The Legend of Zelda franchise boasts many fond titles dating back to the Nintendo Entertainment System. Although The Legend of Zelda saw a drastic change in direction with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in 2017, this franchise continues delivering breathtaking experiences to excite fans worldwide.
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable games that Nintendo has dished out for the franchise. From classics like A Link To The Past to Ocarina of Time, there’s a good selection here to please you.
Of course, feel free to comment below on your favorite The Legend of Zelda titles.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Next to Mario, The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most beloved properties. This series spawns a few stinkers but delivers phenomenal gaming experiences for gamers across the globe. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the series’s first foray into 3D space and used to be regarded as its best.
This game tells a classic coming-of-age narrative featuring warlocks, princesses, and the harsh realities of growing up. In it, we follow the franchise’s trademark hero, Link as he leaves his home in Kokiri Forest to save the land of Hyrule from Ganondorf.
Before he fights Ganondorf, Link must overcome and explore menacing dungeons, defeat supernatural bosses and collect the legendary Master Sword to achieve his goal. Link isn’t the most chatty protagonist, however, Ocarina of Time steadily shows Link develop into an admirable warrior near the halfway mark. If you’ve never played Ocarina of Time, give this game a shot.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is often regarded as the better Nintendo 64 Legend of Zelda title by some because of its dark themes, clever puzzles, and interesting time mechanic. This game saw the debut of Link’s menacing adversaries Skull Kid and Majora who insist on making Link’s arrival to Termina horrifying.
This game takes place two months after the events of Ocarina of Time. It follows Link, who embarks on a journey but winds up in Termina, a world parallel to Hyrule. Upon his arrival, Link learns that the world is might get destroyed by a menacing moon that’ll clash with it in three days.
Despite retaining aspects from Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask introduces some spicy elements to shake up the formula. Some additions include Link’s mask transformations and the three-day cycle. The three-day-cycle isn’t a joke and forces players to focus on the task at hand, otherwise, it’s game over.
While the game offers incredible challenges, it retains the qualities fans loved from Ocarina of Time. It features numerous species, exciting dungeons, and memorable interactions. If you’re on the hunt for a dark Legend of Zelda game with mature themes, give this one a go.
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
After the release of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, fans couldn’t wait to get their hands on the next Legend of Zelda game. At the time, Nintendo was dishing out new titles for the Game Cube. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker wasn’t as cherished as it is today. Many fans turned a blind eye to its cartoon-like graphics.
However, they’d learn the error of their ways upon the game’s 2002 release. In Wind Waker, players travel to multiple islands while aboard Link’s pirate ship. Link’s goal in Wind Waker is to secure his sister from the evil sorcerer Ganon but gets wrapped up in another struggle for the Triforce.
Link will be aided by familiar allies like Princess Zelda, but receive assistance from the pirate captain Tetra and his talking boat deemed the King of Red Lions. The wind is a nature that plays a key role in Link’s adventure as he’ll learn to tame it via his magic conductor baton called the Wind Waker.
Despite its cartoonish aesthetic, Wind Waker tackles some mature themes and includes some dark imagery. If you’re looking for another fun-filled Legend of Zelda adventure to dive into, check this one out.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past is neck and neck with Breath of the Wild on many fans’ favorite games lists. This game took inspiration from the original NES game and doubled down on its adventurous, graphical, and interactive elements.
What was left was a game that’s stood the test of time and remains a favorite amongst Zelda fans, even after Breath of the Wild’s release. A Link To The Past is set many years before the events of the first two Zelda games. It has players control Link as he travels through Hyrule to prepare for his inevitable fight with Ganon.
Link receives the mission to save the Seven Sages’ descendants too. Doing so will grant Link the strength necessary to accomplish his mission. The game adopts a top-down perspective and includes staple tropes like parallel worlds and Master Sword. With its tributes and innovations, A Link To The Past is a worthwhile SNES game that every Legend of Zelda fan must play.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Like all companies, Nintendo wanted their first Nintendo Switch Legend of Zelda game to feel more ambitious than previous entries. While the game has its critics, Breath of the Wild offers a vast and lush world that’s worth revisiting countless times. In this game, we follow Link, who awakens from his hundred-year slumber.
After you exit your chambers and complete needed quests, you’re thrown into a world where you can do anything you want. Whether you want to rush to fight Ganon completely naked or build upon Link’s arsenal over time, Breath of the Wild gives you the freedom to explore its areas in any matter you deem fit.
While the storyline could’ve benefited from following the traditional Zelda formula, many found this game’s world lively and surprising. Despite releasing in early 2017, Legend of Zelda fans continues finding undiscovered tricks, locales, and secrets not shared by Nintendo or the gaming press.
