Best Zelda Games: All Legend of Zelda Games Ranked Worst to Best

We rank the best Zelda games of all time with our definitive list covering more than a dozen consoles, including Breath of the Wild! What is the best Zelda game ever made?

Feature by USgamer Team, .

It's been more than 30 years since the original Legend of Zelda, and in that time it's grown into one of the most popular and significant franchises in gaming history, encompassing a huge number of sequels and spinoffs. The question is: what's the best Zelda game of the bunch?

We decided to follow up our Mario rankings with similar rankings for the best Zelda games. The staff ranked the games from worst to best, with the final list being determined by each game's average ranking. You probably won't be shocked to find that the infamous CDi games sit at the bottom of the list; but rest assured, there are a few surprises in here, particularly at the top. Read on for the definitive best zelda games list, and let us know what you think in the comments.

The Best Zelda Games of All Time

Alright, here are the best Zelda games of all time (give or take the CDi games). The list includes last year's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was not available when we first sat down to rank all of the games back in 2016. You'll recall that we thought pretty highly of it last year, but is it the best Zelda game of them all? Read on to find out!

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

26. Zelda: Wand of Gamelon/Link: Faces of Evil

What, you expected anything else? Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: Wand of Gamelon are linked here because they are essentially the same game, having been developed together to save money. Both are consistently ranked among the worst games of all time for their stilted platforming, wretched controls, and astonishingly bad cutscenes, the last of which continue to live in infamy on Youtube and elsewhere. Seanbaby put it best: "The gameplay is almost as deep and engaging as flipping from one option to the next on a DVD menu."

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

25. Zelda's Adventure

We all knew the CDi Zelda games would end up at the bottom, but there's still justice in the world despite the existence of these externally developed games: We broke Zelda's Adventure apart from Wand of Gamelon and Faces of Evil because it's merely terrible as opposed to being so atrocious it tears a hole in the fabric of reality. A well-meaning attempt to reproduce the screen-by-screen quest design of the original NES Zelda, and one of only a tiny handful of games to put the eponymous princess in the lead role, Zelda's Adventure trips up over the CDi's tech limitations (it takes longer to load each new screen of the overworld than it does to traverse it) and its creators' general inexperience. It's dreadful, but not entirely without merit.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

24. Freshly-picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland

Okay, maybe it's a tiny bit unfair to rate Tingle's Rosy Rupee Land so low. It's even received relatively decent reviews! As you might expect, it's about getting as many rupees as possible by complete a variety of dungeons. It's not terrible; but seriously, what possessed Nintendo to give the worst character in the Zelda pantheon his own game? That boxart alone... gah.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

23. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

We'll let our review of Tri Force Heroes do the talking: "Nintendo had a fantastic idea with Tri Force Heroes, but the premise is underserved and undermined by some fundamental design issues and shaky online infrastructure. It's nothing short of a tragedy to wait a whole decade for another multiplayer Zelda and receive what feels like a largely unfinished idea with great potential." That pretty much says it all, unfortunately. It was nice seeing the Four Swords multiplayer concept return for another round, but it ultimately didn't work out. Hopefully this isn't the death knell for an otherwise worthy concept.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

22. Tetra's Trackers/Navi Trackers

This import-only component of Four Swords Adventure remained stranded in Japan due to giving fans what they always demanded: Voice-acting in a Zelda game. Tetra's Trackers was a sort of scavenger hunt adventure in which the tanned-and-sassy alter-ego of Princess Zelda would bark orders aloud to players, calling them by their own custom-defined names… something possible due to the nature of Japanese language, but too difficult for Nintendo to reprogram to work in English. (They eventually sorted it out 10 years later with Tomodachi Life.) Not necessarily the most amazing game ever, but definitely worthy of an asterisk in the history books.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

21. The Legend of Zelda

I had to do without an NES for a long time, so my Nintendo-crazy hands grasped onto whatever substitute I could find. I thought The Legend of Zelda Game & Watch adventure might be a good, affordable replacement for the real thing. Spoilers: It’s not. But what’s here is still pretty admirable for a handheld liquid crystal beep-beep game. Link beats Stalfols to collect parts of the Triforce, which he wins by defeating dragons (Gleeok, is that you?). If you’re lucky enough to find a lonely Zelda Game & Watch in a bin at some Goodwill somewhere, act fast and grab it young hero.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

20. BS Zelda no Densetsu

There were actually two BS Zelda games (BS meaning "Broadcast Satellaview," not… something else), designed for a Japan-only Super NES add-on that allowed players to download digital-only games (like this one!). We only included one on the list, because the other—while incredibly cool—actually involved live satellite transmissions of people giving player guidance in real-time. That's nearly impossible to emulate (though people are trying!), so unless you happened to play those episodes when they broadcast, you can't have experienced it in its proper form. This one, though, was less unconventional and has been, uh, preserved for the ages online. It's essentially a 16-bit remake of the original Zelda, with Link replaced by a school kid. Neat, but a bit esoteric to have a place in our North American hearts.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

19. Link's Crossbow Training

The is one of around 20 games that used the Wii Zapper peripheral, which was little more than a plastic shell that you could slot the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The concept was that shooters would require you to hold the Wii Remote out in front of your for long periods of time and the peripheral could ease some of that arm strain. Link's Crossbow Training, based visually on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, was the first game designed for the Zapper and came packaged with it. You have nine levels to test your shooting skills and get the highest score. Yeah, that was it. Look, it was a pack-in game, you really shouldn't expect much.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

18. Hyrule Warriors

If you're Koei Tecmo subsidiary Omega Force, you have only one job: bring the Musou/Warriors gameplay to every property imaginable. Hyrule Warriors was a collaboration between Omega Force, Nintendo, and Team Ninja. Ganondorf is gathering Zelda villains across various worlds together in order to restore the pieces of his fractured soul. Link, Zelda, and friends from across the Zelda timeline comes together to destroy thousands upon thousands of no-name enemies on the battlefields of Hyrule in order to stop him. If you love Zelda and are willing to rock a Musou game, you'll get a kick out of this multiverse adventure.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

17. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords

Four Swords is actually not a standalone game, instead serving as an additional multiplayer adventure for the Game Boy Advance version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Despite being a multiplayer-focused game, Four Swords does have a rough plot involving Link standing up to the Wind Mage Vaati by being split into four identical copies. Regardless, the point is that two or more players take on randomly-generated dungeons together in cooperative fashion, though the Medal of Courage awarded at the end of each stage added a competitive bent. Four Swords was meant to be played again and again across three "Epics", but it's likely most players never had the chance to even finish one, given the requirement of linking multiple Game Boy Advances together.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

16. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Spirit Tracks tends to get a bad rap because of its method of overworld exploration, which literally puts Link on rails. Beyond that, it feels like an unnecessary follow-up to the already disappointing Phantom Hourglass, which we'll get to in a minute. It's burdened by the same awful stealth missions as Phantom Hourglass, and its use of the DS microphone is more aggravating than novel. Still, it has its strong points, including some pretty strong dungeon design. Alas, it will never be a favorite, even if Toon Link is astoundingly adorable in a train conductor outfit.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

15. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Phantom Hourglass has a lot going for it: it's a strikingly attractive addition to the Nintendo DS library, its touchscreen controls are novel and interesting, and it has Toon Link. Unfortunately, it never quite lives up to its promise, burdened as it is by its stealth missions—a series of troublesome puzzles in which you have to work your way past phantom guards under a strict time limit. Worse, you have to return to it repeatedly throughout the game, fostering a heavy sense of repetition. Add in its middling dungeons and lack of excitement and pace, and Phantom Hourglass feels surprisingly lackluster despite its impressive technical achievements. It's a shame that Phantom Hourglass' design doesn't live up to its fantastic visuals.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

14. The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap

The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap is a Zelda game that doesn’t seem to inspire strong feelings one way or the other. “Oh, that was the one with the hat, right? That was a fun game.” Yeah. That sums it up. Though a bit middle-of-the-road as far as Zelda adventures go, Minish Cap is a thoroughly enjoyable action RPG, and I’d recommend it to anyone, Zelda fan or not. Exploring the teeny Minish world in lieu of a sprawling Hyrule may not feel like a great trade-off, but if you love teeny-tiny things like myself, you’ll have a very nice time with Minish Cap. Travelling with a trash-talking bird-hat holds its own appeal, too.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

13. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Sometimes when you push the limits of game design, the limits of game design also push back. (I think Nietzsche said that.) Zelda II has never been the most beloved entry in the series; back at the time, most kids were confused by the RPG elements. And once the Zelda concept codified itself as more of a top-down (or over-the-shoulder) approach with A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, Zelda II's multi-format side-scrolling platform action became the weirdo exception to the franchise's rule. But this was an early attempt to combine several different genres into a single game, and while it sometimes ran afoul of its own ambitions and the design practices of the time, it succeeded in expanding the scope of the Zelda universe beyond that of the original game and introduced a number of concepts and mechanics that would go on to become core elements of the series.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

12. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Poor Skyward Sword. I adored my time with it, but at the same time I can’t say that the people who hate it are dumb and wrong. The game’s motion controls were an admirable experiment, but they just turned out to be a poor fit for the series. Unfortunately, Skyward Sword’s controls and boxed-in exploration are what come up when it’s time to pen retrospectives on the game. Too few of us spare kind words for Skyward Sword’s inspired dungeons, amazing character designs (those dragons!), and its personality in general. Link smiles, laughs, gets serious, and gets furious in Skyward Sword.The range of emotions he displays is fantastic, and it makes a good case for sticking to tradition and keeping him silent. Oh, and Skyward Sword also has Groose. Come on. [Ed. note: Skyward Sword proved divisive among our staff, with one editor ranking it as low as 21. Ouch.]

