Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Featuring some of the most elaborate and astonishing art work and animation the videogame industry has ever seen, POP definitively raises the bar on visual presentation. I have never seen more detailed and engaging art on the PlayStation 2.
  2. It's simply so well executed that when you blow past some difficult parts simply because the game controls so well, you'll begin to think it's all you. That's the mark of a brilliantly designed game...I can't recommend this one highly enough.
  3. 100
    The gameplay has just the right balance of challenging puzzles and finger-numbing battles to deliver an exceptional adventure whether you’re royalty or not.
  4. But don’t take our word for it, because Prince won Best Action-Adventure Game at this year’s E3 expo. So it’s got that going for it…which is nice.
  5. 100
    It's like the fine wine of videogames, and anyone who sees it in motion will be mesmerized. And if they play it? They'll be straight-up intoxicated.
  6. One of my favorite games, ever...It's got story, it's got action, it's got amazing graphics and some of the best animation you'll see anywhere. [Dec 2003, p.166]
  7. With some of the most impressive graphics seen in a video game to date, combined with an extremely easy to use yet wonderfully deep control system, Prince of Persia is a rare gem that is sure to be included in every top 10 list for years to come. [Grade = A+]
  8. Such forward-thinking ideas have paid off royally: This Prince is a worthy heir to the best videogame throne. [19 Dec 2003, p.L2T 20]
  9. The game is simply a picture of beauty, with intuitive gameplay that gets under your skin and never leaves. [Dec 2003, p.74]
  10. 100
    This is the kind of game that literally makes you forget you're playing a game, leaving you barely aware of your body and just totally consumed by the action onscreen.
  11. If you have a PS2 it is your duty to own this game. The amount of fun, stunning beauty, fantastic music and wonderful ambient noise all add up to one of, if not the, most stellar titles for the PS2 this year.
  12. 96
    An outstanding game -- a dazzling, masterful achievement...Thanks to wholly intuitive control, stunning atmosphere and satisfyingly clever environmental puzzles, the title easily ranks as one of my favorite adventure offerings of all time.
  13. I can't recommend this title enough for its difficulty, beauty (which is downright stunning), exceptional level design, and elaborate move set. It's a wonderful good time. [Dec 2003, p.122]
  14. Excellently produced, with intuitive, responsive controls, a deep, engaging storyline and immersive sound.
  15. 95
    "Ico" with good combat and witty dialogue...I haven't played a better game all year.
  16. An exceptional work of art from beginning to end, which should take most gamers a paltry 10 hours.
  17. Uncredibly polished, brilliantly designed and just plain fun.
  18. Pure magic. Soft lighting effects and elaborate, detailed architecture give the entire experience the quality of an opium-induced vision where time moves at the speed of your imagination. PoP's immersive atmosphere takes you to another level altogether. [Dec 2003, p.186]
  19. Proves that a good game concept can be revived in style... a true, compulsive classic.
  20. Playing Sands of Time can't help but bring back memories of when games cut the crap and gave you simple games that stood out despite lo-fi graphics and painfully synthetic sound. At its heart is everything that made Prince of Persia '89 such a hot property.
  21. A landmark achievement in game design starting with the addictively fun core gameplay, instinctive controls, then rounding out the package with gorgeous visuals, stunning special effects, and professional sound work.
  22. A game that I simply can not get enough of.
  23. The freedom of movement requires a new level of spatial imagination. Before Prince of Persia, platform games were like playing Tetris with only the blocks and bars. [Christmas 2003, p.100]
  24. You've probably done a lot of the things you'll do in Prince of Persia before, but never to this standard, and apart from the innovations, the consistency, the logic and the spell-binding presentation, what makes it so special is just how well made it is.
  25. It is one of the finest 3D games ever produced; nay crafted. At last, this is the 'third place'... this truly is the third dimension. History has just been rewritten.
  26. Quite simply brilliant and definitely 'Game of the Year' material; we've been crying out for a game to re-invent the action/adventure genre and finally that’s here - if you've got a PS2 you need this now.
  27. Recommended wholeheartedly. It looks fantastic and features responsive controls, some original play mechanics, a good story, and plenty of thrilling adventure. In the simplest terms: Do not miss out on this game.
  28. A refreshingly smart, elegant adventure.
  29. Sands of time you collect can actually allow you to "rewind" the level, changing the mistake you made. As unbelievable as this may sound, it doesn't make the game too easy because the balance between being able to use it is well done.
  30. 90
    Four things that made Prince of Persia Sands of Time stand out: the wonderful 3D animation, the design of the puzzles, sensational game play, and the new look at an old franchise.
  31. With a good story, great graphics, and the fact that it’s an all-around fun game, The Sands of Time is something that is highly recommended and definitely should not be missed by any gamer.
  32. It keeps reinventing itself anew throughout when it really should have run out of ideas and manages to successfully merge exciting combat with bracing platforming. It wouldn’t be far fetched to say that for the moment, it’s the staple of the genre.
  33. This is a carefully made work of art and should serve as an example to other titles for its near flawless gameplay. Prince of Persia will be remembered for years to come.
  34. Has the appeal of a 2D run-and-jumper and inflates the action to a surprisingly 3D world with a groundbreaking degree of fluidity.
  35. Everything, from the flawless animation and stunning visuals, to the addictive yet intuitive gameplay screams for this game to be labeled an instant classic.
  36. 9 / 9 / 9 / 8 - 35 platinum [Vol 821]
  37. The enchanting, soft and glossy graphics will draw you in; the spot-on controls and level design come together with what's one of the best-integrated and most sophisticated storylines I've ever seen in a game, and will keep you there, stuck like a genie in a bottle.
  38. I have no hesitation in stating that this is without a doubt the best control system of its kind ever created. With impossible grace pulling off complex and fantastic maneuvers and never sacrificing the precision so crucial for true ease of play, this is how it should be done.
  39. 85
    A great-looking PS2 game, with good character models and beautiful environments. However, the one flaw in this gem is its framerate, which can bog down in moderately busy melees.
  40. The biggest problem with my new game is the cinematography. I don’t know what schmuck hired these camera guys, but they should have their pinkies cut off or something. Sometimes entire fight scenes are obscured by a curtain.
  41. One of the best-looking, best-playing adventure games on PS2, POP: TSOT could have been even better had more attention been given to its plot. [Holiday 2003, p.25]
  42. But POP's only really significant flaw lies in its adventure/action ratio: Both aspects are thoroughly fleshed-out but rarely intertwined.
  43. Sands of Time is very much a 21st century product - sumptuous visuals, intuitive control and many unique ideas. Buy it, play it, love it. [Dec 2003, p.92]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 51
  2. Negative: 2 out of 51
  1. Sep 8, 2013
    Blast from the past. I'm currently playing this on the Trilogy set for PS3, but decided to review them separately for the old consoles. PoP Sands of Time, is a good game. Good, but not great. The visuals for the time were outstanding, and even now they hold their own. The music and voice acting is very authentic and immersive and the platforming in the game is ridiculously fun and exciting. Now onto the bad. The story to the game is mediocre, alot of things aren't explained and for the most part it just doesn't stand out. The camera is nasty piece of work, for the most part its ok, but you find yourself constantly jumping to your death or getting cut up by enemies when it hits a wall and blocks your view. But you can rewind time you say? While a great idea, I barely used it unless I fell off a cliff. In battles, its near useless, it constantly resets itself after killing an enemy, and if your dying, which is often, don't count on it. The fighting itself is lackluster, basic mashing of a button, no innovation and enemies get progressively harder, and not in the challenging way. For the most part though it is a good game, one you can get into and enjoy, but expect to be frustrated ALOT. Full Review »
  2. Jun 9, 2013
    Fifteen years after the original Ubisoft released the revamped Prince of Persia in The Sands of Time which managed to maintain the charm of the 2D game whilst simultaneously creating something truly unique.

