With Zelda: Breath of the Wild inviting fans, and newcomers, to a massive retelling of the world of Hyrule this month, we celebrated with a week dedicated to Zelda. The series has been around for over three decades, where adventurers grabbed their swords and shields to rid the world of evil. It’s been the timeless story of protagonists Link and Princes Zelda as the duo pair up to take down the power-hungry Ganon. The Zelda series has had a number of great tales, so narrowing it down to the top Zelda games has been no easy feat!
So, before Ganon returns, here are our 5 top Zelda games.
1) Zelda: Breath of the Wild is our Top Zelda Game
Is there anyone around who doesn’t like the new Legend of Zelda game? Released on Wii U and Switch, Breath of the Wild has had a massive reception. The game is just, well, absolutely bloody massive. From the very first moments you set foot onto the vast planes of Hyrule, the world invites you to explore. There are hordes of enemies, large mountains to ascend and caves to poke your head into. The main quest in itself is a challenge, but where the real fun comes is just how much there is to see, how easy it is to become side-tracked. This is why Breath of the Wild sits at the top out of top Zelda games list.
2) Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Zelda games are usually praised for their intricate dungeon designs, the items and visual styles. One of the elements of the series that has been a bit hit-and-miss has to be the story. Some fans prefer the more linear, complete-the-game narrative, but where Majora’s Mask excels are the characters. There are various sub-plots, missions and side-quests to complete, each with memorable faces to meet. The fact that Link continually goes back in time and has to live out these stories over and over makes the connection that bit deeper. The game also has some of the most interesting dungeon designs, and a challenging time mechanic that heightens the urgency.
3) Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Zelda: Ocarina of Time is well known as one of the peaks of Zelda excellence. It’s a game that many consider as one of their top Zelda games, ever. Bathed in nostalgia, the game made such an impression back in 1997 with a world that felt real. From the very first moments wandering onto Hyrule Field to conquering the final battle, Ocarina of Time checked all the boxes and then some. The game is still a firm favourite amongst fans, despite the formula being reworked with more recent follow-ups like Twilight Princess. Haven’t played Ocarina of Time? We’d certainly recommend it!
4) Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Don’t forget about Link’s Awakening when it comes to your top Zelda games list! Often forgotten, the first Game Boy Zelda adventure is a deep tale that, like Majora’s Mask, has a strong story and character-driven appeal. What makes the game so compelling are the charming little quirks, solid dungeon design and a truly memorable ending that, well, you need to discover. Originally penned as an experiment, a side-quest in the development team’s journey, the game has cemented itself as one of the best in the series so far.
5) Zelda: The Wind Waker
Set sail and explore the open seas with The Wind Waker, a vibrant and eclectic world that saw Link sail (in-game) for the very first time. The Wind Waker was originally released back in 2002, to mixed reviews. Fans had been teased with a striking, realistic battle several years prior, but The Wind Waker adopted something quite different. Gone were the gritty textures of the Ocarina of Time era, replaced with eye popping blocks of “cell-shaded” colour. This is one of the reasons we love this particular Zelda entry – the game is really expressive; a cartoon that breathes life. We’d roamed Hyrule on foot for years, but sailing to smaller islands and caves was just such a refreshing mechanic. A HD remaster was released on Wii U back in 2013, too.
Which Zelda games are your favourites? Let us know in the comments!