Prince of Persia The Sands of Time is one of those rare, landmark games that influences everything that follows it for years to come. The parkour and style of Assassin’s Creed, the witty, roguish hero of Uncharted, and the tightly built drama of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider all owe something to Prince of Persia The Sands of Time, one of the greatest platform and action-adventure games ever. With a full remake in development by Ubisoft, and The Lost Crown also set to arrive in 2024, if you want to revisit the classic that is Prince of Persia, or maybe experience it for the first time, it won’t even cost you $2.
First released in 2003, Sands of Time reboots Jordan Mechner’s classic Prince of Persia series with a redesigned protagonist, amazingly fluid platforming, and the trademark time mechanic. Mistime a leap and plummet to your death? Hit the rewind key and try it over. Surrounded by enemies and struggling in combat? Rewind, rethink, and go again.
There are also these great sections where you need to climb a kind of vertical shaft by jumping to one wall, bouncing off, then jumping off the other, and so on. With Assassin’s Creed and God of War, that kind of fluent, flashy platforming has become commonplace, but 20 years ago it blew me away.
The Prince of Persia Sands of Time remake is still largely under wraps, having recently moved development to Ubisoft Montreal. The Lost Crown meanwhile, a 2.5D platformer and the first brand-new Prince of Persia game since 2010, is expected in January 2024.
In the meantime, though, you can get the original Sands of Time for just $1.82 / £1.49 right now on GOG. That’s less than a coffee, less than a sandwich, and an absolute bargain for one of the best games of all time. You can also get Warrior Within and The Two Thrones – the second and third parts of the Prince of Persia reboot trilogy – for $2.14 / £1.79 each. Check it out here.