Parkour originated in France and it is loosely based on a military training program known as Parcours du combattant (the Path of the warrior, or simply “Obstacle course”), and the origin of this discipline is attributed to David and Raymond Belle. David was 15 yeas old when he started practicing Parkour, under the influence from his father Raymond, a military firefighter and skilled athlete who introduced his son to the training methods of Georges Hébert, a physical education expert and former naval officer.
Since its appearance in the late 1980’s, the popularity of Parkour continues increasing and it has been featured on multiple movies, videos and also video games. Watching the best traceurs (people who practice parkour) in action is amazing, but not many people would actually dare to give parkour a try. Even if you don’t practice parkour, the best first person parkour games can give you the chance to get a taste of what is like to leap from one point to another, defeating obstacles. Here is a list of the best parkour games for Xbox 360, PS4, PC and other platforms.
In inFAMOUS, you assume the role of Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger who is caught in the middle of an explosion that virtually destroys his city. As Empire City is succumbing to chaos, Cole discovers that as a result of the events, he now has new super powers. Using these abilities, Cole has the potential to become an unexpected hero or a villain, depending on the choices made throughout the game. As the main character, you will be able to jump, balance and move freely through the buildings that have been reduced to rubble. This parkour game for PS3 is definitely a great way to take the discipline to another level.
In the world of first person parkour games, Mirror’s Edge is one of the most electrifying options available. You play as Faith a young woman who works as a “Runner”, delivering messages from revolutionary groups. Since telephone and email communications are heavily monitored, Faith has to make her way through the city, overcoming obstacles and running fast to make sure that the communications reach their destination. The first person perspective allows you to feel what it is like to jump, run and move across any obstacles in your way.
Remember Me combines cyberpunk visuals, action, adventure, intriguing characters and thrilling combat. The main character is Nilin, a memory hunter who works for the underground resistance is Neo-Paris in 2084. Nilin’s memories have been stolen by a mega-corporation and she embarks on a journey to get them back. This third-person action game is another option to find out what is like to sprint fast and leap without restrains.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
In the list of parkour games for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, we can’t forget about Enslaved, a stunning game based on Journey to the West, a 16th century novel by Wu Cheng’en. The game re-imagines this Chinese literature classic and takes it to a post-apocalyptic future in a world destroyed by war. While playing Enslaved, you will be able to use parkour movements to explore the environment. Money, the main character, has the ability to jump between ruins, climb and move with impressive energy.
The Crackdown series combines open world, parkour skills and a lot action. Players need to explore Pacific city, a place where crime reigns and use their strength and powers to defeat the members and the leaders of dangerous gangs. In Crackdown, you become a mercenary who has been mechanically enhanced and with your extraordinary abilities, you will be able to move across the city like an experienced traceur or like freerunner, as they game allows different styles and movements.
This open world video game released in 2009, packs a lot of action and adventure and it includes many parkour elements. You have multiple options to explore the city and you will be able to jump across buildings and run like the wind. It gives you the chance to discover what would it feel like to be an unbeatable traceur while you play as Alex Mercer, a character with remarkable shape-shifting powers. It is one of the most exciting parkour games for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia is a well-established series and it was one of the first major titles to incorporate parkour elements. The game has captured the attention of millions of players around the world thanks to its powerful visuals and animation. Sands of Time was launched in 2003 and although it didn’t become an instant hit upon its release, it received critical acclaim. It offers sequences clearly inspired in free running and parkour. The classic version of Prince of Persia is available on mobile and it is one of the best parkour games for Android.
This successful franchise was inspired by Alamut, a novel by Vladimir Bartol and it also took elements from the Prince of Persia series. Assassin’s Creed focuses on the conflict between the Assassin Brotherhood, who stand for free will and the Templars who wish to control the world. The power and abilities of the characters involve a lot of parkour elements. You can freely jump off building and manage your character’s movements with amazing fluidity. Assassin’s Creed is another title that can be considered as one of the best parkour games for PS4 and it also supports other platforms like Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS3.
Ninja Gaiden is a classic arcade game originally released in 1980, but since then there have been multiple versions published. The franchise is known for its challenging gameplay that requires a lot of skill. The movements are seamless and practically uninterrupted. Given that you take on the role of a ninja, you can expect parkour-style movements. The game is available in different platforms including Windows, Sega, Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3.
While Brink is not strictly a parkour or even a free running video game, it features elements of these disciplines. This multiplayer first person shooter game allows you to enjoy the action and movement that parkour offers. The game didn’t exactly receive high praise from critics or gamers, but in spite of its flaws, it gives you a good chance to experience some elements of parkour. It works on Windows, PS3 and Xbox 360.