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Top 10 Legend of Zelda Games
A Celebration of the Zelda Universe
As the highly anticipated release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom draws near, we at Nerd it Here First can't help but celebrate and reminisce about the iconic franchise that has captivated gamers for over three decades. The Legend of Zelda series has been an integral part of the gaming world, enchanting players with countless hours of exploration, adventure, and puzzle-solving for almost four decades. In honor of this momentous occasion, we've put together a list of the top 10 Zelda games that have etched their mark on the hearts and minds of fans across the globe.
10. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2011 - Wii
2021 - Nintendo Switch
Skyward Sword took a daring step in the series by incorporating motion-controlled swordplay using the Wii's MotionPlus technology, delivering an immersive and intuitive combat experience. Set at the earliest point in the Zelda timeline, the game explores the origins of the Master Sword and the bond between Link and Zelda. Despite polarizing controls, Skyward Sword's engaging story, vibrant visuals, and inventive dungeons have earned it a devoted fanbase.
9. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
2004 - Game Boy Advance
Developed in collaboration with Capcom, The Minish Cap introduced the diminutive, hat-shaped creatures called the Minish and featured a unique shrinking mechanic that allowed Link to explore the world from a new perspective. The game's endearing art style, challenging dungeons, and captivating story made it a standout title on the Game Boy Advance and an essential entry in the Zelda series.
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
2013 - Nintendo 3DS
A spiritual successor to A Link to the Past, A Link Between Worlds revisits the familiar world of Hyrule and unveils the kingdom of Lorule. With its innovative wall-merging mechanic, players navigate the world in entirely new ways, leading to fresh puzzle-solving opportunities and strategic combat. The game's non-linear structure allows players to tackle dungeons in any order, adding a layer of freedom and replayability to the experience.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
1993 - Game Boy
2019 - Nintendo Switch
Originally released on the Game Boy, Link's Awakening was a departure from the usual Zelda formula, taking place outside of Hyrule and featuring a dream-like narrative. The game's reimagining on the Nintendo Switch brought its charming world to life with updated graphics and modernized gameplay, while still retaining the charm and quirkiness of the original. Link's Awakening is a delightful, self-contained adventure that showcases the series' ability to innovate and evolve.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
2006 - Nintendo GameCube, Wii
Twilight Princess returned to a more realistic art style and a darker narrative, with Link transforming into a wolf to navigate the parallel world of Twilight. The game featured motion controls (on the Wii version), epic boss battles, and a sprawling Hyrule that pushed the limits of the GameCube and Wii hardware. Twilight Princess remains a favorite among fans for its gripping story and unique gameplay elements.
5. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
2002 - Nintendo GameCube
The Wind Waker introduced a vibrant, cel-shaded art style that was initially met with skepticism but quickly won over fans with its charm and beauty. Set in a vast ocean world, players sailed from island to island, uncovering secrets and battling fearsome foes. The game's memorable characters, engaging story, and innovative mechanics make it a standout entry in the series.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
2000 - Nintendo 64
As the direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask offered a darker, more somber tone that set it apart from other entries in the series. With its unique time loop mechanic, the game encouraged players to explore and experiment while racing against the clock to prevent the moon from crashing into the world. Majora's Mask remains a fan favorite for its inventive gameplay and captivating atmosphere.
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
1991 - Super Nintendo Entertainment System
This 16-bit masterpiece revitalized the franchise and introduced numerous elements that would become series staples. A Link to the Past perfected the top-down perspective and featured a robust, interconnected world. With an engaging narrative, challenging dungeons, and iconic boss battles, this game is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and entertain gamers.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
1998 - Nintendo 64
Considered by many as the pinnacle of the franchise, Ocarina of Time revolutionized 3D gaming and set a new standard for action-adventure games. Players assume the role of Link, who is tasked with saving the kingdom of Hyrule from the malevolent Ganondorf. With its groundbreaking Z-targeting system, a beautiful soundtrack, and a captivating story, Ocarina of Time is a must-play for any Zelda fan.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2017 - Nintendo Switch, Wii U
Breath of the Wild was a massive departure from the traditional Zelda formula, offering players an expansive open-world filled with countless secrets and surprises. The game's emphasis on exploration, survival, and creative problem-solving earned it numerous accolades and established it as one of the best games in the series. Its upcoming sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, has the gaming world buzzing with anticipation.