Legend of Zelda Series Ranked: An Angry Reaction


Disclaimer:  I may get a little heated if I disagree with some of the rankings, but luckily I have Navi here to drop a HEYLOOK, or LISTEN if I use a word I shouldn't.

I stumbled upon a list today on one of my favorite Nintendo news sources, and it piqued my interest.  They put the 18 released Zelda titles (excluding the meme worthy Phillips CD-i ones) in order from best to worst.  Of course, since my opinion is the right one, I decided to share my thoughts with you.

18. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (3DS)

I enjoyed The Four Swords, but never played this one.  I guess that says something about it being (appropriately) in last place.

17. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)

Seems like I dodged a bullet by never playing Tri Force Heroes if it's worse than this side scrolling dumpster fire.

16. The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Respects to the author of this list for not being blinded by nostalgia.  This game didn't age well.

15. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC)

I was talking about the Oracle games with a friend just yesterday, not about how they were bad, but how they were very forgettable.  Given the quality of Zelda games throughout history, it's not shocking these scored so low.

14. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC)

Seasons was better.

13. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

This is a rough one.  The dark tones of the game were a nice, refereshing take on the series.  However, playing half the game as a wolf with limited abilities is HEY-ing annoying.  It's not in my personal top 5, but to fall out of the top 10 seems a bit of a stretch.

12. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GCN)

Oh yes, we all loved the Gamecube version of The Four Swords.  We all have so many fond memories, right?  Get the LOOK out of here.

11. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)

Dumb.  At least the boss battles were fun.

10. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

Alright, this is where I really start to disagree.  There has never been a Zelda game that is more LITERALLY on rails than this one.  This game had so little exploration, you just got on a stupid LISTEN train and went wherever the game told you to.  

9. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)

I don't HEY-ing understand this one one bit.  I didn't like this game at all and I know I'm in the (completely right) minority, but this game sucks.  Has no business in the top 10.

8. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)

No. No. No.  This is wrong. This is LOOK-ing wrong.  How the LISTEN does anyone put this game JUST ABOVE HALF?  This is, uncomparably, my favorite Zelda title and whomever wrote this article must be high on bath salts to think it deserves 8/16. 

7. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

The first game in the story, with my only gripe being the mandatory waggle controls.  This is fine placement.

6. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (GB)

Definitely in my top 3.  This was the first Zelda title I played, and is what introduced me into the series.  There wasn't a big demon lord trying to kill you or take over the world, just a boy with a mission on a journey.  It got released in color (Link's Awakening DX) and was definitely worth another play through.  I don't agree with this position, but I understand it.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)

Our first game in the top 5 was one of Nintendo's most ambitious Zelda titles at the time.  A quasi time limit, a huge collection of items (masks), and a very dark undertone.  I didn't appreciate Majora's Mask as a kid but I loved its 3DS re-release as an adult.  This is right where I think it should be.

4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

I only gave this game one playthrough but I loved every minute of it.  Finally the 3DS got a rich story Zelda game without gimmicky controls.  They flipped the formula a little bit with removing required dungeon progression but I think that only aided to the adventure.  I don't know if it would be top 5 for me, but it's definitely a solid game.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

A lot of people would put this game as an uncontested best Zelda game, which is a fair assessment.  It's aged extremely well and everything about the game is "good." 

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

The author of this article probably also thinks Final Fantasy VII is the best Final Fantasy game of all time, too.  Looking at these early 3D titles through rose-colored nostalgia glasses helps nobody.  This is not the second best Zelda game, this is just the one that likely had the biggest impact on gamers in their 30s AT THE TIME IT CAME OUT.  We were young, dumb, and impressionable (well, I wasn't), so this game seemed like the knees of all the bees.  I hate to break it to you, but it's not.  Majora's Mask is a better N64 Zelda game, don't @ me.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)

This is dumb.  This is a current-gen eliteist stroking their Switch ego.  AND TRUST ME, I recognize it because I do it daily.  Breath of the Wild is an absolutely phenomenal game that redefined a series, and brought Nintendo's current console to the topic of many conversations.  HOWEVER... this is not the best Zelda game.  When you define a list by the qualities that make a series, and you have a game that's missing a ton of those qualities, no matter how good the rest of the game is, it no longer fits in with the rest.  Breath of the Wild is one of the most fantastic video games I've ever played in my life, but it doesn't belong in the number one spot of this list. 


Do you agree with me (of course you do)?  Do you think Nintendo Life had it right?  Do you want to know my order?  Let's keep the conversation going in the #nintendo channel over on Discord, and until next time -- Game On!

- @testanomics