Cult Classic: While it moved a good number of units and got good reviews at the time of its release, it had a strongly polarizing reception among gamers for being such a radical departure from the Sands of Time trilogy and for a number of experimental game design decisions, as well as its unusual ending. While many people continue to dislike this take on the franchise, it maintains a devoted fanbase who praise the game for its beautiful art direction, great music and characters, and wish Ubisoft would go back to the title and follow up on the Sequel Hook.
The Prince's endgame decision to bring Elika Back from the Dead, releasing Ahriman all over again, is treated as a terrible idea... by Elika herself (since there is nobody else to discuss it with). As the Prince himself points out in the Epilogue, his impulsive decision is actually a very logical one in the long run: it's better to resurrect Elika for a small hope of defeating Ahriman for good than give the world a few centuries of peace before Ahriman conquers it anew with nobody left to challenge him. So why doesn't Elika see his point? Because she doesn't care about stopping Ahriman long-term. She is dead tired of her obligation to fight him, but her instilled sense of duty doesn't let just her walk away, like the Prince would have at the beginning. Her answer to this dilemma is a Heroic Sacrifice (twice)—after all, nobody can say she didn't give it everything if she dies. So, she is not pissed at the Prince because he undid everything they worked for for so long, but because he wouldn't let her rest like she wanted to all along. Turns out, Elika is a much more flawed individual than she first appears to be.
For players who felt like the ending wasted all of their effort, there was a solution for them: turn the game off and stop playing. The credits rolled as the Prince carried Elika to the altar. Basically, the game was telling them, "Hey, you can stop playing now. Game's over."
It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Probably the largest complaint against 2008. You can't ever get killed, because Elika automatically uses her magic to save you, resetting just the current puzzle or combat (Sands of Time had this feature too, but it was a limited resource). The game also has much simpler puzzles with very little timing thanks to Benevolent Architecture.
Player Punch: Seriously, how often does a game have two gut punches in a row? And just how often is the one in which a beloved character dies the lesser of the gut punches?!
That One Boss: A lot of people don't like The Warrior very much, mainly because he tends to result in a lot of broken mice and controllers due to his Quick Time Event.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Has a major Sequel Hook at the end which Ubisoft is not capitalizing on in the least. Following this game was a Sands of Time midquel instead, and while the fans are frothing at the mouth for some closure regarding this game's story, it can be said that they won't be getting it anytime soon. Unfortunately.