Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 0 out of 44
Buy On
  1. 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]
  2. Play Magazine
    The game is simply a picture of beauty, with intuitive gameplay that gets under your skin and never leaves. [Dec 2003, p.74]
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    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]
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. Cheat Code Central
    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.
  10. 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.
  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. 95
    "Ico" with good combat and witty dialogue...I haven't played a better game all year.
  14. Excellently produced, with intuitive, responsive controls, a deep, engaging storyline and immersive sound.
  15. Game Informer
    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]
  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. Proves that a good game concept can be revived in style... a true, compulsive classic.
  19. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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]
  20. A game that I simply can not get enough of.
  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.
    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.
  23. 90
    Has the appeal of a 2D run-and-jumper and inflates the action to a surprisingly 3D world with a groundbreaking degree of fluidity.
  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. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Everything, from the flawless animation and stunning visuals, to the addictive yet intuitive gameplay screams for this game to be labeled an instant classic.
  28. Edge Magazine
    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]
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. A refreshingly smart, elegant adventure.
  32. 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.
  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. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Weekly Famitsu
    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. But POP's only really significant flaw lies in its adventure/action ratio: Both aspects are thoroughly fleshed-out but rarely intertwined.
  42. PSM Magazine
    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]
  43. games(TM)
    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]

Awards & Rankings

#9 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
#15 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 339 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 339
  1. Jul 6, 2018
    One of the best games that i played.I just love everything about this game. 12/10. If they do a new POP i hope is this good
  2. SAV
    Jul 27, 2015
    Meraviglioso videogioco che, dopo anni di assenza dal mondo videoludico, ha fatto tornare in auge la celebre saga di Prince of Persia e l'haMeraviglioso videogioco che, dopo anni di assenza dal mondo videoludico, ha fatto tornare in auge la celebre saga di Prince of Persia e l'ha inoltre introdotta nel mondo delle tre dimensioni. Prince of Persia: Le Sabbie del Tempo è uno spettacolare action in cui, nei panni di un agilissimo Principe, ci ritroveremo ad affrontare un'entusiasmante avventura a base di acrobazie, combattimenti, enigmi e straordinarie fasi platform. Intriso di magiche atmosfere fiabesche in stile Le Mille e una Notte, Le Sabbie del Tempo è un vero gioiello videoludico che col suo gameplay semplice e coinvolgente ha influenzato molti videogiochi usciti successivamente. Full Review »
  3. DragonKnight
    Apr 27, 2006
    This is a great game. A masterpiece, the graphics are simply amazing and are filled with visual beauty, the sound is amazing and immerses you This is a great game. A masterpiece, the graphics are simply amazing and are filled with visual beauty, the sound is amazing and immerses you into the Prince's world. The way they made the Prince is exactly how you'd picture him, if you played the original Prince of Persia, it's obvious to see he's not a muscle-bound warrior, he's an agile trickster. Which is exactly how they portrayed him and exactly how most of us have probably envisioned him in 3D. The story, while nothing special, is pretty good. The camera work is phenomenal it follows you perfectly and you never have a single problem with it, I love it when it changes to give you a more cinematic look while not disrupting gameplay in the least. The puzzles are amazing and require you to think, and I love games that make me think. The combat is this game's weakest aspect, it's not all that fun, you get bored with it pretty quickly. Though it's too small of a gripe to knock it down a point. Buy it, you will not be disappointed. Simply beautiful. Purely and simply beautiful. Full Review »