The Legend of Zelda has celebrated its 35th Anniversary this year, with Nintendo releasing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD along with the rather handsome Game & Watch. Interestingly, those releases alone have included two titles that can certainly be described as 'divisive' — we're thinking Skyward Sword's arm-waving controls (though the HD release has button options), and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link being that one that hardly anyone's beaten. Heck, there are people that say Breath of the Wild is overrated, even if this writer and a fair few others would happily die on a hill arguing in favour of its brilliance.
Zelda is a series that, partly because of the passion and love it fosters, also draws out strong opinions whatever route it follows. Some said Wind Waker was too cartoony, others said Twilight Princess wasn't bright enough. Some games are too traditional, or not traditional enough, or they're whatever Tri Force Heroes was (which could have been great with a few different design choices, arguably).
And, actually, it's years since we've done a poll about the 'best' Zelda games, but with 'Worst Zelda' recently trending, let's get it all out there, shall we? Which Zelda game is 'least good'? Are any games in the series actually underwhelming? Are some of them genuinely bad?
Yes, we know this debate could turn ugly. It could be interesting in the poll and comments for other reasons, though. How do older games in the series stack up now that Nintendo has adopted a bold open-world approach with Breath of the Wild? Maybe the 'greats' in the series have left some feeling disappointed after exploring an open-world Hyrule since 2017. What, ultimately, has the series gotten wrong over the years?
Before we get to the poll, a bit on the criteria of putting the poll together:
- We've only included 'canon' games, which means no Warriors spin-offs, bow training or Picross
- We combine 3D and HD remasters with their originals under one vote — this is to accommodate the fact the core games are essentially the same and that different age groups will have experienced them at different times
- You can choose up to three games, with each of those votes equally weighted. If you want to just vote for one or two you absolutely can, but if a few titles are on your naughty step, you can pick them
Well, click those buttons and share your comments, even if the 'worst' Zelda release is still better than most other games.
- Further reading: Best Zelda Games Of All Time
Triforce Heroes. No competition
Surely with Tri Force Heroes existing it’s not even a contest? Unless people spam Zelda 2 because it’s hard.
Even if they aren't on the list...we know the real answer is The Wand of Gamelon or Faces of Evil
@mariomaster96 what about the CDI games? I know they weren't on the poll but they have to be worse, right?
Definitely Triforce Heroes. Though I am sad to see how many people can't enjoy Zelda II, it is such a fun game to me.
most of the votes i can understand but i can't understand that triforce heroes gets so much hate... its an excellent game but ofc only in Multiplayer
Wind Waker is missing
@TurtleTurtle Yeah they are but I was talking about the games on the list.
This poll automaticallly fails because it doesn't include the CDI games.
Zelda II just didn't feel like a Zelda game to me, and Spirit Tracks felt boring and repetitive so my votes go to them.
On a side not, I seem to be one of the few people who really enjoyed Tri Force Heroes, so I'd be interested to find out why it gets so much hate.
Nobody has voted for the Oracle games so far which is pretty cool. Those are fun.
The Adventure of Link had WAYYYYY too steep of a difficulty curve, and even grinding up on stats doesn't make it that much easier if there are still parts of the game that are too tedious or instantly kill you. I do appreciate the fact that it had a lot going for it during development, but man...it sure has that notorious reputation of being absurdly difficult.
Four Swords is a mess. Fun game, but it is most definitely NOT future-proofed with the way it has been released. If you have it on the GBA, you're pretty much screwed unless you are that 0.1% of players who ACTUALLY has a link cable, two copies of the game, and a friend to play with. If you have it on the DSi or 3DS, Hylia bless you for being smart enough to download it when it was around. This is an example of a game that forced people to resort to pirating it, because it's virtually impossible to play now. It's an amazing game, but Nintendo made the biggest mistake ever.
Tri Force Heroes. I disagree with its way of handling Link because it really defies all kinds of expectations on the lore. Playing online wasn't too great of an experience because of all the trolls, speedrunners, and well... inexperienced players. At the very least, it has singleplayer and it served as another direct sequel rather than something of its own.
Is Zelda 2 a default vote ? I'm pretty sure most of the people chose it without playing it, just because of its reputation.
It is not a bad game. It is only different.
Easily BotW, it falls into a lot of the traps that makes open world games boring in general.
For 2nd worst and 3rd worst I went for Tri Force Heroes and Four Swords given the gameplay is bad when you're playing solo. At least with Four Swords on GBA, it's bundled with LttP so you have a multiplayer game bundled with a very good quality single player game.
Zelda II is a great game and worth pushing through the difficult early parts. It takes a little bit of time to learn, but it's worth it.
Worst one for me is Phantom Hourglass. The Temple of the Ocean King is so tedious for a dungeon you have to constantly revisit. The "midpoint" warp barely even helps because the levels after it are so much larger than the ones before.
1. Triforce Heroes
2. Four Swords GBA
3. Spirit Tracks
How the heck is Zelda 2 leading by such a wide margin? It was different for sure, but the worst??? Worse than Triforce Heroes?!?!
This community is…interesting.
CDi conspicuously unmentioned, not even a reference or an example
Funny how the least disliked game is Link’s Awakening. It’s a near flawless game for its time but I don’t think it’s the ultimate best Zelda game maybe it’s just least polarizing.