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

11. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages are a pair of Game Boy Color titles that were originally supposed to be a trilogy, each game representing a different aspect of the Triforce. However, they were downsized to a duo when development became too complex and protracted. They're also the first games in the franchise’s history to be created by a third party developer: Capcom-owned Flagship, led by Yoshiki Okamoto, whose resume includes classic coin-ops such as Gyruss, Time Pilot, Gun Smoke, Final Fight, and Street Fighter II. Oracle of Ages is centered around a dual time line plot, and features plenty of puzzles, while Oracle of Seasons focuses on overground and subterranean environments, and is more action-oriented. Both are essentially meant to be played together, and each uses passwords to unlock secrets, items, and plot points in the other game. As a pair, they work brilliantly together to create a deep and involving adventure that was incredibly well received. Both games sold over four million copies apiece.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

10. Four Swords Adventures

Four Swords Adventures is the best thing to come out of Nintendo's push to connect the Game Boy Advance and the GameCube. An updated version of the GBA's Four Swords, it introduces a more coherent narrative and better graphics while building on the co-op concepts introduced in the original game. It's an early example of the Nintendo's experimentation with second screen gameplay, which would manifest more fully in the release of the Nintendo DS at the end of the year, and much later in the Wii U. Mostly, though, it thrives on the fun of competing and cooperating as four Links, solving puzzles, and generally seeing the series in a whole new light. With that, it's no surprise that Four Swords remains a popular flavor of Zelda even today.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

9. The Legend of Zelda

A revolution in game design, The Legend of Zelda brought PC-like depth and console-style action together in a satisfying way for perhaps the first time ever. Presenting players with a vast, convoluted overworld filled with secrets and challenges, Zelda could afford to emulate the structure and design of role-playing games thanks to the relatively roomy memory size—and the persistent save files!—afforded by the Famicom Disk System expansion… features eventually replicated in a fancy golden cartridge for NES. The basic tenets of Zelda's design, from the supplementary weapons Link collects to the overworld/dungeon dichotomy, live on as standard features of the series, three decades later. Nintendo hyped this one through the roof back in the day… but then, hype is nothing new. What's remarkable about Zelda is that it lived up to its billing. As new players continue to discover both the game and its sequels 30 years later, it truly has proven to be a "never-ending adventure."

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

8. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

After the somewhat controversial Wind Waker, Nintendo decided to go with a crowd pleaser for the next entry in the series. Twilight Princess was bigger and darker than its predecessor, which was exemplified by the murky Twilight Realm and Link's snarky companion Midna. It also borrowed heavily from Ocarina of Time in returning the story to Hyrule and following on from the exploits of the Hero of Time. You can debate whether it has issues with pace, but it's tough to argue against its dungeons, which are some of the best in the series. It remains one of the most epic and ambitious entries in the series, and retains a sizable following to this day. And with Twilight Princess HD now available, it's getting an opportunity to shine again.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

7. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

We probably all would have been OK with Nintendo upgrading the graphics for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past before slapping it on the Nintendo 3DS. We would have gobbled it up with a fork in one hand, and the Master Sword in the other. But A Link Between Worlds is so much more than a mere upgrade. The landscape is familiar, but different enough to make you feel like you’re embarking on a totally new quest, even if you’ve played A Link to the Past hundreds of times (cough). A Link Between Worlds doesn’t just play well, though. It also gives us a “Dark World” populated by characters who aren’t evil or twisted so much as wary and unlucky. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the wily Ravio or feel sympathy for Princess Hilda, though I still want to hit whomever came up with the name "Lorule."

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

6. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Link's Awakening had a tough act to follow. A Link to the Past had set a new standard for the series on the Super Nintendo - then one of the most powerful systems on the market. It seemed unlikely that its successor, which had been developed for the humble Game Boy, could ever live up to those lofty expectations. But live up to them it did. Link's Awakening lacked the complex Light World/Dark World interactions of A Link to the Past, but it made up for it with intricate dungeons, a quirky personality (remember Ulrira?), and a surprisingly emotional story. Link's quest to uncover the secret of the Wind Fish was a surprising left turn for a series that had up to that point mostly focused on Ganon kidnapping Zelda, setting the table for the even more ambitious Ocarina of Time. It makes a pretty strong argument for being the best Game Boy game ever made.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

5. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Despite its controversial visual style, which ironically has proven to be a huge part of this game's timelessness, The Wind Waker turned out to be in many ways the best Zelda to date. If Nintendo hadn't shortchanged us on dungeons and hadn't padded the latter portions of the adventure with tiresome fetch quests, it might have gone down in history as the pinnacle of the series. As it is, Wind Waker still holds a firm claim on best combat to date; its flexible yet intuitive sword mechanics leapfrogged over the rudimentary lock-on style of Ocarina of Time. Here, the visual style played a part as well; Wind Waker's disdain for "realism" allowed the action to flow with cartoonish fluidity, as tiny Link darted and rolled around towering foes with exaggerated (and deeply satisfying) grace. And finally, Wind Waker's character design drove home an important detail about the series' greatness: With about a dozen unique enemies appearing in the game and several dozen unique villagers to interact with, it finally became clear that Zelda is really more about the interactions and vignettes than it is about killing monsters. If you've still never played Wind Waker, stop dawdling and grab the Wii U remake stat.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Originally developed for the N64's disk drive peripheral, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was eventually released as a massive 256-megabit cartridge to rapturous critical acclaim. Indeed, it still remains one of Metacritic's highest-rated games of all time. It was a real breakthrough for the series: It was the first Zelda game to feature 3D graphics, and it introduced revolutionary game mechanics such as a lock-on targeting system, and context-sensitive buttons, which have since become staples of 3D adventure games. But really, it's the gameplay that makes Ocarina of Time one of the all-time classic Zelda titles. Featuring an epic, time-traveling tale that takes place across an impressive open-world environment that simply begs to be explored, the cinematic-feeling game features engaging dungeons, some great puzzles, and plot twists and turns that really set a benchmark for the series.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

When Nintendo first unveiled The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, fans and the press started chattering excitedly about “the first adult Zelda game.” That’s when I realized, "Wait, there’s already an adult Zelda game. It’s Majora’s Mask." But when I say "adult," I don’t mean "omg, the girls have big boobys!" I mean the game’s characters are stricken with grown-up problems: Runaway lovers, meddling parents, back-stabbing friends, and simply having to carry on in the face of utter destruction. You know. Grown-up stuff. But Majora’s Mask does more than deliver the series’ most emotional story. It recycles the characters and models from Ocarina of Time brilliantly, managing to make Termina feel fresh and new despite its familiar faces. The game’s time-travelling mechanics and twisted atmosphere lend it a Twin Peaks flavor. It’s no wonder Majora’s Mask is fiercely loved by its fans.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

We've come to think about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as "an open-world Zelda game," but really, producer Eiji Aonuma brought the series back to the tip of its roots. Breath of the Wild challenges you to find your purpose by climbing mountains, riding down hills, and overturning every stone—much like the very first Zelda game did. And, like the first Zelda game, Breath of the Wild guides you with timeless landmarks. Death Mountain looms to the north. The unmistakable Duelling Peaks guides you to the relatively tame lands surrounding Kakariko village. Hyrule Castle, your eventual goal, is smack in the middle of the blighted land. You can wander for hours in Breath of the Wild and never get lost. Some critics argue Breath of the Wild's perfectly-crafted overworld comes at the expense of the varied dungeons and boss fights that keep Zelda games warm in the hearts of fans. I can understand that criticism, even though I still love to occasionally load up Breath of the Wild and go on a long pony ride. Keep working on that vital balance, Aonuma.

Best Zelda Games - Every Zelda Game Ranked.

The Best Zelda Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Within a year of releasing the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom, Nintendo dropped this amazing gem. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past remains the best damn game in the series, a quintessential title that continues to define what The Legend of Zelda is today. As the third major Zelda title, it's probably one of the bigger jumps in the series history. Compared to its NES predecessors, the graphics were far better, the world was bigger, and the storytelling improved vastly. Link found himself in a quest across all reality, divided between the Light and Dark Worlds. The two interconnected worlds added an interesting dual-world dynamic to puzzles, aided by some of the best dungeons in the series. While other Zelda games like Ocarina of Time haven't aged all that well, A Link to the Past sits in this amazing sweet spot. It still looks and plays as good as it did when you first put the cartridge into your Super Nintendo back in 1992.

A Link to the Past defined Zelda as we know it today. The first two games outlined what the series would become, but A Link to the Past filled in the rest of the details. In addition to laying the foundation for much of the subsequent lore, it shifted its focus from combat to the intricately designed dungeons and puzzle solving the series would become known for, which was amplified by the way it used the Dark World and the Light World. Add in some fantastic pacing and a kickass soundtrack, and you get a game that still holds up extraordinarily well after 25 years. It's the best Zelda game of all time.

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  • Avatar for thomasjnicosia #1 thomasjnicosia 2 years ago
    Hey US gamer team get it together hasn't been 20 years... It's been 30!Edited March 2016 by thomasjnicosia
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  • Avatar for guillermojiménez88 #2 guillermojiménez88 2 years ago
    My personal ranking, including only the games I've finished (sorry, Majora's Mask):

    10.- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
    9.- The Legend of Zelda
    8.- Ocarina of Time
    7.- Oracle of Ages
    6.- Oracle of Seasons
    5.- Link's Awakening
    4.- A Link Between Worlds
    3.- The Wind Waker
    2.- Twilight Princess
    1.- A Link to the Past
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  • Avatar for Owl-Boy #3 Owl-Boy 2 years ago
    I know these are subjective lists that are chosen by committee and every commenter will disagree with it in one way or another, but I just can't agree with this so far. Nice write-ups though.
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  • Avatar for sobo89 #4 sobo89 2 years ago
    Link to the Past defined the (great) formula, and since then Nintendo has been modifying and recreating that game. I played Ocarina first, so it resonates stronger, but I don't have the patience for Zelda anymore. It's like A Midsummer Night's Dream. Yes, it is objectively great, funny, and inventive. But after too many readings, reproductions, reinterpretations, and that last term paper, I've reached my limit. I no longer enjoy the play(ing) so much as admire each new production's take on this or that element, or tick off a checklist for generic requirements. More than anything, Zelda makes me nostalgic for the N64 (yikes!).

