Since 1986 The Legend Of Zelda has been a flagship series for Nintendo, with the series featuring on every major console and handheld that Nintendo has released since. Games such as Ocarina Of Time have set the standards for future games in the genre and the series’ influence can still be felt across the industry today. Here are the top 10 best The Legend Of Zelda games of all time.
10. The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
First released on the Game Boy, Link’s Awakening became the first game in the series to be released on a handheld device, serving as a sort of spin-off game, with it being one of the only games to not be set in Hyrule or feature Zelda and the Triforce. In the years since, the game has seen numerous re-releases, including a color version of the Game Boy Color, and a remake for the Nintendo Switch in 2019.
9. The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap
The Minish Cap is the third Zelda game that involves the legend of the Four Sword, expanding on the story of Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. With the game releasing on the Game Boy Advance, The Minish Cap is often overlooked by fans of the series and it is very underrated. If you enjoy 2D games in the series such as A Link To The Past then you should like this game too.
8. The Legend Of Zelda
The game that started it all, 1986’s The Legend Of Zelda was first released on the NES and changed gaming forever. Right from the start, Nintendo had a winning formula that would serve as the basis for most future Zelda titles. Link must collect eight fragments of the Triforce to be able to defeat Ganon and save Princess Zelda. Selling 6.5 million copies, The Legend Of Zelda is often regarded as being the game that was the forerunner for the modern RPG style, as well as being the first console game to have an internal battery to allow for data to be saved.
7. The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Following on as a direct sequel to Ocarina Of Time, Majora’s Mask takes place two months later and sees Link enter Termina, a parallel world to Hyrule. The game features a unique mechanic in that the world will be destroyed in three days, giving Link not much time to save it. But, not all is lost as Link can reverse time and begin the three days all over again, which also resets many aspects of the game. It can be a very confusing game to figure out, especially for new players. But if you stick with it you won’t regret it.
6. The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker
First released on the GameCube, The Wind Waker follows on from the adult timeline which sees Hyrule flooded. Originally designed as a 3D game similar to Ocarina Of Time and Majora’s Mask, the game ended up receiving a cel-shading art style, given it a more cartoon appearance. This can be a selling point for some gamers and a turn-off for others, but when it comes to what counts, the gameplay, The Wind Waker is one of the best in the series.
5. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Serving as a launch title on the Nintendo Switch, as well as being released on the Wii U too, Breath Of The Wild has become the best-selling Zelda game of all time as well as scoring a 97/100 on Metacritic. Compared to other games in the series, Breath Of The Wild is completely open-world with a non-linear structure, and with players are given very little instructions when the game starts. Breath Of The Wild went on to received two expansion DLCs, as well as a sequel that is set to release in 2022, making it the first in the series to receive a named sequel.
4. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
An unexpected gem in the series, A Link Between Worlds is the spiritual successor to A Link To The Past. Allowing players to go from a 3D to 2D style by merging with the walls, the game offers a brand new perspective and breathed new life into the series. The game received critical acclaim and sold over 4 million copies. But with the game only being available on the 3DS, it is more difficult to play now due to the system being discontinued. But, if you have a 3DS then you owe it to yourself to play this.
3. The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Following on from Ocarina Of Time, Twilight Princess takes place hundreds of years after the events of the game, and even includes an appearance from the Hero Of Time. Twilight Princess features a similar gameplay style to Ocarina Of Time, but with more modern and improved mechanics. Released just a week apart from each other on the GameCube and Wii, Twilight Princess sold over 8.85 million copies, making it the best-selling Zelda game until 2017’s Breath Of The Wild.
2. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past
When it comes to 2D Zelda games, A Link To The Past is without a doubt the cream of the crop. Released in 1991, A Link To The Past helped usher in many elements that have become the norm across the series, such as the Hookshot, the Master Sword, the Spin Attack, and the Pegasus Boots. Many pieces of music were first introduced in this game, such as Zelda’s Lullaby and Kakariko Village.
1. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
1998 is perhaps the best year in video game history, and a part of that is down to The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. After over a decade of 2D Zelda games, the series was finally brought into 3D with arguably one of the greatest games of all time. The game sees Link grow from a child into a man as he tries to take down Ganondorf and save Hyrule. Ocarina Of Time’s influence can still be felt in the series today, as well as being named one of the greatest games of all time, with a 99/100 score on Metacritic, making it the highest-rated game ever.