How could you forget "Link: The Faces of Evil," "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon," and "Zelda's Adventure" all released for Philips' CD-i? The poll is not complete without them, especially since they might actually be the worst Zelda games of all time.
I couldn't get used to the DS waggle
Probably Four Swords or Triforce Heroes? As a kid that never had any friends I wasn't particularly impressed
Besides the CD-i games and Zelda II, I never really liked Ocarina. I wouldn't say that it's objectively the worst, but it's just one of my personal least favourites.
Worst zelda games ranked
1. Triforce heroes
2.the four swords games
3. The Ds games with awful stylus controls
I can see some people voting for skyward sword for its motion controls and zelda 2 for its difficulty. I advise you to see a doctor if you picked anything else than the games I listed.
1 or 2, though I haven't played Triforce Heroes yet. Four Swords is boring with one, but a lot of fun with friends. Needing two copies and a link cable wasn't a problem for any of the Pokemon games, so I don't see why it's an issue here. Four Swords Adventures does require a lot of unusual equipment (one GBA and a GBA link cable per player) but it's still fun with 1 and even better with multiple players.
Also, you have Four Swords listed twice instead of Wind Waker.
Ouch, Phantom Hourglass is at least a Zelda game, Zelda II and Triforce Heroes are just noise.
I suppose no one voted for FS because no one actually had access to two cartridges and GBAs and the link cable to play the blasted game.
i consider Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword the weakest 3D Legend of Zelda, Phatom Hourglass is also terrible.
Zelda II - because it is weird
Twilight Princess - because it is too boring
Tri Force Heroes - because the Zelda style does not fit MP
The NES entries, like in most series, just don’t hold up today, not matter how influential they were.
The difference between the original and ALTTP, which isn’t even one of my favourites, is night and day.
Haven’t played tri force heroes so had to go for Zelda 2. Having played both the nes ones again recently neither have aged well but found the original zelda far more enjoyable.
Right. Who voted breath of the wild?
@CazSonOfCaz because it would be too obvious which games would "win"
The least impressive (to me): Twilight Princess
The least my cup of tea: Majora's Mask
@Luigi05 I did you got a problem with that?
Oops! Wind Waker has somehow evaded the poll. That's okay though as I love that one.
I like Zelda 2. I revisited it a few years ago dreading my decision, but I really liked it. Modern conveniences do make it a better experience because its original design is flawed and I understand that should be held against it, but the core gameplay is so good. For me, it got better as I played. By contrast, I hate Twilight Princess. When I played it, it started well, though it showed its hand that it was going to be a very slow game. It felt so obviously padded out just to say it was a certain amount of hours. It felt like a 20-hour experience wrapped up in a 40-hour game. By the end, it just felt like work to me.
The two DS games were fun for me in their time, but I have never felt the desire to go back to them because of the stylus control and the occasional microphone use which I never liked. That's the thing about gimmicks, they may help a thing stand out, but they sometimes don't stand the test of time.
I would play the CGI games over crossbow trainer. They are like 2 mins of insanely broken and next to impossible game play at a time, but if you somehow get by, at least your rewarded with a cutscene that is basically the equivalent of doing LSD while drunk.
Zelda's Adventure is like ... basically playable even. I might even take that over tri-force heroes if I have to play solo.
@Thoughts I voted Oracle because I’ve never played Tri-Force or Four Swords.
The Oracle games had every opportunity to fix the quality of life issues from Link’s Awakening, and instead doubled down on them. Also, many of the puzzles focused on being tedious rather than challenging your skills or your smarts. “Oh, you want to turn this circular turnstile puzzle? Well you need to go around it by traveling through four other screens. What? Now you need to turn it again? Well let’s go through those four non-challenging screens again to turn it. Wait, you need to turn it one more time? Lucky you! Prepare to waste more time!”
I know a lot of people like the Oracles. I consider them bad Zelda games (bad Zelda games are still good games).
There’s just something off about the Capcom Zeldas. It’s like your favorite band getting a new singer. The songs are the same, but not really.
Well since I can't vote the CD-i games I have to go with Breath of the Wild because of the weapon damage. Having to find a new weapon after every fight was annoying. Then when you found a weapon you liked you were afraid to use it cause you didn't want it to break. The weaponsmiths of Hyrule should be ashamed at such shoddy workmanship.
Zelda II, Tri Force Heroes (never played it but sounds bad), and Phantom Hourglass because any game where you need to drag - point where your character goes is garbage
I think people choose Zelda II because it's accepted as the worst. The concept has a life of its own and people now go into it thinking it's bad. I've seen it happening with other games (like Secret of Mana), where several youtube reviewers pick apart shortcomings and then establish that a game is bad.
I dunno. I haven't played all the games on this list, but I like Zelda II. It's not my favourite but it's not as bad as people say it it.
@ThomasBW84 Where's Wind Waker???
From bad to least bad:
Tri force Heroes
I don’t find Tri Force Heroes as bad as others because it still “feels” fun to play, but I do get the complaints
Whilst Triforce Heroes could have made my top 3, I’ve never played it so can’t count it.
