The Best Prince of Persia Game Brings More Than Nostalgia

By Jason Collins | 2 months ago

best prince of persia game

The Sands of Time, currently ranked as the best Prince of Persia game of all time, was a massive hit before it was even released. Ubisoft did its best to market the reboot of the franchise, and many gamers still remember the pre-release hype propagated by gaming magazines that, at the time, were still published on paper. However, once the game was released, it changed the action-adventure genre forever, as it influenced some of the greatest, subsequently released gaming titles.

The main selling point of the best Prince of Persia game wasn’t its graphics, which weren’t great by contemporary standards, or the combat mechanics, but its story. The narrative features a very intelligent and thoughtful presentation, in which the Prince’s story is presented by the Prince himself, though this is revealed at the end of the game. However, throughout the game, the character talks to himself, revealing his thoughts and emotions, which even he acknowledges as an oddity.

prince of persia sands of time

The story for the best Prince of Persia game begins with our titular hero looting the vault of the kingdom his father recently conquered, obtaining a mysterious Dagger of Time. The evil Vizier then tricks him into unleashing the Sands of Time, evil and dark magic that spreads throughout the kingdom and transforms its inhabitants into Sand Monsters. Equipped with nothing but the dagger and accompanied by the bow-wielding princess, the Prince sets out on a quest to defeat the Vizier and find a way to reseal the Sands back into their Hourglass.

His quest seems impossible from a pure gameplay perspective, as he has to travel through the entirety of a massive palace that’s filled with booby traps and infested with Sand Monsters. Simple walking is out of the question, so the Prince has to use various acrobatics to traverse the Palace, deal with enemies, and avoid traps. It’s death at every turn. Luckily, even Pandora’s box held hope and unleashing the Sands of Time had its perks.

The dagger Prince carries can store small quantities of Sand, which allows Prince to rewind or slow down time — a gameplay mechanic upon which the game’s entire narrative rests. The controls and mechanics of the best Prince of Persia game are highly intuitive, which makes the execution of complex gameplay elements incredibly effortless. The ability to traverse the massive environment so effortlessly makes the gamers forget that Sands of Time is an entirely linear game — it’s also something that made the first Assassin’s Creed so appealing.

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These gameplay elements allowed the Prince to run across a wall, jump from it onto a ladder, slide down onto a ledge, leap outwards onto a post, and then to a pole, swing and jump to a platform, and then bounce back and forth between two structures, and land safely on the ground. And if by any chance the player “misclicks” and sends the Prince to his death, a simple push of a button would reverse the time and bring the Prince back to a relatively safe point.

Unfortunately, the only drawback to the best Prince of Persia game was its combat system, which was very basic, and included only a couple of pretty repetitive moves, making the combat dull. This was rectified in the game’s sequel, the 2004’s Warrior Within, in which the Prince travels back in time to undo the creation of the Sands of Time while escaping a horrible monster, the Dahaka. We won’t spoil the story, but we promise it’s great — unlike Disney’s adaptation.

While younger generations of players are enjoying the new Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, older gamers continue to debate whether their favorite franchise is even worth playing after 2013’s Black Flag installment — regarding new releases as Tomb Raider clones. However, many remain unaware that Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft’s main profit driver and one of the best sandbox franchises of today, was actually derived from Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia trilogy, released a few years prior.

We don’t expect younger generations of gamers (those born post-2000) to know this, but despite being a massive hit at its original release in 1989, the Prince of Persia gaming series fell silent after the commercially disappointing Prince of Persia 3D, which was released in 1999. Luckily, Ubisoft acquired the rights to the franchise and decided to reboot the series with an entirely new release in 2003, called Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time — a fantastic video game that in many ways revolutionized gaming.

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Thanks to the intuitive control system, beautiful setting, and cleverly designed environmental puzzles, The Sands of Time is more than the best Prince of Persia game; it’s a timeless top-shelf video game classic every gamer should explore.