Zelda Games Ranked From Worst to Best

Imagine you’re holding a classic Nintendo controller, fingers poised over the buttons as you guide Link through the lush landscapes of Hyrule. You’ve embarked on epic quests, battled fearsome foes, and uncovered countless secrets in your journey through the Legend of Zelda franchise.

Now, it’s time to take a step back and examine the games themselves. From the charming simplicity of the original Legend of Zelda, to the divisive innovation of Breath of the Wild, each game holds a unique place in the series.

But which of these adventures truly stand out from the rest? Let’s take a closer look and see if we can settle the debate: which Zelda game really is the best?

Key Takeaways

  • The Four Swords falls short in accessibility and fails to deliver a full-scale Zelda adventure.
  • Oracle of Ages offers a brain-teasing twist with its inventive time travel mechanics and puzzle-focused gameplay.
  • The Adventure of Link breaks the traditional Zelda formula and offers a unique mix of 2D action, platforming, and RPG elements.
  • Twilight Princess is hailed as the crown jewel of the Zelda franchise with its mature aesthetic, unforgettable characters, and satisfying combat system.

Ranking 20: The Four Swords

Landing at number 20, The Four Swords is, unfortunately, a Zelda game that falls short in accessibility and fails to deliver a full-scale Zelda adventure. It presents a unique multiplayer experience with its co-op adventures and Minish Cap-style visuals, but it is a less memorable entry in the franchise. It’s a fun distraction, but when ranked from worst to best in the Zelda series, it doesn’t hold a candle to the full-fledged Zelda games.

Position 19: Tri Force Heroes

Just a notch above Four Swords, at position 19, we find Tri Force Heroes, a multiplayer-centric Zelda game. Despite its accessible co-op gameplay and innovative costume-swapping mechanic, it disappoints with its lack of clever puzzles, forgettable campaign, and a myriad of multiplayer bugs.

This Legend of Zelda game lacks the depth and polish found in Link’s more acclaimed adventures. As a result, it is considered one of the lower-ranked entries in the series.

The 18th Spot: Four Swords Adventures

Landing at the 18th spot, Four Swords Adventures is certainly an interesting entry in the Zelda franchise. You’ll find its gameplay and graphics commendable, but it’s the plot complexity that might make you raise an eyebrow.

It’s a unique multiplayer take on Zelda, yet the necessity for multiple consoles and accessories can be a bit of a turn-off.

Gameplay and Graphics

Diving into the realm of multiplayer Zelda games, you’ll find that Four Swords Adventures offers a distinct and satisfying co-op adventure. Despite its demanding technical requirements, its unique design leverages the Zelda universe’s charm. The gameplay and graphics of the video game mightn’t be revolutionary, but they successfully serve its multiplayer focus. This makes Four Swords Adventures stand distinctively in the pantheon of Zelda games.

Plot Complexity

Shifting our focus from the game’s mechanics to the narrative structure, it’s clear that the plot complexity of Four Swords Adventures, ranked 18th in the Zelda series, adds a remarkable depth that sets it apart in the multiplayer realm.

This Zelda game is unique due to:

  1. Its placement in the Zelda timeline.
  2. Its time travel mechanic.
  3. Its multiplayer focus.
  4. Its plot complexity that enhances the game I think.

Rank 17: Oracle of Seasons

Despite its position at rank 17, Oracle of Seasons, a gem released in 2001 on the Game Boy Color, masterfully integrated a season-changing mechanic into its puzzles.

This innovative feature in the Zelda games offers a unique, action-packed gaming experience that’s perfect for those just starting their Zelda adventure.

Ranked from worst to best, it’s a standout among games in the series, despite lacking some deeper mechanics found in higher-ranked titles.

Place 16: The Adventure of Link

You’re now looking at a unique entry in the Zelda franchise, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Its gameplay stands apart due to a daring mix of 2D action, platforming, and RPG elements, making it a challenging yet intriguing experience.

As we examine the storyline, graphics, and sound quality, you’ll see why this ambitious game landed at number 16 in our ranking.

Gameplay and Difficulty Level

When you delve into Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, you’re met with a striking blend of 2D action, JRPG interactions, and platforming that sets it apart as the black sheep of the franchise, offering a level of difficulty that’s as ambitious as it’s challenging.

  1. This isn’t your traditional Zelda game.
  2. It breaks the franchise formula.
  3. It’s harder than Breath of the Wild.
  4. It’s unique among Zelda games.

Storyline Analysis

In the narrative labyrinth of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, you’re confronted with a storyline that stands distinctively apart from the rest of the franchise, showcasing a daring blend of 2D action, JRPG interactions, and platforming that’s as ambitious as it’s unconventional.

For our storyline analysis, this deviation from the traditional Zelda formula adds a unique layer to your Zelda experience, despite its place in the Legend.

Graphics and Sound Quality

Diving into the graphics and sound quality of The Adventure of Link, it’s clear that the game’s unique blend of 2D action, JRPG interactions, and platforming contributes to its ambitious design and challenging gameplay.

  1. It may not be your favorite Zelda game, but its visuals and sounds are distinctive.
  2. Despite not being the greatest Zelda game, it holds a special charm.
  3. The game’s graphics and sound are a testament to the era.
  4. Its auditory and visual elements left a mark on future Zelda games.