    Except for Wind Waker. Wind Waker rules all.Edited March 2016 by sobo89
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  • Avatar for Benzomatic #5 Benzomatic 2 years ago
    This is fun! Couldn't believe A Link to the Past wasn't picked by any staff for their fave Zelda memory, will be interested to see if it clinches the top spot here.
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  • Avatar for kevinbowyer34 #6 kevinbowyer34 2 years ago
    Pains me to see Hyrule Warriors so far down the list :(
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #7 MHWilliams 2 years ago
  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #8 Kat.Bailey 2 years ago
    @kevinbowyer34 That's the tyranny of democracy for you.
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  • Avatar for sleepiest #9 sleepiest 2 years ago
    Link's Crossbow Training is number one. Calling it now. The combination of incredibly accurate and responsive wiimote shooting plus the intense action of spinning in a circle like you're a goddam tower defense game is unbeatable. Everyone knows the best part of any loz game is the shooting gallery.

    Also, I too am sad that hyrule warriors is pretty low on this list.
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  • Avatar for paraclete-pizza #10 paraclete-pizza 2 years ago
    Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland doesn't deserve to be in the dregs! Its idiosyncratic Vanpool/Love-de-Lic pedigree and strange humor make it a totally unique and worthwhile experience.

    I'd definitely re-play it any day over "the ugly adventures of smeary cardboard anime elf." Yeah. Tingle > OoT.
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  • Avatar for Ghopper101 #11 Ghopper101 2 years ago
    I don't think Triforce Heroes deserves the hate it gets, but I found that the game simply didn't grab me with the bare bones story and over reliance on combat with team stuff. Zelda has always been about exploration. TH simply didn't deliver on that front.
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  • Avatar for yuberus #12 yuberus 2 years ago
    Having gone through all three CDI Zelda games... Zelda's Adventure is leagues worse than the other two (and Wand of Gamelon is the better of those two, as well). The platformers have janky controls and hit detection, sure. Music is good though, the painted backgrounds are gorgeous, and the basic design of the games is pretty sound. Dare I say, they were even kind of fun, in a mildly frustrating way. I think Gamelon is harder, just because it takes longer to get the beam sword... but they're both kind of unique in level design and order of operations, too.

    Zelda's Adventure has none of their charm, though. Enemies pop up in screens right when you enter them, causing you to take massive damage. Hit detection and control issues abound but are magnified when you have to go through entire dungeons just for another crack at the ridiculous boss. All the items need money to operate, just about, and a good half of them are worthless... and directions or hints to get around are basically nonexistent. By CDI standards, it's mediocre, and that should say everything.Edited March 2016 by yuberus
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  • Avatar for timelessgamer #13 timelessgamer 2 years ago
    I love this. I think this may be the only possible list in existence where both cdi zelda's could crack the top 25.
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  • Avatar for I-m-not-Daredevil #14 I-m-not-Daredevil 2 years ago
    A great start, though it'll get ugly from here on out. Twilight Princess alone is so divisive (I don't like it much).
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #15 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    If TP and SS aren't in the top five, I'M GONNA FREAK!
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #16 VotesForCows 2 years ago
    Hey, my mother-in-law loves Tingle! That game should be way higher. It saved me from having to talk to her on more than one occasion...
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  • Avatar for orakiorob #17 orakiorob 2 years ago
    Hyrule Warriors was my Wii U surprise hit. I was this close to not buying it, but then I got it and put 200+ hours into it. I had never played a musou game before, so that might have helped. Amazing game.
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  • Avatar for beaphar #18 beaphar 2 years ago
    Agree to disagree on Tri Force Heroes being this low on the list. That game had technical problems for sure, but when you eventually found 2 other players with a decent connection it was a lot of fun.

    I liked it better than any of the Four Swords-games, which were very action heavy while Tri Force Heroes has clever puzzles that require actual teamwork.

    Imo fans should give it a chance while there's a still a somewhat active online community.
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  • Avatar for Owl-Boy #19 Owl-Boy 2 years ago
    Okay, now I like where this list is headed.

    While it's absurd that Link's Crossbow Training was put above Hyrule Warriors or Tri Force Heroes, it was a fun diversion of a game. (Putting it above those other games seems like a reward for being unambitious.)

    Anyway, I think 12-17 all feel appropriate being on this mid-list. Overall, I think the ranking is solid too. I would definitely put Spirit Tracks above Phantom Hourglass though. The portable continuation of Wind Waker's nautical overworld in Phantom Hourglass was well-handled and drawing a route for your ship was actually pretty fun, but the majority of the DS Zelda's are spent in the world dungeons, islands/pitstops, and central dungeons.

    Spirit Tracks was an improvement over PH is every way but overworld traveling. It's plot and villains were more interesting and fresh. It's central dungeon was much less tedious than PH. The stylus controls were given some much needed fine-tuning. You got to control Phantom Zelda! The final boss battle is crazy and awesome. Oh well, it seems ST will forever be remembered for it's trains alone.

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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #20 Mikki-Saturn 2 years ago
    I like Skyward Sword a lot - it is better than Twilight Princess in my opinion. I thought Twilight Princess was bland, grey and surprisingly (disappointingly) devoid of that Nintendo charm. Skyward on the other hand was charming as heck. I really liked the town of Skyloft, and all the little side quests and character stories that take place there. I thought it was the most well developed town since Majora's Mask. I thought the dungeons were excellent and some of the boss fights were very memorable and exciting.

    I will admit, the game is slow to get started - but not as slow as Twilight Princess! And you have a much more interesting environment to explore while you're getting through those early game tutorials. I agree with complaints about the lack of exploration. The sky area would have been a lot better with more stuff to find and do while you're flying around. But on the other hand the motion controls worked great for me. I would say I only had issues with a few things (one of them being the harp, which didn't seem to work quite right).

    All in all, Skyward Sword is not as perfect as LttP and Ocarina, but it is full of interesting and innovative ideas that MOSTLY work, and in that sense it's a lot like Majora and Wind Waker.
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  • Avatar for bad-scott #21 bad-scott 2 years ago
    I could only play Skyward Sword for about 30 minutes before I stopped. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that it's okay that I hated a Zelda game so much
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #22 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    Maybe because I played it years after it came out without all the hype and i never read any reviews on it but Skyward Sword has to be one of my favorite Zeldas. I loved the art style, the soundtrack and the dungeons. I also loved how hard it was to get the Hylian shield. I rank it in my top 5.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #23 nadiaoxford 2 years ago
    @Owl-Boy "Ned, have you considered any of the other major religions? They're all pretty much the same."

    Also, I really liked Spirit Tracks. It's not my favourite Zelda, but I give it a lot of points for uniqueness. Plus I just really like trains. :I
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #24 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago

    Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword :(
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  • Avatar for Patrick-C #25 Patrick-C 2 years ago
    Really hard for me to quibble with any of the choices so far. We're starting to get into the really good stuff now — Minish Cap is, for my money, the first game on this list that's truly, unreservedly a great game. So it'll be interesting to see where ya'll go from here.

    Prediction: the top spot will be nabbed either by Majora's Mask or Link's Awakening. Both are sequels to monumental, epic, wonderful, template-setting games (Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past) that improved upon their predecessors by building on their foundations and dialing up the series' occasional weird Twin Peaks vibe.
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  • Avatar for KakiOkami #26 KakiOkami 2 years ago
    @cldmstrsn Agreed! I didn't get to Skyward Sword until about 3 years ago and once I was really into it, I was hooked. I'll echo the sentiments about not having enough to explore and see and do in the sky portions, but everything in the game had charm and that perfect Zelda charm to it. I'm looking forward to replaying it soon, but only after I get through OoT and MM on my 3DS first (never played either of them fully and NEED to!)
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  • Avatar for beaphar #27 beaphar 2 years ago
    I actually liked the motion controls in Skyward Sword, I just wish the game wasn't so repetitive. It keeps asking you to explore the same locations over and over again. Even some of the dungeons had to be completed twice. Game would have been so much better without all the padding.

    The flying wasn't great either. Sailing the oceans in Wind Waker gave me a great sense of freedom, but flying the dragon felt more like an extended loading screen. The floating islands did make for spectacular locations though.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #28 brionfoulke91 2 years ago
    Cool list. But personally Zelda 2 is my number 1. I love Zelda games, but one thing I lament about the series is it's lack of challenge, especially in the later entries. Zelda 2's is at exactly the level I want from a game, I love that dying sends you all the way back to the beginning. Zelda 2 is one of the only Zelda games where you actually feel like you're in danger, which always makes exploring way more fun for me. I also just love the game's vibe, something about the graphics and music gives it a very nice feeling for me.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Link to the Past, Windwaker and Ocarina as much as anyone else, but Zelda 2 will probably always be my favorite! Sadly Nintendo doesn't seem like it will make a Zelda like that anymore.
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #29 Vonlenska 2 years ago
    I always link to this because it has a lot of images from the actual games and a lot of interesting information on the games' development. Both Wand of Gamelon and Faces of Evil actually look fairly good. If nothing else, they're really visually gorgeous, have pretty good music, made Zelda a player protagonist back in 1993 (why can't we have this in 2016?) and are an interesting continuation of Zelda 2. I haven't played either, but I'd like to and it always makes me sad that they have such a poor reputation. They totally don't deserve it.

    Zelda's Adventure, on the other hand, pretty much does look like hot garbage.
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #30 Vonlenska 2 years ago
    I felt like the Mario rankings were a lot more predictable and agreeable. No one really balks at the idea of Super Mario World sitting at #1.

    Zelda, I'm now coming to see, is a much more divisive series. I'm guessing the top spot will go to either Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time, but we all know in our hearts that it should be Link's Awakening and cases will have all been made for Majora's Mask, Zelda 2 and even the Tingle title and pair of CD-i games before the last curtain falls.
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  • Avatar for Jason-X #31 Jason-X 2 years ago
    I was going to say I was surprised that Skyward Sword ranked so highly, but I guess it was a point of contention even for you guys!
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  • Avatar for Paunchberry #32 Paunchberry 2 years ago
    Sometimes I wish I could give the DS Zeldas a second chance. I got them both at the same time and powered through Phantom Hourglass right into Spirit Tracks, and while I can understand the constraints of a handheld, getting around the overworlds in those games had nowhere near the sense of adventure that the previous games gave you.

