Series Ranked: The Legend Of Zelda

Holy crap! In three weeks or so, we are getting the first brand new home console Zelda game for the first time in nearly 6 years! I am pumped, especially since it comes along with a brand new, amazing looking console! What more could you ask for? To celebrate the occasion, I will be ranking every Zelda game that I happen to own from worst to best. Don’t worry, I own nearly all of them, so the list is close enough to complete. After all, I can’t rate a game I have never played before, though that seems to be quite a common thing to do now by many gamers.

I have also ranked all the Nintendo Consoles, if you want to check that out.

But anyway, here is all the Zelda games I own, ranked worst to best. I will be listing also the console they were on, the year released and number of times I’ve beaten them, just so you can get an idea of how much I’ve played them.

#20 The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition  (DS, 2011)

 

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This is the only Zelda game that I have played that I can honestly say I didn’t like. But that’s really because it’s not really a Zelda game. You just run around with 4 Links and solve little puzzles and it’s over before you know it. It was really just a quick cash grab and a way to show off the multiplayer capabilities of the DS using a big franchise to draw people in. I honestly don’t remember too much about it though.

 

#19 Link’s Crossbow Training   (Wii, 2007)

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Again, this is not a real Zelda game, but a bonus game that came packaged with the Wii Zapper, which was a gun shaped device that allowed you to insert the Wii Remote and nunchuk into it so that shooter games could be played more…realistically I suppose! Nothing gets you higher than really feeling like blasting away people.

Anyway, this game was surprisingly a lot of fun. It’s very short, but it manages to give you a feel for the Zapper, and having a good time in doing so. The developers put a lot of effort into such a small project, and that is always a great thing to see.

#18 The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass  (DS, 2007)

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Our first actual Zelda game on the list. This is the only real Zelda game I can say I almost don’t like. It was just annoying to always go into some tower, avoiding some evil mist and Darknuts while finding special lantern fuel or whatever. I haven’t played it in a very long time, and am honestly in no hurry to do so again. But it is not a bad game by any means.

#17 Zelda II: The Adventure of Link  (NES, 1988)

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This is the black sheep of the Zelda family. It changed up the formula to a sidescrolling RPG. It’s hard as hell, but very rewarding. The challenge comes from losing all your XP when you die, but if you manage to level, you can pick various stats to level up. It actually is quite a fun game.

#16 The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask  (N64, 2000)

 

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If Zelda 2 was the black sheep, consider this the half-black sheep. This came out a mere year after Ocarina of Time to capitalize on the success of that game. What we got was something completely different, and quite good given the short development time. Instead of collecting tons of items, you collect masks instead (while still getting a large variety of items anyway). Each mask gives you some new type of ability or has some other effect. Some masks turn you into beloved Hylian races that you can go around and kill stuff with. It’s a unique twist on the Zelda formula and keeps up with the time traveling aspect born in Ocarina of Time. It is probably one of the hardest Zelda games too. This all being said, I wasn’t really wowed by this game, however enjoyable it is. I may have only beaten it twice, but I’ve played through more or less half of it at least two other times, each time liking it more and more.

#15 The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages  (Game Boy Color, 2001)

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Nintendo pulled a pokemon with this game, releasing a sibling alongside it. The story is driven away from the main “rescue Zelda” bit, dealing with other villains and the like as well. This game has a focus on puzzle solving, and let me tell you, some of them are indeed quite tricky! This game included tons of new and returning items, and the ability to switch to different ages. Lot of fun!

 

#14 The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons  (Game Boy Color, 2001)

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Released alongside “Ages,” this was more or less the same game, but with a different villain, different oracle, and instead of traveling through ages, you could change the seasons. The items may have been a little different too. Another great game, this time more focused on action than puzzle solving. If linked with “ages” it would unlock a new dungeon where you could fight Ganon.

 

#13 The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks   (DS, 2009)

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This game was very similar to Phantom Hourglass, except a whole lot better. Driving around in customizable trains was a great idea and made traveling sort of fun. I don’t really remember too much about it, but I know I really liked it. Playing the flute thing you got was really cool too.

