The free-running discipline (also known as parkour) has appeared on multiple forms of entertainment, including films, some of the most hilarious videos on the internet and of course, video games. But apart from giving the impression that it’s a visual treat, there’s something intrinsically entertaining about parkour and while most of the people who are reading this article will never practice it, the video games below will make us believe that we can actually leap from building to building. Here are some of the best parkour video games you can play.
Unlike most of the titles on this list, Brink is a multiplayer-focused first-person shooter. Interestingly, the gameplay focuses on parkour and for the most part, it works surprisingly well. Brink received average reviews from critics, but if there’s one particular aspect of the game that has always been praised, that would be the game’s free running elements.
One of Prototype’s best features is that the game let’s you explore the city in different ways. The main characters has the ability to sprint fast, jump over buildings and so on. So instead of focusing on realism, Prototype makes you feel like a superhero.
8. Remember Me
In Remember Me, you assume the role of Nilin, a memory hunter who’s been stripped of all her memories. So she sets out on a journey to recover her lost memories. In terms of gameplay, the third-person action game mixes several genres, including platforming, exploration and mêlée combat.
7. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Enslaved is usually remembered for its emotionally affecting tale and well-crafted world, but the main character can explore his surroundings using parkour-style movements. Monkey can climb, scale and leap across ruins and since some of the platforms collapse if he’s not careful, the player needs to constantly pay attention to his surroundings.
Crackdown is a mixture of parkour and a sandbox-style of gameplay taken to an extreme. In the game, you assume the role of a mechanically enhanced mercenary who can do pretty much whatever he wants and apart from free running elements, he can wield weapons to kill enemies.
inFamous is a free running game with an open-world setting and unlike most of the titles on this list, there are little to no limitations to what you can do. Most structures in the game can be used to jump, balance, bounce and so on. So in a way, it seems like the world has been built so that you can have fun doing whatever you want. Fine by me!
4. Ninja Gaiden
If we talk about parkour games, we must admit that fluidity is paramount and Ninja Gaiden must be one of the most fluid video games ever made. Every movement you perform leads to the next, so there are rarely contrived animations and this is both amazing and fitting, since main character Ryu Hayabusa is a ninja after all.
3. Assassin’s Creed
Assassin’s Creed started as a Prince of Persia title and eventually mutated into a title of its own. The Assassin’s Creed series brought some interesting ideas when it comes to parkour in video games. Every movement you perform in Assassin’s Creed feels fluid and natural and jumping off buildings to fall on a haystack is one of those digital moments we’ll never be able to forget.
2. Mirror’s Edge
It’s impossible to make a list about some of the best parkour games and not mentioning Mirror’s Edge. It definitely has its problems, but if we’re talking about free running in video games, Mirror’s Edge feels realistic in a way that other titles don’t. This was accomplished with a first-person view that let you see movements from a different perspective. On top of that, when you reach specific objects you can use, they start glowing red which is more than helpful.
1. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Without a doubt, the Prince of Persia series brought parkour into mainstream. And the game achieved that with intuitive controls, attractive visuals and fluid animations. Although the entire Prince of Persia series is famous for its depiction of free running, I wanted to include only one title on this list, so I chose the game that started it all. I’ve also heard that The Sands of Time holds up quite well, so I might be catching up with the trilogy soon enough.
Honorable Mention: Dying Light, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure and Uncharted.