4. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (2004)
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within abandoned the cartoonish, Aladdin-style fable look of its predecessor The Sands of Time and instead went for a darker tone than the original game. So instead of the affable teenager of the earlier game, the prince in Warrior Within was a jaded, cynical and mean character who would taunt and mock his enemies in combat. And kill them in gruesome ways too, as decapitations and other bloody finishing moves were possible, as Warrior Within featured more violent but also better and more varied combat than its predecessor.
The game’s violence and dark tone earned the game a Mature rating in the U.S., and even series creator Jordan Mechner expressed his dislike for the game’s edgy tone. But still, this was a great Prince of Persia game with the same excellent parkour, environmental puzzles and story as the earlier Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and it also featured a more open-ended world, with a clever time-travelling plot that let players navigate the game’s areas in two different time periods, in what was surely one of the best Prince of Persia games to date.