    The game begins with the prince defeating Maharajah and then accidently unleashing The Sands of Time, an evil force that transforms the population into demons. Throughout his quest the prince has to traverse his fathers huge palace relying on his wits and acrobatic skills to avoid traps and enemies intent on his destruction. The controls for both movement and combat are virtually flawless and it quickly becomes second nature to throw the prince around the beautiful environment. The most interesting aspect however is that any mistakes made can be rewound (providing you have energy in the dagger) allowing the player to take ample risks and ensuring that a miss-timed jump is not punished by an instant death. This helps to make the game far less frustrating than it may otherwise have been.

    During his travels the Prince also meets a beautiful but independent princess and their relationship becomes central to the plot and gameplay of The Sands of Time. On the odd occasion this can become slightly irritating, as the death of the princess during combat means having to restart that section, but overall their interaction is a joy to watch and helps make for a clever finale.

    Two sequels have since been released and, while they certainly remove some of the frustrations of this first title, they also lack the charm and intelligence that The Sands of Time provided meaning this is still the pinnacle of the series.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 20, 2012
    For me, this is the pinnacle of the Prince of Persia series. Loved playing it. Rarely frustrating, always fun. I don't really remember thinking it was 'too easy,' with the exception of the last guy. It's been a couple years since I last played through this game, but I remember thinking he was too easy. Anyhow, that's not the worst thing in the world. Full Review »