You’ve already had your state on the absolute best Zelda games as we celebrate the series’ 30th anniversary – and you also did a mighty good job too, even if I am fairly certain A Link to the Past goes in the head of some record – so now it’s our turn. We requested the Eurogamer editorial staff to vote for their favourite Zelda games (although Wes abstained because he still doesn’t know exactly what a Nintendo is) and below you’ll discover the full top ten, together with some of our own musings. Can people get the games in their real order? Probably not…

10. A Link Between Worlds

How brightly contradictory that one of the best first games on Nintendo’s 3DS is a 2D adventure sport, which among the most daring Zelda entrances would be the one that closely aped one of its predecessors.

It really helps, of course, the template has been raised from one of the best games in the series also, by extension, among the best matches of all time. A Link Between Worlds takes that and even positively sprints together with it, running into the familiar expanse of Hyrule using a new-found freedom.More Here legend of zelda nds rom At our site

In giving you the ability to rent any one of Link’s well-established tools from the off, A Link Between Worlds broke with the linear progression that had shackled previous Zelda games; this was a Hyrule that was no longer characterized by an invisible course, but one which provided a sense of discovery and absolutely free will that was starting to feel absent in prior entries. The feeling of adventure so dear to the series, muffled in the last couple of years by the ritual of repetition, was well and truly restored. MR

9. Spirit Tracks

A unfortunate side-effect of this simple fact that more than one generation of players has risen up with Zelda and refused to let go has become an insistence – during the show’ sin, at any rate – which it grow up with them. That resulted in some interesting areas as well as some ridiculous tussles within the series’ direction, as we will see later on this list, but at times it threatened to depart Zelda’s authentic constituency – you know, kids – supporting.

Thankfully, the portable games have always been there to take care of younger gamers, along with Spirit Tracks for the DS (now available on Wii U Virtual Console) is now Zelda at its most chirpy and adorable. Though beautifully designed, it is not an especially distinguished game, being a comparatively hasty and gimmicky follow-up to Phantom Hourglass that reproduces its construction and flowing stylus control. However, it’s such zest! Connect utilizes just a small train to get around and also its puffing and tooting, together with an inspired folk music soundtrack, place a brisk tempo for the experience. Then there’s the childish, tactile delight of driving that the train: setting the adjuster, yanking the whistle and scribbling destinations on your map.

Connect has to rescue her entire body, but her soul is with him as a companion, occasionally able to own enemy soldiers and perform the brutal heavy. Both enjoy an innocent childhood love, and you would be hard pressed to think of another game which has captured the teasing, blushing strength of a preteen crush so well. Inclusive and candy, Spirit Tracks recalls that kids have feelings too, and will reveal grownups something or two about love. OW

8. Phantom Hourglass

Inside my head, at least, there’s long been a furious debate going on regarding whether Link, Hero of Hyrule, is really any good with a boomerang. He’s been wielding the faithful, banana-shaped piece of timber since his first adventure, however in my experience it has simply been a pain in the arse to use.

The exception that proves the rule, nevertheless, is Phantom Hourglass, in which you draw the trail for your boomerang from the hand. Poking the stylus in the touch display (that, in an equally lovely move, is the way you command your own sword), you draw a precise flight map for the boomerang and then it just… goes. No more faffing about, no more clanging into pillars, just easy, simple, improbably responsive boomerang flight. It was when I first used the boomerang at Phantom Hourglass that I realised this game could just be something particular; I quickly fell in love with all the remainder.

Never mind that viewing some gameplay back to refresh my memory lent me strong flashbacks into the hours spent huddling over the screen and gripping my DS like that I needed to throttle it. Never mind I did want to throttle my DS. JC

7. Skyward Sword

Skyward Sword is maddeningly close to being good. It bins the recognizable Zelda overworld and collection of discrete dungeons by throwing three enormous areas at the participant that are constantly reworked. It is a gorgeous game – one I’m still hoping will soon be remade in HD – whose watercolour visuals leave a shimmering, dream-like haze over its azure skies and brush-daubed foliage. After the grimy, Lord of the Rings-inspired Twilight Princess, it is the Zelda series confidently re-finding its toes. I can defend many of recognizable criticisms levelled at Skyward Sword, for example its overly-knowing nods to the remainder of the series or its slightly forced origin narrative that unnecessarily retcons familiar elements of this franchise. I can even get behind the bigger general quantity of place to research when the sport always revitalises each of its three regions so successfully.

