Mr Light wrote:
IV is pretty standalone so far.
You could easily skip the first game, but you absolutely have to play II - Brotherhood - Revelations as they tell one continuing and excellent story. The present day half of that story climaxes in III, but the main past section of III is a new unrelated character.
I would highly recommend skipping the first game. It's visually gorgeous but you literally perform the same five tasks over and over for the entire game, and the story isn't nearly as interesting as the later games. You could read the wikipedia synopsis of the story and miss very little if you start with II.
I: Desmond (present), Altair (past)
II: Desmond (present), Ezio (past)
Brotherhood: : Desmond (present), Ezio (past)
Revelations: : Desmond (present), Ezio (past), Altair (past)
III: : Desmond (present), Connor (past)
IV: new guy (present), Edward (past)
Yeah. I played about an hour of the first game was bored to tears. I heard that the second game was a vast improvement, so I skipped ahead to that one and absolutely loved it. The Ezio Trilogy (AC2, Brotherhood, and Revelations) is a lot of fun, and so far nothing else has quite lived up to it. AC3 was okay, and it advanced/concluded part of the story, so I wouldn't skip it, but don't be prepared to be wowed by it either.
So far AC4 is pretty fun, but I'm sure I'm nowhere near completing the story. Definitely enjoying it more than AC3.