Top 10 Best Assassin's Creed Villains
VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
WRITTEN BY: Saim Cheeda
These Assassin's Creed villains are on another level in terms of character quality, success within the story and connection to the main protagonists. For this list, we'll be looking at the antagonists who've had the most lasting impact for fans of this sci-fi adventure game series. Our countdown includes Bartholomew Roberts “Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag” (2013), Aspasia “Assassin's Creed Odyssey” (2018), Rodrigo Borgia "Assassin's Creed II" (2009), Al Mualim “Assassin's Creed” (2007) and more!
Script written by Saim Cheeda
Top 10 Assassin’s Creed Villains
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Assassin’s Creed Villains.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the antagonists who've had the most lasting impact for fans of this sci-fi adventure game series. This is based on their character quality, level of success within the story, and connection to the main protagonists.
Which Assassin's Creed villain do you think stood the test of time? Let us know in the comments.
#10: Crawford Starrick
“Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” (2015)
After years of presenting antagonists with blurred lines between good and evil, Assassin's Creed Syndicate featured Crawford Starrick, a Templar whose villainy is without question. Starrick's pursuit of Templar dominance is purely to feed his hunger for power, which he achieves by making London a city rampant with crime. Although he doesn't have as much depth as some other villains, Starrick's tendency to chew the scenery in over the top mannerisms make him an entertaining character to follow. He's also a worthy foil to Jacob and Evie, countering their differing personalities with his own brand of ruthless and cunning. Starrick's pursuit of the Shroud is ultimately low in stakes in the series overall, although he proves to be an intimidating villain in his own right.
#9: Bartholomew Roberts
“Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (2013)
The Sages are reincarnations of the First Civilization, with Aita's rebirth as Bartholomew Roberts making him among the most successful pirates. Unlike most villains, Roberts' loyalties lie neither with the Assassins nor the Templars, with his focus only on discovering the location of the Observatory to find his past life lover, Juno. To accomplish his mission, Roberts plays both Assassins and Templars and reaches his goal, all the while maintaining his role as a pirate. He remains elusive throughout the events of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, as his sharp wit allows him to outsmart those who pursue him. The mystery behind Roberts' identity persists even at the game's end, as it's revealed that The Sage is present even in the modern-day.
“Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” (2018)
The Cult of Kosmos serves as the antagonistic group of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, using Kassandra's brother Alexios as their main weapon against her. Kassandra decides to hunt down the many members of the faction, whose leader's identity is shrouded in mystery until the end of the game. The reveal of Aspasia as the leader serves as a huge twist, having been Kassandra's ally for the majority of the game. Although directly responsible for the many tragedies that Kassandra and her family suffered, Aspasia displays genuine remorse for her actions. This makes her the only antagonist to admit her mistakes, with the player having the option to let her live. Aspasia ultimately represents the turn for the worst villains take in this series in the name of good.
#7: George Washington
“Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of George Washington” (2013)
George Washington's role in Assassin's Creed III isn't in a positive light due to his authorization of the attack on Connor's village. However, he truly takes the role of the villain in the game's DLC, taking place in alternate reality where he becomes mad with power through an Apple of Eden. Dubbing himself as King of America, Washington begins a tyrannical regime to make himself out to be a god amongst men. Due to the fact that this completely alters the history we know, the villainous George Washington is a character hard to predict as his actions become reprehensible enough for Connor to intervene and defeat him. The president's turn for the worst is a reminder of how the Pieces of Eden corrupt men to fiendish lengths.
“Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” (2018)
The children of Nikolaos and Myrrine are separated after a prophecy dooms their fate. While Kassandra ends up carving her own path, Alexios is brought up as a brainwashed weapon of the Cult of Kosmos, now going by the name of Deimos. Despite several attempts by Kassandra to rehabilitate her younger sibling, Deimos' personality is driven completely by his rage. The contrast with Kassandra makes Deimos the most personal antagonist yet, with the protagonist actively attempting to prevent fighting her brother. Due to Deimos' similar abilities to Kassandra, he's set up as the perfect foil to the main character. His tragic background also makes him one of the few villains that players can genuinely sympathize with.
#5: Rodrigo Borgia
"Assassin's Creed II" (2009)
The first villain to have a constant presence in the main character's journey, Rodrigo Borgia served as Ezio's target for more than two decades. Unflinching in his quest for power, Borgia displays all the dastardly traits of an antagonist who isn't afraid to harm even his own family to further his needs. The character is credited with truly introducing the Pieces of Eden and the lore of the First Civilization, with his pursuit of the vault placed as the backdrop of the second game. Borgia's strategic brilliance is difficult to top, as he seizes many influential figures to his side and manages to become the pope. More importantly, Borgia is an intrinsic part of Ezio's character, with their final battle proving Ezio's heroic nature.
#4: Warren Vidic
“Assassin’s Creed” (2007), “Assassin’s Creed III” (2012)
While villains in this series are limited to single games, Warren Vidic was the overarching antagonist of the Desmond Miles Saga. The first villain to appear as well, Vidic's abduction of Desmond kick-starts the franchise and places him as the representation of the modern day Templars. Despite lacking an action oriented role, Vidic's threat is clear as he expertly manipulates characters around him to reach his goal. This includes placing Lucy Stillman as a Templar double agent, along with brainwashing Daniel Cross to serve the Templars. The complete lack of redemptive qualities in Vidic is an accurate portrayal of the ultimate ruthlessness of the Templars and just how far Abstergo has come in becoming an evil faction. All this makes his ultimate defeat all the more sweet to behold.
#3: Al Mualim
“Assassin’s Creed” (2007)
The plot of the first game has Altair seek the lives of nine Templars on the orders of Mentor Al Mualim. The story makes it seem that Altair has a chance to redeem himself for his mistakes, until a twist reveals Al Mualim as a secret Templar all along. A shrewd tactician and master manipulator, Al Mualim tricks Altair into taking out his co-conspirators in order to wield the power of the Apple of Eden all for himself. The battle between Al Mualim and Altair is the greatest portrayal of the power in the Pieces of Eden, with Al Mualim's phantoms reflecting his devious nature. His actions effectively shatter the creed's integrity, proving how he strung both the Assassins and the Templars around.
#2: Cesare Borgia
“Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” (2010)
After Ezio defeats Rodrigo Borgia, his son Cesare continues his antagonism of the assassins. Unlike Rodrigo, Cesare prefers domination through the forces at his disposal, directly causing great tragedy to Ezio by seizing his home front of Monteriggioni. A combination of cruelty and an insane God complex, Cesare Borgia loses his mind completely as the story progresses. This makes him even more dangerous, with Cesare going so far as to killing his own father to maintain control. His hostile takeovers result in Cesare being the most powerful man in Rome, forcing Ezio to create an entire brotherhood to have a chance at challenging Cesare. His villainy is such that even future Templars consider Cesare's reign a dark age for the faction.
#1: Haytham Kenway
“Assassin’s Creed III” (2012)
It's when Haytham Kenway was introduced that the similarities between Templars and Assassins came to notice. Assassin's Creed III's prologue is played through Haytham's point of view and the implication of him being an assassin is shattered with the reveal of Haytham's status as the Templars' Grand Master. An extremely layered character, Haytham brings a certain charm through his wit, humor, and tendency to keep his cool. His father-son dynamic with Connor places a genuine connection between the hero and the villain, further intensifying their final clash. Haytham subverts the evil Templar role by truly believing in the Order's cause, making points that can't be argued against. There's still enough ruthlessness in him, however, for us to want to take him down, thus fulfilling his role as the villain.