After tryign to think about what order to put Final Fantasy games in I started to make a list for Pokemon and Zelda; this one got done first.
Possibly my favorite game of all time: Zelda: A Link to the Past. Nothing captivated my attention like this game did; it took until Vanilla WoW for a game to have taken so much of my time and attention from other games for so long. The game juts feels like the right amount of time to do most things, and you have choices in how to do them. You can speed run the game (usually took me close to three hours to just sit and play all the way through), or you can take your time and get every item, heart, and side quest complete. The art still holds up, for the most part, from the cathedral to the flute boy in the woods. Dungeon design is pretty awesome and varied even if you’re looking for the same three things in each place. Musically things go together and the themes are distinct and engaging all at the same time. All in all, my favorite and the best game in the series.
Next up we’ve got Ocarina of Time. There is still a part of me that doesn’t know this hasn’t eclipsed Z:ALttP for me, but I’m going to guess that the water temple and skulls have something to do with it. The game is solid, from the look and feel to all the amazing music; variations on old themes, new songs, the fact that you “played” a lot of the music to get it to happen, all lend well to remixes and repayable enjoyment.
The Legend of Zelda. The original game in the series. Still fun, but only in a nostalgia way for me. I can still play it for hours on auto-pilot and not really get all that bored; there’s a lot to be said for that.
Link’s Awakening is a silly game. No really, it is. Over the top story telling, weird and completely out there ways of giving you “quests” and “missions” to save someone or get a thing. As long as one takes it as a fun side diversion it’s quite enjoyable. I kind of wish they’d do an HD remake of this one.
Four Swords Adventure. This GameCube game had some great connectivity with the GameBoy Advanced, making for some interesting game play. This is also the closest thing to a multi-player Zelda that we’ve had; and I like that fact. Seems to me like the Wii-U would be a great place to advance the gameplay and possibly even the story of this one.
Note: the next few games are all tied and one is not necessarily “above” the other.
Twilight Princess: the mood felt closer to Ocarina of Time than any other game since, and I actually rather liked the art style overall.
Skyward Sword: good game play, solid story, glad I played it.
Minish Cap: good game play, decent graphics, but something just never quite settled in to place with this one; was always waiting for it to be great.
Adventure of Link: the departure from the original gameplay formula leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s still fun and the story is still a great extension to the first game in the series.
Spirit Tracks: my wife got this for me as a birthday gift and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I spent that night playing it until the wee hours of the morning, beating not many days later.
Phantom Hourglass: Boomerang. That is all.
Oracle of Seasons and Ages had a cool premise: play in any order and effect the other one. These are possibly the games I remember the least, but remember them being at least ok. They also came out right in the middle of when I was playing Pokemon a lot with friends.
Sometimes it’s not what people put at the top, but what they put at the bottom of those lists…
Majora’s Mask: never got my attention the way Ocarina did, and just felt like a weird and incomplete game. Or maybe playing what we now call “DLC” and still paying full price for it got to me as a kid.
Wind Waker: apparently I found every game ending bug, from room capture to not being able to get my sword back. Additionally, the art style I could never get over on my television, I don’t know why, but I’ve just never really liked it. Apparently there’s a remake coming, maybe that will help me to understand.
So there you have it; my list of Zelda games in a weird sense of order of amazing, good, and meh.