The Big Question: Best Zelda Game Of All Time

I'm going to break with tradition today. Usually The Big Question is all about two choices, one winner. Today there will be multiple choices. Let's shake things up. Today's question is simple: which Zelda game is the best Zelda game?

There will be no spin offs. I'm going to keep this list as definitive and simple as possible.

Also: the right answer is A Link To The Past. Just saying.


Comments

    I can't decide between Wind Waker, Majoras Mask or Links Awakening.

      This guy.

      I was stuck between wind waker and majora.

      Ended up with majora.

    Minish Cap. Just to piss off all of you.

      Minish cap wasnt THAT bad lol

      That works for me. Minish Cap was the best handheld Zelda until Link Between Worlds came along.

    LTTP, but I am partial to everything from the N64 era onwards

    I'd say Ocarina of Time just because it's such a great game that I sunk a LOT of hours into as a kid. I really need to get back into windwaker now that the gamecube is on my big tv...

    Link to the Past is obviously the correct answer, but a whole bunch of people with First Girlfriend Syndrome (TM) are going to vote for Ocarina of Time.

    Go back and play it folks. It does not hold up at all.

      I don't agree that it doesn't hold up. Would you care to explain?

      Im playing it at the moment on my new 3DS. It holds up and is just as fun as it was years ago.

      Maybe you have a touch of GICS.......Grumpy Internet Comment Syndrome.

        OoT on the 3DS is a completely different SKU.

        They addressed hundreds of minor and major issues, as well as a graphics refresh.

        Bust out your cartridge and see how you fare.

          Like what? Apart from graphics they left it mostly the same. I even remember reading they left glitches in for authenticity

      This is my feeling as well, and having never played a Zelda game am interested to find out which would be the best if played for the first time 'today'. Notalgia goggles are problematic.

    I cannot pick a best.

    My favourite is Twilight Princess, but that's almost certainly because it was the first one I ever played.

    I might even go with Link Between Worlds as the best, because it only had one low point (In the ice dungeon, where it's like "look, you unlocked something in a room that looks like all the other rooms, now spend twenty minutes searching fruitlessly for this one stupid room"), but I never really felt like I had to apply my brain muscles in solving the dungeons, so I dunno.

      I'd like to replay Twilight Princess. I finished it in snippets and on weekends when my lab at uni bought the Wii on launch day. I imagine it would be very different to play it in the comfort of my own home! Though that waggle... ugh. Would be great if they re-released the Wii version as part of their current schedule, but with the option for Gamecube controls. Probably not going to happen :(

        Twilight princess used to be my favourite. I think they tried too hard to recreate the OoT in TP, watering it down a little. WW was my first Zelda and I do love it, but I gave my vote to A link between worlds, because I just loved it so much.

        Brah you are aware that Twilight Princess IS a Gamecube game right?

        Nintendo only created a quick cash grab port of this Gamecube title for the Wii so that they'd have something substantial for the Wii at it's launch hence it's horrible quickly whipped together Wii motion controls.

        Out of pure principle I refused to buy Twilight Princess on the Wii and instead got it for the console it was made for that being the Gamecube and I'm suggesting you do the same if you can find a copy at this point.

        If you don't own a Gamecube you can most likely find a cheap and used on on either Ebay or Amazon but if you demand a new Gamecube I don't think they're going for all that high a price either so you may as well get a Gamecube with Twilight Princess and be happy playing the game on the console it was built for with decent controls instead of the crappy port of it found on the Wii.

    Wind Waker. It changed my mind on the franchise.

    Although I'm sure it would be Majoras Mask when I play it.

      Same, Windwaker was my first and I still think of it as the most emotional/ sweet/ heartfelt Zelda game. (IMHO, of course)

        Oh no, I just realised now that I thought this game was called Windwalker, not Windwaker, and have been saying it incorrectly for years :/

    The Legend of Zelda series represents THE most enduring, most varied and highest quality group of games the medium has ever produced.

    Make it a mission of yours to play at least one of the games on that list that you never have.

    Do it.

      Really? I 've gone off it a bit in recent years because it's been too samey.

      Saying that, I loved LBW which was just OoT2

        But LBW was LttP2?

          Ha ha! I'm -1 in votes.

          Can't not love a franchise as much as others it seems XD

          How dare I have the balls to only love Zelda a bit instead of all consumingly

    Link To The Past for me. I still have my cartridge of it. Such a classic game that has aged pretty damned good

    Never played a Zelda game before. Never owned any Nintendo consoles (besides a couple of handhelds a long time ago). Does this invalidate me as a gamer?

      Yes. Probably the most rewarding, consistently excellent series in gaming and you never played it? Oh puhleeeeeeeeease ;)

        I dunno, I loved the first four games but after those, the series completely lost my interest. I'd check them out, nearly bought a few, but they all seemed a bit crap.

