Ok fair enough, less side stuff, sure I can go with that.
Did you enjoy the story and Altair stuff from Revelations, and the ending to it John? Those, to me, were huge, huge strengths and I think my favorite moments in the entire series were the flashback missions to Altair. Not necessarily because he was better than Ezio (I liked them both, hard pressed to pick whom I liked better) but because I almost felt like I got to live Altair's entire life. I saw him as a young man, and an older man. I experienced his highs, his lows. I saw him leave, return, reclaim leadership, Maria die, his interactions with his children, and his final "mission" to die in his chamber and leave his secrets for Ezio. I suppose a very similar feeling with Ezio also exists, and watching Ezio from AC2 to the final mission of his own (ironically, in the same library where Altair's last mision was) where he discovers and leaves the Apple of Eden.
And I also agree that AC:R had far more likable characters than ACIII. Compared to AC2, AC:R might seem weak since it's a later time and many of the previous characters are gone, but Sofia was fitting and Sulieman was fitting for Constatinople (a great location IMO) and Ezio is 10x > Connor. Sure the AC3 characters are more known to most people (should be to Americans at least) but Connor is kinda dull IMO. I saw him as a youth and his mother die, but I thought it was a real corny scene. She has a beam on her, some clown comes in, takes Connor, doesn't help her? Yeah, ok sure. Ezio's father dying somehow made more sense I suppose.
I can understand why people may not of liked AC:R as much, but some people straight up dislike it, and I still think it's as good as the other two games. Tower Defense sucked, but the Altair missions make it better than Brotherhood IMO.
I can't list AC3 above any of the Ezio games, or even AC1, which was to be fair, rather repetitive. It has a lot of firepower under it's hood, but it needs new spark plugs.
I agree with some of your points, but IMO Revelations isn't anywhere near as good as 2 or BH. It felt rushed, it really did. But come to think of it, Revelations had at least some memorable missions, like the one where you played on the ukulele and the people in the background got assassinated by your recruits. And I never liked Altair, the first AC game was a chore and Altair was just as bland as Connor, but in Revelations, somehow, he got a personality and an Arabic accent. And the missions as Altair, I didn't enjoy them that much, especially the one when you had to walk for a long time as a 92 year old Altair, yeah, great fun. The problem I had in 3 was that the story was really boring, I didn't care for the American revolution (I know Ubisoft went with this theme just to kiss up to the USA), but then again, the setting of Revelations was just plain hideous. So in the end, Revelations had better characters, better story and better missions, while 3 had lot more side quests, better setting and was like twice as long, so it makes them basically equal, but knowing that 3 was in development for so many years, it has to be more disappointing, although I wasn't that disappointed with it, since I knew the idea of this whole American war theme and a half Native American character was a bad idea and I wasn't impressed by the gameplay videos released early, so I kinda knew it wasn't meant to be great.