Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is one of the great gaming classics of this young century. Released in 2003 across PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and GameCube, it was a grand and gorgeous reboot of the Prince franchise, and today it is available as a free download from publisher Ubisoft. The French company is celebrating its 30th anniversary by giving away one free PC game each month for the rest of the year, starting with what I consider its best ever.
Though it has a somewhat cartoony style and a seemingly trite premise, The Sands of Time quickly gets under your skin with both its frustrating / satisfying puzzles and its subtly building narrative. I'm not ashamed to say that I was pretty much in love with the princess by the end of the game — and I refuse to acknowledge the subsequent sequels and movie as related to this original gem of a game.
Of course, it wouldn't be Ubisoft if it didn't include some tie-ins, which in this case involve the requirement to sign up for the company's (free) Ubisoft Club and use its Uplay platform to download your copy of Prince of Persia. Still, those are minor annoyances when compared to the epic adventure and fun that await inside Sands of Time. And even if you're not necessarily in agreement with me about this game, it's worth checking in on Ubisoft's releases at the start of each month, as six more classics from its library will be released as free PC downloads before the year is through.