Every Nintendo gaming system has featured a Legend of Zelda release, and generations of gamers have enjoyed adventuring with Link and Zelda. By combining exploration, puzzle-solving and combat, Nintendo has created a unique formula that has captured the imagination of players for more than 30 years. The top-selling Zelda games show the breadth of the popular series, with classic hack-and-slash adventures, atmospheric strategy titles and beautifully imagined role-playing games. Due to the ongoing popularity of the series, you can explore Hyrule on the Wii, Wii U and Nintendo Switch consoles and the DS, 2DS and 3DS handheld systems.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It’s no surprise Nintendo is using Breath of the Wild as a launch game for the Switch. The much-loved Zelda series is soaring to new heights with in-game weather that affects gameplay, a crafting system for making potions and food and intelligent enemies to overcome. Nintendo has even added amiibo capabilities with a Wolf Link figure to aid you on your quest. Fans of the series simply can’t miss this genre-expanding entry.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
The beloved Nintendo 64 release is updated for the handheld Nintendo 3DS system with this rerelease. With a darker tone as Link struggles to rescue the people of Termina before their world ends, this puzzle-adventure game allows you to rewind time and try out a new strategy if you fail to prevent the apocalypse. You’ll defeat terrible monsters, befriend charming townsfolk and experiment with 20+ masks that change gameplay as you try to become the hero of the land.
3. Nintendo Selects: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D
Ocarina of Time is one of the most-loved videogames ever created, and Nintendo has taken special care to faithfully recreate it on the handled Nintendo 3DS. The updated graphics and sound still capture the charm of the original, and the built-in 3d features on the system pair beautifully with Ocarina’s art direction. Nintendo added a few new dungeons and a post-victory additional quest series, but didn’t change much of the actual gameplay, allowing you to truly enjoy the experience of this beloved entry to the franchise.
4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Rather than remaking the Super NES game A Link to the Past, Nintendo has created a sequel set in the same world but for the Nintendo 3DS. You can flip between past and present as you control Link in his attempt to save two worlds facing destruction. You’ll have to take advantage of the 3DS’s split screen to manage inventory and cross between dimensions while fighting monsters and exploring dungeons, making this Zelda game one of the most action-oriented to date.
5. Nintendo Selects: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
The Wind Waker was one of the key games released with the Wii U to bring nostalgic fans to the updated system. The 1080p visuals showcase the unique art style of the original Gamecube version of Wind Waker. Combined with a faster ship to make the navigation portions of the game less tedious, this Wii U remake is the definitive version of Wind Waker.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The unique gameplay of Skyward Sword highlighted the ability of the original Wii to redefine gaming. As you take on the role of Link for another adventure, use the Wii Remote as a sword and immerse yourself in the challenging combat that combines strategy and action. With the Wii U’s backwards compatibility feature, you can enjoy this unique Zelda game with both the Wii and the Wii U.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
One of the most unique entries in the franchise, Twilight Princess offers a modern take on the normal epic fantasy mood of the Zelda games. With a realistic visual style, gritty world and dark storyline, players strive to defeat the shadows overtaking the beloved land of Hyrule. Twilight Princess features integration with the Wii Remote for shooting arrows, an alternative wolf form for better scouting abilities and a unique horseback fighting option.
8. The Legend of Zelda: TriForce Heroes 3DS
Join wirelessly with two other Links to solve puzzles and explore dungeons or enjoy single-player mode with your own avatar and two helpers. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy this innovative take on the Zelda series, one of the first to focus on multiplayer gaming options. The brightly colored, cheerful animation style and unique outfits that offer new player abilities offer an interesting twist that’s sure to appeal to family gamers.
9. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Phantom Hourglass continues the story of Wind Waker as Link’s boat is swept onto a mysterious island he must explore to find his way back home. As one of the first Zelda games for the newest generation of handheld systems, Phantom Hourglass uses the dual screen of the Nintendo DS to let you check the map without pausing gameplay, taking away some of the frustrations of dungeon delving. Plus, the touchscreen controls give you extra control over Link’s movements and even let you guide his sword’s path.
10. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Partner up with The Phantom, a mysterious new ally whose unique abilities add an extra layer to combat and puzzle solving. Help Link in his new role as a conductor as he guides a train across Hyrule. Use the built-in microphone in the Nintendo DS or 3DS to activate your in-game flute or whirlwind ability. These unique features and more make Spirit Tracks an original and satisfying entry to the Zelda series, so hop on board.