My relationship with Assassin's Creed games has been somewhat backwards. When the first couple of titles came out, I off-handedly dismissed them as 'generic console peasant trash' for some reason. Then I picked up the second one in a mega-sale, for about 5 Euros, years after it had been out.
It blew my mind in the most unexpected fashion. I had to totally go back and eat my dismissive words. I quickly grabbed the rest of the series (I think that Revelations had just come out back then), again, dirt cheap. I fell in love with the lore, the freedom of movement, the overall vibe that they exuded. They took me there. Completely transported me. And I was a total sucker for their blending of real history and that whole First Civilization mambo-jumbo.
I remember pre-ordering AC III, hyped to the gills. Finally, I had caught up with the times. I would enjoy an epic new AC game along with the rest of the gaming world, not years after the fact. Imagine my disappointment when AC III turned out as weak as it did. I got one of the collector's editions and I couldn't even get rid of it on eBay for 10 quid or so. That bad.
I stuck with the series though.
Black Flag was extraordinary, they remade Pirates! for the 21st century. It was the first AC game that I aggressively pursued to get 100% completion, just because it was so much damn fun that I never wanted it to end.
Unity was a love-letter to Paris. I couldn't care less about the disastrous PC launch. I even bought an overpriced GTX 970 that I could barely afford, just so that I could run it maxed out on Day 1.
Syndicate was tired but still, a rollicking good time.
Then Origins hit, and it gripped me way more than it had any right to. Odyssey? Goddamn. We played it to 100% completion along with my wife, completely enraptured with its depiction of our lost world.
Totally hyped about Valhalla, pre-ordered the Gold Edition and cannot wait to get lost in all of its beauty and madness.
If Ubisoft ever decides to hire seriously competent writers to work on AC, they are going to take that final step up there with the all-time greats.