I could not, sadly, ever get in addition to the game’s Motion Plus controls, which required one to waggle your own Wii Remote in order to do battle. It turned out into the boss fights against the brilliantly bizarre Ghirahim into infuriating fights using technology. I recall one mini-game at the Knight Academy where you had to throw something (pumpkins?) Into baskets that made me anger stop for the rest of the night. Sometimes the movement controls worked – the flying Beetle thing pretty much constantly found its mark – but if Nintendo was forcing players to depart the reliability of a control scheme, its replacement had to work 100 percent of their moment. TP

6. Twilight Princess

I was pretty bad in Zelda games. I could ditch my way through the Great Deku Tree and the Fire Temple fine but, from the time Link dove headlong into the Great Jabu Jabu’s belly, my desire to have fun with Ocarina of Time easily began outstripping the pleasure I was really having.

When Twilight Princess rolled around, I was at university and also something in me most likely a profound love of procrastination – was prepared to try again. This time, it worked. I recall day-long moves on the couch, huddling underneath a blanket in my chilly apartment and only poking out my hands to flap about with the Wii remote during combat. Then there was the glorious morning if my then-girlfriend (now fiancée) woke me up with a gentle shake, asking’can I watch you play with Zelda?’

Twilight princess is, honestly, attractive. There’s a wonderful, brooding air; the gameplay is enormously varied; it has got a beautiful art design, one I wish they’d kept for just one more game. That’s why I’ll always adore Twilight Princess – it’s the sport that made me click with Zelda. JC


But some of its best moments have come when it stepped out its framework, left Hyrule and Zelda herself behind, and asked what Link may do next. The self-referential Link’s Awakening was just one, and this N64 sequel to Ocarina of Time a different. It required a much more radical tack: bizarre, dark, and structurally experimental.

Although there’s loads of comedy and experience, Majora’s Mask is suffused with despair, sorrow, and also an off-kilter eeriness. A number of this stems from its true awkward timed structure: the moon is falling on the world, the clock is ticking and you also can’t stop it, only rewind and begin, somewhat stronger and more threatening each moment. Some of it comes from the antagonist, the Skull Kid, who is no villain but an innocent having a gloomy story who has given in to the corrupting impact of the titular mask. Some of this comes from Link himselfa kid again but with the increased man of Ocarina still somewhere inside himhe rides rootlessly into the land of Termina like he’s got no better place to be, far from your hero of legend.

Largely, it comes in the townsfolk of Termina, whose lifestyles Link observes moving helplessly towards the close of earth as well as their appointed paths, over and over again. Despite an unforgettable, surreal decision, Majora’s Mask’s most important narrative is not one of the series’ most powerful. But these poignant Groundhog Day subplots concerning the stress of regular life – loss, love, family, job, and passing, always passing – locate the series’ writing at its absolute best. It’s a melancholy, compassionate fairytale of this everyday which, using its own ticking clock, needs to remind you that you simply can not take it with you. OW


If you have had kids, you’ll know that there’s incredibly unexpected and touching moment when you’re doing laundry – stick with me – and those very small T-shirts and trousers first start to become in your washingmachine. Someone new has come to reside with you! Someone implausibly small.

This is among The Wind-Waker’s greatest tips, I believe. Link was young before, but now, with all the toon-shaded change in art direction, he really appears youthful: a Schulz toddler, enormous head and small legs, venturing out among Moblins and pirates as well as these mad birds that roost across the clifftops. Connect is tiny and vulnerable, and so the adventure surrounding him sounds all the more stirring.

Another excellent tip has a lot to do with these pirates. This has been the standard Zelda question because Link to the Past, but with all the Wind-Waker, there didn’t appear to be one: no alternative dimension, no switching between time-frames. The sea was contentious: so much racing back and forth across a huge map, a lot of time spent crossing. But consider what it brings along with it! It brings pirates and sunken treasures and ghost ships. It attracts underwater grottoes along with a castle awaiting you at a bubble of air down on the seabed.

