Since its foundation in 1986, French developer and publisher Ubisoft has worked on hundreds of games, spanning 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, and 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 and action games to some licensed titles.
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 eight years since its release. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a new Rayman game for the PS5 or Nintendo Switch.
Read the full Rayman Legends review
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, six 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. The round-based modes often only give you one life, meaning you must plan accordingly to survive. It’s a game that is still supported today, with a wealth of content to enjoy.
Read the full Rainbow Six: Siege review
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. A remaster of this game was announced and was supposed to launch in 2021, but following the reception to its visuals, Ubisoft went back to the drawing board. The remaster will launch in 2022.
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. Just Dance 2020 isn’t the latest entry, but it’s arguably the best. It features 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 follow-up, South Park: The Fractured but Whole is an excellent companion to The Stick of Truth, as well.
Read the full South Park: The Stick of Truth review
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 stunning visuals and animations. But don’t be fooled by its color palette — you’ll need to play smart to get through this one — an unexpected surprise to experienced gamers who love the Mario series. The best news is that we have a sequel called Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope coming out in 2022.
Read the full Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle review
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 18 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 Assassin’s Creed 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.
Read the full Assassin’s Creed Origins review
While Far Cry 6 doesn’t necessarily revolutionize the series, it’s one of the very best Ubisoft games to date. It has a beautiful open world that sends players to the island of Yara, which is inspired by current-day Cuba. It has all the ingredients of a Far Cry game, with a slew of outposts to overtake, lots of different areas to explore, and a litany of things to do around the island. The shooting is just as fluid and satisfying as ever, and with its in-depth upgrade system, you always feel powerful. Aside from its mechanics, Far Cry 6 has one of the best villains in the series, “El Presidente” Antón Castillo, portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito. It’s beautiful, well-written, and an absolute blast to play.
Read the full Far Cry 6 review
Like the Assassin’s Creed series, Watch Dogs didn’t really hit its stride until the second installment, aptly titled Watch Dogs 2. This game has a likable protagonist, Marcus Holloway, with more refined gameplay than its predecessor. The hacking is still there, but there’s more to do in this installment. We love the parkour aspect of this game, wherein you can free-run over obstacles and atop buildings to get around fluidly. Watch Dogs 2 takes place in San Francisco, and although we’ve seen the city depicted in games before, this is arguably the best rendition of the famous locale. This game sometimes gets overlooked, so we highly recommend picking up a copy, especially since you can find one for less than $20.
Read the full Watch Dogs 2 review
Rocksmith 2014 is truly one of the best rhythm games out there since it actually teaches you how to play guitar. It’s presented sort of in the same way as Guitar Hero, wherein it sends notes at you on a “highway.” These notes, instead of being colorful circles, are tabs that correspond to the strings and frets of a guitar. You can slow down each song significantly and also decrease the number of chords and notes that come your way, making songs intuitive to learn. Aside from that, the game teaches you how to tune your guitar and even has a bunch of minigames that help you learn scales, which are — in some ways — the foundation of playing music. The tracklist is fantastic, ranging from oldies to newer songs and even venturing into a slew of genres like metal.
Riders Republic is a unique entry on this list. It’s an extreme sports game that features mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit flying, and rocket wingsuiting. In it, you get to explore a massive open world to partake in events by yourself or with other players. As Ubisoft describes Riders Republic, it’s a “massively multiplayer sports game” and supports up to 64 players on new-generation consoles. The cool thing about this game — aside from just how fun it is — are the references to actual American landmarks like Yosemite Valley and Canyonlands, among others. Riding a bike down a steep mountain never gets old in this game, and even if you aren’t into extreme sports, you can still have a blast with Riders Republic.