    But Skyward Sword? That waste of 45 hours of my life? I'd place that game waaayyyy lower.
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  • Avatar for Sam-Derboo #33 Sam-Derboo 2 years ago
    The cutscenes in Faces of Evil/Wand of Gamelon are the greatest thing to ever grace this franchise. This is not an ironic comment.

    The games themselves are bad, but I blame it mostly on running on a device that isn't really capable of running games. There's a few neat ideas in them, and with controls that actually work they could easily be raised up to the top (or rather bottom, the way it's arranged) of this part of the list.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #34 MetManMas 2 years ago
    Spirit Tracks did have some improvements over Phantom Hourglass (particularly the dungeons), but personally I thought it did a lot of things worse as well. The higher emphasis on enemies in vehicle segments, less fun minigames and sidequests, insta-death trains, most of the new tools being either half-broken control-wise or heavily using the stupid mic, rolling now being too easy to do to the point where you might do it by accident...
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  • Avatar for sobo89 #35 sobo89 2 years ago
    @Patrick-C I agree. I love the weirdness of Link's Awakening's plot. That ending is one of the best in any game. It's a silly story, and I'm not invested enough to care about "saving the world." It's like the Pevensies returning from the wardrobe as regular kids. The fun's had, credits are coming, and I have to put the game away.Edited March 2016 by sobo89
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #36 Godots17thCup 2 years ago
    I'm a little envious of people that can enjoy Zelda II for its merits. It had so many good, forward-thinking ideas and I want to like it so much, but I always end up feeling incredibly frustrated and miserable whenever I play it.

    And the mixed opinion (to put it kindly) on Skyward Sword in the years since its release has me really itching to replay it. While I certainly had my issues with it, I remember my first run through the game as being a pretty fun experience overall. My personal Zelda rankings tend to shift substantially after second and third playthroughs, and I'd like to figure out how I feel about it now without the benefit of the New Zelda glow.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #37 SargeSmash 2 years ago
    I have a feeling Link's Awakening will be up there, but I suspect Link to the Past will take the top spot. We shall see, though!
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  • Avatar for yuberus #38 yuberus 2 years ago
    I would definitely have Zelda 2 in the top 10, but I love that funky little game.
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  • Avatar for yuberus #39 yuberus 2 years ago
    @Sam-Derboo I feel like if you can find a CDi wired control pad, they are a lot more playable. But man, those can be expensive...
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #40 donkeyintheforest 2 years ago
    I loved phantom hourglass! and spirit tracks was cool cause trains, but sometimes it was a hassle just to move from place to place. Even though I may not agree with the order of this list, it is super fun to be reminded of all the titles! I picked up Links crossbow training for $1.99 used at gamestop and had a blast during the three hours or whatever I got out of it!
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  • Avatar for orakiorob #41 orakiorob 2 years ago
    I actually like SS controls. My main issue with it? Padding. If the game was 20-30 hours long, it would be awesome. Sadly, it's loooooong and boring :(Edited March 2016 by orakiorob
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  • Avatar for Windwhale #42 Windwhale 2 years ago
    So many defenders of Wand of Gamelon and Faces of Evil here, it is truly heartwarming :)

    As someone who has not actually played the games (has anyone of the USGamer team?) I can still agree, that the background art looks really beautiful, comparable in quality to games like King's Quest 5 or 6 and that the music sounds rather catchy.

    I also think that the cutscenes are genuinely enjoyable: sure they are cheesy (even somewhat intentionally, since they were going for a Saturday-morning-vibe) but that's just part of the fun! Also the animation may look weird and inconsitent at times, but I still admire the effort the animators put into their work to have the characters zooming and rotating almost constantly, which has a hypnotic effect on me. Even the voice actors put a lot of gusto into their fittingly overacted lines. As a result these cutscenes truly have personality, which cannot be said about most CGI-cutscenes of the mid to late 90s.

    Zelda' Adventure on the other hand does not seem to have any true beauty in it, it just looks hastily glued together.Edited March 2016 by Windwhale
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #43 TheWildCard 2 years ago
    Seems about right. I remember thinking Spirit Tracks seemed better than Phantom but still shelved it even quicker than its' predecessor.

    Glad to see Minish Cap where it is. I've always thought that game was a huge disappointment after the awesome Oracle games.

    SKyward Sword is the only major Zelda game I've skipped. From what I've seen and heard 11 sounds about right.

    After listening to the Ocarina podcast I wond how much Jeremy will tank Ocarina's position. :p Not that I mind because LINK'S AWAKENING IS GOING ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP BABY!Edited March 2016 by TheWildCard
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  • Avatar for RonF #44 RonF 2 years ago
    Never thought of ranking them but I would certainly place Skyward Sword in my top 5, among Twilight Princess, and Wind Waker, the latter being my number one. Opinions are so varied that exact rankings are kind of meaningless. At least the piece was enjoyable to read.
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  • Avatar for hamfighter #45 hamfighter 2 years ago
    I'm VERY pleased to see that Four Swords Adventures is going to take its rightful place as #1 Zelda (seriously though whoever on the staff gave FSA its highest ranking is my favorite). Most sites wouldn't have put it in the top 10, so this further reaffirms my faith in USGamer!

    Skyward Sword is an interesting one. I kinda hate it and think it deserves a lower rating. But with all of the remakes on 3DS and Wii U these past few years, it gives me hope that the next generation will bring a Skyward Sword reworking that does a better job of reaching the potential that DOES exist under the not-so-great elements of SS. The setting, aesthetic, and many of the dungeons are quite good - it's just the motion controls and the god awful pacing that ruins what could have been a pretty great game.
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  • Avatar for docexe #46 docexe 2 years ago
    Personally, I would swap Crossbow Training’s place with Hyrule Warriors on the list.

    I’m a bit sad that Skyward Sword didn’t crack the top ten, but not entirely surprised either, given how divisive the game is. I also get some people hated the motion controls, but like I was saying in another article, I think they either lacked manual dexterity and coordination, or their particular Wii remote was defective

    Honestly, while some of the motion controls in the game were superfluous or unnecessary (like the flying ones), I think on the whole they added an interesting dimension, especially to the combat. Previous Zelda games had already presented some enemy encounters as puzzles, but this one took that to a new level, and made the combat more challenging and engaging as well.
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  • Avatar for mganai #47 mganai 2 years ago
    I too would have liked to see Zelda II ranked higher, but I can't disagree about it having design quirks.

    I am a little salty thinking of the killed-in-gestating period Super FX(2?) spiritual remake for SNES.

    Minish Cap is a solid game. Make no mistake just because of the ranking.
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  • Avatar for JamesSwiftDay #48 JamesSwiftDay 2 years ago
    Even including the non-canon and spin-off games eh? Interesting.
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  • Avatar for JamesSwiftDay #49 JamesSwiftDay 2 years ago
    @Owl-Boy I agree with you. Spirit Tracks earns major props for further the story begun in Wind Waker, making Zelda your controllable ally and some really refreshing dungeon design as part of the two-character system.

    #11 is much too high for Skyward Sword. That game is a blemish on the series, more so than even the bland games like Minish Cap.
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  • Avatar for chiptoon #50 chiptoon 2 years ago
    I must admit that I find this list very surprising. I disagree with almost every ranking, as will usually happen with lists.
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #51 VotesForCows 2 years ago
    Great to see all of these gathered in one place - its impressive how many extremely well-received games the series has had over the years. I was silently rooting for Majora's Mask cos it sounds so weird (haven't played it) but Link to the Past seems a good top spot.
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  • Avatar for jeremycarrier12 #52 jeremycarrier12 2 years ago
    Oh good, I was afraid OoT or WW were gonna be #1, but you guys chose right. LttP is tigther, faster, snappier, just flat out more playable than OoT in every way. Where that game continues to look ancient with every advancement in 3D action game design, LttP will always be LttP.
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  • Avatar for benjaminlu86 #53 benjaminlu86 2 years ago
    MM is best 3D Zelda.
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  • Avatar for Vaporeon #54 Vaporeon 2 years ago
    Totally agree with Link to the Past. I can replay it every year and it still feels fresh - yet overwhelmingly nostalgic! Just the right challenge to keep the player engaged without becoming frustrated. All the overworld secrets that no NPCs talk about - from the Ice Rod in the SE to the Cane of Byrna in Death Mountain. And Bombos, Ether, and Quake! And talk about timeless graphics... ok, I'll stop now. Thanks for the list, team!
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #55 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    What a fun read! I disagree with some but for the most part this was a great list and just shows how memorable this series is. Right after work I'll be heading home and beating the Temple of Time in TP HD!
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  • Avatar for camchow #56 camchow 2 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 Agreed. Zelda 2 would be way higher on my list. Asides from maybe Wind Waker it's the only Zelda game where I really felt like I was exploring a huge world and not just a little sectioned off region. The combat was tough but never felt unfair (except maybe Dark Link I guess). I loved the variety of magic and the many different towns to visit, really felt like a proper grand adventure, I'd love to see them try something so ambitious again.
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  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #57 Modern-Clix 2 years ago
    Good list! I did not expect it to match mine, because everyone has a special place in their heart for certain entries.

    Wind Waker is number one for me. I do take issue that you said there are only three dungeons, however. The game had 6 dungeons:

    Forsaken Fortress, Dragoon Roost, Forbidden Woods, Tower of The Gods, Earth Temple, and the Wind Temple. Each one even provided a map, compass, boss and a piece of heart.

    7 if you want to count Ganon's tower, which is debatable as some fans view it as a dungeon and others as a challenge puzzle to let you face the Ganon. I fall into the latter camp, but it was still quite the lengthy puzzle and challenge.

    So yes, less dungeons than other entries except Majora's Mask, but not three. Honestly, the world was so vast with many things to discover, explore, battle, and secrets that there was always so much to do. From taking down forts, to infiltrating submarines and lookouts to vanquish foes, it was such a blast.