Spirit Tracks remains my most disappointing. After 2 attempts I just can’t get myself to finish it. The train travel mechanics is dull, frustrating, restrictive and slows the whole game down. Especially annoying for me when the overworld was always my favourite part of a Zelda game; much more than the dungeons.
I would say Breath, but that's not even a Zelda game so I'll have to go with Skyward.
@Tasuki I can't say much seeing I haven't played botw but I've heard it was a good game
Fighting the Imprisoned for the 3rd chuffing time has to be the worst Zelda moment so far
Zelda 2 is a good game. Tough as nails and a product of its time, sure, but I still enjoyed my time with it. As was the case with a lot of sequels in Nintendo's early video game days, it's more experimental and the black sheep of its series, however, it's still a Zelda game all the same.
Tri Force Heroes is a good game but the online multiplayer was so bad, single-player was a better experience, and it wasn't worth it. Zelda II also really hasn't aged well.
Phantom hourglass or triforce heroes for me
The amount of people voting Zelda 2 is quite frankly disappointing
Zelda II is a trash game. It isn’t because it’s hard, it’s because it isn’t fun. If it was, there would be other Zeldas like it with lower difficulty. But there aren’t… ‘cause it sucks. How Zelda 2 isn’t FAR AND AWAY the front runner, with Zelda 1 following behind, I don’t know.
Anyone who played Tri Force Heroes with friends, or even solo, knows it has no place being in second.
I knew Triforce Heroes was going to get it in this poll but honestly it's one of the most fun Zelda experiences I've ever had. Two of my friends and I used to play it every lunch time an it was so much fun! If you didn't have two other people and played online or single player i imagine it's not much fun either but then neither is Mario Party and we don't rate that low as a series. I loved the completely stupid tone of it all too, that fashion was the core theme was hilarious! It didn't take itself seriously and it just had fun with it all.
Meanwhile Majora's Mask I really want to love but I just found it infuriating. The time limit is the worst thing and so counter to Zelda's sense of exploration as a series. It just killed all joy I had for that game.
And then Spirit Tracks sits in a weird middle ground where I loved the dungeons and using Zelda's ghost to solve puzzles. But the traversal with the trains? Who thought it would be fun to make you have to slow down arbitrarily at the whim of your passenger? Or to have long sections of track that you could go along, only to right at the end have an indestructible enemy come at you forcing you to go all the way back to that start again? Phantom Hourglass let me go wherever I wanted along the exact path I wanted, Spirit Tracks went the complete opposite of that and it was a nightmare.
It's between those two for me. They both do great things but they both completely mess up a core part of the series for me and sap all the fun out of it with them.
Breath of the Wild for me. Couldn't stand the collapsing weapons and massive empty world.
I got frustrated with Phantom Hourglass and never finished it, so I voted for that one.
Phantom Hourglass is literally one of the worst games I have ever played, that control scheme made it completely and utterly unplayable as far as I'm concerned.
"What's the most important aspect of any game? Well, being able to ****ing play it!" -AVGN
For me the DS games. They were mediocre. Story was usually saving zelda considering they were direct sequels of Wind waker, controls were bad, the sailing and riding a train was boring, revisiting the main temples too.
Phantom Hourglass. That same dungeon over and over was just agonizing. Can't stand it. Spirit Tracks I actually like! The final boss fight is really cool and creative, and I adore the overworld music when you're riding the train. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W_bFLwB0WY
I've not played tri-force heroes or any of the four swords games. Played all the others. Worst, by a distance, were oracle or ages/seasons.
I seem to be in the majority saying this, but can we stop calling Zelda II the worst Zelda? I feel that the Zelda series has moved so far away from it that II doesn’t really represent a typical Zelda game being subpar—it’s too different to say that. I’d go for something like Skyward Sword or Tri Force Heroes, as they became boring or weird AFTER the Zelda series figured out its identity.
@nessisonett it's really not that hard tbh
I think it's sad that people still think so poorly of Zelda 2. It's hard as hell, and has essentially no puzzles. But the combat is super fun, and it frankly is more fun to play for an hour than triforce heroes or the original Gameboy Advance 4-swords.
Plus it was a game from the 80s. It deserves some slack.
How can people seriously vote for Zelda II? It's not just an amazing challenging game, but also one of the MOST IMPORTANT ones in gaming history! It's one of the original metroidvanias and has been cited as an influence on many modern indie masterpieces such as Hollow Knight and Shovel Knight!
Besides that, it's funny how people love Dark Souls, yet cannot accept difficulty in a Zelda game. I actually think that Dark Souls is for the most part more difficult than Zelda 2.
Triforce Heroes isn’t a bad game, it’s just not for traditional Zelda fans. It should’ve been a F2P title like the multiplayer Kirby games that were released.
Don't understand the hate for Tri Force Heroes. It was really fun to play with friends (and strangers online), and it had a lot of cool unlockables.
I would argue the Co-Op Zeldas are the worst, but it’s hard to knock Four Swords Anniversary, because it was free and it had some great homages to past Zelda games. Triforce Heroes is also pretty well designed in making very involved Co-Op puzzles and compared to FSA, feels much deeper and has more personality. So I think I’d have to say Four Swords Adventure is the worst.
