Not too long ago we asked you, the Nintendo Life community, to vote for your favourite Legend of Zelda games, as one way for us to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the franchise. At the same time we polled our staff on the same topic, and now we have the results to showcase Nintendo Life's favourite Legend of Zelda games.
The rules were simple - only 'canon' games were included for both staff and the community, so games like Hyrule Warriors missed out. Unlike an equivalent poll in 2014 we also combined 3D and HD remasters with the originals to ensure that cross-generational entries didn't see their votes split. In the community vote the poll allowed up to three votes of equal weight, while 16 members of the Nintendo Life team voted for their top five (from which a points total was accrued).
The results are certainly interesting, with the different structure and small number (16) of participants in the staff vote going up against nearly 9000 votes in the poll. Let's kick off with the staff's top five.
A sequel to the iconic SNES entry A Link to the Past, this 3DS title recreates that iteration of Hyrule with a gorgeous visual style and a pleasing use of the portable's autostereoscopic 3D. In addition to plenty of references and nods to its predecessor, this entry innovates in giving players a little more freedom in the order of dungeons and in how they accumulate and use items. A strong evolution of the 2D side of the Zelda franchise.
Much in demand prior to its announcement, the 3D remaster developed by Grezzo also arrived alongside the New Nintendo 3DS in North America and Europe. It continues much of the good work of its 3D remaster predecessor on the portable, while introducing a new audience to what is one the darkest and most intriguing games in the franchise - its arrival late in the N64 lifespan meant some certainly missed it first time around.
Regarded by some as the greatest game of all time, among our 16 staffers that voted this one didn't have enough consistency to win top spot here. Nevertheless it's considered with much fondness, with the N64 original revolutionising adventure gaming with what was - at the time - an extraordinary 3D world, while the 3DS version serves up a definitive edition for the current generation to enjoy.
One of the hottest debates among Nintendo Life staffers revolves around the contest between this title and Ocarina of Time; it's normally agreed that they're both special games. Like some other key SNES games this defined the generational leap to 16-bit, with its storyline, representation of Hyrule and gameplay innovation establishing the key template - itself evolved from the first game on NES - that would inform the series in decades to come.
Narrowly seizing the win above its more traditional 'best Zelda game' rivals in 2nd and 3rd, we have the cel-shaded classic that - let's not forget - caused quite a ruckus when it was first revealed. Its cast of characters, engaging sailing mechanic (though that's a matter of opinion) and gorgeous visuals represented a fresh shift in tone for the series on home consoles. It's also a must-have on Wii U for this generation, looking better than ever in HD.
Click on over to page two for the community's top five Legend of Zelda games.