Much like its companion title, Oracle of Ages sold over 3.9 million units and was deemed a critical and commercial success. During the game, Link takes on the form of a wolf and a Dylan and is accompanied by Kidney, a mysterious creature.
Twilight Princess received critical acclaim and sold 8.85 million copies worldwide by the end of 2015. Phantom Hourglass received a positive response upon release, with critics giving praise to its control scheme and gameplay.
Link finds himself traveling across the game’s Over world in a steam train to pick up his engineer’s certificate from Rule Castle. However, Link soon finds himself helping Princess Zelda escape from the castle, escorting her to the Tower of Spirits, as that’s where she believes the mystery of the disappearing train tracks lies.
It was released in Japan and Europe in 2004 on the Game Boy Advance and then the following year in North America and Australia. Developed and published by Nintendo, Skyward Sword is the sixteenth mainline installment in the Zelda series and was released worldwide in 2011.
Players take control of the series protagonist, Link, and navigate him around the floating island of Sky loft and all the land which lies below it. Skyward Sword was a critical and commercial success, selling over three million copies worldwide, and won numerous game industry awards.
Set on a group of islands, the game follows the series protagonist Link, as he embarks on a mission to save his sister from Canon, an evil sorcerer, while simultaneously trying to obtain Tricorne, a sacred wish-granting relic. Several allies accompany Link throughout the game, such as Tetra, the pirate captain, an incarnation of Princess Zelda, and a talk boat called the King of Red Lions.
Upon release, The Wind Walker received critical acclaim for its gameplay, design, story, and visuals and won several Game of the Year awards. In this installment, Link finds himself in a different land to Rule, as he’s transported to the Island of Cooling, which is heavily guarded by a whale-like deity called the Wind Fish.
This action-adventure video game was released in 2000 for the Nintendo 64 and is the sixth main installment in The Legend of Zelda series. Link must hunt down the mischievous imp called Skull Kid as he’s stolen the most powerful ancient artifact known to man, Major’s Mask.
Upon release, Major’s Mask earned critical acclaim with praise given for its gameplay, graphics, and exciting storyline. After the evil sorcerer Yoga captures Princess Zelda, creates chaos in the Kingdom of Rule, and escapes through a rift to the world of Lorule, Link makes it his mission to go after him, rescue the princess and restore the balance to Rule.
Within only five short months, A Link Between Worlds sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and received multiple industry awards and nominations. The action-adventure video game focuses on Links’ journey to save Rule, defeat the dark lord Canon and rescue the descendants of the Seven Sages.
In this installment of the action-adventure game, players control the series protagonist, Link, as he’s on a quest to stop the evil spread of King Ganondorf’s wrath across Rule. Link has to travel through time and navigate several dungeons on his journey, but he must do whatever it takes to restore order to the kingdom.
It mostly comes down to personal preference, but based on sales alone, Breath of the Wild smokes the floor with the rest of the Endgames on the list, and just so happens to be our favorite! Ever since its debut on NEW in 1986, Nintendo has consistently delivered awe-inspiring experiences that often define entire console generations.
Gone were the traditional dungeons, replaced with 120 small-scale puzzle shrines and a handful of slightly larger-scale Divine Beasts. With that came the switch to weapons that degraded with use, changing a big part of the core identity of Zelda in the process.
Breath of the Wild ushered Zelda into the modern era, turning Rule into a truly open world, a sprawling, lavish piece of land that held a treasure trove of secrets. Breath of the Wild maintained the serie’s almost indescribable sense of wonder while pushing the franchise in a startling, wondrous new direction emphasizing the freedom of exploration.
Swapping Rule for Cooling Island, Link’s Awakening cemented itself as a unique and valiant foray into portable adventuring. Updated with a bright visual style that makes all the denizens of Cooling Island resemble adorable toy dolls, Link’s Awakening on Switch is stunningly cute.
The more robust scavenger hunt is complimented well by a map pin system borrowed from Breath of the Wild. Link’s Awakening was always incredible, but the Switch remake solidifies it as the best top-down Zelda game ever made.
