Inspired by the bombcast. No spinoffs. HD rereleases, other ports and remakes count as the same game as the original.
Ranking of Zeldas
Wind Waker is super important to me because it had such a strong influence on the way I draw. It's also the best time I've had with a Zelda in terms of exploring and "adventuring"-- Link to the Past is great, but it just wasn't as exciting to explore that world.
Maybe I just like sailing because Black Flag is the only Asassin's Creed game I liked, entirely because of the ship+islands stuff. Gimme more ocean-based overworlds pls video games.
For the record, I voted for Wind Waker myself, but it's a close race at the top. I love that, Majora, Ocarina, A Link to the Past and Minish Cap. Wind Waker is just the one I played and enjoyed most recently. Twilight Princess is pretty good too, just a little uninspired and with some design choices I didn't love(Bloom, sound effects, ugly art design on characters and a slower Link). Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass I thought were frustrating. Specifically, I can't stand the overworlds and the dungeon you have to return to all the time, and I'm not that big a fan of the touch controls despite the new possibilities they open up. The microphone gimmick was annoying, I quit Spirit Tracks when I couldn't play one of the later songs after many tries. Not awful, but I don't remember them fondly either. Zelda 1 and 2 are so old I just can't get into them or appreciate them at all, except as the first ones. Sorry. Skyward Sword was boring, so I never kept playing past the beginning, but it did have some characters I liked the look of. The rest I haven't played.
Thanks to whoever moved this to the correct forum.
Wind Waker is still the only overworld they've ever done that was actually fun to explore, with both marked islands and lots of unmarked little platforms and submarines and krakens to find. Plus just a really well realized art style that still felt distinctly Zelda, some good dungeons, and an interesting story premise. Also probably the best climax of any Zelda game.
Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword both felt like a holding pattern where they're just busy sucking off Ocarina of Time, which was certainly great in its own time, but Wind Waker is the culmination of their overall efforts with the series. Hopefully Breath of the Wild successfully shakes up the pattern that they've been painfully adhering to for like a decade longer than they needed to.
A Link to the Past is still the best overall Zelda game of all time.
Sorry, Ocarina of Time fans.
Twilight Princess comes in a distant second, followed by Ocarina of Time.
The only cool thing about that game for me, was Princess Zelda secretly being a Ninja.
I didn't play any of the hand held Zelda games, or the one that game out on the Wii, so I can't speak for those ones.
I chose A Link Between Worlds, mostly because it's the most fun I've had playing a Zelda game in recent memory. I'm not sure if it's the "best" per-se, but I replayed Ocarina of Time on 3DS this year and it turns out that game is so ingrained into my memory that I honestly don't know if I'm capable of making any sort of comparative or qualitative judgement on that game versus any other game in the series. I also beat Majora's Mask for the first time this year and think parts of that game are great. It's structure and world are super weird in a way that almost compensates for the dungeons being sort of forgettable.
I should probably replay Wind Waker and Twilight Princess before I issue any sort of concrete judgement on those. It's been just long enough that I don't have a really good memory of either, besides Wind Waker being surprisingly short and Twilight Princess being exceptionally long. And then at some point I guess I'll play Skyward Sword.
- Ocarina of Time
- Majora's Mask
- Link to the Pask
- Link's Awakening
- Wind Waker
- Link Between Worlds
- Twilight Princess
- Minish Cap
- Oracle of Ages
- Oracle of Seasons
- Spirit Tracks
- Skyward Sword
- Phantom Hourglass
- Zelda II
- Four Swords Adventures (Higher than FS because singleplayer content is available.)
- Four Swords
- Tri Force Heroes (which I haven't played yet.. Maybe someday.)
Honorary mention? Soul Calibur 2 on GameCube.
Man, I couldn't believe when I saw that Bombcast sub-title (haven't actually listened to it yet). Some friends and I did our own podcast called "Ranking of Marios" a few weeks ago, and I literally sent an email to them yesterday for organizing our next one, called... "Ranking of Zeldas". Needless to say, there's a lot of irony in the timing here :P
To answer the actual question, LttP, OoT, and WW are a super close top 3 for me personally, the order I struggle with. Most days I tend to go with OoT though.
Not surprising that ALttP is at the top because I know I'm the minority on the opinion that it's heavily overrated. I played through it for the first time about two years ago, and I found it to be a heavily-flawed and frustrating experience; Ganon's Tower may be the worst dungeon out of any game in the series.
Couldn't possibly rank them all (have played less than half, for sure), but hardly any videogame memories will ever live up to playing OoT when I was in the 4th / 5th grade. The world felt impossibly open back then...adventured for hours with friends, swapped secrets, annotated guidebooks, etc. Even the main Hyrule "field" - which now seems comically tiny - felt like an expanse waiting to be explored. If only for nostalgia, it will always be OoT, although most seem to agree it was a bit of a landmark game, too.
Wind Waker is also pretty great.
I mean, if you put the two together, A Link Between Worlds is just a straight up better version of LttP. If we are ranking them in a contemporary fashion, that is. So it would be that and Wind Waker duking it out for top spot. I'd then personally put OoT on 3rd and Majora on 4th probably. I have no idea where the rest would place.
I've been trying to play Link to the past for a couple years now. I don't get the hype. I find it dull. The first and second Zelda games are still the best and Ocarina of time is a great game, but it feels like a different series. Majora's Mask felt like a fun side story off Ocarina- kind of like a twilight zone episode or a tree house of horror episode on The Simpsons.
