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The Guardian has ranked The Legend of Zelda series

UK news publication The Guardian has ranked the The Legend of Zelda franchise and games journalist Keza MacDonald has listed her favourite entries in the classic video game series as it comes up on its 35th anniversary. If you visit the site you’ll see that she has posted her thoughts on each entry in the list and listed her reasoning for the placings of each game. Whether you agree or disagree with the placings on the list it is well worth a read. Anyway, this is how she has ranked each entry in the iconic series:

17. Tri Force Heroes
16. Zelda II: Adventure of Link
15. Phantom Hourglass
14. Skyward Sword
13. Spirit Tracks
12. Minish Cap
11. Four Swords Adventures
10. The Legend of Zelda
9. Link’s Awakening
8. Oracle of Ages/Seasons
7. Twilight Princess
6. A Link Between Worlds
5. Wind Waker
4. A Link to the Past
3. Ocarina of Time
2. Majora’s Mask
1. Breath of the Wild

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23 thoughts on “The Guardian has ranked The Legend of Zelda series”

  1. Oh what a surprise that Zelda 2 is at the bottom of the list.

    “I maintain that hardly anyone has actually finished this needlessly opaque side-scrolling follow-up to 1986’s The Legend of Zelda, because: a) it’s incredibly hard to figure out what the game wants you to do; and b) the final dungeon has TWO bosses, and if you can’t finish it then you’re turfed out to attempt the whole thing again. Long considered the worst game in the Zelda series, it hasn’t improved with age.”

    In other words: Game too hard, I can’t manage to use my 2 remaining brain cells to figure out the obvious clues from townspeople. Also, I don’t like grinding levels and finding upgrades to make the game super easy. Finally, I don’t like side scrolling either.

    Zelda 2 is a great game that deserves way more love than it gets.

    1. yeep Zelda is one of my favorites.
      awesome sound… i love it and listen it much, when i clean our home :-)
      but its one of the hardest zeldas.
      finaly i finish it.
      thanks to the switch and wuick saves :-)

    2. Yeah…. no it isn’t. Objectively, weaker and clunker than basically all other games in the series. Certainly worse than Triforce Heroes.

    3. Yeah I never understood the complaint that Zelda 2 is too cryptic. Zelda 2 gives WAY more hints than the original does, and I hardly ever hear that complaint about the original.

  2. My top 3 would go..

    1 – BOTW
    2 – Wind Waker
    3 – OOT

    TP is my least favorite of the 3D Zeldas. And Zelda II would probably be at the bottom in general. I just could not get through that game, it wasn’t fun to me.

    1. Link Between Worlds better than Twilight Princess? Come on now.

      Skyward Sword 14 out of 17? Come on now.

      Just……. come on now.

  3. I honestly like them all except Phantom Hourglass. Also I hadn’t played Triforce Heroes.

    But anyways, the problem with lists like this is that a lot of the games are probably so close with each other that they are basically tied. I think, if given the option, most people would say “I like X game the same as Y game, but for different reasons.” It’ll likely a minority of games that someone says “Yeah, that game was better than this game.”

  4. They ranked Wind Waker Number 5? And Majora’s Mask is better than Ocarina of Time?
    You got to be freaking kidding me. And I’m shocked about Skyward Sword’s ranking as well.

    1. I know plenty of people who think Majora’s Mask is better than Ocarina of Time. Myself included. Deeper characters and story, more engaging atmosphere, and more complex dungeons.

  5. The list is more or less insane. But then, it is produced by The Guardian, so that’s to be expected. Frankly I’m more concerned than anything about this website’s apparent interest in The Guardian as anything worth paying attention to.

    Now then, since I ran my own mouth, I’ll try and get a little substantive.

    The problem with ranking these games on the same scale is they really aren’t very similar experiences. OoT through Skyward Sword are an *extremely specific* subgenre within Zelda. Zelda 1, and 2 are more fairly compared to Dark Souls than they are Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword. So I’ll have to answer the question with a question. When you rank the games, do you mean as a game in general, or as a Zelda game? If the former, first we have to define what constitutes a “good” video game, which we won’t ever agree on. If its the latter, how do we define what makes a good Zelda game? What defines the appropriate qualities? I would contend that, by definition the original game creates the criteria, and by that criteria, only Zelda 1, 2, and BOTW are even in contention. Every other game falling *FAR* below the standards as the first game would define them. Note that it isn’t an objective criticism there. Being “Not good by Zelda 1’s definition” is not “being a bad game”.

  6. I love these lists. I don’t tend to pay them much mind, though I can respect that others won’t share my personal opinions on what is and is not a good game. Personally, I love A Link to the Past and rate it as my all-time favourite Zelda game – and favourite game of all time. I love Breath of the Wild and Ocarina of Time is a title I respect for transforming what the franchise could be. Generally I prefer the open-world elements more, so as BOTW and to an extent ALTTP are less linear than some (Skyward Sword, I’m looking at you in particular), that’s why I place those two games above most of the rest

  7. Breath of the wild was a horrible game, they took everything exciting about the series and removed it. No need to have breakable weapons. The best part of all Zelda games is getting better weapons. Won’t be getting breath of the wild 2.

    1. “The best part of all Zelda games is getting better weapons. ”

      Then BOTW should be your favorite, as this happened FAR, FAAAAAR more there than anywhere else in the franchise. Shoot, most games in the series barely have you ever upgrading your weapon, sometimes only once in the entire game.

  8. I never understand why so many people rank Oracle of Ages and Seasons together. They’re two separate games, with their own overworlds, dungeons, stories, and characters. ALttP and ALBW are more similar to each other than the Oracles are, and I never see those two ranked together as one game.

  9. I can’t get into the first 2 Zelda games. I’ve tried playing them but lose interest quickly. And I don’t get an urge to return to them. Even with the ability to use save states. I might try getting into them one more time on the Switch NES but I don’t have any hope I will.

    Honestly, I can’t get into hardly any games prior to SNES. The only NES games I can actually get into is Skate or Die! & the first 3 Super Mario Bros games. Oh well.

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