Nintendo fans can find dozens of personal lists about the best Legend of Zelda games online. However, the most important ranking comes directly from the players. And with 2022 marking the 36th anniversary since the first Legend of Zelda game released on NES in 1986, the series has dozens of titles to rank. As gamers wait for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release date, here are the top five best Zelda games ranked by fans on Ranker.
Honorable mentions for the best ‘Zelda’ games: ‘The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess’ and ‘Majora’s Mask’
In discussions of the best 3D Legend of Zelda games, Twilight Princess often comes up with Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker. However, compared to the best 2D Zelda games, Link’s adventure with Midna ranks lower than most would expect, coming at number seven.
Another surprising entry to not crack the top five is The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. It features one of the darkest storylines in the entire Nintendo series. As the Happy Mask Salesman sends Link to retrieve Majora’s Mask from Skull Kid, players fell in love with the darker atmosphere, placing it at number six.
5. ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds’
Nintendo made The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for fans of the classic 2D Zelda games. It features Link venturing into Hyrule’s parallel world, Lorule. He fights the evil Yuga and saves Princess Zelda and Princess Hilda.
The game map and concept take heavy inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, a game considered one of the best video games of all time. However, it adds the unique mechanic of traveling between 2D and 3D planes.
4. ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past established some of the most iconic staples of the series. It introduced the Master Sword, the idea of multiple versions of Link and Zelda, and parallel worlds.
Fans consider A Link to the Past the best 2D Legend of Zelda game, and several lists include it as one of the best games of all time. It earned multiple re-releases bundled with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords on the GBA.
3. ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD’
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker faced much backlash for its more cartoonish art style. However, it has become a fan favorite. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword features an expressive Link, but the best Zelda games have yet to top Wind Waker.
It features Link teaming up with the pirate Tetra, sailing across the Great Ocean with the King of Red Lions, and fighting Ganondorf. And Nintendo even released The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, which improved tedious segments like the Triforce hunt.
2. ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’
Even though The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time first released in 1998, fans can still find this title at the top of ‘best games of all time’ lists. The Nintendo 64 title helped define how 3D video games operated.
In addition, it expanded the Zelda universe by introducing the Golden Goddesses and the Goron Tribe. It even reinvented the Zora and established recurring characters like the Great Deku Tree.
1. Fans voted ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ as the best ‘Zelda’ game
Nintendo took a massive gamble with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nintendo decided to totally reinvent the series with one of the biggest open-world maps in any game ever, ditching linear plot completely and even reinventing dungeons.
However, fans loved the Champions Urbosa, Daruk, Mipha, and Revali. They loved the endless exploration.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild earned its place as the best Zelda game. And Nintendo hopes to outdo themselves again when the sequel releases in 2022.
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