#12 The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX   (Game Boy Color, 1998)

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The original game for the Game Boy was the first handheld Zelda game. And let me tell you, they came out swinging. It is an amazing game that is every bit as fun now as it was 20 years ago. I used to have it, but I don’t know what happened to it. But that is okay, because the Director’s Cut version made it all much better. The added color allowed for new tunics found in a “color dungeon” as well as some other minor adjustments. The game has a ton of content for such an old game and can keep you busy for hours on end. It took the incredible fun of the first Zelda game and made the transition onto handheld flawlessly.

#11 The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker   (Gamecube, 2003)

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This is another unique Zelda game, but not so much in the gameplay aspect of it. It’s story and setting are what really set it apart. It is a lot of fun and the cel shaded graphics are gorgeous. There are a bunch of new races included, as well as some familiar ones. The amount of content is enormous, spread out over the equally big world. That is where the problem with this game comes in too. The world takes forever to travel on, and collecting the maps and pieces of the Triforce is awfully tedious.

#10 The Legend of Zelda   (NES, 1987)

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Holy crap! If ever there was a game that was ahead of it’s time, aspiring and/or innovative, this was it. For the time, this game was massive and unique. Nothing had ever been done remotely close to this. It was a huge undertaking and blew everyone away. Like seriously, the only game that could come close to being as amazing as this for the time is Super Mario Bros. 3. But that was the fourth game in that series and this was the first. It is still just as fun today, and honestly, it holds up to the standards of today’s games as well. It is truly a masterpiece and the best game to come out of the 80’s.

#9 The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap   (Game Boy Advance, 2005)

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I am not going to lie, I don’t remember much about this game, other than that it is really good, it has like an origin story to it, and a fun shrinking ability which makes puzzle solving and exploration a lot of fun. A very solid game.

#8 The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds   (3DS, 2013)

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Say hello to the best handheld Zelda game. My goodness, it is good. Lots of new items, some weird, new renting system for the items, a fabulous story, and great gameplay. It is essentially a remake of A Link to the Past, and actually is a linear sequel. Really wonderful game. It falls just short of its prequel however.

 

#7 The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past  (SNES, 1992)

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Heh, funny to see I have only bothered to beat this game 3 times, when I must have at least started new games like 15 times over the years. I had commitment issues as a small child.

Anyway, this game did for it’s generation what the first Zelda did for the 80’s. This game floored everybody. I still remember playing it for the first time and being completely blown away. It took what made the first game perfect and improved upon that perfection. Tons more items, a larger map to explore, all sorts of new tricks and people. It was just crazy. The story was a bit deeper for back then as well, always pushing you to the next challenge, anxious to see what happens next, what new item you will find and how you would get to use it. Just awesome…

#6 The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess   (Gamecube, 2006)

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Breath of the Wild is in a very similar situation to the one Twilight Princess was in. It got delayed for about two years and then was released on Gamecube, and as a launch title for the brand new Wii. But whereas both versions of BotW are coming out at the same time, they actually released the Gamecube version a few months later to push Wii sales. But if you were like me, it took about a year to actually get hold of a Wii, so I gave up and bought it on Gamecube. I was really looking forward to this game and was not disappointed. There was tons of new features, a unique and beautiful graphical style, and just an overall great atmosphere to it. This game also features some of my favorite dungeon designs, for they sort of varied from past games.

#5 The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD   (Wii U, 2013)

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This game is phenomenal. It took everything that made the original version annoying and remedied it. It fixed every little issue, making this one of the best Zelda games ever. I couldn’t believe how much better it was. The gamepad made accessing maps and items very quick and easy as well. Suddenly a game I was not that crazy about became one of my favorites. And the cel shaded visuals are just stunning in HD.

