I haven’t done a top list in a while. I’ve had this list in mind for a long time, but I’ve only now been able to get it into words. The Legend of Zelda games are some of the most amazing games in history. From the vast expanse of Hyrule Field to the creepy caverns of Dodongo’s Cavern, The Legend of Zelda games always leave me wanting more. Here are my top 5 favorite Legend of Zelda games.
5. Minish Cap (2004)
When GameBoy Advance games were starting to get boring, out of the fire comes The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap. It was a ton of fun having a Legend of Zelda game that was portable. I remember playing Minish Cap in the car on long trips. I have to say that I loved the cap taking the place of your normal fairy. Even though the fairies have personalities, the cap had a hilarious personality. I loved how it stayed with the original Legend of Zelda games in the fact that it was a top-down view. The graphics were amazing for a GameBoy Advance game. Minish Cap seemed to really take advantage of the GameBoy Advance hardware.
4. Majora’s Mask (2000)
Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was the first Legend of Zelda game that I ever owned. I had an amazing time with the darker feel of Majora’s Mask. The limit to 3 days made it very nerve wracking to get everything you wanted to do within that time. Luckily, you can rewind time with your ocarina to the beginning of those 3 days. However, you don’t get to keep any of your items. So, it’s a great risk vs. reward situation. If you die at the end of the 3 days, you get to hear a very unnerving sound of Link screaming while the moon is crashing down on Clock Town. I probably put in way too much time into Majora’s Mask, but I loved every minute I was in it. Even the situations where I wanted to break my controller. Majora’s Mask was the very first Legend of Zelda game that I played through to completion. Majora’s Mask is also the only Legend of Zelda game that I’ve started numerous times to play through again. However, I haven’t gotten to the end a second time…
3. Link to the Past (1991)
A Link to the Past was a massive game that came out on the Super Nintendo. Admittedly, I played this game when it was re-released on the GameBoy Advance with Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. A Link to the Past doubled the size of the world by having both a “light” and a “dark” world. You were able to switch between the worlds by ways of a mirror that would transport you to the “dark” world. If you wanted to go back to the “light” world, you would need to find where you came to the “dark” world and walk through the portal. This made for some pretty frustrating situations, especially if you saved the game in the “dark” world and didn’t pick up the game for a while. However, A Link to the Past is one of the best examples of loving a game so much that you remember where all the secrets are.
2. Ocarina of Time (1998)
Ocarina of Time, the very first Legend of Zelda game I ever played. One of my favorite memories of Ocarina of Time from when I was a kid was after beating the Deku Tree (after a couple hours of playing), I figured the game was over. Then, I walked out to Hyrule Field, and to my amazement, there was so much more to the game than what I just experienced. It was too overwhelming for my 10 year old mind to comprehend. I finally got the game for myself and actually beat it! The music is by far some of the best video game music I’ve heard (said here). However, there were a number of moments where I wanted to throw my controller across the room. One being the Water Temple, those of you who have played Ocarina of time understand what I mean. I couldn’t get through that dungeon without consulting a walkthrough. Not only is it hard, but it pretty much has to be played in one sitting. However, once you get to the Ganon fight, all the frustrations are let go on that one fight. The ending is one of the most rewarding endings I’ve experienced, especially after putting in years of my life into Ocarina of Time playing off and on.
1. Wind Waker (2003)
Wind Waker, the first Legend of Zelda game that was cel-shaded. This game is still so popular that it will set you back $40 if you want to buy it today. I know this, because I’ve been wanting to buy it for years! Wind Waker is my favorite Legend of Zelda game for how the game feels. It’s much more lighthearted than many of the previous Legend of Zelda games. Because it’s so cartoony, they had a lot more freedom with expressing different things. For example, Link actually has a personality in Wind Waker. In most of the other games, Link has maybe 2 expressions (normal and surprised). In Wind Waker, there were a number of facial expressions that I couldn’t help but laugh at. I was told by a friend that if you’re stuck in a place for a long amount of time, Link will actually look at the place you need to go. It’s a subtle hint for the player, and I love it. Even though traveling to each island can take a while, the feeling of sailing, not to mention the music while sailing, is very calming. I have had the most fun playing Wind Waker. So, if any of you have Wind Waker that you’d be willing to part with, I could take it off your hands!
Honorable Mention: 3D Dot Game Heroes (2010)
Shameless Legend of Zelda clone, but it’s so much fun!!