dance Unlimited, which allows users to gain access to a streaming library of songs, it’s a game that features a hefty amount of content. Not since the peak of Guitar Hero and Rock Band has a game series come and swept its audience off their feet, giving its users a music-driven experience to share with others.
South Park: The Stick of Truth has no business being as good as it is. In fact, if not for a few delays pushing its release into 2014, it would have been far worse. It somehow captures the essence of the beloved, long-running show, and combines it with easy to understand RPG mechanics, all in one condensed 12-ish hour experience. Thanks to the efforts of series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who had a huge hand in the game’s development, it effectively feels like a new, interactive season of the show. The followup, South Park: The Fractured but Whole is an excellent companion to The Stick of Truth, as well.
Speaking of licensed games that shouldn’t work well, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was one of the biggest surprises of 2017. A turn-based strategy Mario game not created by Nintendo, featuring the hideous Rabbids creatures, sounded weird. But somehow, it works, and is still one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. It takes the quirkiness of Mario and the Rabbids and adds challenging grid-based gameplay that almost feels like XCOM, without the grittiness. Battle through four worlds as you enjoy the breezy graphics. But don’t be fooled by those colorful visuals — you’ll need to play smart to get through this one — an unexpected surprise to experienced gamers who love the Mario series.
Who knows if we’ll ever get Beyond Good & Evil 2. In the meantime, we can still enjoy the original Beyond Good & Evil — a game that is still fondly remembered 17 years later. It’s a classic involving the story of martial artists and investigative journalist Jade, whose story continues to captivate Beyond Good & Evil fans. It’s also a game that expertly melds stealth mechanics, beautiful visuals, and smart puzzles, with an overarching rustic European style that ties everything together. The art direction alone makes it pop and with such a breadth of gameplay styles packed into it, there’s hardly a dull moment. It certainly looks and feels like a game from its era, and while those mechanics might not have aged as well, Beyond Good & Evil is still a classic.
With so many fantastic Ubisoft games to choose from, singling out a winner is a real challenge. But at the end of the day, the mysterious pull of Ancient Egypt and reinforced RPG mechanics make Assassin’s Creed Origins stand out from the crowd.
Rather than merely building on the older Assassin’s Creed games, Origins is a total revamp. The game offers an exhaustive skill tree, earnable XP, and a rich plot with more complexities than linear quests. At the same time, you’ll see a lot of your favorite features from the originals, delivered in a fresh and smoother user experience.
While the game’s combat is very complex, it balances difficulty with achievable progress. We love that Assassin’s Creed Origins succeeds in honoring the classic while bringing it into modern gameplay.
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