The best Zelda games: Eurogamer editors’ choice_777

November 5, 2020 6:13 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You have already had your state on the very best Zelda games because we observe the series’ 30th anniversary – and you also did a mighty fine job also, even though I am pretty sure A Link to the Past belongs at the head of any record – so now it is our turn. We asked the Eurogamer editorial staff to vote for their favourite Zelda games (although Wes abstained because he doesn’t know what a Nintendo is) and underneath you’ll find the complete top ten, together with some of our own musings. Could we get the matches in their real order? Likely not…


How brightly contradictory that one of the finest first games on Nintendo’s 3DS would be a 2D adventure game, which among the most adventurous Zelda entries are the one that closely aped one of its predecessors.

It really helps, of course, the template was lifted from a number of the best games in the show also, by extension, one of the best games of all time. A Link Between Worlds takes that and also positively sprints with it, running into the recognizable expanse of Hyrule using a newfound liberty.

In providing you the ability to let any of Link’s well-established tools from the off, A Link Between Worlds broke free of the linear progress that had shackled previous Zelda games; that is a Hyrule which was no more characterized through an invisible path, but one that provided a feeling of discovery and absolutely free will that was beginning to feel absent in previous entries.Read more phantom hourglass ds rom At website Articles The feeling of adventure so precious to the series, muffled in recent years from the ritual of reproduction, was well and truly restored. MR

9. Spirit Tracks

A unfortunate side-effect of the simple fact that more than 1 generation of gamers has grown up with Zelda and refused to go has been an insistence – during the show’ mania, at any rate – it grow up with them. That resulted in some fascinating places in addition to some ridiculous tussles over the series’ leadership, as we’ll see later on this listing, but sometimes it threatened to leave Zelda’s unique constituency – you know, children – behind.

Happily, the portable games happen to be there to take care of younger players, and Spirit Tracks for the DS (currently available on Wii U Virtual Console) is Zelda at its maximum chirpy and adorable. Though beautifully designed, it is not an especially distinguished game, being a relatively laborious and laborious follow-up to Phantom Hourglass that reproduces its construction and flowing stylus controller. However, it’s such zest! Link employs a small train to go around and also its puffing and tooting, together with an inspired folk music soundtrack, set a lively tempo for the adventure. Then there’s the childish, tactile pleasure of driving the train: setting the throttle, yanking the whistle and scribbling destinations in your own map.

Link must save her body, but her spirit is using him as a constant companion, occasionally able to possess enemy soldiers and perform with the brutal heavy. The two even enjoy an innocent childhood love, and you would be hard pushed to consider another game that has captured the teasing, blushing strength of a reggae beat also. Inclusive and candy, Spirit Tracks recalls that children have feelings too, and can show grownups something or two about love. OW

8. Ghost Hourglass

Inside my mind, at least, there has long been a furious debate going on regarding if Link, Hero of Hyrule, is really any good using a boomerang. He’s been wielding the loyal, banana-shaped piece of timber because his very first adventure, but in my experience it’s merely been a pain in the arse to use.

The exception which proves the rule, however, is Phantom Hourglass, in which you draw on the route for your boomerang from the hand. Poking the stylus in the touch screen (which, at an equally lovely transfer, is how you control your sword), you draw a precise flight map for your boomerang and it just… goes. No more faffing about, no more clanging into pillars, only easy, simple, improbably responsive boomerang trip. It had been when I first used the boomerang at Phantom Hourglass that I realised this game could just be something special; I quickly fell in love with the rest.

Never mind that so many of the puzzles are based on setting a change and then getting from Point A to Point B as fast as possible. Never mind that viewing some game back to refresh my memory lent me powerful flashbacks into the hours spent huddling over the display and gripping my DS like that I needed to throttle it. Never mind I did want to throttle my DS. JC

7. Skyward Sword

It bins the familiar Zelda overworld and collection of distinct dungeons by throwing three enormous areas in the player which are constantly reworked. It’s a beautiful game – one I am still expecting will be remade in HD – whose watercolour visuals render a glistening, dream-like haze within its azure skies and brush-daubed foliage. After the filthy, Lord of this Rings-inspired Twilight Princess, it was the Zelda series confidently re-finding its toes. I am able to defend many of familiar criticisms levelled at Skyward Sword, such as its overly-knowing nods to the rest of the series or its marginally forced origin narrative that unnecessarily retcons familiar elements of this franchise. I will even get behind the smaller general amount of area to explore when the game always revitalises all its three areas so ardently.