    Also, three mini dungeons on top of the standard ones. I know, I know, those do not count, but it was even more things to do. The game had a damn good amount of content.Edited March 2016 by Modern-Clix
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  • Avatar for kevinbowyer34 #58 kevinbowyer34 2 years ago
    Bring back the pink hair!
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  • Avatar for boatie #59 boatie 2 years ago
    I wouldn't have put Four Swords anywhere near the top 10 of this list, and I had forgotten about it completely actually so it was a big surprise to see it here.

    Majora Mask has always been the Zelda game that I don't get, though I know it's a big deal to other people. Still I thnink it's a little controversial to put it above Ocarina of Time!

    Link to the Past is probably the Ur-Zelda game though so I'm glad to have it at the top!
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  • Avatar for beaphar #60 beaphar 2 years ago
    Nice top 10. I especially like how Wind Waker is ranked higher than Twilight Princess, and Majora's Mask is above OoT. Exactly how I feel. I guess most people consider Majora and WW the "weird" 3D Zelda's, but they're easily my favorites.

    ALttP and Link's Awakening are realllly close for me. These days I prefer revisiting LA, but ALttP deserves top spot for basically inventing the blueprint the rest of the series would be built on. I'll never forget the moment I thought I'd finished the game (after collecting the 3 pendants), and it turned out that was just the opening act for the REAL adventure. One of my favorite gaming memories.

    Also I completely forgot about those 2 Oracle games. I played only one of them (the one that was sort of winking remake of the first LoZ), and the other one still lays unopened in a drawer somewhere. Wish there was some way to play it on a properly backlit screen.
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  • Avatar for nilcam #61 nilcam 2 years ago
    Great article! I love hearing how others rank the games in the Zelda series.

    I recently did my own play through/evaluation in an attempt to name my top 5 Zelda games. Minish Cap wins it for me. I love the art style and the combat is much better than Link to the Past. I love how the overworld map is a giant puzzle in Minish Cap. Link to the Past scores number 2; it was my first Zelda as it was packed in with my SNES. A Link Between Worlds gets the number 3 spot. I like the slightly more open world approach and how streamlined the game feels. OoT ranks number 4.

    I cannot figure out number 5. WW is beautiful but has a lot of tedium in it that frequently kills the game's momentum. LA is cool until I reach the point of having to backtrack due to the required trading sequence. I've tried MM about 6 times and it's never clicked with me. Four Swords might be my number 5 but that relies on all of the extra hardware requirements and having three other players around.Edited March 2016 by nilcam
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  • Avatar for Modern-Clix #62 Modern-Clix 2 years ago
    @beaphar The Gameboy SP is a solid choice for that and you can find them in the wild pretty cheap (50 bucks). I have a GBC but I only play it at home due to the backlight issue. Then of course there is the 3DS, and they look great on it if you boot it up while holding Start and Select, I think? Or A and Start? Either way, it will provide the game in the original resolution.
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  • Avatar for Dastuun #63 Dastuun 2 years ago
    Huh. This list is very closely aligned to my own opinions. I find that surprising. I usually have to defend my feelings about Twilight Princess. I'd swap Ocarina and Majora's, and I never played Four Swords, but the rest is spot on for me.

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  • Avatar for unoclay #64 unoclay 2 years ago
    At least you guys mixed it up and didnt automatically award it to Ocarina. Personally, I always think NES Zelda is the best one, but as a confessed (biased) retronaut, i dont expect this opinion to work for everyone.

    Interesting to see Twighlight Princess so high on the list. Playing it for the first time now. It's good, but i dont know how good quite yet.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #65 brionfoulke91 2 years ago
    I like the list! It's very similar to how my own rankings would be, other than the slight change that I'd put Zelda 2 in the #1 slot. But still, I agree with many of the choices!
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  • Avatar for Namevah #66 Namevah 2 years ago
    Four Swords Adventures is surprisingly high. I'll admit that I never got particularly far, so maybe I should go back and give it a shot. (I've been watching someone streaming it lately, so that's also brought on that itch to play.)

    I'm also glad that Oracle of Ages/Seasons weren't lower on the list. I'd argue that they're fairly under-appreciated.

    @beaphar Wind Waker may be a bit weird, but it gets plenty of love from fans these days. I've noticed quite a few people name it one of their top three Zelda games. I can't say I'm one of them, but I haven't played it since the original GC release.Edited March 2016 by Namevah
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #67 Vonlenska 2 years ago
    Link's Awakening is my favorite. It's as snappy and playable as Link to the Past, but much more well-balanced. I like the self-contained story and all its drifts into mysticism and dreaminess. I like all the minor, appropriately-out-of-place Nintendo cameos (Mr. Write!). I find the story sweet and beautiful, evocative of something more complex than its own simplicity.

    I think it's neat how many different answers you get when asking people to rank their favorite Zeldas. It's been pretty diverse for what I normally think of as a conservative series.

    I'd be tempted to put Anodyne at the #1 spot, though. Just because.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #68 SargeSmash 2 years ago
    Huh, I got the number 1 right. While I actually like Link's Awakening more, Link to the Past is really more a 1a) than a 2). Fantastic choice. And yes, it's better than Ocarina, but that game deserves major props for bringing the formula into 3D. It's something that's easy to take for granted now.

    I still don't like Majora's Mask that much, finding it a bit too disjointed and focused on sidequests, but I also see why it appeals to those that love it. Give me more dungeons and I'm happy... which is why I loved Skyward Sword!
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  • Avatar for Namevah #69 Namevah 2 years ago
    I have a soft spot for Spirit Tracks. I loved trains as a boy, so riding the train brought back memories of playing with my grandfather's train set. It's also the first Zelda game I really sunk my teeth into since Twilight Princess, having skipped Skyward Sword and Phantom Hourglass. Lastly, I enjoyed having "ghost Zelda" as my Navi. She and Link made for a great little friendship.

    I did grab Skyward Sword and play through it later. I'm going to echo much of the criticisms, and I'd like to add one I don't see as often: re-syncing the Wii Motion+ controller. I don't know if mine was slightly defective, but I got pretty sick of placing that controller face-down onto the table every 30-45 minutes. If Nintendo ever does an HD remaster of Skyward Sword, I pray that they add regular controller support.

    I'd also like to echo the "bit middle-of-the-road" remark for Minish Cap. I enjoyed it, but I also remember almost nothing about it. I found it so forgettable.
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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #70 Mikki-Saturn 2 years ago
    I strongly agree with A Link to the past being number 1. I think it might be the best game ever made. I would put Ocarina at 2, personally and either Link's Awakening or Wind Waker at 3. Majora would be 5 I guess. I don't know, once you get to the top tier it's hard to rank because they're all so good in their own different ways. But definitely ALttP and OoT are in a special category of excellent for me. I've been waiting and waiting for the Zelda franchise to get back to that place - that "this is the best game I've ever played" place. Here's hoping the Wii-U game can do it!
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  • Avatar for seanmitchell #71 seanmitchell 2 years ago
    i really want to like wind waker more but it really only has 2 good dungeons. its the weakest dungeons of all the 3d zeldas, even if it has imo the best at style and story
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  • Avatar for beaphar #72 beaphar 2 years ago
    @Modern-Clix The Oracle games are on Virtual Console? I did not know that. Problem solved then. I'll have to download those once I finish Twilight Princess HD.

    I actually own a GBA SP. It was fine back in the day, but I guess modern handhelds spoiled me. Now the screen looks really dark and unpleasant to me. I'd much rather play Game Boy-games on the 3DS. I know of the select-button trick, and always use it. My favorite easter egg is how the battery indicator on the fake gameboy actually grows dim when the 3DS is almost out of power. :)Edited 2 times. Last edited March 2016 by beaphar
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  • Avatar for ravikanodia79 #73 ravikanodia79 2 years ago
    @jeremycarrier12 every time a game advertises "lock-on targeting", that means that the developer is acknowledging that their game would be better in 2D but they are making it 3D anyway because it sells better.
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  • Avatar for Benzomatic #74 Benzomatic 2 years ago
    Great feature, and very happy to see Link to the Past at the top. It's hard to believe how well that game has aged -- I somehow enjoy and appreciate it even more now than I did 25 years ago.
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #75 Godots17thCup 2 years ago
    While A Link to the Past isn't my favorite Zelda entry - I'm a Majora's Mask man through and through, and I have a huge place in my heart for both The Wind Waker and Link's Awakening - I don't think there's much denying that it's worthy of that ranking. Nearly every Zelda title since has riffed on ALttP's template in some fashion, and its gameplay is still as tight now as it was back in 1991. And no pacing issues either, which tend to afflict even the best of other Zelda games.
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  • Avatar for sylvan #76 sylvan 2 years ago
    Yes! A Link to the Past has always been my favorite LoZ game. It doesn't just represent the template that informed all the subsequent titles, it also improved upon the original game in every way, and it did so brilliantly. To me it is the definitive Legend of Zelda experience.

    Love to see LA and WW up at the top too. Those games definitely crack my top 5. I've never been in love with MM, despite it's widespread appeal. I found it to be a little tedious at times and I wasn't a huge fan of constantly changing forms. Still a great game but probably at the bottom of my top 10. Great list.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #77 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 years ago
    @mganai "I am a little salty thinking of the killed-in-gestating period Super FX(2?) spiritual remake for SNES."

    Wait, what's this about, now? A Super FX remake of Zelda II?! =O
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  • Avatar for TerryTrowbridge #78 TerryTrowbridge 2 years ago
    I thought it was "boobies"
    I enjoyed all 3 articles though. Good job;)
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #79 TheWildCard 2 years ago
    I'm a little disappointed both Oracles aren't a little higher but not too surprising overall. Changing the seasons is my favorite central gimmick in any Zelda game, so good.

    Top 5 seemed locked in, just a matter of what order you'd prefer. I'm not a fan of Wind Waker or Majora's, but I can respect the later for being really strange and experimental for a Nintendo game, even if I think a lot of it cuts against what I find appealing in Zelda.

