The recent release of the highly anticipated Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has reinvigorated interest in the iconic series. The 2.5D platformer’s warm reception, from its Metroidvania design to its side-scrolling platforming and combat, is sure to inspire more Persian hijinks. Until then, though, let’s take a look at the franchise’s long history and where you should hop in to catch up.

Prince of Persia

prince of persia classic

The original 1989 title introduced the world to the cinematic platformer. Like Another World (1991), Prince of Persia offered a side-scrolling experience that radically differed from Mario or Metroid. Its innovative use of rotoscoping animation techniques lent the game a unique style that was somewhat more realistic than most contemporary games.

The game is challenging. A tough, fairly punishing platformer, though well worth experiencing. The original Apple II version received a variety of ports, including the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and many more. If you can track down one of these versions, you’ll be in for a more authentic experience, though the 1989 classic was recently ported to Javascript, which can now be played in any web browser. Alternatively, an updated version entitled Prince of Persia Classic can be played on iOS, Android, Xbox 360, and PSS3. Classic features an overhauled look, inspired by Sands of Time, so you may prefer to stick with the original.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

prince of persia sands of time

Often held as the definitive game in the series, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is probably the one to jump into. Originally released for the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, and PC, this 3D reboot revived the series with tremendous success. The action and puzzle-platformer elements offered a modernized experience that stayed true to the original, while the time-rewinding mechanics gave the game a unique edge. It’s a great game that holds up well despite its age.

With no modern port to play, the PS3 Prince of Persia Trilogy remains the best way to experience Sands of Time and its sequels, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones. A full remake is currently in the works, though, so you might choose to wait for that. Alternatively, there’s a GBA port that differs considerably, though it’s still a decent game in its own right.

Prince of Persia (2008)

Prince of Persia 2008

Finally, we have 2008’s self-titled Prince of Persia. This unique PS3, Xbox 360, and PC game has since been reappraised as one of the best in the series, despite its initially divisive reception. The game’s take on platforming, puzzles, and combat certainly makes it differ from Sands of Time, but it makes for a memorable experience.  The game, now considered something of a unique experiment from Ubisoft, follows its own continuity and is something of a soft reboot.

With its open world, 3D platforming, and strange lack of fail state, this game may still remain divisive to some. It’s well worth checking out, though you may find it not quite to your liking. The PC version offers the most accessible version for a 2024 playthrough.

Have you been enjoying The Lost Crown? Which is your favourite game in the series? Let us know in the comments!