I could not, unfortunately, ever get in addition to the game’s Motion Plus controllers, which required one to waggle your Wii Remote to be able to do combat. It turned the boss fights against the brilliantly eccentric Ghirahim into infuriating fights with technologies. Into baskets which made me rage quit for the remainder of the night. Sometimes the movement controls worked – that the flying Beetle thing pretty much consistently found its mark but when Nintendo was forcing players to depart the reliability of a control strategy, its replacement needed to work 100 percent of the time. TP

6. Twilight Princess

When Ocarina of Time came out in November 1998, I was ten years of age. I was pretty awful in Zelda games. I really could throw my way through the Great Deku Tree and the Fire Temple okay but, by the time Connect dove headlong into the fantastic Jabu Jabu’s belly, my desire to have fun with Ocarina of Time easily began outstripping the fun I was actually having.

When Twilight Princess rolled around, I had been at college and also something in me – most likely a deep romance – was prepared to test again. I recall day-long stretches on the couch, huddling underneath a blanket in my chilly apartment and just poking my hands out to flap about using the Wii distant during battle. Resentful seems were thrown in the stack of books I knew I had to skim over the next week. Subsequently there was the magnificent dawn when my then-girlfriend (now fiancée) awakened me with a gentle shake, asking’can I watch you play Zelda?’

Twilight princess is, frankly, attractive. There’s a fantastic, brooding atmosphere; the gameplay is enormously diverse; it has got a beautiful art design, one that I wish they had kept for only one more match. It’s also got a number of the best dungeons in the show – I know this because since then I’ve been able to return and mop up the recent titles I missed – Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker – and enjoy myself doing it. That’s why I’ll always adore Twilight Princess – it is the game that made me click with Zelda. JC

5. Majora’s Mask

Zelda is a show defined by copying: the story of the long-eared hero and the queen is handed down from generation to generation, a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, some of its best moments have come when it stepped outside its own framework, left Hyrule along with Zelda herself behind, and inquired what Link could do next. It took an even more revolutionary tack: weird, dark, and structurally experimental.

Although there’s loads of humor and adventure, Majora’s Mask is suffused with doom, sorrow, and also an off-kilter eeriness. A number of this comes from its true awkward timed arrangement: the moon is falling on the Earth, the clock is ticking and you can’t stop it, just reposition and begin, a little stronger and wiser each moment. Some of it stems from the antagonist, the Skull Kid, who’s no villain but an innocent with a sad story who has given in to the corrupting influence of the titular mask. Some of this comes from Link himselfa child again but with the increased man of Ocarina still somewhere within him, he rides rootlessly into the land of Termina like he has got no greater place to be, so far in the hero of legend.

Largely, it comes from the townsfolk of Termina, whose lifestyles Connect observes moving helplessly towards the end of the world along their appointed paths, over and over again. Regardless of an unforgettable, most surreal finish, Majora’s Mask’s primary storyline isn’t one of those series’ most powerful. However, these poignant Groundhog Day subplots concerning the strain of normal life – loss, love, family, job, and death, always death – locate the show’ writing at its absolute best. It is a melancholy, compassionate fairytale of the everyday that, using its own ticking clock, needs to remind one that you simply can’t take it with you personally. OW

4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

If you have had kids, you will be aware there’s incredibly strange and touching moment if you’re doing laundry – stick with me here – and these very small T-shirts and trousers first start to turn up on your washing. Someone new has come to dwell with you! A person implausibly small.

This is among The Wind-Waker’s greatest tips, I believe. Link had been young before, but now, with the gloriously toon-shaded change in art management, he really looks young: a Schulz toddler, with enormous head and small legs, venturing out among Moblins and pirates as well as those crazy birds that roost around the clifftops. Connect is tiny and vulnerable, and thus the adventure surrounding him seems all the more stirring.

Another fantastic tip has a lot to do with those pirates. This has become the standard Zelda question since Link to the Past, but with the Wind-Waker, there did not appear to be just one: no alternate measurement, no shifting between time-frames. Instead, you had a wild and briney sea, reaching out from all directions, an infinite blue, flecked with abstracted breakers. The sea has been contentious: so much racing back and forth across a huge map, so much time spent in crossing. But consider what it brings with it! It brings pirates and sunken treasures and ghost ships. It brings underwater grottoes and a castle waiting for you in a bubble of air back on the seabed.