The 15th Position: Phantom Hourglass

Landing at the 15th spot, Phantom Hourglass, despite its adorable Wind Waker aesthetic and clever dungeon design, falls short due to its clunky, stylus-driven controls and unique gameplay mechanics that may not appeal to everyone.

As a DS Zelda game, it’s a divisive entry among Zelda fans. While it holds historical importance in the Zelda games series, its place in the 15th position reflects its lukewarm reception.

Rank 14: Oracle of Ages

Snagging the 14th spot in our Zelda games ranking is ‘Oracle of Ages’.

This title’s claim to fame is its unique time-travel mechanic, making it a puzzle-lover’s paradise.

Let’s unpack its gameplay, analyze character development, and see how it stacks up in terms of difficulty.

Oracle of Ages Gameplay

Stepping into the 14th spot in our Zelda ranking, Oracle of Ages brings a brain-teasing twist to the series with its inventive time travel mechanics and puzzle-focused gameplay. As you delve into this adventure, you’ll appreciate:

  1. The strategic use of time travel.
  2. The challenging, innovative puzzles.
  3. The additional content when linked to Oracle of Seasons.
  4. The unique use of the Harp of Ages.

This game truly is a standout in the Zelda series.

Character Development Analysis

Diving into the character development in Oracle of Ages, you’ll discover a rich tapestry of evolving personalities that adapt and grow in response to your decisions and the game’s unique time travel mechanics.

This character development analysis is a Link to the Past, recalling the depth found in Twilight Princess and Majora’s Mask.

Yet, the young Link in Oracle of Ages offers a new perspective, enhancing the emotional resonance.

Comparative Difficulty Level

Ranked as one of the lowest games on the main series Zelda games list, Oracle of Ages will test your puzzle-solving skills like no other, making it comparatively more challenging than Oracle of Seasons. It’s hard to play, and almost impossible to play without a guide.

This mightn’t be your first Zelda game, but:

  1. The puzzles are intense.
  2. The challenge level is high.
  3. You’ll need a guide.
  4. You’ll feel accomplished when finished.

The 13th Spot: Skyward Sword

Landing in the 13th spot, Skyward Sword not only deviates from the traditional Zelda gameplay with its motion-controlled combat system but also delves into the origins of the Master Sword and the recurring villain, Ganon.

Despite some perceived hand-holding, its place in the ‘Zelda games ranked from worst to best’ list is solidified by an engaging experience offered through a fresh take on the game’s lore and mechanics.

Position 12: The Legend of Zelda

Shifting gears from Skyward Sword’s innovative take on the franchise, we find the original game, The Legend of Zelda, occupying the 12th spot on our Zelda games ranked from worst to best list.

This iconic title:

  1. Established core elements of the franchise,
  2. Set a standard for open-world exploration,
  3. Laid the foundation for the industry,
  4. Despite its age, remains an influential part of gaming history.

Rank 11: Spirit Tracks

Climbing up to rank 11, we find Spirit Tracks, a sequel to Phantom Hourglass that not only showcases cleaner graphics and tighter gameplay, but also improves upon its predecessor by introducing a unique train travel system for a more immersive dungeon experience.

It’s a standout entry in the Zelda series, surpassing Zelda II, Link Between Worlds, Oracle, and even Minish Cap in terms of innovation and engagement.

The 10th Place: Twilight Princess

Breaking into the top ten, we find Twilight Princess, often hailed as the crown jewel of the Zelda franchise, with its mature, Tolkien-esque aesthetic, unforgettable characters, and a gameplay loop that has left fans yearning for more.

You’ll remember:

  1. The game’s 103 unique and captivating dungeons.
  2. The immersive and memorable soundtrack.
  3. The satisfying combat system.
  4. The longing to return to the Twilight Realm.

In our Zelda games ranked from worst to best, Twilight Princess deservedly takes the 10th place.

Rank 9: The Minish Cap

Despite the fierce competition, The Minish Cap proudly claims the 9th spot in our Zelda games ranking. It is a vibrant collaboration between Capcom and Nintendo, standing out with its lively sprite work and eye-popping visuals.

As a Game Boy game, it is one of the better successors to Link’s Awakening. You’ll find it a fun game to experience. This game, though inessential compared to others, offers a unique Zelda experience.

The 8th Position: Majoras Mask

Landing firmly in the 8th spot, Majora’s Mask, a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, plunges you into a uniquely eerie world, setting itself apart as one of the most memorable Zelda experiences to date.

This isn’t your typical Zelda game. It offers:

  1. A Breath of fresh, albeit creepy, air in the series
  2. A visceral, existential dread
  3. A distinct series feel, departing from the norm
  4. A timeless classic, rejuvenated for the 3DS.


In the grand tapestry of Zelda, every game, from Four Swords at 20 to Majoras Mask at 8, adds a unique thread.

Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but they all contribute to the vibrant legend that’s Zelda.

Breath of the Wild may split opinions, but isn’t that a sign of a series evolving?

In the end, whether you’re a fan of the classic adventures or the unique deviations, there’s a Zelda game for you.

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