There’s an unmitigated amount of negativity surrounding anything Ubisoft does nowadays and that is completely understandable. The company is so deep into anti-consumer practices and consistently dubious business decisions that it’s still kind of staggering that they have a loyal, active consumer base. By any and all general observations, this is a company that has lost a lot of traction among gamers, at least in terms of artistic credibility. When people talk about Ubisoft on the internet, they’re either displaying contempt or mocking it.
Which is a shame. See, Ubisoft has made some of our favorite games of all time. If we’re angry, it’s because on a personal level, it pains us to see that the company has become these days. It’s hard to believe, but there was a point where Ubisoft were making consistently amazing games that were setting the standards for the industry, as opposed to now, where they make consistently mediocre products that keep on lowering them. But hey, all of that has been said a thousand times already.
It’s time to brush all that cynicism aside and put a positive spin on what are essentially dire times for the video game industry. We’ve decided to take the time and be less angry for once and focus on reliving our numerous fond memories of Ubisoft by putting a list of the 10 best games they ever put out (according to us).
Negativity is easy to fall into, so let’s take a 180 and focus on celebrating Ubisoft instead for a change. A company that we still want to rise above its’ recent string of disappointments and dishonesty and be great again.
It’s time to talk about our top 10 UBISOFT games (when Ubisoft used to be great).Also, FYI, we’re only choosing one game per franchise. Here goes:
TOP 10 VIDEO GAMES
EVER MADE BY UBIOSFT
10: Zombi U (or Zombi):
Most people lament the state of survival horror in general and yet nobody plays good ones when they come out. Case in point, this Wii U launch title (later ported to PS4, XB1 & PC) that tried it’s best to not only bring back a dying genre, but innovate within it. An intense first-person action/adventure game that featured intense enemies, limited resources, dark moody atmosphere and a Dark Souls-like carry over system, it’s a fantastic title that tried its’ best to revive old school survival horror but was ignored in favor of more Amnesia/fps horror clones.
9: Assassins’ Creed:
It’s hip to make fun of it now and it launched in its day with quite a few issues (including copy/paste design) but it was still a genuinely innovative game with great climbing mechanics, superb visuals, historical accuracy and a great, intriguing overarching narrative (that was botched in later installments). To top it all, forgotten series protagonist Altair was still interesting. Repetition reared its’ ugly head in the last third but the thrill of roaming around freely in an almost photo-realistic Holy Land, during the third crusade, is something lifelong history buffs like us will always hold dear.
8: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas:
The game forms a perfect balance between the hardcore tactical shooting of old and the more modern cover-based elements that became the norm last generation. It allows newer players to enter the Rainbow Six fold and then makes them earn their stripes by putting them in hard-as-hell firefights and an intense campaign that would leave every gamer happily exhausted. Add to that a great multiplayer suite, and you’ve got yourself probably one of the best tactical shooters of its generation.
7: Valiant Hearts:
One of the most humane tales about war ever released in the gaming medium. This underrated gem is one of Ubisoft’s most adventurous titles in the modern era. Mixing a 2D puzzle game/ side scroller with a unique comic book style, it ensure that you spend most of your time helping people, instead of attacking them, amongst a chaotic, busy battlefield. It really drives home the futility of conflict and provides many touching, tender moments. It’s a great example of what games can be like if they try.
6: Far Cry 3:
CRYTEK helped bring the ‘open world shooter’ to prominence with the original FAR CRY and CRYSIS. But it was the third game, developed by Ubisoft that helped propel the series into the mainstream, and if we’re being honest, is still the best of them. With many of the trends that would become a staple of all the company (and the industry’s) games, for better or worse. It’s become sort of pariah for the ‘beginning of the end’ these days, but it’s still an overall fantastic game with a great campaign that holds up regardless.
5: Child Of Light:
Another unfortunately forgotten gem. In fact, this is an instance that Ubi genuinely tried to innovate. This was their crack at a side scrolling, fairy tale, JRPG inspired game with a unique art style and they succeeded well enough to create a game that was (and still is) different from the pack. Coming to life as a living, breathing fairy tale with its simple yet strategic turn based combat, beautiful hand drawn visuals and ambient soundtrack – this games stands tall as a title that stands as a stark counterpoint to people who like to declare that Ubisoft doesn’t innovate.
4: Beyond Good and Evil:
This beloved cult classic thoroughly deserves its’ reputation as an unheralded gem. Featuring a vibrant and varied game world that still impresses today, as well as a campaign that accommodated multiple gameplay types, it still possesses the sheer power of amaze through its raw creativity and entertainment factor, even if some aspects do display some rough edges. Here’s hoping the newly announced sequel unlocks the first games’ hidden potential.
3: Rayman Legends:
Here’s another Ubisoft game that was originally a Wii U exclusive and later made its way to other platforms albeit with a slightly diluted experience (due to the originally Wii U GamePad exclusive control scheme translating somewhat awkwardly to traditional controllers); however this game is a masterpiece regardless of the platform you own it on. Beautiful hand-drawn visuals, superb soundtrack, tight platforming mechanics, creative worlds and brilliant level design make Legends the best Rayman game as well as one of the finest platformers ever made, easily on par with Nintendo’s top-tier platformers like Super Mario Bros 3, Yoshi’s Island or Donkey Kong Country 2. Despite its tough as nails gameplay, it’s a lot of fun to play, especially those wonderfully crafted musical levels. Don’t miss out on this one.
2: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time:
The Prince of Persia series has been famous for a long time but it was in 2003, that it was finally perfected and created its’ first true legit masterpiece (and the best game in the series in our opinion). Featuring groundbreaking character movement, level design and innovative ‘time reversal’ mechanic, it’s still one of the best, most revolutionary action-adventure games of the decade. It was followed by two great sequels but the first is still the most memorable thanks to its’ outstanding story-line, lovable characters and fairy tale like atmosphere that just jelled better than the last two.
1: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory:
As if you thought we would put anything else.
P.S. This game is so good, one of our editors started replaying it while he was compiling this list.
Splinter Cell was an innovative stealth series when it launched and seemed to get better with its’ first sequel, Pandora Tomorrow. In its next installment though, something strange happened and it somehow hit one of the absolute pinnacles of the entire stealth genre. It’s clearly inspired by the design of the immersive sim genre, with large interconnected levels with multiple pathways, hacking and gadgets (from Deus Ex) and the classic light/dark mechanic (that itself was derived from Thief). However, it makes it’s own mark with tight level design, incredibly polished mechanics, nerve-shredding set pieces, an interesting political storyline and an amazingly atmospheric soundtrack by Amon Tobin that makes the player feel every inch of every dark corner in every room.
Not to mention, visuals that were far ahead of their time (and still look better than many games today), a superb co-operative campaign and multiplayer suite (that was a landmark for its’ genre), Yep, Chaos Theory stands as one of the best titles of the 6th generation, one of the best stealth games ever made and indeed, Ubisoft’s finest hour as a developer.
So this our list of the top 10 games that Ubisoft has ever published in its 3 logo changing lifetime. What do you think? Did your favorite make it? Did we miss out on something. Let us know in the comments.