    I didn't play ALttP until the GBA port, and as such I missed the opportunity to fully appreciate it. By the time experienced it it felt like just another Zelda game. Good, but not doing anything later (or previous) Zelda games have done.
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  • Avatar for LunarKnite #80 LunarKnite 2 years ago
    Seems like a pretty standard top 10 Zelda games list. But that's okay! I've yet to really get into a 3D Zelda adventure for whatever reason. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess were the only ones to really have me for more than a few hours, but even then I haven't even gotten halfway through either of them.

    However, I love the 2D Zeldas. My memory on the DS ones are fuzzy, as it's been a while since I played them, but Link's Awakening and the Oracle games are my top three, mainly because they play so similarly and they have a similar quirky nature to them. Maybe it's because they don't take place in Hyrule.
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  • Avatar for Neifirst #81 Neifirst 2 years ago
    I guess I'm way too old school when it comes to Zelda. The original and Adventure of Link will always be my #1 and #2 respectively since they lean more heavily on combat and less on puzzles. Also, I hate getting those 1/4 heart containers. When I find a container, I like it to be a nice full heart!
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  • Avatar for whitestreak #82 whitestreak 2 years ago
    A Link to the past is probablz the Zelda game I've played the most, but I still prefer Link's Awakening for the lovely story (and the gorgeous Music of the wind Fish!!), and A Link between Worlds took me by surprise and is arguably the game I've enjoyed thmost since Yoshi's Island back in 1995(!!!)

    Still, I can't really argue. ALTP is a fabulous game. I tried MM on the 3DS and still haven't finished, disliking the Reliance on guides...
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #83 DrCorndog 2 years ago
    ALttP at number 1! There is justice in the world! Now I don't have to complain about the NES Zeldas being rated too low!
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #84 jeffcorry 2 years ago
    Not a bad list. Something inside of me cringes every time I see Ocarina and Link to the Past at the top. Even though I love them both. Probably after seeing them at the top so often...
    I really like them all though. So. Yeah...Opinions...
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  • Avatar for mganai #85 mganai 2 years ago
    I would have also ranked Link's Awakening first. Not simply because of story, but because the overall flow was even better, and the item use was better (no item was really of the "one-and-done" usage variety; there were several nifty combos), among other things.

    I do give this list points for knocking Zelda I and Ocarina a few spots from their usual relative rankings.
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  • Avatar for mganai #86 mganai 2 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Yep. IIRC Takeshi Tezuka (or one of the other lead guys, I forget) was working on it, but as the N64 approached, Tezuka was moved over to the Mario 64 team and forced to scrap the project. He later incorporated some of his ideas into Ocarina of Time.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #87 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    MM being number two is a travesty.
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  • Avatar for ghostsandgoblins #88 ghostsandgoblins 2 years ago
    I beat the first two Zeldas when they were originally released, but I haven't played any of the other games. I recently replayed Zelda's 1st quest, and was eventually going to get around to the other games available on the 3DS VC, but I was dithering a bit because I wanted to play Link to the Past first. Now I'm very excited and expect to be playing through a major chunk of the Zelda catalog for at least the next year or two.
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  • Avatar for I-m-not-Daredevil #89 I-m-not-Daredevil 2 years ago
    Good list. Really the only issue I have with it is the placing of Majora's Mask over Ocarina of Time - I just don't see it. Ocarina of Time was a breakthrough for 3D games and its legacy is immense while Majora's Mask was a super ambitious sequel, sure, but also kind of a mess. A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Link's Awakening then Majora's Mask; that's my top 5.
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  • Avatar for I-m-not-Daredevil #90 I-m-not-Daredevil 2 years ago
    @boatie Agree, agree and agree. You're bang on with what I was thinking.
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  • Avatar for inkybutt #91 inkybutt 2 years ago
    I enjoyed Skyward Sword more than Wind Waker or Twilight Princess. Beautiful game with some really creative ideas. The world was smaller but more densely packed than the vast, empty spaces of its predecessors.
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  • Avatar for inkybutt #92 inkybutt 2 years ago
    I agree with those preferring Link's Awakening over ALttP...but I also think A Link Between Worlds was better as well. It'll never escape the shadow of its older sibling but it's the better game in many ways.
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  • Avatar for MarinKarin #93 MarinKarin 2 years ago
    Pretty hard to argue against this list. Glad the Oracle titles and Four Swords Adventures got the attention in this list that I've always felt they deserved.
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  • Avatar for Dalvein #94 Dalvein 2 years ago
    My favorite is Majora's Mask. It was the first Zelda I completed by myself and probably the one I've played the most. Can't beat nostalgia.
    Although I have to say, Link Between Worlds is probably the best for me. It's the one I've had the most fun playing and replaying. I know it's like a remix of Link to the Past, but I find it more fun than that game overall.
    Good list, but it's hard to go wrong with this series.
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  • Avatar for Jason-X #95 Jason-X 2 years ago
    Very relieved to see A Link to the Past in the top spot. The rest of the top 10 could have been full of CD-i games so long as LttP was number 1.
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  • Avatar for docexe #96 docexe 2 years ago
    Part of this might be nostalgia talking, but A Link to the Past is still my favorite Zelda game to this day. Not only it has aged very well and still holds up as one of the best Action Adventure games ever made, as Kat states in the article, it is still in many ways the cornerstone for the rest of the series. It took everything that made the original Zelda so good and refined it, it’s the point where puzzles and thematic dungeons became the core of the series, it had a discernible critical path (so unlike the NES games you can actually finish it by yourself without looking at a guide or getting external help), it’s the point where the lore of the franchise got properly established and expounded (I actually remember being somewhat giddy at the ending of Ocarina of Time and realizing it was actually a prequel to ALttP), and (unlike most of its 3D successors) it is still quite a challenging game.

    On the whole, reading this list was entertaining, and it brought back some good memories. As to my personal list, honestly, ranking all the Zelda games I have played it’s quite difficult. I have liked every single Zelda game I have played but for different reasons. I suppose if I had to provide a top ten the order would be:

    1. A Link to the Past
    2. Majora’s Mask
    3. Ocarina of Time
    4. Link’s Awakening
    5. Twilight Princess
    6. Skyward Sword
    7. Wind Waker
    8. A Link between Worlds
    9. The Legend of Zelda
    10. The Adventure of Link
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #97 Kat.Bailey 2 years ago
    @NiceGuyNeon I played the original just recently and enjoyed the hell out of it.
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  • Avatar for Jaegermeist3r #98 Jaegermeist3r A year ago
    @nilcam Glad to see that someone shares the love for the Minish Cap ! I finished the game several times back in the day and have fond memories of it. With Minish Cap you've got a great package. The fun story shed light on the background of Links green cap (as if someone ask for that story but who cares !), the art style holds up pretty well (pixels never get old), the game is not too long and can be finished in a few days and the soundtrack is quite nice for a GBA title.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #99 NiceGuyNeon 4 months ago
    Breath of the Wild is better than Link to the Past. Your cowardice has been noted, and this injustice shall never be forgotten!
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  • Avatar for camchow #100 camchow 4 months ago
    I'm always going to be a big Zelda 2 defender. I know it's super different but I love the ideas they put forth in that game. The magic system, a huge JRPG style overworld with a ton of towns. I wish Nintendo would try that kind of Zelda game again. I'd put it in my top 3 or 5 for sure.
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  • Avatar for CipherStone #101 CipherStone 4 months ago
    When will the world learn that A Link Between Worlds is objectively better than A Link To The Past and is an improvement in every way?
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #102 The-Challenger 4 months ago
    @CipherStone I have to say, I was more impressed with Alttp back in 1991 than Allbw in 2013. I enjoy both equally; that is to say, I beat them once and find replaying them frustrating, and tedious.
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  • Avatar for BulkSlash #103 BulkSlash 4 months ago
    Well, at least BOTW isn’t first. My personal favourites (in no particular order):

    A Link to the Past
    A Link Between Worlds
    Ocarina of Time
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  • Avatar for TheRiverMarquis #104 TheRiverMarquis 4 months ago
    Wind Waker and Link's Awakening should definitely be higher than Ocarina and Majora's.

    My personal list goes something like this (of the ones I've played):

    1. A Link to the Past
    2. The Wind Waker
    3. Link's Awakening
    4. Breath of the Wild
    5. The Minish Cap
    6. A Link Between Worlds
    7. Ocarina of Time
    8. Majora's Mask (it's pretty much tied with Ocarina)
    9. Oracle of Seasons and Ages
    10. The Adventure of Link
    11. The Legend of Zelda
    12. Twilight Princess
    13. Skyward Sword
    14. Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass (equally terrible)
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  • Avatar for Number1Laing #105 Number1Laing 4 months ago
    This is a good rundown of the series, although I think Phantom Hourglass is very underrated. The controls are really good, it just feels different from the usual, and the re-running of the dungeon encourages efficiency and smarts. On the other hand, I think ALBW is very overrated.On top of being one of the ugliest games ever made, it basically just runs through LTTP again with an item-buying mechanic that makes the game worse.Edited July 2018 by Number1Laing
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  • Avatar for rezzyk #106 rezzyk 4 months ago
    I absolutely agree with this list. I have always felt that LTTP was the best Zelda game, and had to deal with many years of OOT/MM being called that. I tried to replay both OOT and MM on the 3DS and couldn't make it through them. LTTP though.. oh yeah. It aged amazingly well.

    I will say I am ashamed to admit that I have not finished either Oracle game, or Link's Awakening. (I was really hoping that Link's Awakening remake rumor was true). I do have them all on my 3DS, though, so I really should take some time to play through them.
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #107 SuperShinobi 4 months ago
    My top 4:

    1. Breath of the Wild
    ---------------------------------- (country mile)
    2. Wind Waker HD
    3. Link to the Past
    4. The restEdited July 2018 by SuperShinobi
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  • Avatar for StarkEx #108 StarkEx 4 months ago
    Noticed an error in the Wind Waker section of article: WW had seven main dungeons, not three.