The second best top-down entry in the series, The Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past returned to the basic formula that made the original NEW game such a standout experience. Marked by beautiful 16-bit visuals that still pop today, A Link to the Past introduced the concept of parallel worlds into the franchise.
Expertly designed dungeons and smart puzzles that played with the concept of switching between the worlds made A Link to the Past feel ahead of its time. Link’s first foray as one of the best Gamete games was met with some trepidation from fans due to its cartoon cel-shaded art style.
We’re unsure why, though, as The Wind Water is arguably the most visually stimulating entry in the entire series, especially the HD remake for Wii U. Only upstaged by Breath of the Wild in terms of exploration, The Wind Water sent players across the Great Sea on the King of Red Lions boat.
Sailing the high sea was a magical experience, and stumbling across new islands always brought fresh delights. Ocarina of Time brought Zelda into the 3D era, making it the most important evolution in the franchise.
Unlike most subsequent entries in the franchise, the original offered very little direction and allowed players to discover the dungeons in basically any order they pleased. Major’s Mask is the grittiest Zelda game, and its overall sense of unease is apparent from the opening cutscene.
Set in Terminal, Major’s Mask felt like an alternate reality Ocarina of Time, one in which Link had to save the world from a different threat, the Skull Kid (and ultimately, the moon). Major’s Mask played with time in an interesting way, as the game has a perpetually moving clock.
The cycle could be reset with the Ocarina, but the perceived time limit gave Major’s Mask a different sense of urgency. Major’s Mask remains something of a cult classic amongst Zelda fans, and it proved that Nintendo could sufficiently rework the tried and true series formula in the 3D space, just as it did in 2D.
With ELO’s powers, Link could shrink down to the size of the Finish, and explore areas from a very small perspective. The mechanic made dungeons, the over world, and even towns a joy to explore and uncover secrets in this great GBA game.
Add in Kin stones, which altered a specific part of the world when matched, and The Finish Cap introduced just enough new features to make it feel like an entirely fresh Zelda adventure, complete with wonderful characters, an interesting story, and a reworked version of Rule. The two experiences complemented each other quite well, with Ages focusing the brunt of its time on puzzles and Seasons featuring more action.
The Legend of Zelda : A Link Between Worlds is the best Nintendo 3DS game, which is saying a lot of considering the strength of the library. The change didn’t delight everyone, but it let you approach each area differently, deciding which items would suit you best at the moment.
Both a launch game on Nintendo Wii and a swan song for the Gamete, The Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess brought the franchise back to the “serious” look of Ocarina of Time. Though Twilight Princess was an excellent game, it finds itself in the back half of this list mainly because it didn’t feel nearly as innovative as some other Endgames.
Developed by independent studio Brace Yourself Games, Cadence of Rule mashes the rhythm mechanics of Crypt of the Necromancer with Zelda’s iconic setting. Easily the unique game on this list from a gameplay perspective, Cadence of Rule is top-down Zelda like you’ve never played it before.
Rather than walking, your chosen hero hops across the map to the beat of remixed Zelda songs. Keeping on rhythm is key to slaying the enemies you encounter, each of whom has their own movement patterns to learn.
Come for the excellent rhythm gameplay; stay for the classic Zelda exploration that fits remarkably well in this reimagined Rule. The second of the two Nintendo DS Endgames, Spirit Tracks retained the cel-shaded cartoon visuals and isometric, 3D perspective.
Spirit Tracks subbed in a steam train for travel across the over world, a mechanic that we enjoyed quite a bit. It’s a great game, but the DS easily holds the crown for the Nintendo system with the worst Endgames.
Motions sucked, and sadly The Legend of Zelda : Skyward Sword was the marquee game that was supposed to get the Wii remote adapter off the ground. It’s quite a shame, as Skyward Sword could be much higher on this list with a proper control scheme (Nintendo Switch port, please).
The exploration and discovery typically seen in the franchise weren’t on display, but it was still a fun game to play with friends. Similar to Four Swords Adventures, TRI Force Heroes emphasizes co-op, allowing you to play with up to two other players on Nintendo 3DS to complete each level.