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Rank the Zelda games
20-Jul-21 10:24am
#1
Scott
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 2 Reviews

It's been a while since we've done this, let's rank all of the Zelda games! I recently completed something I had wanted to do for a long time: re-play all of the 2D Zelda games, in order. I started once several years back but only made it about halfway, through the Oracle games. By the time I was finally ready to get back to it, it had been so long that I decided to take it from the top again lol That was around 2017 or 2018. Anyway, I finally finished it, and thought this would be a good time to review my last ranking and see if anything changed.

1) Link's Awakening
2) A Link to the Past
3) A Link Between Worlds
4) Breath of the Wild
5) Oracle of Seasons
6) Oracle of Ages
7) The MInish Cap
8) The Legend of Zelda (original)
9) Twilight Princess
10) Ocarina of Time
11) Phantom Hourglass
12) Spirit Tracks
13) Tri-Force Heroes
14) Skyward Sword
15) The Wind Waker
16) Majora's Mask
17) Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
18) Four Swords
19) Four Swords Adventures

My top 3 is pretty solid. All 3 are really close, I had a lot of trouble ranking them. Each has it's pros and cons compared to the other 2. Ultimately, I went with Link's Awakening due to the huge amount of nostalgia I have for it, but I could see either of the other two being my #1 on certain days lol.

Other than finally being very sure of my top 3, the other major change since the last time I did this is moving PH and ST up a few slots. Until recently, I had only played each of them a little bit but didn't finish them for whatever reason. After replaying them recently, I realized they're actually pretty good, despite the touch-only controls.

As I mentioned in the Switch thread, I'm really wanting to re-play all of the 3D Zelda games soon. Some of them I've only played once, or haven't played in forever, so I'm sure my rankings are going to change a bit.

Let me see your rankings!!
20-Jul-21 10:28am
#2
Boss
GameTZ Subscriber 700 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Gold Global Trader (8)

Ocarina of Time at 10?!
20-Jul-21 10:31am
#3
Scott
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 2 Reviews

Boss wrote:
Ocarina of Time at 10?!
It used to be higher, but over time it keeps dropping. The last 2 or 3 times I tried to play it, I got bored with it and couldn't even finish. If I were ranking them based on how good they were for their time, it would be a very different list and OoT would be much higher.
20-Jul-21 10:49am
#4
BloodPuppetX
350 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally This user is on the site NOW (3 minutes ago)

1. Breath of the Wild
2. Majora's Mask
3. Link's Awakening (this one has moved up since I last ranked them in the Zelda forum. I'm mainly thinking about the Switch remake here.)
4. Ocarina of Time
5. Wind Waker
6. Link to the Past
7. Link Between Worlds
8. Minish Cap
9. Twilight Princess
10. Zelda II
11. Oracle of Ages & Seasons
13. Zelda 1
14. Phantom Hourglass
15. Skyward Sword
16. Spirit Tracks
17. Tri Force Heroes
18. Cadence of Hyrule
19. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
20. Four Swords Adventures
21. Four Swords
22. Hyrule Warriors: DE
23. Crossbow Training

Included the spinoff games I've played just because. (Excluding Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, since Link wasn't playable in that.)
20-Jul-21 10:51am
#5
BloodPuppetX
350 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally This user is on the site NOW (3 minutes ago)

Damn, this is hard for a longtime fan. Looks like you liked BotW more than I thought you did, @Scott. Surprised you put it ahead of the Oracle games, specifically.
20-Jul-21 10:56am
#6
Scott
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 2 Reviews

@BloodPuppetX Nice list! Pretty similar to mine overall, except for MM being so much higher and a couple of the 2D games being somewhat lower.

I'm surprised you didn't know I liked BotW so much! I feel like I've always talked very favorably about it. I know I point out ways it could be better often, but it was still amazing despite it's shortcomings. I already have nostalgia for it and it's not even that old!
20-Jul-21 10:59am
#7
BloodPuppetX
350 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally This user is on the site NOW (3 minutes ago)

I think most of us agree that BotW can be improved upon. Everyone wants the traditional dungeons (and bosses) to come back. That's the main thing, and maybe don't make it rain so much lol.
20-Jul-21 11:10am
#8
Scott
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 2 Reviews

Also, they either need to fill the overworld in more, or make it a bit smaller. A bigger variety of enemies would go a long way, plus different bosses.
20-Jul-21 11:46am
#9
kevolones
250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader This user is on the site NOW (8 minutes ago)

1) A Link to the Past
2) Ocarina of Time
3) All the others
20-Jul-21 12:34pm
#10
mcorrado
Triple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally

Of the ones I played:

