To complete our triumvirate of publishers’ platforms, we have one provided by Ubisoft, the purveyor of open world games and multiplayer shooters. As you can probably tell, much like EA, Ubisoft tries to specialize with their titles and their platform reflects this. It should not be odd to see Uplay-exclusive products as the most prominent on the list.
A side note here: I had to rearrange the list a little bit, since a lot of the games are parts of larger series, so I would end up writing about the same things again and again. So instead I selected those games which show a cross-section of what Ubisoft is good at, which should be more informative for you.
So without further ado, let’s wrap it up with the selection of Uplay’s most popular games as selected by the users of our platform.
15. Just Dance 2017
~I’m Han Solo, I’m Han Solooo~…wait, wrong game.
Genre: Dance | Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch | Release year: 2016
Just Dance 2017 is the cut-off game, after which the Just Dance Unlimited (it really should have been called Just Dance Limitlessly, but I digress) subscription service with a growing library of available songs. This service is included in the Gold version of the game, which goes a long way in explaining this game’s popularity.
Despite certainly niche appeal of the genre, this game doesn’t require much explaining, you’re supposed to dance to the camera to the rhythm and perform exact moves to score points. Certainly good for parties, I can tell you that much, and along with Just Dance Unlimited, it features an extensive library of songs with classics like Dragostea Din Tei among them. Like I said, good for parties!
14. Watch Dogs 2
Watching dogs is like staring at goats, it teaches you martial arts
Genre: Action-adventure | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2016
The cyber-activism simulator that once caused a little bit of a controversy with people hollering about graphical downgrades way back when, has turned out to be a pretty solid action game in the end regardless, and lived to see a sequel.
Watch Dogs 2 continues pretty much exactly where the original game left off, while also expanding on various mechanics, including the multiplayer component of the game. While much like Watch Dogs it had something of a difficult start with various glitches and graphical shortcomings, these have since been ironed out, giving us a solid action game, with clever gameplay mechanics and a pretty solid story this time around.
(steam version: here uplay)
13. The Crew 2
To crew or not too crew, that is the question
Genre: Racing | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2018
In the grander environment of racing games, The Crew 2’s distinguishable features are a huge, beautiful world filled with landmarks and the transformation mechanic which allows you to travel the world in land-, air-, or water-based vehicles and switch between them seamlessly.
It can honestly be pretty fun, but as our review outlines, it requires a certain type of player. Traveling through the beautiful game world is the bread and butter of the game, but the regular single-player campaign is tedious at best. It does get really good with a dedicated group of friends though, and the transformation mechanic serves to really spice things up.
12. Might & Magic Heroes VII
Grampa heroes still kickin’
Genre: Turn-based strategy | Available on: PC | Release year: 2015
After a long, long time of the classic series of strategy games being shelved, Ubisoft resurrected it with a slightly deceptively titled Might & Magic: Heroes VI (as the previous games were always called Heroes of Might & Magic <number>) and the results were…mixed.
The game suffered from optimization issues, leading to sub-par performance, but it was successful enough to warrant Might & Magic Heroes VII, the newest release in the series. Truth be told, it re-uses a lot of the assets from VI and does a lot of the same mistakes, while not really innovating all that much, but at least it runs smoothly. You may be better off with one of the previous titles in the series (and may I recommend IV?), but if you want to see how well a piece of media you’d likely grown up with still does, you have my blessing.
11. Rayman Legends
The leg-less, arm-less hero strikes again
Genre: Platformer | Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch | Release year: 2013
Intrepid Rayman should be known to everyone by now. The cartoonish hero was a part of our childhood, and his adventures sit there with the lot of Banjo Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day as this blend of childish fantasy and something the grown-ups can still totally enjoy. And Rayman Legends is a glorious return to form, garnering universal appraise for its multitude of aspects.
Rayman Legends is colorful, engaging, fast-paced and hilarious. Usual platforming is interspersed with light puzzling or fights with enemies. It also features a highly entertaining multiplayer mode designed for the players to do different things during the game. It’s a highly enjoyable party game, especially well fit for Nintendo Switch.
10. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Genre: Action-adventure, stealth | Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Release year: 2013
Black Flag is the proof that Ubisoft does know how to make a pirate game. While ostensibly it’s an Assassin’s Creed game, with all the good stuff that entails, it focuses much stronger on the open world exploration, ship combat and well, all the pirating.
All of which turned out to be a real breath (or a breeze) of fresh air for the series and exactly what it needed after the somewhat disastrous run of Assassin’s Creed III (which had many, many issues, even if it’s most remembered for the horrific graphical glitches and dull protagonist). Notably, while it still has the insanely wacky thriller plot of the series, the tone of the game is certainly lighter and more adventure-oriented.
9. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Snake’s partner in crime
Genre: Action-adventure, stealth | Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 | Release year: 2013
Splinter Cell is one of several Tom Clancy’s franchises (to those confused, it’s kind of like Sid Meyer’s Civilization, due to legal reason his name has to be in the title) under Ubisoft’s wings. They’re all loosely connected by the setting of alternate reality America steeped in conspiracies, conflicts and espionage, more or less overt.
Blacklist is the latest and for now the last (to my personal dismay) in the classic series of stealth-focused games staring the protagonist Sam Fisher. Blacklist, in particular, has been received extremely well, due to the series’ devotion to refining the various elements of the game, from gameplay to story. I recommend this game to any stealth genre fan, as Ubisoft seems to be the last one holding the fort in the industry and still trying to keep the genre alive.
The slipperiest of slopes
Genre: Sports | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2016
Ubisoft may not be the sports titan that EA or 2K are, but they certainly dabble in their own niches, trying to get a piece of that pie. One of which is snow sports with Steep, an advanced snowboarding and skiing simulator.
Steep, in addition to having fleshed out and satisfying skiing and snowboarding mechanics, has a fleshed out multiplayer system with a shared, open world. It’s very similar to The Crew 2 in that way. And unfortunately much like that game it suffers from an uninspired single-player campaign. But just as The Crew 2, the game does shine with a dedicated group of friends.
7. South Park: The Stick of Truth
Irreverent in that special way only South Park can be
Genre: Comedy | Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch | Release year: 2014
The reputation of this one precedes itself. By now everyone has heard about the video game adaptation of South Park called Stick of Truth and its sequel Fractured But Whole (Lord Almighty…). Curiously, while both these games remain ever popular, the original game is more popular among our sellers than the sequel which is widely considered to be a worthy successor. Which likely simply stems from the short amount of time the sequel had to get discounted. Also, Stick of Truth was made Obsidian, the Good Guys™ of the industry so…
South Park uses the trappings of an RPG game to engage the player with its bizarre setting full of parodies and critiques of real-world issues, mostly of political variety. While I personally do not really “get it”, humor is a subjective thing, South Park games have been received universally positively. While it’s not a game in the traditional sense, it seems to be a bucket of laughs, to most people at least.
6. For Honor
And glory? What about riches? No, just honor? OK.
Genre: Action, Fighting | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2017
The cross-cultural medieval mash-fest that is Ubisoft’s version of competitive Dark Souls PvP (that’s what it is in a nutshell), while struggling to seriously find its audience, is still a fairly interesting game that Ubisoft is still putting a lot of effort into to maintain.
There’s a lot to like about For Honor honestly, the roster of available heroes is exhaustive and while they lack personality and characterization (with few notable exceptions), they’re pretty well-designed and they certainly feel meaningfully different to play. There are several different modes of play to enjoy and limited-time content frequently dished out, so it’s the kind of game one could easily sink into.
5. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
And the reward for the most unwieldy title goes to…
Genre: Tactical Shooter | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2017
Another one of Tom Clancy’s, Wildlands focuses significantly less on stealth and more on the action (although the option is still there for you). While the story is somewhat shallow, it does feature Sam Fisher in one of the later-added missions, so it certainly has its own moments.
The big draw of the game comes from multiplayer missions. There’s a whole lot of nuance in how you can approach the given situation, with a day/night cycle happening in real time, which will have meaningful changes in the gameplay, like a lower number of armed opponents at night, but better visibility during the day. There’s also a wide assortment of toys at your disposal, so the game certainly has a lot of replay value.
