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The Best Legend of Zelda Games – Riggs’ Top 10

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25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda, I thought I’d briefly go through and let you know my top 10 favorite Legend of Zelda games of all time. Most of these you won’t agree with, but hear me out. And I want to hear your favorites as well.

 

10: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

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Although it was released on the Game Cube as well (with everything reversed) I played this on the Wii and my wrist still hasn’t fully recovered. Making it interactive, you slash your sword, aim at the TV with your crossbow or slingshot, unlock puzzles, this title for the Wii was certainly one of the most interactive Zelda titles to date. It also marks the first time Link was right handed to accommodate using your right hand to slash. In all the previous Zelda games, Link is a lefty.


9: The Legend of Zelda: Outlands (NES)

Before you get all bent out of shape and start calling me a liar for thinking this title actually exists, you’re right. This game was never released. It’s a homemade Zelda game using Zelda graphics for Nintendo emulators. After playing it a bit, it’s actually very well done and very difficult. You don’t even get your sword at the beginning – good luck finding it. Although it was never an official release by Nintendo, I thought I’d at least be worth mentioning. I won’t post it here, but a quick search online will find what you need to play this title for yourself.


8: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy)

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The game proves that the emerce world of Hyrule can be done on a bite-sized unit like the Game Boy. This game also stood out to me because it’s the first game I can recall that Link can actually jump (with the use of an item). So many times in a Legend of Zelda game would I say, “if this were real life, I could just jump over that.” Definitely worth a play.


7: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Gameboy Color)

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This title was just fun all over. The Legend of Zelda released two games at the same time when this came out. Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Time. Although both were completely awesome, to me, this one stood out just a bit more. The magic item in the game could make the seasons change in the world. If there was a lake you need to get across and couldn’t swim, you could switch to winter and walk across the frozen lake. Stuff like that. Both are worth playing but if I had to choose one, I’d go with ‘Seasons’.


6: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (Game Cube)

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This game got SO much heat when it first came out. Many claiming it wasn’t a true Zelda game, many saying the cartoony graphics made it just weird. Me? I loved it! The storyline is slightly skewed where it takes place much, much later on the timeline where The Legend of Zelda is more of a story or a myth, it still plays like any other Zelda game. Definitely high on my list.


5: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (Gameboy Advance)

Many look over this Zelda game on the Gameboy Advance. Not that it’s forgettable, but maybe just not as popular as others on the list. The gimmick behind this one is that you have a hat that makes you super-small so most of the puzzles involve you shrinking and growing back to normal height. Adopting more of the cartoony graphics, this game was actually quite amazing. I love the idea of taking down a boss by shrinking down, going inside him and beating him up from the inside.


4: Zelda II: The Adventures of Link (NES)

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This game was, for a long time, my favorite Zelda game of all time. It’s not much like the others with it’s mostly side-scrolling view that was popular for it’s time. They gave it a shot and, while many didn’t care for it, I like the action/adventure style that this one had. It still had the finding of items to take you to the next part while having the leveling-up and adventure aspect of most RPGs. I try to play this game through at least once every few years.


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

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This game was what the SNES was all about. Brilliant colors, killer graphics, the animation was awesome. Utilizing stereo sound you could hear the rain coming from outside or drops of water hitting pool in the dungeons and, just when you thought you won the game, you go into the dark world where, basically, a-whole-nother adventure awaits. Many key features of the Zelda games today originated from this one.


2: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64)

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To many video game players today, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was their first experience with the Legend of Zelda series. It truly is one of the best ones. I was skeptical about it being in 3D and how you couldn’t do many of the things you could do in The Legend of Zelda in a 3D universe. This game, not only proved me wrong, but also changed my mindset of what a great 3D game could do while staying true to the original. They re-released this title on the Nintendo 3DS to make it *really* 3D and playing it was just as fun as when I first got my N64.


1: The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Nintendo

As I said in my previous post, the original one still holds a special place in my heart as being, not just my favorite Zelda title, but being my favorite video game of all video games. There was something about being in another world with weird creatures, old ladies wanting to tell you potions and mummies that happen to carry keys on them made this game ahead of it’s time and is one of the most inspiration games of all time.


I know I’m missing several popular Zelda games like Majora’s Mask, Phantom Hourglass, Skyward Sword and many others, but these are my top 10 favorite Zelda games. What’s your favorite?

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