It’s these minor discoveries and experiences that make this a fabulous Legend of Zelda title to play at a steady pace. If you haven’t played one of the Nintendo Switch’s best game releases, do yourself a favor, and check this one out.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Despite taking a huge risk with Wind Waker, Nintendo eventually gave fans the realistic and gritty Legend of Zelda title they sought for the Game Cube. Not only did The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess release on the Game Cube, but it was also released on Nintendo’s Wii system.
The story revolves around Link, who aims to prevent Hyrule from being engulfed by a parallel dimension called the Twilight Realm. To accomplish his goal, Link forms a bond with a mysterious creature named Midna and transforms into a wolf.
Despite its wolf gameplay harboring mixed reception from fans, many players adored the nine dungeons Link explored in Twilight Princess. Each dungeon has incredible enemies to fight and difficult puzzles to solve. The combat is like Ocarina of Time but feels more refined. If you’re looking for a grittier Legend of Zelda game filled with secrets and collectibles, check out Twilight Princess.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is one of Link’s oddest adventures. This game blends the classic 2D top-down Legend of Zelda gameplay fans loved from the NES and SNES era and showers it with wackiness and charm. What Nintendo concocts is a game that serves as a love letter to their company.
Besides your typical Legend of Zelda foes, you’ll meet and fight recognizable Super Mario Bros. enemies. Some foes you’ll meet include Goombas, Chain Chomps, Bloopers, etc. The Nintendo Switch remake of Link’s Awakening features a majestic toy-like art style.
This art style helps the game stand out from the Switch’s other titles like Breath of the Wild or Skyward Sword. Despite having a dungeon creation system, this game feels solely single-player focused. That’s not entirely bad, though. The game contains enough satisfying puzzles and boss fights to keep you invested. If you’re searching for a comfortable Legend of Zelda game to play, check this one out.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages & Seasons
Considering Pokémon’s success with releasing two different versions, it made sense for Nintendo to want to tamper with the idea with other franchises. The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon are considered to be juggernauts in Nintendo’s catalog.
It made sense for The Legend of Zelda to be the franchise they’d want to experiment with regarding the notion of similar yet different universal games. Both games have you control Link from an overhead perspective, but the events that take place in these titles differ significantly.
For instance, in Seasons, the Triforce transports Link to the land of Holodrum where he witnesses a being named Onox kidnap Din, the Oracle of Seasons. However, in Ages, the Triforce places Link in Labyrnna, where a character named Veran possesses Nayru, the Oracle of Ages.
Unlike Pokémon, players must play both Oracle games to fight the final boss. While this may sound like a hindrance, you’ll find the game’s interconnected storytelling unique and effective. These games contain numerous bosses, puzzles, and dungeons to explore and conquer. If you’re looking for another batch of unique Legend of Zelda titles to play, I’d recommend both Oracle of Ages and Seasons.
The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap
After playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Four Swords, fans grew to appreciate Nintendo’s new cartoon-like version of Hyrule’s greatest hero. This led Nintendo to create another game that follows the events of Four Swords deemed, The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap.
This game was released on the Gameboy Advance in 2004. It saw critical acclaim from most reviewers and fans for its enchanting music, classic Zelda gameplay, and remarkable dungeon design. In it, players follow Link who acquires a magical talking cap named Ezlo, who can shrink Link’s size.
Despite the game’s praise, it falls victim to being one of Link’s shorter adventures. This game doesn’t offer the most challenging obstacles as it can be completed in about a day. Despite its shortcomings, The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap offers enough charm, mystery, and adventure to warm your heart.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Despite fans wanting to see a remake of one of Link’s best 2D outings, Nintendo had other plans. Instead of a remake of A Link To The Past, they opted to create a spiritual successor to that game called The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. This game became a fan-favorite amongst Zelda fans for its clever dungeon design, beautiful visuals, and fun game mechanics.
A Link Between Worlds takes place many years after the events of A Link To The Past. As always, players control Link, who embarks on a mission to restore peace to Hyrule. This is because an evil sorcerer named Yuga captures Princess Zelda and escapes to a parallel world called Lorule. Yuga’s plans don’t rest there. She aims to kidnap the Seven Sages and use their power to restore Ganon.
While on his adventure to stop Yuga, Link receives a magic bracelet from a merchant named Ravio. This grants him the ability to merge with walls as a 2D painting. This mechanic plays a vital role in helping you progress through the game. On top of that, there are the usual dungeon-crawling and enemy-bashing elements from prior games for you to try.
Fans looking for a refreshing and fun successor to A Link To The Past should pick up and play A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best video games from The Legend of Zelda series throughout the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!