4. Far Cry 5
~Take me hooome, country roooads~ (and now it’s gonna be stuck in your head for several hours)
Genre: Action-Adventure, FPS | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2018
Far Cry 5 is the latest in the series of open world games simulating the most remote corners of the world, where truly insane things can happen without ever reaching the civilized public. It takes the player to the wild regions of Montana USA and pits them against a crazy and armed to the teeth, quasi-Christian doomsday cult.
While the story certainly has its hick-ups (much has been said about its atrocious ending) and there’s some serious gameplay-story dissonance, the gameplay itself is very solid. It consists mostly of taking the scenic route through beautiful and lively landscapes and doing side missions while scavenging, crafting, liberating outposts and fighting copious amounts of cultists. The gameplay loop of Far Cry 5 is certainly very fun and can hook you in for hours on end.
3. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Kind of the point at which all big-name Ubisoft games started melding into one
Genre: Action-Adventure, Stealth | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2017
While I did say I don’t want to talk about games in the same series a lot, I still decided to put both Black Flag and Origins here, because I feel like Black Flag is distinct enough from the series to be a very different experience (and I have to build some hype for Skull & Bones). Origins, however, fits right into the pattern and in many ways is the most classic execution of the Assassin’s Creed formula, since Assassin’s Creed 2.
This was before Odyssey took a more RPG route and decided to innovate (though an argument could be made that Origins had laid the groundwork), so there’s not much of that. The story is mostly a linear affair from point A to Z, but that’s what you would expect from an Assassin’s Creed game and it certainly has all the thriller weirdness of the series, mixed with alternate history in ancient times. Gameplay elements, familiar from the past, were also enriched with some ideas seemingly taken from Far Cry, such as gathering companions. In many ways, if you want to see the “essence” of Assassin’s Creed franchise, Origins is the game you should look into.
2. Tom Clancy’s The Division
United we stand, divided we fall- Optimus Prime
Genre: Action RPG, Survival | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2016
One of the two big branches of Ubisoft’s supremacy, The Division is an Action RPG in the Mass Effect or Destiny sense of the term: while you upgrade your character and have various abilities to choose from, the main combat mechanics occurs through third-person gunplay. And there’s, of course, an interesting storyline to follow as well, with tons of fun characters.
While the Division 2 is only a few months away, the original still remains popular and active and will probably remain so for a while before all the players’ transition. And there’s a lot to like about the game, from the interesting setting of a smallpox pandemic aftermath in New York City stuck in a civil war, to the fun gameplay loop of your genuine, typical well-designed MMO. Much like any game of its type, it’s a time-devourer that is best approached with a group of people.
1. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
They say there’s gold at the end of the rainbow, but I say pride is a reward on its own
Genre: Tactical Shooter | Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One | Release year: 2015
The other branch is Rainbow Six Siege, the multiplayer shooter featuring some highly unique mechanics centering around map awareness and group tactics. On its face, it’s a bit similar to Team Fortress, in the sense that you have a roster of well-defined characters with different abilities and weapons, fully characterized with a wealth of backstory, but it definitely plays in a very, very different way.
The big draw of Rainbow Six Siege is its E-sports appeal. It’s probably the best-realized cooperative, competitive tactical shooter in the industry and the amount of focus it puts on the tactical aspect is truly uncanny. From using drones to scout your opponents, coordinating with your team, to destroying parts of various maps to create surprise attacks, the game is INTENSELY tactical and to this day truly remains one of Ubisoft’s greatest accomplishments.
The formula of success.
Much has been said about the so-called “Ubisoft formula”, almost a template design they seem to approach some of their games with. And they do dish out them at a very high rate, so it can almost seem like a factory line.
But what I wanted to highlight here, was that’s it’s not entirely fair to call it out, looking at the entire catalog of their games, there’s a lot of variety here. They definitely do play to their strengths and incrementally refine their games, but they offer quite a lot of diverse experiences for an avid gamer. And while they may be formulaic, they’re focusing hard on the genre of games that remains niche, stealth, and continually innovate it.
So Ubisoft, we’re totally cool. Don’t mess up Skull & Bones and Beyond Good and Evil 2.