Zelda 2 and Tri Force Heroes are easily the worst
So many people complaining about PH's repeated dungeon... every time you got a new item/ability it allowed you to skip the previous sections of the dungeon. Did people know this and still find it annoying or did they just not realise and re-do the entire dungeon each time?
Four Swords, easily.
As expected, zelda 2 and triforce heroes. Zelda 2 Clark as terrible in an age where there was no internet and you just had to figure it out as a 11 year old renting games over the weekend. Triforce heroes had so much potential, but really was ruined by the forced multiplayer and not having competent bots. That was a fun game to play with friends, but I only even did that maybe 5 times. Just like Metroid fed force…only fun to play with friends, but a terrible Metroid game.
Anyone who didn't vote for the OG Zelda has really revealed to everyone that they haven't actually played all of them from start to finish.
Wait Zelda 2 is fixed on NSO. The SP version starts with full magic and heath. Tri force heroes is good for what it was going for, a spin off in my opinion. Now there is no redemption for spirt Tracks . . . yawn.
@Ultimapunch It's utterly shocking that only 5% of the people voting here have even played all of the games.
@Ultimapunch How do you know?
I find no fun in trying to randomly land a hit on a knight until either of us dies.
You're busy a troll if you say OoT, BotW, or Skyward Sword are the worst. Or you've only played 2 or 3 Zelda games which would make since if those were the 3 you have played.
Oof, a lot of hate for the Oracle games in the comments.
Oracle of Ages is one of my favourite Zelda games. I think Link's Awakening is better in terms of story; melancholy islanders facing destruction - but both of the Oracle games were better in a lot of other ways - items, dungeon-design etc. It was odd that in 2001, the most exciting releases were gameboy games that looked like they came from the 80s (though that is common now).
As for the question, maybe Skyward Sword is the worst (I haven't played Triforce heroes). Skyward Sword has amazing dungeons but the world and controls are bad. It's the only Zelda rerelease I haven't rebought - as much as I'd like to replay the dungeons the rest of it is so tedious.
@YusseiWarrior3000 I’m talking about Zelda 2.
@Ultimapunch OG Zelda is top tier in my book. Played it on my 3ds, so fairly recently.
This is a particularly unfair poll. Ok maybe Triforce Heroes isn't the greatest game ever but every other Zelda is a stone cold classic. I voted for 1 and 2 because I don't get on with them but upon release these titles were groundbreaking! Zelda 2 was different but even in the 1980's Nintendo weren't willing to rest on their laurels.
There are no 'bad' Zelda games, only ones that are not quite as good as the rest and that's saying a lot when the best Zelda games are pretty much the greatest videogames ever created!
@Eel Not random. You can Jump, Duck and Slide to hit his weak spot.
@Joker13z it doesn't include CDi games because they are perfect and it isn't worth listing them as choices.
Triforce heroes is a brilliant little game - with 2 friends!
@jojobar I think a lot o people just never experienced it or were able to play it with proper multiplayer. It's too niche - but it is actually a great game. I mean, being the "worst" Zelda game still puts it ahead of a lot of other games.
I didn't vote at all because I like all of them and don't want to think negatively. I almost want to give it to Breath of the Wild just because I think it is vastly overrated, even though I still enjoyed it. It's just not the direction I would have preferred.
Also Link's awakening Switch should be a separate game on this list. It would be at 0% if it were separated from the garbage GB versions. It's unfair that it is one of the best games in the series, but has to be lumped in with its aged, garbage tier, only good through rose tinted glasses, original versions.
Look, they started it all and are among the most influential games of all time, but if you're talking about games that have held up and are still fun to play in the 2020's for veterans and newcomers alike, Zelda 1 and 2 have to be at the bottom. The secrets are impossible to find without a guide unless you're willing to spend 100's of hours bombing every identical wall tile, farming in an overworld that's frustratingly stingy with drops, and fruitlessly trying items in unintuitive ways in hopes that on this screen it might actually do something. The in-game hints are absolutely useless. People, including myself, lament the series becoming too structured and and story-driven over the years before the great BOTW, but those earliest games have almost no structure or story. And these are open worlds that just aren't that fun or interesting to explore for exploration's sake. Oh, in this area, the walls are brown and not green!
Add to that the classic 1980's punishing difficulty and yeah, just hard to recommend.
Still love them, though almost entirely from nostalgia.
Zelda 2, Spirit Tracks and Triforce Heroes.
I would have liked spirit tracks more if it weren't for the awful pipe blowing parts. Much like mine kart jumping on Skyward Sword on wii, I just couldn't get any further than that.
Zelda 2 I hated. Awkward controls for side scrolling fights, very difficult fights and just not any fun. I felt like the graphics were actually worse in 2 as well.
And Triforce heroes I hated. Too dependant on other players and simply nothing on four swords adventure.
I would argue that Wind Waker (GC) was horrible. The concept was sound, but there was way too much down time. The Wii U remaster improved this exponentially.
I need you to add Wind Waker and I need a fourth vote so I can pick it, Zelda II, Phantom Hourglass, and BotW.
@Ultimapunch Lol, Links Awakening on GB is almost identical to the Switch version, except for the graphics. Hardly garbage.
