Zelda Games Ranked Part 2
Ranking the A-SS Tier
Let's get back to it!
A TIER GAMES
Majora's Mask: Now please, don't misunderstand me, I love this game. I absolutely adore it. The issue is twofold:
- I find other Zelda games better and
- I really dislike the remake.
Even though this game is short on dungeons (4 - unless you're counting the Moon, which i'm not), the dungeons are well crafted. Yes, even Great Bay, as much as I dislike it and it drives me crazy, is a well crafted dungeon. At least the original doesn't have janky swimming controls, unlike the remake. The story is an absolute masterpiece, the Bomber's Notebook just adds to the whole immersion. You feel like you know the people who are about to die, and they've met with a terrible fate.
Oracle of Seasons: I preferred this over Ages, it may be because I played Seasons first. It may also be because I prefer action over puzzles. Either way, I feel it's a very solid handheld Zelda game. Talking of solid handheld Zelda games...
A Link Between Worlds: How can something based on such a good game be anything but amazing? Well sadly, this game is good, but unfortunately it doesn't match it's predecessor. It's still a good game in it's own right though. The Lorule concept and the twist at the end is definitely worth playing it.
Ocarina of Time: This was almost painful to place in A. I am trying to be objective. Ocarina did SO much for the gaming industry at the time, the 3DS remake only made improvements (unlike the MM remake, grr). I could genuinely fill an article on this game, and I might even do that. I hold this game close to my heart, but others closer. That's all it is. Also, the Shadow Temple and Under The Well broke me as a child, and I still hate it to this day.
S RANK GAMES
Wind Waker: Yes, I've put Wind Waker above the N64 games, I expect a lynching. However, let me argue for it first. This game is absolutely full of character, the music is absolutely stellar (I'm even humming the overworld song as I type this), it introduced my favourite Zelda race, the Rito and I just adore everything about it. Makar and his little jingling sound, the mystery of what Greatfish Island would have looked like, the ending was full of feels... I just really love Wind Waker.
Breath of The Wild: This one is simple. An absolute masterpiece, but where's the dungeons?
Hyrule Warriors: Now this one is 100% a personal preference. I've put hundreds of hours into this. I'm also a massive Warriors series fan. This is peak fan service and I love every second of it, apart from Tingle.
SS RANK GAMES
(I've tried to do this as best 3D, best console 2D and best handheld. I will also be a bit more in-depth with these three)
I understand that this game isn't for everyone. It's pretty dark, and I don't mean in theme, it's just a dark game. The start is slow, and long, but once you get past that it is, for me, the best 3D Zelda. That bit I can deal with people arguing against. The bit I will argue till my dying day is that Twilight Princess has the best dungeons in a Zelda game:
- Forest Temple is a good starter, it's not too hard but collecting the monkeys is still fun and interesting.
- Goron Mines is a great twist on the standard "Death Mountain, much lava, very hot" trope that Zelda games do push out. The open area at the end where you're sniping down Bokoblins to get to the boss is one of my favourite parts.
- Lakebed Temple is probably the best Zelda water dungeon (or Ancient Cistern, can't decide!), it's not much to say but it's definitely less of a pain than other ones.
- Arbiter's Grounds is my favourite Zelda dungeon. It's dark, it's oppressive, you get the Spinner, Stallord is the most fun boss fight in the history of boss fights.
- Snowpeak Ruins is probably the weakest one for me in the game, but it's still a very interesting dungeon. The miniboss is an utter pain in the backside. Blizzeta is a fun boss fight, and it's fun for Link to come in like a wrecking ball.
- Temple of Time hits me in the nostalgia gland and I like the idea of getting to the top, gaining a friend, and bringing the friend back down and smashing everything on the way
- City in The Sky is a close second to Arbiter's Grounds. Getting the double clawshot and fighting a dragon? YES, MORE PLEASE
- Twilight Palace - Ok, forgot about this one, I hate being chased by the hand, after that it's great and the fight with Zant is absolutely bonkers
- Hyrule Castle - The best Hyrule Castle, and the Ganondorf fight is good too
All versions of LA included in this. This is probably my favourite Zelda game of them all. The whole game is perfection for me, I genuinely replay it once a year. The remake is just the cutest thing I've ever seen. Both soundtracks are amazing. Eagle's Tower is evil, Turtle Rock is FIREEEE, Face Shrine is full of foreboding at the impending doom, the final fight has Agahnim's Shadow...
It's such a jolly game with the darkest overtone, and it's been shown since Link's Awakening that Zelda games CAN be dark, and they can do it well. For some reason I can't seem to write much about it, but it will forever be number 1 in my heart, and nobody can tell me any different.
Also, the remake has Dampé. Case closed.
A Link to The Past
Now, if this was 4 months ago, this game would probably have been B rank. I don't think I've played it in over 20 years. However, whilst being off work I decided to take a look at the Switch's virtual console and gave this a replay.
This game has stood the test of time better than any of the older Zelda games (let's say Majora's Mask and earlier for ease). 3D games are prone to ageing faster than 2D, the first two games just look ancient. Somehow, even though you can tell you're playing an older game with ALtTP, it doesn't take away from it, it still looks good. The music is great (still hum the Dark World theme when I'm wandering around work), the dungeons range from bearable to complete pains in the butt (Hello, Skull Woods, where I couldn't even get through the dungeon entrance room for 20 minutes because of Wallmasters and Gibdos), the boss fights are fun without being difficult (apart from Moldorm, there's a special circle of hell for that) and the whole game is cohesive, well put together and never drops off.
The other thing this game does well is the sense of achievement. This is not an easy game to start with and the minute the Dark World comes into play, the difficulty spikes. However, by the time you get towards the end, as long as you've picked up everything along the way, you feel like you can handle anything that gets thrown at you and boy, everything gets thrown at you.
Thank you for reading this! Please let me know your thoughts :)