#4 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time   (N64, 1998)

Times Beaten-Around 10

Nintendo did it once again. They took everyone by surprise and completely blew away everyone’s expectations. Just like Zelda and Link to the Past, this game was something truly ambitious and unheard of. And it also is incredibly fun to this day. Tons of items, songs, locations and people make this one to remember. The best part is the time travel however. Being able to play as Young Link and Adult Link is such a great feature that makes any of the other games have a hard time comparing to it.

#3 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Master Quest   (Gamecube, 2003)

Times Beaten-2

If I remember correctly, this was a preorder bonus for The Wind Waker. Much better than today’s “bonuses” I must say. Needless to say, I preordered it immediately. The master quest is essentially the same game, except with much more difficult puzzles in it. It was a breath of fresh air, playing one of my favorite games with new adjustments to it. It was truly a great feeling. So that is why it tops the original.

#2 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D   (3DS, 2011)

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A classic game that benefits from updated visuals, slight motion control and a touchscreen? Obviously this is the best version. It makes quite a few improvements to a masterpiece. Ocarina of Time just continues to shine through and through.

#1 The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword  (Wii, 2011)

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Here it is, the best Zelda of all time. Thanks to the Wii’s motion controls, it put Link’s sword and shield in your hands. Though the controls were a bit tricky to figure out, once you learned how to hold the controllers and how to move them, it was a breeze, making for some truly satisfying gameplay. There was a great story and the Loftwing’s were a lot of fun to travel on. Lots of cool and memorable characters, both ally and villain, made the game even better. And this game actually had challenging fights in it. Most 3D Zelda games were quite easy, focusing more on puzzle solving than action. This had a nice balance of both. Tons of brand new items were thrown in the mix as well, along with a new upgrade system for most of your items. I never thought any game would top Ocarina, but this game just makes it feel so dated.

Skyward Sword truly has a unique feel, while having that familiarity as well. As do all the games for that matter. That is what makes them so good. That is why we all crave for another release, for Breath of the Wild looks to fit that formula perfectly. I also love how every game has that awesome gold cover to it, just holding that in your hands gives you a great feeling.

So there you have it. If memory serves correct, the only games I was missing in this list were TriForce Heroes, Link’s Awakening, Twilight Princess HD, Majora’s Mask 3D and Four Swords Adventure.

 

 

Series Ranked: Nintendo Consoles

With the release of Nintendo’s new console, codenamed “NX” slowly creeping closer and closer to its March release, we still have virtually no information about it at all. My guess is that they will finally unveil everything about it in September, giving a good six months for gamers to decide if they want to buy it or not.

Nintendo’s consoles have seen huge success and not so much success. But how well something sells doesn’t grade the quality of the console, so that is what makes this list fun to make. I judge the consoles strictly on the games present on each console, because after all, that is what a video game consoles prime purpose is, right? Playing video games? Though most people have sadly seemed to have forgotten that fact these days.

That’s right, graphics, innovation, all that will not affect the rank of these consoles, unless they somehow add to the gameplay of the games. Because again, we are playing games here.

They are listed from my least favorite, to my favorite.

#6 Nintendo Entertainment System (1983)

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While this is probably regarded as the most famous console of all time, responsible for turning around the practically dead video game industry, it has suffered due to the early age of gaming at this point. Though pretty much everything that wasn’t an arcade port was new and exciting, many of the games were just plain bad. And if that wasn’t annoying enough, most of them were outrageously hard and required you to play for hours and hours at a time if you ever wanted to beat one of them due to the fact that there were no save files for most of the games, Zelda being the first game to implement it; and only a few had passwords.

But among all the bad and terrible games were a few gems that still hold up today.

My top three games for the console are: The Legend Of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

The top two games especially blow any of the others on this console out of the water, and even many of today’s games as well. They are truly fantastic, especially for the time they came out. All three of these and many more are available on the Nintendo eShop if you have a Wii or Wii U.