    Edit: Thanks for correcting it.Edited July 2018 by StarkEx
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #109 Kuni-Nino 4 months ago
    I’m still mad that Skyward Sword is 12 on this list. The motion controls were a great fit for the series. The sword combat never felt better. Thinking of the last fight against Demise and lifting the wiimote up so that Link can get a lightning strike on his sword is one coolest moments ever! Skyward Sword is badass and BETTER Breath of the Wild.

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  • Avatar for franciscovillarrealh #110 franciscovillarrealh 4 months ago
    Good on USGamer to wait a year before properly ranking BotW.

    I'm split on whether or not they should have reconsidered the rankings. On the one hand, it's a different staff now. On the other... Parish and Mackey (and was Jaz involved too?) were part of the team for so long, their weighing on the team's original rankings should still be seen as valid.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #111 link6616 4 months ago
    I was really hoping when I saw this list Link's awakening would get it's rightful spot in the top 3 but alas, doomed to merely be second fiddle to the 3D ones and LTTP forever.

    I love you link's awakening.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #112 Kuni-Nino 4 months ago
    Can I just say it’s really lame that Majora’s Mask is above Ocarina of Time on this list? Cuz it is. I’m sorry but how does the game with 4 dungeons (3 mediocre ones), and a barrage of fetch quests get put above the game that revolutionized action/RPGs? Majora’s Mask is even more restrictive and linear than Skyward Sword! Before y’all say the story was good...please don’t.

    This lists needs a recount and I should have a vote!
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #113 Kat.Bailey 4 months ago
    @Kuni-Nino Majora's Mask was well ahead of its time from a structural standpoint. It also arguably holds up better than Ocarina.
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  • Avatar for JinjoHayabusa #114 JinjoHayabusa 4 months ago
    Good list. Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess are properly placed, and the top 5 is pretty good, though I would more highly value current replay value. Replaying OOT and MM in 2018 is pretty rough.

    For me:
    1. The Legend of Zelda - The one I replay the most now. Great gameplay, and lots of different ways to progress through it and challenge yourself.
    2. Breath of the Wild - Closest thing to a modern version of the original that we've gotten... yet. Seems like Nintendo are hot on the trail of creating the perfect Zelda. Huge, open, cryptic, difficult, with good combat, story and dungeons. (Sounds like I should just play Dark Souls, right? Well, I am!!) The thing is, now that I've done everything in this game twice, including Master Mode and the DLC, I don't know if I'll keep coming back to this game.
    3. Link's Awakening - For charm reasons, really.
    4. A Link Between Worlds
    5. A Link to the Past
    6. Zelda II

    Those are the only ones I'll rank, as I can't see myself replaying any of the rest ever again.

    Okami would be number 2 or 3 on this list.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #115 Kuni-Nino 4 months ago
    @Kat.Bailey Nah fam. I replayed through MM last year and could barely hold any interest in it. Meanwhile Ocarina has the better story-telling, better dungeons, and a more focused structure. MM was made like 15 months which is why you see how sloppy it is when it comes to actual quest design. To get into pirates fortress, collect 8 eggs. To get into Deku Palace, collect 4 monkeys. To get into Snowhead, climb up top this dumb murky mountain and talk to an invisible goron ghost. The dungeons are weak and the bosses are absolute cakewalks minus Goht. There’s that dumb flying centipede boss that you beat by having Link become a giant which is...just Link as a giant. No special move set here. Just mash B and slice to win.

    The side quests are where the game shines. There’s a lot of personality in them and the characters get downright weird which lends credibility to the game’s strange atmosphere.

    It’s an interesting experimental game, but better than OoT it is not. It’s easily the weakest of the 3D Zelda’s. Sloppy execution in nearly every facet Zelda usually excels at. All it has are it’s gimmicks which haven’t been seen since.
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  • Avatar for docexe #116 docexe 4 months ago
    Mmmm… Probably time to update my personal top ten:

    1. A Link to the Past
    2. Breath of the Wild
    3. Majora’s Mask
    4. Ocarina of Time
    5. Link’s Awakening
    6. Twilight Princess
    7. Skyward Sword
    8. Wind Waker
    9. A Link between Worlds
    10. The Legend of Zelda
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  • Avatar for docexe #117 docexe 4 months ago
    @Kuni-Nino Skyward Sword is pretty underrated indeed, although I wouldn’t say it’s better than Breath of the Wild. As I mentioned in a comment above, the motion controls for the combat are fantastic indeed and it has some truly great dungeons and puzzles, not to mention a great balance of items, with some truly inventive ones like the Beetle and the Gust Bellows. However, I do find the world of the game too small and the critical path too linear. Its degree of “handholding” is also egregious, even more so nowadays when contrasted with how Breath of the Wild leaves you to your own devices most of the time. Still, it’s not a bad game by any means and its telling how Breath of the Wild took some of its mechanics and refined them (like the stamina meter, the climbing and the crafting).

    As to Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, in terms of pure quality I frankly find it a toss-up. Ocarina revolutioned the Action Adventure genre and it’s the better designed game, but I prefer the atmosphere and ingenuity of Majora’s.

    Also, I know you are probably being facetious, but let’s be honest: This kind of lists always include a great amount of subjectivity and personal preference factoring in the rankings, so there is no reason to take them that seriously.Edited July 2018 by docexe
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  • Avatar for docexe #118 docexe 4 months ago
    And on a different digression, what I would like to see for the next Zelda game would be something with the atmosphere of Majora’s Mask, the weapon controls and combat of Skyward Sword, the massive world and sense of freedom of Breath of the Wild, and dungeons on par with the best of Twilight Princess. That would be fantastic indeed.
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  • Avatar for scottygrayskull #119 scottygrayskull 4 months ago
    I'd probably go for my top 5:
    1. Link's Awakening
    2. Link to the Past
    3. Adventures of Link
    4. A Link Between Worlds
    5. Wind Waker

    I know I'm an outlier. I just didn't like the original Zelda that much, and played OoT long after the fact so it didn't have that impact on me. It's hard to recommend Zelda 2 without lots of caveats, but damnit I absolutely love that game. It's a good kind of challenge, has some stellar music throughout (that title music is criminally underrated) and one of the first games I ever owned and beat.Edited July 2018 by scottygrayskull
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  • Avatar for link6616 #120 link6616 4 months ago
    @Kuni-Nino I have mixed feelings. I think honestly they are both very close to eachother and if we are putting the oracles on the same spot on the list despite being different games that just use the same engine with some linking, then it's not really unreasonable to say OoT and MM could be in the same spot.

    But, I will say, if we are talking best to play now, then the fact OoT revolutionized games isn't that important. That's done, in a list about historical importance this whole list would be very different, and OoT would certainly stand near the top.

    And on general Skyward talk... I love many things about skyward sword. I just wish it would shut up and remove the padding in there. The dungeons are a joy, playing it is a joy, but there is a lot of stuff in there that is very very much not a joy.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #121 NiceGuyNeon 4 months ago
    @Kuni-Nino I'll fight you, so long as you understand I like Skyward Sword.

    The motion controls were a hindrance that got in the way of the game. They weren't accurate and saying otherwise or saying that they never didn't respond to your movements is disingenuous. Transitioning away from motion has been a blessing for Zelda.

    The overworld sections were dull and boring with an emphasis on linear collection based gameplay that required you to go back through the area again to collect some dumb seeds. It was unnecessary padding to an already underwhelming aspect of the game.

    The flight and floating islands were barren and had little of interest to explore. They couldn't even match the little mini joys of Wind Waker's 64 islands. Most of it was just boring empty space but the places you could play were not inspired enough to warrant the design choice.

    Too many boss battles repeated and while these things make sense from a narrative perspective to show Link's growth as a hero, it's a game and it gets boring to fight Ghirahim three times and the giant monster three times.

    Skyward Sword does do some cool things though, and it's enough for me to think it's a great game. This includes the story and the characterizations of Link and Zelda as the best of the series. Some fantastic dungeons like Ancient Cistern. Some great boss fights like Koloktos, the aerial giant fish thing (it was better in Breath of the Wild as Vah Medoh but it was still cool here).

    But Skyward Sword is not better than Breath of the Wild, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, or most of the games ahead of it. It has too many fundamental problems in its very design, problems that will likely keep it from being remastered without becoming a full remake. It doesn't respect the player's time or intuition and stands at the very bottom of the 3D Zelda totem-pole.

    Breath of the Wild on the other hand is one of the greatest 3D games ever made. It succeeds by actually respecting the player's time by not forcing anything on you and allowing you to play how you like. Whether that's just exploration, completing the story and dungeons, finding the shrines, fighting Lynels, cooking or whatever floats your boat. And it says that every style of play is valid, it encourages you to have fun in the manner you choose. If your love of the game are the dungeons, like they are for me, the shrines have you covered. They're brilliantly designed and so close to one another that just constantly running into them put me in a constant flow of dungeons. I waited until I discovered all 120 shrines on my own before defeating Calamity Ganon and I still believe that Breath of the Wild is not only the pinnacle of this series, it is also the pinnacle of open-world design.

    Skyward Sword on the other hand says, do this one thing and if you don't do it you can't do anything else. It had some cool, labyrinthine dungeons, but it's not even the best game of 2011, let alone better than Breath of the Wild.

    As far as Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, I personally prefer Ocarina of Time a little bit more, but I think you're wrong on Majora's Mask. It was far ahead of its time and if the next sequel to Breath of the Wild can incorporate the quality of sidequests and the themes of Majora's Mask it might go down as the greatest achievement in 3D gaming.
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  • Avatar for hiptanaka #122 hiptanaka 4 months ago
    Breath of the Wild is hard to rank for me. On one hand, it's the best open world game I've played, because of how it shuns things like quest compasses and "points of interest" in favor of actual exploration, and because traversal alone is fun. On the other hand, it still suffers from some of the things I dislike about open world games, like copy-pasted content. On occasion it was almost magical, but there was also a near-constant nagging feeling of it being spread thin, if that makes sense. In the end, thought, I have to place it among my top 5:

    1. A Link Between Worlds (@CipherStone Indeed. Well, not in every way. )
    2. A Link to the Past
    3. The Legend of Zelda
    4. Breath of the Wild
    5. Wind WakerEdited July 2018 by hiptanaka
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  • Avatar for boatie #123 boatie 4 months ago
    1) Zelda 1
    2) Breath of the Wild
    3) Link to the Past
    4) Link Between Worlds
    5) Ocarina of Time
    6) Link's Awakening
    and then the rest shuffle around a bit depending when you ask me
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  • Avatar for novacav #124 novacav 4 months ago

    I'm with you 100% (about Skyward). People don't get it.Edited July 2018 by novacav
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  • Avatar for dard410 #125 dard410 4 months ago
    @NiceGuyNeon all of this. Plus, Skyward Sword put way too much emphasis on a story that wasn't really all that interesting. Aside from Groose, who was a neat addition to the Zelda lore, none of the characters felt particularly real or compelling. The inhabitants of the Sky island felt more like quest givers than characters. Skyward Sword wasn't Dragon Age or Witcher, but it felt like the game THOUGHT its story was at that level given how much time was spent in cutscenes and on the lore.

