The Best Legend of Zelda Games of All Time - Breath of the Wild has been heralded as one of the best games of all time and the best Zelda game of all time, but is it really? We look at the truth.
A Link to the Past Orcarina of Time Majoras Mask Wind Waker
you forgot Link's Awakening. pretty much set the precedent for a game like MM to be made. In fact it's kinda the original MM, just with severe technological limitations.
Link's Awakening was solid but by no means like one of the best games in the series. MM is way better even if it's not my favorite.
Ocarina of Time, all the way. Either that or ALttP. TWW would be on top if not for the Triforce Hunt.
Agreed, Skyward Sword is fantastic. The three big issues people have pointed to are issues I disagree with. 1) The motion controls. This one is an easy issue to tackle. Unless everyone had issues with the motion controls, then it is on you and your setup. If there was an inherent issue with the controls, we would have all had issues. 2) The over world. Skyward Sword, Winder Waker HD and Twilight HD all released within the same four year block. Except for Breath of the Wild and Wind Waker (maybe due to endless ocean not really counting in my opinion) the over worlds of these games are not really that much bigger or smaller than each other. Go even further back and the games are even smaller in scale, especially when you replay all of them around the same time. 3) repeat Dungeon Visits. All the repeat visits did for me was confirm how all the more important these areas are to the overall story. I love centralized worlds. The story, the music, the items, bosses and characters were all phenomenal in my opinion. I prefer the more story driven nature of the game. Most importantly, I CARED more and was absorbed more while playing this game. That alone makes it my favorite.
SS may not be my favorite, but you're right on the money. The thing with SS, and Miyamoto went on about this, is that while the areas are smaller they are very dense, so there are so many secrets to explore. It took me a long time to 100%. Also you start out with 5 hearts. Hero Mode is not easy. Also the puzzles and bosses are some of the best of the series. Ocarine of Time is my favorite, but I can see why someone would say SS is the best. Most of all, I cared about the characters. Groose, that one guy you help get strong, Impa, Zelda, her father, the residents of Skyloft...and there's actual development. By comparison, if I'm honest with myself, BOTW feels hollow comparatively, though it's a different kind of game.
I really wish that BoTW had the heroes still be alive (actually alive, even thought they kinda were alive) because I really liked the cast of characters in SS, as you said, and all the interactions. It made the game feel more alive, as opposed to BoTW. However, if the POINT of BoTW was that the world is very much NOT alive anymore, can we take off points for that if that wasn't even their intention? What do you think about that?
@Zodiac I agree you can't take points off for that, it's kinda unfair. BOTW's whole thing is kinda tragic. story-wise, for what story there is. The Champions are pretty awesome, I was hoping they would be alive in the DLC or you'd play in a flashback. BOTW is by no means a bad game at all, and I'd rank it higher than 6th, but it has its faults. I don't like scores so I'd just say it's one of the top games of last year. It's just a different type of game than previous Zelda games.
I loved Skyward Sword, I think its criminally under rated. that final Battle with Gannon is the best in the series. I really hope it gets a HD make over for the Switch in the future. they can tweak it a little and the increased precision of the joycons will make the motion controls sing.
"Breath of the Wild was a very good, but not great game, which rode the hype of the Nintendo Switch and gave gamers and critics alike their starvation for more Zelda. This strategy worked" I disagree with you on this point. First of all, there was already immense anticipation for this game years before we knew the Switch even existed. Second, It launched with the Switch, so if anything, the Switch rode on the waves of Zelda and not the other way around. Third, critics and gamers will always want more Zelda and its not Nintendo's fault that they were hungry for Zelda AND loved the game at the same time, independent of one another. There has been a lot of dissecting around BoTW, but my opinion is that people just really really loved it.
You nailed it. The Switch rode Zelda. And there has been a vocal part of the fanbase and others who have wanted the series to return to its roots. BOTW has its faults and maybe all the GOTY awards and 10s were out of finally having another Zelda game that was fresh and new, but, honestly, it was one of the best games of last year and deserved what it got.
I really hate to beat the dead horse but Breath of the Wild easily falls to the bottom of the list for Zelda games, everyone was just so hungry for new Zelda they would fall in love with anything with the name on it, and the fact every review simply glosses over the games MANY flaws is proof of this happening. You can argue that it's a good game, but not even close to perfect 10's across the board, a clear sign of bias/hunger for a new Zelda, then add the fact you're playing it on the go on a new fresh never been done console, the bias only gets worse. In all reality it is one of the worst Zelda's to release. The right circumstances simply allowed for the hype/hunger to manipulate the reviews beyond recognition, not to mention the snowball effect that happens after the first 10 reviews that give it 10's, then you have the rabid fanboys that were attacking review sites for giving it anything below a 9, this game has just been surrounded by this huge bias since release. Glad this list decided to take a step back from the hype and put it at the bottom, even though I think it shouldn't be on the list at all.
Yeah, I often debate if Breath of the Wild deserves to be called the best Zelda game, since it doesn't actually feel like a canon game. To me, it feels like a celebration of 30+ years of Zelda, with some of its best qualities and characters from the decades, thrown in. But that's just me.
Really want Skyward Sword on Switch!
Twilight Princess OOT WW Wait.. I can't choose, all Zelda games are great besides CDi of course.
Totally disagree about SS being on top. I liked the game despite its issues, most of which are related to the unfortunate Wii control. Other key franchises suffered on the same system for the same reasons; so I'm willing to overlook the control deficiencies up to a point. However, I didn't think the structure of the game was particularly good either. It felt overly compartmentalized, confining. Even the better 2D entries offered more sense of freedom. The original game has the real roots of Zelda. They involve an adventurer thrown into the world, and left to figure out what is happening, what to do, and how to make progress. Along the way, he earns the means to do so. Good stories are a nice addition in the later games, but they are not what makes Link such a great alter ego for the player. To me, games are about what I get to do. Protagonists straitjacketed into a rigid story every step of the way are the least appealing to me. This is why I liked Breath of the Wild so much. It hearkens back to Zelda's free-form origins, and does so in a grand open style. My other favorites are Twilight Princess, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, not necessarily in that order.
Can't even think of a 'bad' Zelda game outside of the CD-i ones...
hmmm, Breath of the Wild is getting waaaaay too much praise with this article. Its a good game but no where NEAR the best Zelda game of all time. That probably goes to Ocarina of Time or A link to the Past. I think Windwake is the best one of all time as it is probably the most underrated of all Link's adventures.
My favorite is easily Twilight Princess. I loved OOT, MM and WW but it had a darker/grittier spin and what I think is probably the best combat system out of all of them. It's a shame because the darker Zelda titles have a strange ambiance that I feel is lost on the newer titles. And don't even get me started on the travesty that is BotW. So far from a Zelda game it might as well not even share the same name.
For me, MM > OOT > LTTP > WW > TP > FSA > LoZ > SS > LoZ2 > PH > BOTW Everything that isn't on the list I haven't played yet. Probably going to get a lot of shit for ranking BotW this low, but I couldn't get immersed into the world at all and after not having fun with it 13 hours later I just turned off my Switch and haven't played it since. At least the master sword figurine that came with it looks nice.
Link to the Past point blank period
N4G is a community of gamers posting and discussing the latest game news. It’s part of NewsBoiler, a network of social news sites covering today’s pop culture.