I've not really found any interest in any other Zelda games. I'm still plugging away at Link to the past, though. It probably gets better after the first couple of hours but I always want to do something else when I play it- so I do.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
- The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
Links's Crossbow Training
I haven't played any of the 2D zeldas, but of the 3Ds I've played (which is all of them to completion but Skyward Sword) I have to say Wind Waker is the best of them all. It's so close to perfection for a Zelda game. Game is so good, it's flaws just stand out that much more. That's my number one. Two would have to be OoT because it's too important to just dismiss. Then Majora. Then Twilight. Finally skyward sword.
I haven't played many Zelda games but I liked what I played of Twilight Princess more than any others. I didn't actually finish it, because I spent 25 hours playing it after spending 25 hours playing Wind Waker and several hours playing A Link Between Worlds and Ocarina of Time, but what I played struck me as more interesting than anything in Wind Waker. I get the whole thing about Wind Waker's "style", but by the time I beat it, I didn't feel like there was really all that much to it. Just lots and lots and lots of fucking sailing, a handful of dungeons, and a forgettable story. Cool ideas? Yes, and I enjoyed my time with it, but I was ready for it to be over a good while before it was over.
If I'm trying to be as fair as possible, though, then A Link Between Worlds is the best one I've played. I mean, come on, that game has no fat on it, there are almost no blemishes throughout that whole thing and there are a lot of high points.
Also, I didn't play any Zelda games as a kid. I knew what they were, but never owned one and somehow managed to avoid watching any friends play one, so none of this is speaking from nostalgia.
Link's Awakening holds a really special place for me. It was the first and probably only game I went 100% in. Also I got the crushing feeling of having the batteries in my GB die during the last boss battle. I'd go back and play it again if everything didn't feel so familiar any time I tried. Link Between Worlds is also very good.
@mambogator: even today with the original gamecube game im still in awe at the striking art direction and just how imaginative and gorgeous it looks. the style alone helps make it utterly timeless.
(real talk tho LttP is one of my favorite games of all time and it's truly hard to choose between the two)
As much as I like Zelda games ive always hated travelling between alternate dimensions and time peroids, it just seems like a lazy way to reuse assets. I'm (re)playing through Metroid Prime Echoes atm and it's kind of tedious. (the original prime still holds up) And for that reason i'd go with Wind Waker over OoT and ALttP. They were amazing for the time though.
@redhotchilimist: "No spinoffs" but then "Tri-Force Heroes"? Interesting.
I voted Majora's Mask, but it's a toss up between that, OoT and Wind Waker as my favourite. They're all so different, it's hard to say that one is better than the other, right?
I will say that, aside from Tri-Force Heroes (which, as I alluded above, maybe shouldn't be on this list, but I haven't played it so who knows), Skyward Sword is my least favourite. I played it most of the way through, but it was such a chore that I just gave up before the last dungeon. I forget if something in particular drove me away, but now I'm just left with bad feelings about going back and finishing it off.
Hearing them say Link Between Worlds is somewhat different worried me, as it's the first one that held me through for an entire playthrough (multiple, in fact). It made me want to actually play through Link to the Past, but now I'm worried I might not like it quite as much.
That said, I've only really played Ocarina, Majora's, and Link's Awakening. I didn't grow up with Nintendo consoles (but did have Game Boys). I probably would have finished Link's Awakening but I borrowed it from a friend and it was in French, so I got stuck at one point about 4-5 dungeons deep and couldn't figure out where to go next. Ocarina held me for about 3 dungeons or so but then I just lost interest, and Majora's probably a little less.
I am looking forward to Breath of the Wild, even though so far I've enjoyed the 2D Zelda games a lot more than the 3D ones.
I will preface this in that I am like Drew and haven't played many Zelda games, and have beaten even less of them. I've removed any I haven't at least played in some capacity.
- Oracle of Ages (Beat)
- Oracle of Seasons (Beat)
- Link Between Worlds (On the last dungeon, but just never followed up with)
- Links Awakening (Beat)
- Orcarina (Got to the Shadow Temple)
- Twilight Princess (I think I got half way through? I don't remember what dungeon I left off at, but I do remember putting in at least a good 20 hours into it)
- Majora (Didn't get very far, first couple of dungeons.)
- Zelda II (don't remember how far I got)
- Phantom Hourglass (Beat, liked some neat gameplay aspects, HATED that dungeon you go back to over and over again, even with the shortcuts)
- Zelda (Tried so many times on virtual console. Maybe if I had played this when I was more impressionable I'd have liked it more. No where close to beating)
I feel like I am the only person on the world who just completely dislikes Link Between Worlds. To make it more complex, I have always preferred the top down Zeldas, with Link to the Past being my favorite. I should have really enjoyed LBW but I hated the way it looked, I hated the item renting thing, I didn't care for the dungeons that I played. I bounced off it super quick.
This poll is missing the best of the Zeldas: Okami.
I was considering making a poll with the exact same title and only listing "Okami, Darksiders, Beyond Good and Evil, Hyper Light Drifter, Oceanhorn: Monster of the uncharted Seas, 3D Dot Game Heroes, The Binding of Isaac", because that would be funny. Or alternatively, all of the smash brothers games, hyrule warriors, link's crossbow training, mario kart 8 and soul calibur 2. But I didn't actually want to know what other Zelda game that's not a Zelda game you guys like the most.
I used Wikipedia's list of the main Zelda games, raised my eyebrow at the four swords thing that was packed in with the GBA port of AlttP and removed that from the list. I honestly have no idea what Tri-Force heroes is except it involves tacky fashion.
These things always remind me how few Zeldas, or really Nintendo properties in general, I've had my hands on in any way since the Gamecube debacle.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
16. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
I haven't played any of the others. But I'm certain Majora's Mask is slightly better than the CD-I games, yet significantly worse than anything else in the series.
Please Log In to post.
This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.
Comment and Save
Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.