Now THIS is a heck of a lot easier than ranking my favorite Zelda games. I've played all and reached the end credits except Four Swords Adventures. My three picks are below. With the exception of #1, I don't consider them "bad" games, just the worst of the bunch in a series that sets a very high bar.
1. Tri Force Heroes - LoZ is my favorite franchise, so it's telling when I actually sell a main series game. The single player in this was CLEARLY an afterthought. I'm sure I would've found this more enjoyable with local multiplayer, but at the time I only knew one other with the game...we couldn't find a third person. Not to mention the online wait and roulette for randoms often wasn't worth my limited gaming time. Stages range from doable to VERY frustrating in single player. At least Four Swords Anniversary Edition handled single player more reasonably; I actually had fun with it!
2. Phantom Hourglass - I don't dislike this game, but the QoL improvements in Spirit Tracks, not to mention a personal bias towards trains (unless I'm in a hurry), means I consider PH the lower of the two. Ciela was very one-note, the Temple of the Ocean King was a slog even with improved abilities each time, Bellum is arguably the worst final boss in the series, and as an early DS game it was VERY touch-heavy. At the very least, this gave us Linebeck.
3. Zelda II - I admit this isn't entirely fair since this one dates back to an era rife with black sheep sequels and early video game experimentation; there's a lot to enjoy here. That said, it's remiss to ignore a massive difficulty spike early on that I'm sure turned many players away. The game can also be very cryptic and has awkward controls, but this wasn't uncommon back then. I most likely never would've beaten this title if not for the VC's restore points.
@chipia then the knight dies, but I’m still playing Zelda 2. It’s lose lose.
Tricky question-- worse as in a bad game or specifically a bad Zelda game?
Because I think Spirit Tracks, Phantom Hourglass and Triforce heroes are excellent games, though I would understand why they are not considered good Zelda games by many people.
Seeing anything but Triforce Heroes win this would be a travesty.
If it wasn't for your excellent taste in Saiyans I'd think you were insane. Wind Waker, even in the Gamecube offering, is fantastic. Top 3 for sure
@KevynOnVideo to be fair, Zelda I came with a map wich had all the secrets in it, if I'm not mistaken.
Like the locations of all the bombable walls and stuff like that.
Are we talking Worst game, or Worst Zelda game?
Because the Worst Zelda game is 2- it doesn’t have the forms and conventions we come to expect from a Zelda game.
The Switch version is almost identical to the GB versions - just with some light Quality of Life changes and 3D models. It is otherwise, screen-by-screen the same game, the same experience. Some people think they didn't change it enough, it was that close.
If you think the GB version is garbage and the Switch version is one of the best in the series, I don't think the problem is that other people have rose-tinted glasses. You must have some hangup, preventing you from enjoying Game Boy.
@GoldenSunRM I don't think it had EVERY secret, but it was an indispensible tool early on. We used to make our own maps back in the day. My freind and I would take turns playing and navigating - it certainly made the game fun!
CDi games aren’t included probably because then the poll becomes a fait accompli. If it was me running it, I’dve probably left out Triforce Heroes for exactly the same reason
MM, ST and PH.
I love AoL, great replayability too. A shame to see it with most votes.
@nessisonett No Zelda II is god awful. I also like harder games like Castlevania, Megaman, Punchout, etc. I don't care if it's hard but Zelda II is just the worst Zelda game period.
AoL is easily my least favorite. The overly high difficulty level (right from the start) is one thing, but I also just find it tedious, which is much harder to forgive 😂
I'd also give an honorable mention to the DS games. I hated Spirit Tracks especially. They just had a... soulless quality to me somehow. It was like a burrito tortilla with no meat. It looked like Zelda but there was nothing inside.
where is wind waker?
I went with Skyward Sword because I haven't played any of the others in contention (i.e. the mobile Zeldas and Zelda II). It's not an outright bad game, but, out of what I've played, and I've played nearly all the mainline games (except II), it's the only Zelda I wouldn't consider for a personal best list, along with Twilight Princess. But I never finished Twilight, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt and looking forward to replaying it whenever Nintendo releases it again.
Probably Zelda 2. It feels very aimless, I don't like the 2d side scrolling especially for a Zelda game, and the art is ugly as sin
But BotW is pretty much just as much of a disappointment
Also I enjoyed Triforce Heroes... I think it's way underrated as a follow up to Four Swords. I'd like to see them do a multiplayer Zelda for Switch.
@sinetic I think they accidentally did Four Swords twice.
Breath of the Wild by a freaking mile
@MrGawain Neither has BOTW for that matter.
That was horrible! I played it once. Lol.
The Legend of Zelda: You don't like 8-bit games
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: You couldn't get past Death Mountain
A Link to the Past: You hate fun
Link's Awakening / DX / Switch: You really only dislike the HD remake visuals
Ocarina of Time / 3D: You didn't like Navi
Majora's Mask / 3D: You didn't like the 3D remake, or hate time limits
Oracle of Seasons: You wanted Ricky but got Moosh
Oracle of Ages: You wanted Dimitri but got Moosh
Four Swords / Anniversary Edition: You're mad at Nintendo for delisting from the DSi/3DS eShop
Wind Waker: You missed one photo for the Nintendo gallery
Four Swords Adventures: You only played single player
The Minish Cap: You hated the figure lottery or finding the last kinstone fusion
Twilight Princess / HD: You don't like the visual style or linearity
Phantom Hourglass: You hated the Temple and/or didn't give stylus controls a chance
Spirit Tracks: You are a godless heathen who hates trains
Skyward Sword / HD: You thought Fi was too annoying, or dislike small, dense worlds
A Link Between Worlds: You felt it could have been done better, but aren't sure how
Tri Force Heroes: You had no friends to play with
Breath of the Wild: You are easily paralyzed by having too many choices
People are only voting Zelda II because it was so hard. It's actually a pretty good game and if you cheat like me and use saves to reload to before you died, it's not hard to finish.