      Nah, play what you like.

    I voted for OOT but I really think that Twilight Princess was an under-rated and under-appreciated classic. The art design and direction on it were amazing.

    WIND WAKER.

    Hard question though. Obviously Ocarina is a masterpiece. Link to the Past is way ahead of its time. Also I think Link Between Worlds is an amazing game and really surprised me with how good it was. But Wind Waker had it all for me. Huge world, fun overworld traversal, great story, and the best art style of any Zelda game to date.

    Also, that last boss fight with Ganon in his kimono rocking those duel samurai swords FTW

    Never really got into the 3d zelda games, the battles had a lot of waiting for a flashing thing to appear from what I remember and the dungeon layout was super confusing for a wee youngling when Ocarina of Time came out. I decided to pick up Link between worlds and it was amazingly well done, it's the only zelda game I've played that didn't feel like a complete chore to play.

    Ocarina of Time is a bad game, and I don't know why people still herald it as the best Zelda game when it has aged poorly and has been succeeded by games that have improved on it in every way.

    I'm playing Majora's Mask for the first time with the 3DS release and the whole time I'm playing I've been thinking "this is what Ocarina should have been like."

    2D Zelda will always be best Zelda though, so A Link to the Past will always be the best one.

    Wind Waker had the best story and the most personality.

    Although I could vote Ocarina of Time it's the only one I've played so I don't think it'd mean anything :P

    No Wand of Gamelon? I have to confess that I'm not as big a fan of LoZ as everyone else seems to be, but I do really like Link's Awakening.

      It was a spin off game, hence why it wasn't included

    Ocarina of Time every day of the week and twice on Sundays. A tie between A Link to the Past and Majora's Mask for second place.

    I've never played a Zelda game, so nostalgia aside, which would be the best game to start with *now*.
    I have a 3DS and a Wii-U and am reading this thread with interest.

      Hyrule Warriors.

      Not joking.

        "I want to get into a series, which one should I start with?"

        "here, start with the one that's based entirely on another series and plays nothing like the other games in this series."

        I'd say A Link to the Past or (despite my dislike for it) Ocarina of Time are the best starting points, for better or for worse they're considered the peaks of 2D and 3D Zelda respectively.

      They're not directly related to each other so there's no official entry point. There are essentially two schools of Zelda. The first is the original birds eye NES/SNES style RPG. The second is the 3D Ocarina of Time style RPG. The difference isn't as extreme as Metroid's 2D vs 3D, but there is a difference. The SNES style is probably the simpler action driven one where the 3D is more story driven.
      You've got four main choices if you want something relatively current. Ocarina of Time (3DS) gives probably the most core experience of them all but honestly I don't think it holds up as well without the nostalgia or fandom. Majora's Mask (3DS) is different. It's like Groundhog Day as an Action-RPG. You try to prevent the end of the world over the course of three days, and every time you fail it gets reset (but you keep masks and items, allowing you to progress over multiple loops).
      Link Between Worlds (3DS) has really solid fundamentals but it's also a bit of a love letter to Link to the Past on the SNES. It's perfectly playable but it might be a little alienating in the design. It's very open and non-linear, but it's still sort of super linear moment to moment. You can do the dungeons in a relatively free form order but to do the hookshot dungeon you need the hookshot.
      Wind Waker HD (Wii U) is probably the final option without going to the Virtual Console and again it's a little weird. If it looks interesting I say pick that one up. If the graphics turn you off that's fair enough. They do a really good job of building a visually interesting world.

      While people enjoy most aspects of the Zelda games I think the most core reason to play it is that the gameplay is fun. Combat is real time, swinging swords and holding shields, throwing bombs and shooting arrows. You can unlock upgrades for your health bar, weapon strength, etc but it's not stat based where you buy a +1 Sword from a vendor.
      The dungeons are made up of rooms filled with puzzles that range in difficulty from simple 'kill everything in the room' to 'you'll need a minute to think about where to push these statues'. They strike a nice difficulty balance that's engaging without being obnoxious.
      If that sounds good to you I highly recommend giving a few Zelda games a shot.

        I loved a link between worlds and I haven't played a Link to the past. I would suggest trying Windwaker first, then OoT, aTbW and then Majora's mask.

    There's just too much variation to rank them. For all the complaints that Nintendo just make a Zelda title every generation and refuse to do anything new there are only a few Zelda games that directly compare.
    Zelda is like the Foo Fighters. There's no track or album I rate number one, just songs I'm in the mood for right now. Today I want to play Link to the Past, tomorrow Wind Waker.

      Zelda is like the Foo Fighters.
      So I shouldn't play it then?

    Link's Awakening represent!

      I am shocked and appalled at just how far down the list the best game in the Zelda series is.

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