Returning to the Renaissance
In the (admittedly unlikely) event you’ve never played a game in the series before, you can absolutely start off with Assassin’s Creed II. The gameplay might not be up to par with the latest entries in the series, but it features one of the franchise’s best settings, stories, and main characters. You play as Ezio Auditore and see him become an Assassin as he cuts his way through Renaissance-era Italy with reckless abandon.
Unlike newer titles, the game isn’t designed to last you over 100 hours. It features much less bloat and faster pacing that those looking for a quicker diversion might like to try out. And if you’ve kept up with Ubisoft’s giveaways over the years, you’ve probably got most of the games in the series by now. Assassin’s Creed II joins its spinoff, direct sequel, its direct sequel’s direct sequel, and the un-numbered sequel to that sequel. Looking at my Uplay account was very surprising, as I only ever went back to play Black Flag (because duh) and never installed any of the others.
Seeing as how you might be quarantined, however, now is as good of a time as any to give the game a try if you’ve been holding off for the last decade or so. At the very least, you can learn a thing or two about history. And assassin magic.