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prince of persia the sands of time remake

The Best, and Worst, Prince of Persia Games

Now 35 years old, the Prince of Persia series is still going strong. Granted, releases aren’t as frequent as they used to be, but The Lost Crown takes things in a promising direction that could prove popular, and a remake of the brilliant The Sands of Time is currently in development that could reinvigorate interest in the series if done well. In any case, with Prince of Persia back on our consoles, we thought it would be good time to look back on the history of the series, highlighting the best, and worst, Prince of Persia games so far.

Covering the entire 35 years of the series’ history, we’ve got everything here from the original classic to the latest Metroidvania-themed entry in this long-running series. The truth is there are very few truly bad Prince of Persia games, but there have been some missteps along the way. In any case, scroll down the page and see if you agree with our decisions on what are the best and worst that the Prince of Persia series has to offer.

Here are the best Prince of Persia games:

1. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Sands of Time (1)
  • Formats: PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC

In 2001, Ubisoft acquired the rights to the Prince of Persia franchise. Two years later, it would release a reboot that blew gamers away. A 3D action adventure, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time kept the core of the series intact, challenging players to face off against adversaries in tense combat and also overcome a vast array of environmental hazards. What really propelled The Sands of Time to greatness, however, was the Dagger of Time, a powerful artifact that the prince acquires on his journey that grants him a number of special powers.

Make a mistake and you can rewind time, for example, undoing a fatal blow from an enemy or an unfortunate fall. Alternatively, you could slow down time, giving you the advantage when outnumbered or against the clock. Made with the help of series creator Jordan Mechner, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is undoubtedly the best Prince of Persia game ever made. That’s perhaps why it’s getting the remake treatment.

2. Prince of Persia 2008

Prince of Persia 2008 (1)
  • Formats: PS3, Xbox 360, GameCube, PC

As much as we love Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, we also have a large space in our hearts for the 2008 reboot of the series, simply titled Prince of Persia. Putting players in control of a new Prince, who begins the game simply looking for a fortune, this Prince of Persia reboot takes the series into open world territory.

Accompanied by a princess named Elika who commands the powers of light, it’s your job to guide and protect her throughout a world full of acrobatic challenges and dangerous encounters, all in the hope of healing a number of Fertile Grounds in the Kingdom. The twist here, however, is that you can’t actually die. Instead, whenever you get in trouble, Elika will use her powers of light to help you. But there is a cost if you require her services too often…

3. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Prince of Persia The Lost Crown 1 review
  • Formats: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is the latest Prince of Persia game from Ubisoft, and once again it’s a reboot. This time players take control of an Immortal called Sargon, a member of a band of warriors tasked with rescuing the Prince after he’s kidnapped. Upon Sargon’s arrival in the mysterious Mount Qaf, however, it is revealed that all is not what it seems.

Rather than being a 3D action adventure game like most of Ubisoft’s previous Prince of Persia games, The Lost Crown is a 2.5D Metroidvania. That means it has a large open world to explore, with more areas opening up as Sargon acquires more powers. The powers available in The Lost Crown are pretty nifty, too, ranging from being able to revert to a previous recorded point in time, to using a dimensional claw to grab and throw useful items. In any case, this certainly stands out as one of the best Prince of Persia games, and we can only hope that Ubisoft expands on the template going forward.

Read our review of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

4. Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia 1989
  • Formats: Apple II, then ported to just about everything

We can’t have a list of the best Prince of Persia games without mentioning the ground-breaking original, can we? While the very first Prince of Persia by Jordan Mechner might not be the most enjoyable Prince of Persia game to play in 2024, its merits still have to be recognised.

Developed for the Apple II way back in 1989, Prince of Persia used rotoscoping to achieve its animations which were stunning at the time. Impressive animations were just one of the elements that made Prince of Persia a classic, however. A challenging game that tasked players with escaping out of a dungeon into a fortress tower against the clock while fighting off adversaries and avoiding traps, it was devilishly addictive. Ultimately, this is considered one of the greatest games of all time by many.

And here are the worst Prince of Persia games:

1. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Warrior Within (1)
  • Formats: PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC

Sequel to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, we have to admit that Warrior Within isn’t actually a bad game. In fact, it’s a very good one. Why’s it here, then? Because tonally it’s very different to its predecessor, and it makes for a very jarring experience indeed. Set years after the events of The Sands of Time, in Warrior Within the Prince finds himself dealing with the repercussions of his actions. And let’s just say that things get dark.

In contrast to The Sand of Time which manages to feel whimsical overall, Warrior Within has a more serious tone, a shallower colour palette and is generally more violent. It makes for an enjoyable game, especially thanks to a number of gameplay improvements, but it just doesn’t quite feel like a Prince of Persia game.

2. Prince of Persia 3D

Prince of Persia 3D (1)
  • Formats: Dreamcast, PC

It’s safe to say that the first 3D Prince of Persia game, suitably titled Prince of Persia 3D, didn’t impress upon its release in 1999. Developed by Mindscape, Prince of Persia 3D had all the ingredients of a Prince of Persia game, such as combat and traps, but the move to 3D was problematic. Issues with the camera caused frustration, and movement was sluggish which wasn’t ideal. There were a number of bugs, too, which further brought enjoyment of the game down.

It was after the poor reception of Prince of Persia 3D that Ubisoft acquired the rights to the Prince of Persia series catalogue. And after getting Jordan Mechner on board, a plan was made to reboot the series, giving us Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Silver linings and all that.

3. Battles of Prince of Persia

Battles of Prince of Persia
  • Formats: Nintendo DS

The truth is, most Prince of Persia games are either good or great. Like any popular series, though, you get the odd release that defies common sense. Enter Battles of Prince of Persia, a game developed for the Nintendo DS that throws the series’ action adventure gameplay out of the window in favour of turn-based battles with collectible card game elements.

As you can imagine, Battles of Prince of Persia has few of the elements that make the series attractive to fans. And even to lovers of turn-based tactics titles, there’s little here to warrant any adoration. It’s one of the worst Prince of Persia games no doubt; a misfire from Ubisoft that’s best forgotten about.

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