Best of all, it attracts that unending sense of discovery and renewal, 1 challenge down and another awaiting, as you jump from your boat and race up the sand towards another thing, your miniature legs glancing through the surf, and your enormous eyes already fixed on the horizon. CD

3. Link’s Awakening

Link’s Awakening is near-enough that a fantastic Zelda game – it’s a huge and secret-laden overworld, sparkling dungeon design and memorable characters. In addition, it is a catalyst dream-set side-story with villages of talking animals, side-scrolling areas starring Mario enemies along with a giant fish who sings the mambo. This was my first Zelda encounter, my entry point into the series and the game against which I judge each other Zelda title. I absolutely adore it. Not only was it my very first Zelda, its own greyscale universe was among the first adventure games I played.

There is no Zelda, no Ganon. No Guru Sword. And while it feels like a Zelda, even after enjoying many of the others, its quirks and characters set it aside. Link’s Awakening packs an astonishing amount onto its little Game Boy cartridge (or Game Boy Color, in the event you played with its DX re-release). TP

2. The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past

Bottles are OP in Zelda. These humble glass containers can turn the tide of a conflict when they contain a potion or even better – a fairy. When I had been Ganon, I would postpone the wicked plotting and also the dimension rifting, and I would just place a good fortnight into travelling Hyrule from top to base and smashing any glass bottles I came across. After that, my terrible vengeance are all the more dreadful – and there’d be a sporting chance I might be able to pull off it also.

All of that suggests, as Link, a bottle may be real reward. Real treasure. Some thing to set your watch by. I think there are four glass bottles in Link to the Past, each one making you that little more powerful and that bit bolder, buying you confidence from dungeoneering and strike points at the center of a bruising boss experience. I can’t remember where you get three of those bottles. But I can recall where you receive the fourth.

It’s Lake Hylia, and if you’re like me, it’s late in the game, with all the major ticket items accumulated, that wonderful, genre-defining moment at the peak of the mountain – where one excursion becomes two – cared for, along with handfuls of streamlined, ingenious, infuriating and educational dungeons raided. Late game Link to the Past is all about looking out every last inch of this map, which means working out how the two similar-but-different versions of Hyrule fit together.

And there is a gap. An gap from Lake Hylia. An gap hidden by a bridge. And beneath it, a guy blowing smoke rings by a campfire. He feels like the best key in all Hyrule, along with the prize for discovering him is a glass container, ideal for keeping a potion – or even a fairy.

Connect to the Past seems like an impossibly smart match, divides its map to two dimensions and requesting you to flit between them, holding equally landscapes super-positioned on your mind as you solve one, enormous geographical mystery. In truth, though, someone could probably copy this layout when they had enough pencils, enough quadrille paper, sufficient time and energy, and when they had been smart and determined enough.

The best loss of the digital era.

But Link to the Past is not only the map – it’s the detailing, and the characters. It is Ganon and his wicked plot, but it is also the man camping out under the bridge. Maybe the whole thing’s somewhat like a bottle, then: the container is very important, but what you are really after is the stuff that’s inside it. CD


Where do you start with a game as momentous as Ocarina of Time? Maybe with all the Z-Targeting, a solution to 3D combat so simple you barely notice it is there. Or perhaps you speak about a open world that is touched by the light and shade cast by an internal clock, where villages dance with action by day prior to being seized by an eerie lull at nighttime. How about the expressiveness of the ocarina itself, a superbly analogue instrument whose music was conducted with the control afforded by the N64’s pad, which notes flexed wistfully at the push of a stick.

Maybe, however, you just focus in on the second itself, a great photo of video games appearing aggressively from their own adolescence as Link is throw so abruptly in a grownup world. What’s most impressive about Ocarina of Time is the way that it came so fully-formed, the 2D adventuring of previous entrances transitioning into three measurements and a pop-up book folding swiftly into life.

Other Zeldas may make for a better play today – there is a thing about the 16-bit adventuring of A Link to the Past that stays forever impervious to period – but none could ever claim to be important as Ocarina. Thanks to Grezzo’s unique 3DS remake it has retained much of its verve and impact, and even putting aside its technical accomplishments it is an adventure that still ranks among the series’ finest; emotional and uplifting, it’s touched with the bittersweet melancholy of growing up and leaving the childhood behind. By the story’s conclusion Connect’s youth and innocence – and this of Hyrule – is heroically restored, but once this most revolutionary of reinventions, video games could never be the exact same again.

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This post was written by amaranthum