If it was a top 50 of games that last longer than an hour then this wouldn’t even get a run in. When you consider how much we all moan at how long games are these days then perhaps we should all have a look at Jordan Mechner’s masterpiece, as you only had an hour to save the Princess from the clutches of the evil Jaffar.
What is unique about Prince of Persia is that it offered life like animation without any motion capturing of any sort, bearing in mind this was 1989. Rotoscoping was the technique used and it involved Jordan capturing hours of video footage of his brother David, as he leapt around in white clothing and did all the necessary moves to allow the movements to be created onscreen and a realistic character creation produced.
The combat was different too, with no guns or mindless button bashing. Swordplay involved a fencing style with the combatants moving back and forth to get a striking blow. It certainly added to the atmosphere, but some who were used to breaking joysticks may not have found it so much fun.
The fact that a movie has been recently shown at the cinema with this franchise shows just how far things have come. Sure, the series has mainly gotten bigger since the Sands of Time game on the PS2, but everything has to start somewhere, and all it took was an hour of gameplay to create this media monster. Ubisoft released the original again with some HD graphics and possibly a motion captured player, but you cannot take away from how big Prince of Persia was back in the day, and you get a feeling that it may well have been an inspiration towards Another World and Flashback.
I remember playing this on a 386 PC running it from a floppy disk. There were very few games I had acces at that time and this one intrigued me a lot because when you would have to drink the potions it was a guess thing, as I didn't had combinations.