Best of all, it attracts that unending sense of renewal and discovery, 1 challenge down and another awaiting, as you hop from your boat and race the sand up towards another thing, your miniature legs swinging through the surf, your eyes fixed over the horizon. CD

3. Link’s Awakening

Link’s Awakening has been near-enough that a perfect Zelda game – it has a huge and secret-laden overworld, sparkling dungeon layout and unforgettable characters. In addition, it is a fever dream-set side-story with villages of speaking animals, side-scrolling areas starring Mario enemies along with a giant fish that sings the mambo. This was my first Zelda adventure, my entry point to the show and the game where I judge every other Zelda name. I totally love it. Not only was it my first Zelda, its greyscale entire world was one of the first adventure games I truly playedwith. I can still visualise much of it now – the cracked flooring from that cave at the Lost Woods, the stirring music because you input the Tal Tal Mountains, the shopkeeper electrocuting to an immediate death if you dared return to his store after slipping.

No Master Sword. And while it still feels like a Zelda, even after enjoying so many of the other people, its own quirks and characters set it aside. Link’s Awakening packs an astonishing amount onto its little Game Boy cartridge (or even Game Boy Color, in case you played with its DX re-release). It is an essential experience for any Zelda fan. TP

2. The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past

Bottles are OP at Zelda. Those little glass containers can reverse the tide of a battle when they have a potion or – even better – a fairy. If I was Ganon, I would postpone the evil plotting and also the measurement rifting, and I’d just set a solid fortnight into travelling Hyrule from top to base and smashing any glass bottles that I stumbled upon. After that, my horrible vengeance are all the more dreadful – and there’d be a sporting chance I might be able to pull off it too.

All of that suggests, as Link, a bottle can be a true benefit. Real treasure. Something to set your watch by. I think there are four glass bottles Link to the Past, each one making you that bit more powerful and that bit bolder, buying you confidence from dungeoneering and hit points in the middle of a bruising boss experience. I can not remember where you receive three of the bottles. But I can recall where you get the fourth.

It’s Lake Hylia, and if you are like me, it is late in the game, with the major ticket items collected, that lovely, genre-defining moment at the peak of the mountain – where a single excursion becomes two – taken care of, and handfuls of compact, inventive, infuriating and enlightening dungeons raided. Late match Link to the Past is all about sounding out every last inch of this map, so working out how both similar-but-different versions of Hyrule fit together.

And there’s a difference. An gap in Lake Hylia. An gap hidden by a bridge. And beneath it, a man blowing smoke rings with a campfire. He feels just like the best key in all of Hyrule, along with the prize for uncovering him would be a glass boat, ideal for keeping a potion – plus even a fairy.

Connect to the Past seems to be an impossibly clever match, divides its map into two measurements and asking you to distinguish between them, holding equally arenas super-positioned on mind as you solve a single, enormous geographical puzzle. In truth, though, somebody could probably replicate this layout if they had enough pens, enough quadrille paper, sufficient time and energy, and if they had been smart and determined enough.

The best loss of the digital age.

But Link to the Past isn’t just the map – it’s the detailing, as well as the figures. It is Ganon and his wicked plot, but it is also the guy camping out under the bridge. Maybe the entire thing is somewhat like a jar, then: the container is more vital, but what you’re really after is that the stuff that’s inside it. CD

1. Ocarina of Time

Maybe with the Z-Targeting, a remedy to 3D battle so simple you barely notice it is there. Or maybe you talk about a open world that’s touched with the light and shade cast by an internal clock, where villages dancing with action by day prior to being seized by an eerie lull through the night. How about the expressiveness of that ocarina itself, a delightfully analogue device whose music has been conducted by the newest control afforded by the N64’s pad, which notes flexed wistfully at the push of a stick.

Maybe, though, you simply focus in on the instant itself, a great picture of video games emerging sharply from their own adolescence as Link is thrust so abruptly into a grownup world. What is most noteworthy about Ocarina of Time is the way that it came thus fully-formed, the 2D adventuring of previous entries transitioning into three dimensions as gracefully as a pop-up book folding swiftly into existence.

Other Zeldas may make for a better play today – there’s a thing about the 16-bit adventuring of A Link to the Past that stays forever impervious to period – but none could ever claim to be important as Ocarina. Thanks to Grezzo’s exceptional 3DS remake it has kept much of its verve and effect, and even setting aside its technical accomplishments it is an adventure that ranks among the series’ finest; emotional and uplifting, it has touched with all the bittersweet melancholy of climbing up and leaving the childhood behind. By the story’s end Connect’s youth and innocence – and of Hyrule – is heroically revived, but once that most revolutionary of reinventions, video games would not ever be the exact same again.