I am sure not a lot of people will agree with this but it is my rankings. My criteria is games I have played/Beaten. So don’t expect the Cdi Games to get mentioned because I won’t play them unless I get paid to. Now that we got that out of the way.
18.Zelda II:The Adventure of Link
I will be upfront, I have never beaten this game and have tried to since I was a kid. It just has never clicked for me. There are good ideas in this game and a lot of lore was established by the town names. The combat isn’t bad but some enemies are so annoying to fight. The music is really good even if there isn’t a lot of it. It is also weird as a lot of part 2’s were in this era. One day I will finish this game. When I am not sure but even when I do, I doubt it’s position will change.
I am choosing to count this even thought it is a spinoff. Because I have played it. It’s not a bad game but it’s a warriors game, you know what you’re getting into. It’s fun but the combat gets old. More fun if you turn your brain off.
There’s really no story to speak of and I played it alone which is sad almost. So I didn’t really have as much fun as I could have. But it was free and killed a lot of time during a hard period so that is why it gets the edge over Hyrule Warriors.
15.The Legend of Zelda
The one that started it all. I have beaten this game and I was amazed that I still had as much fun as I did. As a kid I’d always get stuck but adult me did so much better. There are some stuff that are annoying, in fact that stuff did come over to later games. Like the lost woods order. But as a killer doll once said a true classic never goes out of style.
14.The Legend of Zelda:Phantom Hourglass
I spent a lot of time trying to decide where this should be placed and what I would say about it. I feel the DS games are hated a lot because the controls and some ideas like timed dungeons. For me I disliked the controls and forced stealth in the dungeon. I think that the sailing is hugely downgraded from Wind Waker which makes sense since the DS is so much weaker than the gamecube. There are good things in this game. Great boss ideas and very interesting weapons to Link’s arsenal. But writing notes on a map always felt more like chore and one puzzle I won’t spoil still angers me to this day.
13.Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess
I imagine this place on the list is gonna be unpopular. Especially since Midna and the dungeons are so great. But there is so much stuff that bored me in this game. You even need to get 5 heart pieces. The opening is so slow, I didn’t really enjoy the majority if the side stuff. Also other than the midna stuff I didn’t really like the story either. It felt like a chore for me. I am sure I am alone in this opinion but I don’t really get the hype this game has.
12.Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks
To be honest this is a game I wanted to love. It’s not a bad game at all and actually fixes a lot of issues from Phantom Hourglass. But My main issues stem from what to me felt like padding. Demon trains. I hate them, when they pop up you have to stop what you’re doing and run from them. At first it adds a sense of danger but by the end they just annoyed me. Personally I think Zelda is great in this game, she is funny and has so much personality and in important for progression. Like the first DS game the bosses and items are great. But the trains take something away from the games, you lose the sense of exploration and demon trains are the worst.
10./11.Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons
I tried really hard to give these two their own places but I played them both after the other and they both kinda just melded in my mind so it was too hard to remember which was which. I enjoyed both of them, I loved the dungeons inspired by Zelda 1. I love the items you get in both games and find it fascinating the differences between both games. I might edit this in time because I plan on replaying one of them to get the true ending. You can’t go wrong with either in my opinion.
9.Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword
Another one that may be unpopular but I enjoyed it a lot more than most people despite having pertussis when I played this. I was really sick and my cough kept making me need to recalibrate the controller. There’s a lot to be said about this game but I am gonna say what I liked instead of focusing on the flaws. I love the story, even without Link talking, I felt like him and Zelda were important to each other. I think it has a great Zelda portrayal. I actually love the combat, even when I was coughing my lungs out I loved the battles. I actually liked the world and sidequests for the most part. So I can’t help but love this flawed game.
8.Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening
I have so much nostalgia for this game. It was the first Zelda I beat. I did 100% of everything in it. I will admit it is placed so high purely on nostalgia. This was the game that made me a fan of the series. My first Zelda was the original but as I said this was the first one I ever beat. I like the story, the music, the quirkiness, you can smash goombas as Link and even kill kirby. Wart from Mario 2 is even in it. I even like the look of the Switch remake too. Ballad of the Wind Fish might be my favorite Zelda song if I am being honest.
7.Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time
This was for most people when Zelda became a series they cared about. It was the first one to be 3D so has a lot of growing pains, but I think they nailed it. Other than visuals it still plays well to this day. With an interesting story and an overworld that at the time seemed endless. I recommend the 3DS version because it looks like how you probably remember this game looking. It is even on Nintendo Switch online if you wanna replay it. This was an N64 staple. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this game.
6.Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds
When this game came out I remember people saying it’s just A link to the past but while it does a lot of the same things and has similar bosses. I think it is more than that, I think it has enough fresh ideas and interesting changes that makes it worthwhile. It was one of the few games where using 3D on your 3DS enhanced the experience. There are some truly imaginative ideas that I won’t spoil and I loved how open it was, you could any dungeon in whatever order you wanted. It did raise one question for me about Link that I won’t get into but if you know you know.
5.Legend of Zelda Wind Waker
This is a game that has aged very gracefully. With a great story and a great cast. Another excellent Zelda in my opinion. Yes sailing can be slow and the tri force quest is boring but the HD version fixes those. It probably has my favorite last boss in the series. From the opening to the ending this game is filled with personality. It is also the only game to punish you for making Link an enemy of pots and dishes. I have great memories of this game, including using the tingle tuner for my brother. It also has an amazing soundtrack. Me personally I liked item inventory better on the wii u version but that’s another matter.
4.The Legend of Zelda Minish Cap
I love this game and feel like it doesn’t get enough love. Like the oracle games it is made by capcom, a team I believe was called flagship, fun fact after this the guy in charge ended up working for Nintendo in the Zelda team. I think the wind waker look translates so well to 2D. While I don’t think they did enough with the shrinking gimmick, I still think it works well and there are good uses of it in puzzles. It also makes green chus threatening. Also brings things I loved from the oracle games like the roc’s cape. You can learn swordsman ship and Links hat is a great character too.
3.Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask
Eiji Aonuma had a year to make this game and reused assets from Ocarina of time and while it reuses assets it doesn’t feel like a rehash. It has so much life in the world of Termina. Thanks to the 3 Day cycle and the time loop, you get to experience the lives of the townspeople that you couldn’t in Ocarina of time. There are so many good side stories that I don’t know which one to mention because would be unfair to leave some out. The masks add more combat options and movement options. I have not finished the 3DS version and I hope it is not as bad as people have said because I love the game and an improved version where you can keep track of things sounds too appealing. Please play this if you have Switch Online Expansion pack.
2.Legend of Zelda A Link to the past
Boring pick but for me it is a game I can go back to numerous times and have. I love the dungeons, the bosses, and the music. A lot of tropes started in this game. It has a parallel to Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake where it sets up the foundation for the groundbreaking game so people kinda forget they did the stuff first. It is considered a classic for a reason.
1. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.
This game owned me for a few months. It was a breath of fresh air the series needed. especially after the linearity of Skyward Sword. While many might disagree with this placement. For me it is a great sandbox, you can do a lot of things your way. One puzzle you had to make an electrical current connect to something. I was in a rush and threw my swords at the floor and arranged them so they connected to the circuit and to my surprise it actually worked. The game has a lot of things like that. Yes the weapon breaking isn’t ideal and even the master sword needs to recharge but I can overlook it all because this game was just so much fun and the world was my own sandbox I could experiment in. People are still discovering things you can do in it and I think that is great.