Link Between Worlds, easy. I haven't played any multiplayer Zelda (so no Tri Force Heroes for me), and I would consider them ineligible if I had.
I like Zelda 2. Always have.
@Tasuki You carry a collection of weapons and get to a point where all of them you don't want to use.
While I have not played Tri Force Heroes, I have played the others, so I not vote for what I have not tried. So with that said, I never liked Majora's Mask.
Went with Triforce Heroes, Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass. The two later I never actually beat because it was heavily rinse repeat and had to use the stylus to move everywhere. If a function is needed such as using a stylus or motion control gimmick, I think it is just a barrier for me to enjoy.
Zelda 2 getting a hard vote as it got?? Wow.
That game would be a top 5 good Zelda for me. The RPG elements was great. I could see the difficulty gripe with having lives but it wasn’t totally unfair. Just had to really learn it.
@Purgatorium @sleepinglion @alwaysasn I played Zelda II on Switch a couple years ago, and it rules. Always has.
Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
My vote goes to Minish Cap. Most boring Zelda game for sure, I had no fun at all playing it. Sure, Triforce heroes is not a great game either, but it kind of works if you're three players.
Apparently, nobody thinks four swords/anniversary edition is the worst lol
@nessisonett @mariomaster96 did you play triforce heroes?
@ModdedInkling yay for the 1% with buddies and brothers to get pissed off at each other about it like playing monopoly!!
Twilight Princess does not stand the test of time. The worst Zelda? Probably not
A couple of games sent the series it in a direction I did not enjoy playing.
@nukatha I second your list, death mountain was called this for a reason, lol
Wait, i am confused now. Why am i seeing Four swords / Anniversary Edition two times in the Result? Is it just me? I am guessing the 6 % are the correct amount as opposed to the 0%
But have any of you really hunkered down with Zelda 2 and declared, "I'm gonna topple this game"? Once you learn the ropes, it's lots of fun.
A number of them I haven't even played, so I don't feel like I can give a good answer. My least favorite 3D Zelda is Skyward Sword, and even then I think it has some neat things about it. 2D is where I haven't played most of them. I've pretty much only played ALTTP, the Oracle series and Four Swords Adventures (that was the one on the GCN right?).
Removed - inappropriate language
@nessisonett with people?
I’ve never played Triforce Heroes or the two DS games, so I can’t speak to any of those. Personally, I put Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild near the very bottom. SS is significantly better now that it has a more traditional control scheme, and I know I’m in the super minority on BotW. It’s not at all a bad game, it just didn’t really click with me at all. On the other hand, I’m one of the few that really loves Zelda II. Link to the past, Ocarina, Majora’s Mask, Link’s Awakening are all phenomenal as well, while the original Zelda, Windwaker, Minish Cap, the Oracle games, and Link Between Worlds are genuinely great but probably second tier for me.
@ancientlii Yes I did but I never even bothered to finish it. The first and only time I didn't finish a Zelda title
Tri Force heroes. Zelda II was ok for it's time.
This comment section is entertaining to read. Pretty much everyone has differing opinions.
Seeing Zelda 2 in the lead makes me sad.
Seeing how few people hate twilight princess as much as I do makes me angry
Worst of worst : Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon on the Philips CDI
Wait a minute... this article says only 'canon' games, no Warriors spin-offs, and while the 1st Hyrule Warriors game is indeed a spinoff and 100% not canon, Age of Calamity is actually 100% canon and technically not a spinoff. @ThomasBW84 shouldn't Age of Calamity be included in that list as it is also a canonical entry in the series?
It is a canonical prequel to Breath of the Wild which would classify that game as a main entry in the series.
@Mumantai I guess we know which Zelda game is @ThomasBW84 's favorite, seeing as Wind Waker isn't included
How can you ask that question without putting Wind Waker on the poll?!
C’Mon guys, be fair! To but Twillight Princess as an option and not Wind Waker! WTF?
Zelda 2 because it feels like it is missing something to make it stand along the rest of the games. The other 2 votes are for the ds games since they are repetitive and the touch screen controls are annoying.
Link Between Worlds perfectly captured the raw Zelda aethetic and was a near flawless game. It's a disservice that its image was used for this article. For shame!
That is all.
Personally more interested in tri force heroes than Zelda 2. Did not enjoy Zelda 2 at all and am happy they haven't gone back to it.
Because I enjoy taking my time to explore, I did not like Majora's Mask.
@Meteoroid You might feel that way, but there are a whole lot of people that feel differently about that. Go back and watch Twillight Princess's announcement at E3 if you are unsure about that. A proper Zelda game for the GameCube. A true successor to Ocarina of Time. Toon Link was a dud.
the CDI Zelda's
Yup, the results seem about right. I haven't played every entry but from what I have and from what I've heard of the rest... this seems pretty accurate.