1. Link to the past - I think if you handed me this game on any given day, I could play it. It's It's not too long, which as I get older gets bonus points
2. BOTW - beaten it 3 times and it's never been boring. It's long though, and some things like armor upgrades seem tedious at times.
3. Twilight princess- I find this a vast improvement over OOT in pretty much every way and think it has the best modern dungeons of the ones I played.
4. Links Awakening (switch) - some new things I never experienced in a zelda and I liked them.
5. Zelda (NES) - not much to say on this one.
Zelda II (NES) - could be a lot higher if the last level was different. I love the direction this game went, but I've never beaten this game without a guide for the last temple, and can't fathom without memorization even trying to do so.
6. OOT - I've probably started this game more than any other zelda game, but beat it twice. It gets so boring so quickly.
7. MM - beat it once with a guide and only finished to say I did. Poor gimmick and didn't care for it. Not sure I'd ever try it again honestly.

Never beat the others so I'm not ranking them. Have tried a few others though.
20-Jul-21 1:02pm
#11
BloodPuppetX
350 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally This user is on the site NOW (3 minutes ago)

Always find it interesting how people struggle to finish Zelda II. I beat it multiple times before I was a teenager. The only thing I had any outside "help" with was the Shadow Link boss. My brother told me about the kneeling in the corner trick. I later beat him without using that. (I found another trick where you could jump and then swing your sword at the right moment and it would always connect.) Not judging btw. I have a more difficult time beating Zelda 2 as an adult than I did when I was a kid. Same with Ninja Gaiden- just had more patience back then.

OoT is definitely one of the more boring on a second play through. Most of them I rank based on how I felt about it the first time I played them, so I always rank OoT highly. It was amazing the first time.
20-Jul-21 1:23pm
#12
LtBillyCoen
Silver Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Canada

kevolones wrote:
1) A Link to the Past 2) Ocarina of Time 3) All the others
This right here ^
20-Jul-21 1:49pm
#13
Gypsy
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally

Nice to see more OoT truthers out there lol. Game is just not that good. I did love it as a kid but that is true of quite a few games.
20-Jul-21 1:55pm
#14
Scott
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 2 Reviews

BloodPuppetX wrote:
Always find it interesting how people struggle to finish Zelda II. I beat it multiple times before I was a teenager. The only thing I had any outside "help" with was the Shadow Link boss. My brother told me about the kneeling in the corner trick. I later beat him without using that. (I found another trick where you could jump and then swing your sword at the right moment and it would always connect.) Not judging btw. I have a more difficult time beating Zelda 2 as an adult than I did when I was a kid. Same with Ninja Gaiden- just had more patience back then.
I still think it's a challenging game, but yeah, it's not THAT hard. I beat it for the first time when I was 7, and I didn't even know about the Dark Link trick yet. I actually didn't even know about Dark Link at all. I thought the boss before him was the final boss, and was shocked after beating it to discover that wasn't the end. Despite being surprised and having no idea what the fight was like, I still somehow managed to beat him on my first try.

When I replayed it a couple years back I really didn't have that much trouble with it. Even sections I remembered being extremely difficult, like all of the lava caves leading up to Ganon's castle, weren't that bad.

OoT is definitely one of the more boring on a second play through. Most of them I rank based on how I felt about it the first time I played them, so I always rank OoT highly. It was amazing the first time.
I think I'll do another list where I rank them based on how good they were for their time/how I felt about them the first time I played them.
20-Jul-21 3:10pm
#15
BloodPuppetX
350 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally This user is on the site NOW (3 minutes ago)

Yeah, like I said, that's how I rank most of them. But if I really thought about how much I enjoyed them all the first time, Zelda II would certainly be higher than Minish Cap. I'd say my top 10 would be like this, if I was judging them all by how much I was into them first time around:

1. LA (So damn fun playing this on the GB, especially thanks to the warp glitch. I just remember this having such a magical feeling that first time, and almost certainly the one I have the most nostalgia for. This was actually my sister's game, which she got with her GB. She gave both to me because I was always playing it lol. What's funny is that I moved this up based on the Switch version. But I played the heck out of the original.)
2. OoT (Again, it was really amazing the first time. And I disagree with anyone trying to say it's bad now. Just hasn't aged too well, but overall very memorable.)
3. LTTP (Really cool discovering all this game's secrets. I remember being floored when I threw the sword in that one fairy fountain and got a golden sword in return.)
4. MM (Rented this the first time, so my main reason for liking it so much at first was because I didn't nearly do everything before beating it. So I was really excited to revisit it a few years later.)
5. BotW (This was awesome the first time, but I had played many open world games by that point. So it really had no chance of actually blowing me away or anything. Still, if I had to choose only one Zelda that I could play again, this would be the one.)
6. Zelda II (Beat it several times as a kid. This was the game that got me into the series and RPGs as well. Even now, I'm probably ranking it too low. It changed how I felt about games in general- just being able to explore and visit towns and stuff. That's why it's always been my favorite NES game.)
7. WW (Really enjoyed sailing the ocean in this game. I always liked sailing in games, and that music while you were doing it was so great.)
8. MC
9. Oracle games (Hard to tell which I really enjoyed more between MC and the Oracles, but definitely remember liking Minish Cap a lot in 2005. The best thing about the Oracle games was it gave me 2 new Zelda games to play, one after the other. They've never been near the top of my list, though.)

