With The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom hitting the Switch this week, excitement levels are high(rule) for gamers to rejoin Link on the next chapter of his journey.
While we don't know too much about TotK just yet – expect a review in a little while – but there are so many critically acclaimed Zelda games we are still yet to play, so here are a few.
Have you played them all? Which would you say is the best you haven't got to from what you've heard about it? Share your picks in the Discord.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | Chris Brand
A little bit of business before I get started, most Zelda titles kind of passed me by (the last Nintendo console I owned was the N64 and I struggled with the weird, three-handed, controller because I was born with only two hands, like a stupid normal person), so I chose Breath of the Wild as the best Zelda game I've never played, despite knowing little about it. After re-reading James' review and watching a couple of speedruns, I can now confidently claim to be an expert.
I'd like to say that the story is absolute perfection, from beginning to end, with a huge twist that no-one could have predicted. However, given the nature of speedruns, I didn't have much of a chance to soak in the narrative. Also, the speedruns I watched were in French, probably due to unskippable dialogue or cutscenes being shorter in that language, which made things even harder to follow. All I can say with any degree of certainty is that Breath of the Wild is devoid of red pencils.
In terms of gameplay, it looks like just the sort of open-world epic I could really get stuck into. The games have evolved over the years but this is a refreshing change which breathes new life into an old franchise, much like Odyssey did for Assassin's Creed. Having played Immortals Fenyx Rising (Ubisoft Does Zelda), I almost feel like I've experienced BotW myself, though the Ubisoft version does seem like a Diet Zelda, which is surprising, given the amount of unnecessary bloat in most of their titles.
I'm often looking for a big single-player adventure to get lost in, so maybe someday I'll pick up a decades-old Switch and finally play what's been heralded as one of the greatest games of all time. Or maybe this will be a Pokémon situation.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask | James Parry
I missed Ocarina of Time when it was first released, but I was drawn into the N64 era in time to get the gold edition cartridge release, so – even though I failed to finish it – I did at least manage to play the game. I think I even got to the adult Link section...so long as there are absolutely no follow-up questions.
Majora’s Mask, which is set two months after OOT, was a different story. At the time I heard the game featured time travel, which involved you travelling through the game in a three-day cycle, about 54 minutes in real time, before using the Ocarina of Time itself to return to the first day. Undoubtedly cool, but it also immediately made it more intimidating and, after failing to get through the previous game, I ran from the terrifying hills of Termina.
On top of that, the game takes a step forward from its famous predecessor in other ways, such as masks, some of which transform Link into different creatures to let you access areas or complete puzzles.
The mechanics of OOT were already solid, and in the years since are still held up as amongst the greatest in not just the series, but open-world games in general, so perhaps Majora’s Mask has got the short end of the Deku stick by being the difficult second child in the 3D Zelda world.
What would your pick be? Shout in the comments or join the conversation on Discord.