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The best Prince of Persia games, ranked

There are few game series still going today that have a history that goes back as far as the Prince of Persia series (outside of Nintendo, that is). Starting in 1989, the series has had many ups and downs in terms of popularity as the games have taken on new forms and styles. It has even gone dormant for multiple years at a time. Here’ we’ll turn back the sands of time to review the series as a whole and determine which Prince of Persia games are the best and which are better left in the past.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
79 %
4.5/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher Ubisoft Entertainment
Release January 18, 2024
The latest entry in the franchise reinvents the series while harking back to its roots. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown takes the series back to a 2D perspective, but modernizes it by making it a fully Metroidvania-style game. All of Sargon’s time powers, attacks, and upgrades make us wonder what took so long for the franchise to go in this direction when the formula works so perfectly. This series has always focused on action, platforming, and unique powers, which all lend themselves perfectly to the idea of navigating environments and gaining upgrades to allow you to access new locations. The combat is challenging, but fair, and the game even has a compelling story to encourage you to see everything on offer.
Prince of Persia The Lost Crown - Reveal Gameplay Trailer

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
82 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment
Release November 06, 2003
There’s a reason Ubisoft chose Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to be remade, although at this point, who knows if it will ever come to pass. Regardless, the legacy of this title isn’t unearned. This wasn’t the first game to jump to 3D (we’ll get there, don’t you worry), but was undoubtedly the one to nail it. The controls were buttery smooth as you jumped, swung, and otherwise navigated the various puzzle rooms. Combat also smartly incorporated your acrobatic skills, with mobility being essential to take down the sand monsters. That’s all without mentioning how insane the rewind powers felt at the time, as they allowed you to reverse any mistake in platforming or combat, while opening the door for some incredible puzzles.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Game Trailer)

Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia
78 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac
Genre Platform, Puzzle, Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Release December 02, 2008
When you look past the controversy surrounding the ending (or lack thereof) of the 2008 reboot just called Prince of Persia, there’s a solid and unique game hidden underneath. This title stripped everything down to two main pillars: one-on-one combat and platforming challenges. This gave the game a more focused feel, but also allowed for a more grounded relationship between the two main characters to build up over the adventure. As well as the new, more stylized graphics hold up, the same can’t be said for the difficulty. This game won’t push you like the others, which does suck a little bit of the tension from its story.
E32008 - Ubisoft Prince of Persia Trailer

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
83 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, iOS
Genre Fighting, Platform, Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Release November 30, 2004
If you ever wanted a game that perfectly represented the edgy culture of the mid-2000s, look no further than Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. Even for the time, that overly grim-dark tone and story rubbed many people the wrong way, and it has by no means aged well. If you can look past that, however, this is arguably the peak of 3D combat for the series. Building off the base of Sands of Time, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within expands the Prince’s moveset and abilities to give you the freedom to express yourself in battles like never before. There’s a little less focus on platforming and puzzles, but it’s still a game worth playing just for the feel and thrill of combat.
Prince Of Persia Warrior Within Trailer HD

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
80 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Mac, Nintendo GameCube
Genre Platform, Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Release December 01, 2005
Perhaps as a response to the reception Warrior Within received, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones dialed back the edgy tone for the final entry in the trilogy. Unfortunately, most of the other choices made weren’t as positive. The story went back to Sands of Time in a new reality after all the time-based shenanigans of the past two games, which makes it a bit less interesting on a narrative level. While the action and combat didn’t exactly take a step back, the minor improvements weren’t enough to make it feel worth revisiting for a third time. It’s the definition of more of the same, which isn’t bad, but just a little tired.
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones GameCube Trailer - Trailer

Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame

Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame
71 %
E
Platforms PC DOS, Mac, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, FM Towns
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Brøderbund Software, Titus Software, Interprog
Publisher Brøderbund Software, Titus Software
Release December 31, 1993
It is almost a universal truth that sequels are better than the originals, and that is certainly the case with Prince of Persia 2. It’s fundamentally the same, so it isn’t leaps and bounds better than the first, but it adds a lot of needed variety and depth to the systems introduced in the first game. It does still have the same restrictions of putting you on a strict timer, and is arguably even more demanding, but the new environments and combat options make it more fun to fail and try again.
PC Longplay [702] Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame

Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia
82 %
E
Platforms PC DOS, Mac, Amiga, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Amstrad CPC, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Atari ST/STE, Sega Master System, Apple II, Sega CD, TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine, FM Towns, Sharp X68000, PC-9800 Series
Genre Platform, Puzzle, Adventure
Developer Brøderbund Software
Publisher Tengen, Riverhillsoft, Domark, Brøderbund Software, Konami, Masaya
Release October 03, 1989
We’re substituting the OG game with Prince of Persia Classic, the remake of that 1989 classic. Unless you’re into the retro graphics, which for the time were outstanding, there’s no reason not to simply play the updated version. Unfortunately, even a new coat of paint can’t make a game from decades ago hold up as much as we would hope. You are placed into a dungeon with a 60-minute time limit to navigate the traps and enemies, then find and defeat the Grand Vizier Jaffar and save the princess. It’s basic, and still a bit clunky even with some modern conveniences, but still cool to see from a historical perspective.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
68 %
T
Platforms Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre Platform, Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Montreal
Release May 18, 2010
What an apt title this game has. The final semi-reboot attempt before The Lost Crown, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands just flopped in every way possible. It tried to call back to the Sands of Time games by placing itself between the first two titles, while also tying in with the film adaptation, resulting in a complete mess of a game. It also didn’t help that this game came out just one year after the 2008 reboot and felt like a complete 180 from the new formula and art style that title pushed.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Introduction Trailer [Europe]

Prince of Persia 3D

Prince of Persia 3D
36 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Dreamcast
Genre Adventure
Developer Red Orb Entertainment
Publisher The Learning Company
Release September 17, 1999
We have to be somewhat kind here since very few franchises made the transition to 3D without stumbling a bit. However, Prince of Persia 3D did way more than stumble. Technically, this is the third game in the OG run, back when the 3 in 3D pulled double-duty on so many games. And it was a noble attempt to translate the series’ concepts into the third dimension. Unfortunately, controls, camera, and combat were all barely functional, making the game a complete chore to get through.
Prince of Persia 3D (1999) trailer

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All amulet holder locations in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
Sargon looks at his hand in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.

The map of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is packed with secrets and items to find outside iof your main objective of rescuing the prince. Among the most exciting upgrades you can find while exploring the various nooks and crannies are amulets. These trinkets give you different buffs to Sargon, ranging from passive ones like more HP to active abilities for combat. There are over 30 of these in the game, so there had to be some limitation on them or you would get way too overpowered. That's where the amulet holders come into play. Each amulet costs a certain number of slots to equip, and you only start with three. If you want to equip more and better amulets, you will need to get more slots.
Where to find all the amulet holder upgrades
You can upgrade your amulet slots from the default of three with additional nine holders, bringing your maximum total to 12 slots. These are accrued by doing quests or they can be purchased from vendors.
Lower City
There are three upgrades in the Lower City, the first of which you can snag from The Mage in exchange for 240 Time Crystals.

The second is in a chest you can find by dropping through the planks at the location above.

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All Farbia locations in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
A character reached out to grab a shard in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.

Even though the series has never fully embraced the Metroidvania design, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown proves that this franchise was tailor-made for it. The dynamic movement, time abilities, and acrobatic combat, when packaged in a tight, well-designed 2D game, mix like a cold drink in the desert. With that genre shift, you can count on most of the tropes to come along with it, most notably the intricate and intertwining map. Exploration is key to these games, as is backtracking, which means you will frequently reference your map to get your bearings. But until you've uncovered the rooms yourself, each section of the map will remain shrouded in fog. While you could manually fill in each and every corner, finding Farbia in a given zone will instantly reveal everything there is to see on your map. The trick then becomes figuring out where to find her.
Where to find Farbia
There are 10 zones in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, and thus, that many opportunities to find and chat with Farbia and exchange 50 Time Shards to reveal the map. Here's her location in each of them.
The Depths

To reach Farbia in The Depths, you must first unlock the Shadow of the Simurgh ability. With it, take the main elevator down to the bottom level. Use the ability here to create a clone of Sargon on the lift, send it back up, and teleport below it after it rises. At the bottom, you can speak to Farbia and pay for a clear map.
Sunken Harbor

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The best fighting games for PC
Killer Instance battle.

While everyone has their preferred platform for fighting games -- usually whatever is most comfortable for their fingers -- playing on PC is a particularly versatile experience. PCs have the broadest compatibility with control options, from mice and keyboards to Bluetooth controls to retro gamepads and joysticks. Also, depending on your internet setup, your PC may have the most reliable internet connection for playing online, too.

PCs have also been helped by the growing number of desktop-friendly releases. Where it was once hit-or-miss if a fighting game would show up on PC, it’s been quite reliable for the past several years, so there’s an excellent collection built up. Let’s take a look at the top contenders!

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