I'm comfortable not putting the original game in my top 10, even using the "first time experience" criteria. I only rented it a few times when I was a kid, so could never really truly get into it.

Again, this is judging them all based on how I felt the first time. It might sound confusing, but most folks should understand what I mean if you think about all those NES games you liked as a kid, but don't find them as fun now. I loved Double Dragon when I was a kid, for instance, but can't play it now. The great thing about the Zelda series is that I can still enjoy them all, even if a game doesn't recapture that original magic.
20-Jul-21 4:02pm
#16
mcorrado
Triple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally

BloodPuppetX wrote:
Always find it interesting how people struggle to finish Zelda II. I beat it multiple times before I was a teenager. The only thing I had any outside "help" with was the Shadow Link boss. My brother told me about the kneeling in the corner trick. I later beat him without using that. (I found another trick where you could jump and then swing your sword at the right moment and it would always connect.) Not judging btw. I have a more difficult time beating Zelda 2 as an adult than I did when I was a kid. Same with Ninja Gaiden- just had more patience back then. OoT is definitely one of the more boring on a second play through. Most of them I rank based on how I felt about it the first time I played them, so I always rank OoT highly. It was amazing the first time.
I just find getting to the boss section to be challenging more so because I don't remember where to go and I could swear it's something odd like left, left, right, fall down a hidden path, right, fairy up, left, right, right.
20-Jul-21 4:43pm
#17
Best1989
Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Peru

Happy about all the Link's Awakening love being shown here, fav Zelda game ever.

And yeah, OoT is a bit overrated. I like MM and TP more.

I don't dare to make this list without having played BotW yet.
20-Jul-21 4:50pm
#18
bonham2
600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 2 Reviews

This is tough for me. I agree with you guys about first time vs multiple playthroughs. If we're ranking best game, it's hard to argue against BotW. If we're ranking most times I've played it from beginning to end, LttP would be my #1. But Ocarina of Time will always be #1 for me. It is my all-time favorite video game and always will be. If it wasn't for OoT, I might not still be playing Nintendo games. When the N64 came out, I was too cool for video games. I thought Mario 64 was dumb. I only bought an N64 to play Zelda, and I did nothing but play that game for 2+ weeks during my winter break that year.

Let's see if I can do this:

19. Four Swords
18. Four Swords Adventure
17. Tri-Force Heroes
16. Spirit Train
15. Phantom Hourglass
14/13 Oracle of Seasons/Ages
12. Majora's Mask
11. Skyward Sword
10. Links Awakening
9. Legend of Zelda
8. Minish Cap
7. A Link Between Worlds
6. Zelda 2
5. Wind Waker
4. Twilight Princess
3. Link to the Past
2. Breath of the Wild
1. Ocarina of Time

This list probably changes from time to time. I think my top 7 is pretty solid for me, although 4 & 5 may swap from day to day. My top 3 are definitely solid and so are my bottom 5 (I don't like multiplayer Zelda or stylus control). I think my current Skyward Sword game made it drop to its current level. I'm really not enjoying it very much.


20-Jul-21 4:55pm
#19
whitefire
GameTZ Subscriber 600 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader Global Trader - willing to trade internationally

1.) Breath of the Wild
2.) Ocarina of Time
3.) Skyward Sword

20-Jul-21 5:31pm
#20
PizzaTheHutt
GameTZ Subscriber Gold Good Trader Has Written 3 Reviews

I don't know if I could fairly rank the entire series, because I'm pretty much just a casual fan of the franchise and there are several I haven't played yet, and there are ones I played as a kid like the NES, GB and SNES games but never finished them or remember how far I even got in them.

Then there are a few like Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass, Tri-Force Heroes and Skyward Sword where I put a decent amount of time into them but got distracted by other games and just never returned to them, and then others like A Link Between Worlds, Hyrule Warriors Legends and Majora's Mask where I simply got bored of them long before I could finish them.


I'll try ranking the ones I've actually completed, but it'll be a short list
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
20-Jul-21 6:53pm
#21
Kommie
GameTZ Subscriber 250 Trade Quintuple Gold Good Trader

Gameboy Zelda
SNES Zelda
Not that stupid mask N64 Zelda Game

Not really sure how to rank them, these are the only ones I've beat.

Rank the Zelda games