What Is The Best Zelda Game?
What a tough question! We all love the Legend of Zelda so much here that it can be tough to decide which opus is the best. Although I am sure some of you have a clear, defined idea of your favourite one (and maybe the one you enjoy less...), some of us at Zelda Shop struggled to decide which game to choose. We definitely had a top 3 in mind, but the order of the top 3 was hard to decide.
Anyway, we will try to explain which Zelda game is the best, by trying to be the most possibly objective, although it is unrealistic to fully be so as each person's opinion is personal and thus unique. If you want to know more about our opinion on what the best Zelda game is, we recommend you sit down, get your favourite tea or coffee and enjoy the reading!
Why it is hard to choose the best Zelda game
It can be very hard to rank Zelda games as most games are of a completely different style, from open world to hack'n'slash with a new original touch each time. As such, it is very difficult to compare game styles that are radically dissimilar yet are all of top quality.
Here we see the second "problem": we all agree that most zelda games are pure gold. So how to decide which is best?
To be honest, we haven't been able to choose only one single Zelda game. We have decided to make our top 6 of the best, most mythical Zelda games. It doesn't mean that we dislike the ones not quoted here though, but we had to make a choice!
6. A Link to the Past
It has been 30 years since A Link to the Past was released in the US, and each day since the game’s release date has only made it easier to appreciate it as the true, definitive Legend of Zelda experience.
It's in our Top 6, which is great, but that doesn’t mean it is the best Zelda game ever. In fact, as you will see, we tend to see at least a few other games placed above it.
However, there no doubt that A Link to the Past can be considered the quintessential Zelda experience, and here is why:
It introduced us to the Sages, to Ganon's power and true role, and took us back to Hyrule’s past in a mythical quest. In that way, A Link to the Past managed to greatly expand the series’ mythology without sacrificing the adventure gameplay excellence defining the series.
5. Wind Waker
Being our top 5, Wind Waker is known for the sailing and the ocean gameplay. It did far more than to fill Hyrule's universe with deep waters. The Great Sea is a lot larger than the previous open-worlds, with numerous islands showing unique dungeons of all scales, and featuring interestingly designed NPCs that even look like they have a real life outside of Link's interactions with them.
The game combines bold visual re-designed by the genius Shigeru Miyamoyo, as well as a tremendously inspiring gameplay. Wind Waker features a diverse range of bosses. These ones innovate on classic mechanics, and they are clearly adding new features to the mix.
And of course, what would Wind Waker be without the possibility to sail the Great Sea... Yeah. Top notch gameplay and overall game.
4. Majora's Mask
Fear... Darkness... Isolation... Apocalypse... Light...
Majora's Mask for sure has a unique, one-of-a-kind mystique, and it is why we decided to put it this high in the ranking.
The game boldly removes from our favourite franchise the feeling of leisure and safety. No longer are we in Hyrule. Now, it is Termina! And indeed, there is a real problem there: Earth's satellite, the moon, is crashing towards the planet, and guess what? You only have three days stop it!
From the giants ruling over Termina to the unsettlingly otherwordly atmosphere surrounding the Happy Mask Salesman, Majora's Mask is full of what makes The Legend of Zelda whimsical and deep, and we must say the surrealistic horror vibe is very well set.
Majora's Mask is definitely a truly special Zelda, and we love it. We love the darkness, the maturity, as well as the story and gameplay.
3. Twilight Princess
Speaking of maturity...
Twilight Princess was released in late 2006 both for the Wii and the Gamecube consoles. Even if it doesn’t have the Breath of the Wild's difficulty level and precise amount of details, it is still an excellent Zelda, and furthermore one of the best in our opinion.
Some people sayTwilight Princess "isn't as vibrant or jaw-dropping as other Zelda games", but what it does certainly have is perhaps the most original, challenging and unique art styles that was ever presented in a video game.
It is very hard to put into words what we think, or feel when playing Twilight Princess. Let's just mention two things. First, mounted combat and second, Midna. Both are fantastic, and so are the dungeons...
Also, whilst being certailny darker than the other games of the saga, Twilight Princess never implements dark aspects or themes just for the sake of it. Everything is well chosen, in such a way that it makes the game mature and deep.
Finally, the last but not the least : it is perhaps the most cinematic of all the Zelda games, and at Zelda Shop, we love good cinema and cinematics in general. In that regard, Twilight Princess is a masterpiece.
2. Breath of the Wild
A few points here:
1. Breath of the Wild is awesome
2. Breath of the Wild is epic
3. Breath of the Wild is massive
4. Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece
5. When is BOTW 2 finally coming out??
Shall I continue? Breath of the Wild is by far the most recent Zelda masterpiece, and arguably the best Nintendo Switch game that was created. From the free magnificent open world to the extremely well crafted dungeons and design, there is not much negative to report about this game. Or perhaps the negative is that our expectations for the next Zelda games to come is off the charts?
Same as Twilight Princess, albeit the two games are massively different, both are undescribable with words.
But wait, you might wonder: why isn't BOTW the first in our list?
1. Ocarina of Time
Ask any Legend of Zelda fan if Ocarina of Time's place in the pantheon of "greatest games of all time" should be contested, and you'll be more often than not surprised that it's not. A groundbreaking video game for its time, with near-perfect review scores, and a fan base that transcends even loyal Nintendo customers, and it's hard to argue with that fact.
Why is Ocarina of Time considered the best game of all time, and why did we choose it as our Top 1?
First of all, OoT acted as a pioneer for the next video games to come. It was indeed at the time (and still is!) a masterpiece of its own simply if we think of the graphics and the controls. But even more than that, the transposition of the 2D action-adventure into 3D is a real master stroke: the feeling of freedom felt during the first walks in this new Hyrule in 3D was magical.
Becoming an adult is one of the main themes of the game, and we follow Link on his way to grow up, just as the game itself made the video game industry become "adult"!
From the first minutes in the Kokiri forest and the encounter with the Mojo Tree, the player is sucked into a seemingly peaceful world that quickly reveals its challenges. With the beautiful music, the scenario and the brand new concept of day-night transition, the immersion is total. This game is sublime in every way, and way above the other games of its time. This, and our tremendous amount of nostalgia is why we placed Ocarina of Time as the first and best Zelda ever created.
If you want to read more about interesting Zelda news, we recommend you check our "When the next Zelda game will come out?" article!
What would you, fellow Zelda fans, consider the best Zelda game?
Feel free to comment below to give your point of view! Maybe Tears of the Kingdom will be part of the next top... Maybe even Top 1!
I hope you enjoyed our "What is the best Zelda game" article.