Original: Assassin's Creed
Watching the saga of the original Assassin's Creed play out was painful for fans and critics alike. The game seemed to have infinite potential, but it was wasted on repetitive gameplay, false promises of freedom, and unsatisfying story elements. Thankfully the sequel changed all that.
It helped that Assassin's Creed 2's environments were far more beautiful than those of its predecessor. The move to a recognizable era of Italy was brilliant, and it's rarely been more rewarding to explore a game's environment just to experience the views.
But it was more than that; the story, the writing, the sci-fi bookends, the combat, the items, the side quests—everything in Assassin's Creed 2 was superior to what was in the first game, and to this day it remains arguably the best title in the series.