#5 Nintendo 64 (1996)

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This was about as exciting as it got when this came out. Side-scrolling sprites made the jump to 3D polygons. Everyone can probably remember playing Super Mario 64 for the first time. But other than this huge jump in gaming technology, it was a rather awkward stage in gaming history. It’s competitors, the PlayStation and Dreamcast can also fit into this category. A lot of the games were very bad in this generation. Constant fighting with camera angles and bad controls plagued the systems, most likely due to the developers inexperience at developing games in 3D. Not to mention the controller was just very strange and inefficient, though still comfortable. The graphics themselves looked amazing back then, but playing them now, other than a select few, they are just horrid blobs. This is a console I bought very few games on, but despite all the bad ones, like the NES, this too was home to some of the best games ever made.

My top three are: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Paper Mario, MarioKart 64

These three games were phenomenal when they came out, and my top 2 still are today. Zelda made the jump to 3D better than anyone would have ever imagined, easily the best 2D to 3D jump made by any franchise.

Paper Mario was a unique and interesting idea that was remarkable and an exciting new direction for the Mario series, thanks to 3D graphics.

I played Mariokart 64 nonstop when I was a youngster. Sadly, it has not aged very well at all.

All these games mentioned are also on eShop for Wii and Wii U.

#4 Wii (2006)

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Motion controls. Something everyone was looking forward to all their lives. Everybody was excited for the Wii. Everyone remembers how exciting it was to play Wii Sports and Zelda: Twilight Princess with motion controls for the first time. It was a real exiting time and a big step forward in gaming history.

But unfortunately, human beings being the mindless lazy people that we are, motion controls proved to be too much effort to play a game with, and the underpowered graphics of the console failed to hold the attention of the people who need to look at something pretty and shiny. Eventually the motion controls were reduced to almost nothing more than a simple flick to do a thing or two in game, and a lot of third party games never even saw a release on the console due to how underpowered Wii was compared to PS3 and XB360. They also didn’t much feel like making the games with motion controls, finding it easier to just port from PS3 to 360 with all their huge similarities.

This hurt the Wii a lot. Everyone I knew owned a Wii, but I think I was the only one I knew who consistently played it. Sure, I had to buy a PS3 to get a lot of the games I was missing owning just a Wii, but the games that did come out, especially the exclusives, were phenomenal. The games that did motion control right were a lot of fun to play. Heck, even just flicking the remote to swing a sword or something was a lot of fun and more satisfying than pushing a button.

It’s a great console, but the lack of third party support brings this one way down on the list.

My top three games: Xenoblade Chronicles, Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

These three are among the best of the many gems that appeared on the console and can also be found on the Wii U eShop.

#3 Wii U (2012)

I was never more excited for a console to come out than this one. When the gamepad controller was revealed, I was ecstatic. This took all the fun of the Wii’s unique controls and added another screen right in the players hands. I found myself imagining all the amazing ways this gamepad could be used in games. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone else could, players or developers. Initial games like Nintendo Land and ZombiU used the gamepad exceptionally and delivered both single player and multiplayer experiences that you could possibly only find on Wii U, and it was a lot of fun. But all too quickly, the gamepad became nothing more than a mirror image of what was on your TV. Even Nintendo developers couldn’t come up with clever ways to use it for many of their games.And again the system was underpowered, so no one wanted it. It wasn’t shiny enough I guess.

And just like Wii, third parties dropped the console very quickly due to poor sales and the extra time to develop for the gamepad and overall difficulty of developing for the console in general. Except this time around it was much worse. Nearly every third party stopped making games for Wii U, leaving Nintendo to virtually support the console on their own. And I have to say, all things considered, they have done a fantastic job. Every game that has come out from them has been nothing short of a homerun, being some of the best games made in many, many years, and quite frankly, some of the best games ever.

Wii U had the potential to be the greatest console ever. Lack of third party support and use of the gamepad and underpowered hardware hurt this system badly, and every one learned from Wii not to invest their money into this.

I for one am extremely pleased with it, even if there is a severe lack of games for it, simply because the games are incredible that did make their way on it.

My top three: Super Mario 3D World, ZombiU, Wonderful 101, though there are so many Wii U games I have on back log that this could change any time.

