A little less than a week until Breath of the Wild releases, I thought I might as well share my top 5 games from the series.
#5: Twilight Princess. Starting off my list is one of the more recent releases in the series. This game was a launch day title for the Wii (and Gamecube) all the way back in 2006, and it holds up as one of the best titles on the Wii. The story was pretty good, the graphics were great for the time, and it introduced some characters that fit really well within the whole Zelda canon. It was nice getting back to some land after The Wind Waker‘s seafaring journey, and the game made the best out of the technology the Wii had to offer. On a side note, holy crap, this game came out over ten years ago? Anyway. I thought Wolf Link was overdone, but that’s really my only complaint. The game still feels good today, good enough to get a 3D makeover for Wii U virtual console. Maybe that can be attributed to us only getting one real Zelda game for console after this one, but hey, it’s a strong game nonetheless.
#4: Ocarina of Time. I’m gonna catch some heat for this, but Ocarina is #4 in my opinion. Many fans would have this as a #1, but there are a few reasons why I have it at #4. Again, this is a personal list, and I haven’t spent enough time with this game to truly love it like I love the higher entries on the list. That being said, if there was one definitive Zelda game, this would probably be it for good reason. The music is iconic, the gameplay is legendary, and somehow we all played this as children and didn’t get frustrated beyond belief, unlike how we get today when we can’t progress in a game. Maybe that’s just me, but hey, I lie awake at night thinking how I ever managed to advance in games like this when I was a child. At any rate, the game is a classic, and for good reason.
#3: A Link to the Past. Disclaimer: I’ve only ever played this for virtual console, but I love it nonetheless. Going way back for this one, A Link to the Past is incredible, and even though it looks dated, the game itself is as fresh as ever. The early games in this series prove that it doesn’t have to be high-tech to stand among the best in a series. The story of this game is so good, so consequential, and so important to the Zelda mythos that not putting it on this list is probably punishable by law. When coming up with the list I felt obligated to put an older game on, but no obligation is necessary; those games can stand their ground with the best of the best. Also, it has a sequel for 3DS, which is worth playing as well. To put it simply, the classics are classics for a reason.
#2: Majora’s Mask. Ah, this game is a dark horse in the series for some reason. Even by the series’ own standards, it’s pretty weird and it doesn’t really get too much love compared to other games in the series. That being said, I love this game. The puzzle aspect is as strong in this game as any Zelda entry, in no small part due to the constant 3 day cycle we have all repeated time and time again. The game just feels different than any other entry- it has its own unique flavor with the Termina setting, all the different masks, all the tiny Easter eggs and other things that are so easily missed contribute to the game’s claustrophobic sensibility. Plus, the art in this game is striking. The moon, the Zora domain, and even the forest where the game starts all have their own unique look that are somehow related, which is part of the game’s allure. Maybe not everyone’s favorite Zelda game, but it was and remains absolute fire.
#1: The Wind Waker. This was my first love in terms of Zelda games and easily the one I’ve spent the most time with. Every time I play it I clearly remember the first time playing it at a hotel and being totally drawn in by it- it was so different than anything I ever played before. This game is what I think of when I think of Zelda. The game broke new ground in terms of the series, ditching dry land (because dry land is for bitches) and putting us on a boat and making us navigate the seas. The story isn’t the greatest, even among the other entries on this list, but it still feels like it has consequences. Oh, and did I mention how dope this game looks? It still looks better than almost anything Nintendo has released since then, which is not knocking Nintendo, but praising this game in particular. I am one of those people who do think graphics matter, and in this case, the graphics just take me to a simpler time, one where Nintendo didn’t constantly let us down.
What do you think of the list? Would you change the order? Include different games? Let me know, and also let me know if you would like to see more lists, I have few things I’d like to make lists for. As always, follow me on IG: keithscreen so you don’t miss anything. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out Friday, March 3rd.