    And don't get me started on the fetch quests. I almost threw my controller in frustration when one of the dragons threw a bunch of notes in the ocean and told me I had to collect them to prove my worth.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #126 Kuni-Nino 4 months ago
    @NiceGuyNeon I get you. I understand where you’re coming from but I have to tell you that I think any of the handholding aspects of Skywarf Sword are seriously overblown. I did another playthrough of SS a couple of years ago and I swore I did a 5 hour session of it where Fi didn’t even talk to me. After a certain point the game is fairly hands off. It’s only at the beginning where such a problem exists but even then, it’s like what, three seconds of text you can skip. Shit brah, I will never complain about that. I would rather you tell me what to do in a few seconds than waste 20 minutes trying to figure where I should be.

    I hear you about the bosses, but they’re not exactly the same boss fights. There’s new wrinkles added to them each time that take into account the player’s new growth. They’re much better than, say, Wind Waker’s sorry excuse for a final dungeon. Not only does SS take into account Link’s growth in those battles, they also show you how far Groose has come along which is really damn nice. He’s a great character.

    As for motion controls, I kid you not, I’ve probably played SS for about 100 hours and not once can I recall wrestling with the controls. They were active for me and I did everything I wanted.

    The sky hub isn’t anything. It’s empty but it has some nice mini games. Overall I can’t say I’m a fan of it. It’s take it or leave for me. I will say the real overworld is the land below and I love how densely packed it is. Every inch of it is designed with purpose just like the 2D games. There’s tons of stuff to do and figure out which makes it like a dungeon.

    Idk about you, but I prefer doing stuff than wandering around. Skyward Sword was a great challenge for me. I feel like puzzle design in 3D action games is almost gone. Only Zelda seems to care about it. That’s why I’ll always treasure Skyward Sword. After Twilight Princess, it has the best level design of any 3D action games.
    @docexe Yeah. I’m mostly being facetious. Lists don’t really matter to me. I just like talking Zelda.
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  • Avatar for arlecchino97 #127 arlecchino97 4 months ago
    Not only is majora's mask NOT better than ocarina of time... It's also not worthybof cracking the top 5 or perhaps even 10
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  • Avatar for franciscovillarrealh #128 franciscovillarrealh 4 months ago
    @Kuni-Nino There are long segments where Fi doesn't talk unless prompted, yeah, but the infamous moments of "NPC says a thing highlighting something in red text, camera pans obligingly, Fi appears to reiterate what you just read and saw" keep happening until well into the mid-game.

    (Fi saying you should try hitting the big target at the top of the Sandship's mast with arrows is probably necessary since it's the keypoint of a complex dungeon, but it feels handholdy when she does so after the in-game text says you can use the Bow to shoot far-away targets, with the camera panning to the top of the mast).

    My first time through the game I really felt the moments Fi didn't speak up, on later playthroughs the moments where she would keep talking felt more prominent.

    I'll agree that the three Ghirahim fights are different enough from each other to justify themselves, particularly the last one, plus they're spread out enough, but the Imprisoned had one rematch too many. And the second and third fights are less than two hours apart.
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  • Avatar for docexe #129 docexe 4 months ago
    @Kuni-Nino He! Fair enough. It’s always a pleasure to discuss Zelda. =D

    @franciscovillarrealh Yeah, that tendency of the game of often repeating through Fi what it just told you/show you to do was maddening after a while. Makes me wonder how/why exactly they decided to tune it in such a way during play testing. I want to believe that not even someone who has never played a Zelda game or Action Adventure game before would really need so much repetition of the game objectives.
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  • Avatar for anthonybuccaroni62 #130 anthonybuccaroni62 4 months ago
    A Link to the Past, while an awesome game, i also one of the mot overrated games of all time for the sole reason of how many people say it's the greatest Zelda game of all time. For me, it's a pet peeve. Cause in my opinion, it's not.
    I also think Twilight Princess is way too underrated.

    1. Majora's Mask
    2. Breath of the Wild
    3. Ocarina of Time
    4. The Wind Waker
    5. Twilight Princess
    6. A Link to the Past
    7. A Link Between Worlds
    8. Link's Awakening
    9. Skyward Sword
    10. The Legend fo ZeldaEdited July 2018 by anthonybuccaroni62
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  • Avatar for robertchesley19 #131 robertchesley19 4 months ago
    I always think that the 3D games get too much credit. They just aren't as fun as the 2D ones. I think Minish Cap is underrated.
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  • Avatar for Relayer71 #132 Relayer71 4 months ago
    Good list. Ranking the Zelda games is no easy task.

    Sort of like the Final Fantasy games where everyone's favorite differs but you know there's a chance it will be the old classic (A Link to the Past/ Final Fantasy VI) or one of the mid-period breakthroughs (Ocarina of Time/Final Fantasy 7) and then those saying those mid-period picks are overrated and the real masterpieces were the later mid-period titles (Majora's Mask/Final Fantasy IX). Funny, both franchises even went sort of open world for their latest releases.

    I would have ranked Link Between Worlds higher and I think the DS titles are a little underrated and at the very least should have been higher than Zelda II which was such a disappointing experiment (I at least had fun with Final Fantasy XIII even though I rate it near the bottom of my FF list). And I really prefer the 2D Zeldas, but have a soft spot for Wind Waker due to its amazing artwork and overall charming presentation.

    My favorite 3 in no order:

    A Link to The Past
    A Link Between Worlds
    The Wind Waker
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  • Avatar for Relayer71 #133 Relayer71 4 months ago
    @robertchesley19 Yes!!! On both points. They were good games but lost what made the original games what they were.

    I feel the same about Metroid: Super Metroid is my favorite game of all time but I wouldn't put Metroid Prime on that list. They did a great job translating the feel of the 2D games into 3D but it still isn't the same.
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  • Avatar for dard410 #134 dard410 4 months ago
    @Relayer71 Problem with DS games is that they're impossible to play without the DS, so fewer people end up playing them. I'd love to play Link Between Worlds, but am not going to buy a 3DS just for that one game.
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  • Avatar for Megamoppy #135 Megamoppy 4 months ago
    @dard410 I was disappointed with skyward's story it started so promisingly but then shyed away from building on it until your following zelda as an excuse to go to different areas. Disliked the padding at the end too.

    Funny thing is I love skyward sword (loved the controls too) just had a few niggles for me personally and it was beautiful.

    I think it was twilight princess when I realised I loved exploration and meeting characters over dungeons so breath and wind waker I adored but struggled to like twilight and skyward as much. It's funny listening to axe of the bloodgod at breath of the world's release and she mentions arguing with her girlfriend w
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  • Avatar for Megamoppy #136 Megamoppy 4 months ago
    @Megamoppy with her girlfriend who says zelda is about the puzzles versus Kat whose main interest is exploration. Its funny how Zelda can mean different things to so many people.
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  • Avatar for dard410 #137 dard410 4 months ago
    @Megamoppy I find that's both a strength and weakness of the franchise. I love how versatile Zelda is. How many other franchises have changed so much - art direction, control mechanisms, emphasis on puzzles - with each iteration? It's great that Nintendo feels confident enough to experiment. It's great that those of us who weren't fans of WW can get TP, etc. However, it also means that the franchise sometimes feels like it has an identity crisis. For players who don't pay so much attention to gaming news, how many give up on Zelda when one of the games doesn't capture what they personally like about Zelda? I honestly had lost hope for the franchise after SS. I didn't get BOTW until August of last year because I was skeptical it was as good as the reviews claimed (spoiler: it is). But I do know gamers who just decided to stop with the series after WW.
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  • Avatar for Dorchadas #138 Dorchadas 4 months ago
    I'm sad to see Minish Cap ranked so low. For me, the game was delightfully whimsical in a way that drew me in almost immediately. From childhood friend Zelda to the way the pikkoru lived in the shadows of the world (I loved the quest in the library), it all came together beautifully for me.

    I broadly agree otherwise, but Minish Cap is probably my favorite next to ALttP (still haven't played BotW...).
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #139 Kuni-Nino 4 months ago
    @Dorchadas Minish Cap is the business. Awesome little game that nobody pays attention to because it was a late stage GBA game.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #140 NiceGuyNeon 4 months ago
    I'm in the minority here, but I enjoy returning to Minish Cap more than Link to the Past. I think it's an easier to digest game and while it's not the pinnacle of the 2D games it's very fun to play.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #141 Flipsider99 4 months ago
    Good to see there's some Zelda 2 love in these comments! It really deserves it!
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  • Avatar for ATBro #142 ATBro 4 months ago
    @thomasjnicosia I just dry heaved a bit.
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  • Avatar for michaelrix91 #143 michaelrix91 3 months ago
    Rank Link between worlds lower than Skyward sword and rank Link to the past lower than Ocarina of time, and then I concur.
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  • Avatar for Flibustier #144 Flibustier 2 months ago
    My top 10
    10.- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
    9.- The Legend of Zelda
    8.- Ocarina of Time
    7.- Oracle of Ages
    6.- Oracle of Seasons
    5.- Link's Awakening
    4.- A Link Between Worlds
    3.- The Wind Waker
    2.- Twilight Princess
    1.- A Link to the Past
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