#2 Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1991)

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This is a wonderful, wonderful system that I spent all of the 90’s playing, especially since I found it so much better than N64. This was when Nintendo dominated the video game market, getting basically every game developers made back then. Though unfortunately a lot of bad games and over the top, impossibly hard ones made their way onto it, just like its predecessor, it also played host to an incredible and unimaginable increase in game quality. In addition to tons of new and exciting games, we also saw additions to big franchises from the NES make its way over, blazing a trail of glory that continues to shine today. Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man, Final Fantasy and Castlevania came out with some of the best games ever made back then, all of which can still be considered such today. Many new series started on this console as well, such as Mega Man X and Star Fox. This system just had one great game after another, keeping me very busy in my youth.

My top three games are probably a lot of other peoples. Super Metroid, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

These games I still play as often as I can for they are just eternally fun. Don’t just take my word for it. All three of these games can likely be found in most top 10 best games ever made lists, if not the top five.

And they of course can be found on Wii and Wii U eShop.

#1 Gamecube (2001)

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And here we are, my absolute favorite Nintendo console, and favorite console of all time for that matter.

I love everything about the Gamecube. It’s strange, unique look and color, it’s neat little mini discs, heck even the name is awesome. It just says “yeah, I’m a cube that plays games, bitch!” It’s so cool.

The games themselves are what really make this console great however. For the first time, Nintendo did not release the system with a Mario title, but instead shook things up with a Luigi game, where he had to actually rescue Mario. The best part was, this wasn’t simply a Mario game where you played as Luigi, but a whole new concept more closely related to Ghostbusters rather than a Mario game.

And Luigi’s Mansion was not the only game to shake up classic Nintendo franchises. Super Mario Sunshine, Star Fox Adventures, Metroid Prime, Kirby: Air Ride, Donkey Konga/Jungle Beat-all examples of changing up the formula. Plus, we were treated to F-Zero, another Star Fox game, a sequel to Metroid Prime and Paper Mario, two Zelda games with completely contrasting graphics and both featuring innovative/unique elements that make both of them really stand out.

New titles such as Capcom’s Viewtiful Joe were introduced on the Gamecube, this game being one of my favorites of all time, which also got a sequel on the system.Nintendo also came out with a new franchise, the Pikmin series started out here, and that too got a sequel.

Other mind blowing events happened on Gamecube, such as Sonic being put on a Nintendo console! This was something no one ever thought would happen and we were treated to remakes of the Sonic Adventure games from Dreamcast, the second one being my favorite Sonic game ever.

Owners of this system were also treated to remakes and/or re-releases of the entire  Resident Evil series. I still consider the Resident Evil remake to be one of the greatest remakes of all time, maybe only second to Metroid: Zero Mission for GBA. Gamecube even got Resident Evil 4 as an exclusive initially, before its popularity exploded.

And lets talk about all the collections that came out for the system. Going back to Sonic, we had the Sonic Mega Collection, taking all the genesis games and putting them on one disc, and also the Sonic Gems Collection, taking most of the not so great Sonic games and putting them on one disc.

The Mega Man Anniversary Collection was a great gift to gamers, which is much better than the current Mega Man Legacy, as well as the Mega Man X Collection. And don’t forget about the Zelda Collection! There’s probably a few more I can’t think of right now too!

The third party games that made it on the system were incredible as well. There were a ton more games to choose from than compared to Wii and Wii U, and most of them were super fun to play. It seemed gaming as a whole was so much better than compared to the previous generation of gaming, and Gamecube did it best out of the three competing consoles. And most of the games on Gamecube still look gorgeous today. It was truly a lasting console, though ironically, it had very low sales.

And speaking of a lasting console, it has the best controller ever made, absolutely comfortable and amazing. It is so good that it still is being made today for the Wii and Wii U, the latter having a port made for it so people can still play Smash Bros with it.

To me, any company will have a hard time topping this system. I still buy games for it every now and then 15 years later.

My top three games are Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Metroid Prime, Viewtiful Joe.

All three of these games rank among my favorites, with Paper Mario actually being my number 1 game of all time.