Yeah, I was expecting Zelda II to get about that much hate...
Personally, my votes go to the original Zelda, Phantom Hourglass, and my bottom Zelda game is Four Swords, because on the GBA, you are required to know three other people who have a copy of the game and their own GBA to play it on, plus you need one link cable for each player as well, and then you need to schedule a time for everyone to get together and play it, not to mention that you have to beat that game to unlock a new dungeon for the other game on the cartridge, A Link to the Past.
You could get together and play the DSiWare version if you and your friends were fortunate enough to have downloaded it on the rare occasion that Nintendo would actually make it available! It's like Nintendo actively tried to give that game as little a chance at success as circumstances could possibly allow, and as a result, it's my least liked Zelda game.
I can't like a game that Nintendo doesn't want me to play with my friends, despite advertising it as a game you want to play with your friends!
No Zelda Sega CD? Odd as that's clearly the worst. Or WW since that got a ton of hate for it's art style.
For me it's BoTW and Majora's. I don't care for timers in games and nothing about BoTWs empty world excited me nearly as much as the FREE Genshin Impacts, BoTW felt like so blank that exploring anything was pointless...unless you wanted a cool weapon that would just break.
Zelda 2 is getting the votes because most of the voters weren't kids when that game came out clearly.
So hard to find 3 of them!
I voted Phantom Hourglass because I haven't played 2 or Triforce Heroes.
Thank goodness I’m not the only one that doesn’t like BotW. It’s an impressive looking game, but the controls are too fiddly for me (seriously, every time I try to run away from danger, I crouch down; and I can’t count the number of times I’ve accidentally thrown a weapon). And if I’m finally doing great in a battle, then my weapon breaks.
I’ve tried to play BotW so many times, and each time give up in frustration
No fair Including Tri Force Heroes. It's not Canon and it screws with the results!
That said, I went with Phantom Hourglass for the same reasons I don't care for Spirit Tracks. But Spirit Tracks train theme and music make it better by this much.
Breath of the Wild
I'm 32 years, owned a NES, played all the Zelda games and have actually finished Zelda II. It is that bad, and it's based on my opinion and not some kind of conspiratory anti-hype like the other comments are making it out to be.
Wasn't TriForce Heroes a non-canon spinoff? This stinker is mucking up the results.
@Ultimapunch how can you tell me you only care about graphics without saying you only care about graphics. LMAO.
The GB and Switch games are practically the same games. And the LInks Awakening GB/GBC version is one of the best Zeldas ever made.
Tri Force Heroes gets too much hate. That game was some of the most fun I've had in my life
@ancientlii Yeah, a couple of mates and I bought it on launch. We lasted one session.
No disrespect, but run is mapped to B and crouch is mapped to clicking in the left joystick, so I’m honestly not sure how you keep managing that?
I love how four swords got zero percent of the votes
Came in expecting some hard hitting analysis of why us commentators hate these games. In reality we got
Zelda II is bad because it is hard
Triforce heroes is not Zelda
Ds games have bad controls
I should have not had such high expectations
wind waker is objectively not the worst, but it is the one i subjectively enjoy the least, followed by spirit tracks and phantom hourglass. i love the cel shaded style but by god the travel is grueling, and the music mechanics in all three weren't particularly fun either
zelda 2 is a fine game beyond the obscene difficulty
@blindsquarel what were you expecting? people to address the story faults rather than the gameplay?
I recently beat AoL for the first time, and even with savestates and rewind, it was horrible to play. If I spent a long time mastering the combat, I'm sure it could be fun, but dying over and over again just... Isn't. TFH is just FS but worse, sadly. I don't think it's a bad game overall, but it's not a good Zelda game
On a related note, I was so hopefulthat Nintendo would release FS Anniversary edution again for the anniversary, but nope.
I will get downvoted to hell for saying this but I absolutely HATE Ocarina of Time. My experience whet completely rock-bottom when I reached Hyrule Field and getting chased and dog-piled by 50 skeletons that I could barely kill with my dinky sword. I gave up and never touched it ever again.
@Brink Oh wow you are right!
Tri Force Heroes is a non-canon spinoff. This list isn't right... it has a non-canon spinoff game listed and is missing canonical main games, what's up with that?!
As someone who's beaten every Zelda game, I can safely say that Triforce Heroes, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks are my least favorite ones.
Triforce Heroes is the worst Zelda game ever made (I don't count CDi Zelda games as real Zelda games, because they're not). It was a completely insufferable single player game, so much so that I don't even know why they bothered with it. Then the game somehow becomes even WORSE when trying to play the intended multiplayer way. Playing this game online and attempting to beat levels with people running around, griefing, disconnecting and ruining the experience was an absolute nightmare. This game is quite literally the most unplayable Zelda game to date. I would have picked Four Swords, but I found the Anniversary Edition was at least more of an enjoyable single player experience than the entirety of Triforce Heroes.
Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks are the most mediocre Zelda games I've played. Nothing about either of them stands out, especially compared to other 2D Zelda games. The control scheme is god awful. Slashing your sword and controlling Link with the touch screen is the worst control scheme concocted for any Zelda game in my opinion. The dungeons were very unmemorable, bland, and uninspired. I honestly can't even name a single one from memory. The PH dungeons all shared the same generic cave-sounding music and the ST dungeons had only 2 songs total and one unique one for the final dungeon. The over world is terrible in both games and wasn't ever fun traversing by drawing lines for the boat or by the abysmal train track system. Both stories were bland and forgettable, with only a few characters sticking out from memory. Also, the Lokomo and the train-based lore was the DUMBEST addition to the Zelda universe. The only thing more insultingly stupid was the fashion kingdom garbage from Triforce Heroes. PH and ST also had polarizing puzzles that required doing lame gimmicky stuff like blowing air or closing your DS. I hated all the stuff with the touch screen and the game completely relied on it. Oh, and the Spirit Flute was the worst and most frustrating experience I've had using an item in any Zelda game.
Also, Zelda 2 being voted so high is just stupid. I don't even think people have played it and just assume it's the worst game in the series. Admittedly, Zelda 1 and 2 are really flawed by today's standards. They're full of bad gameplay designs and are unfair or artificially difficult, but that was the era of NES games in general. The gameplay aspect wasn't what bothered me, but the really stupid archaic stuff like hiding entrances in places you'd never guess were there without using a guide. But that was the point. They were made to be really confusing or hard and could only be beaten by using guides or hearing what your school yard chums had discovered. It's terrible by modern game design, but you have to understand that it was a different era of gaming. All games were hard, trying to emulate the arcade experience. They weren't meant to be something you could beat within a week. It took years for kids to beat certain games. Games like Zelda 1 and 2 required mastery, learning the game inside and out and becoming a true "explorer" of the world of Hyrule. People would even draw their own maps of the world on graph paper! It was a different time. I don't expect anyone in this day and age to enjoy either game, but to call them some of the worst in the series? Complete ignorance.
I've got such a specific issue with Spirit Tracks. On the plus side the music is some of the absolute best, and the Sand Rod is wicked fun. But the single thing that crashes it into the basement for me are the sidequests which activate without warning. Suddenly some rando in a station which you'd previously rinsed for all available content wants a delivery of goods, and there's no clue the quest is active, there's nothing that the character had previously said which might indicate that they might want something later on, no clue to come back to a station that you thought was done. It just makes the game require a guide or walkthrough, because whole areas are locked behind it. And all the other Zeldas are SO GOOD at NOT doing that. I don't know why Spirit Tracks got it so wrong.
@nessisonett ic. I loved it, enjoyed working together with randos online and introduced it to some guys from my club, i started them out with a challenge level with volcanic rocks falling from the sky we failed that mission, but we still had fun overall, they said they were gonna get it in the end.
I'm gonna say Four Swords GBA only because I never had the chance to play it with someone.
@blindsquarel look again they listed it twice
@Munchlax I accidentally click the joystick when running away - if I could disable L3, I would
I agree with your point, though I don't know if I'd phrase it as "Zelda 1 and 2 are bad by modern game design."
In my opinion, people (not necessarily you) talk too much about "modern standards" without understanding what those standards are or what they mean.
Games — like all art or software — are made for certain audiences. In UX terms, those audiences operate under "mental models," that is, they have certain expectations about how stuff is supposed to work.
But such "models" are of their time and place. When we pick the game up years later, we have to adjust to these outmoded "mental models" if we want to make sense of the game. But this isn't really the game's fault. And, to be entirely honest, it's not climbing Everest either. I adjusted to Zelda 1 in 15 minutes.
"Modern standards" will follow the same fate: gamers in 2030 will probably be complaining about our convoluted UIs and overdesigned gameplay systems. But today we're just fine with all of it, for the most part, because we're used to it. It's the context we live in, so we don't have to adjust to it like we do when playing Zelda 1 .
I really tried to like Zelda II back in the day but it's just so boring, tedious, and frustrating. The music is mostly good but when I hear it my brain turns to oatmeal. Playing this game feels like operating heavy machinery on half a bottle of robetussin.
Ganon's laugh is awesome.
I've played most of the Zelda's, but Majora's Mask just never appealed to me. I even vaguely remember possibly trying it and returning it (back when you could do that). Seems like most Zelda games have a few creepy characters, but more of a focus in MM. Not my bag.
Tri Force Heros. No questions asked.
@Tasuki did you play botw much?
the reason is all, is that i hated the weapons system at first, to, until a) i kind of just got used to it but more importantly b) i got a few hours in and realized that the game is throwing so many weapons at me it doesn't even matter. just use em up!
i ended up liking the fact that i actually used different weapons strategically throughout the game rather that finding one "bread and butter" weapon and using it the whole time. and, when i actually did run out, i appreciated the tension and challenge of the situation.
anyway thats why they make chocolate ice cream! games are meant to be fun and they just keep coming out with them, lucky us ☺️
ps- i haven't played maybe half of these (i didn't have a DS, and i had moved on from GBC when the capcom ones came out) and ive loved pretty much every zelda game ive played, but i picked ALBW because i played it once and i wasn't into it. i know thats not fair but its the only time that ever happened to me with a zelda game.
I haven't played several on this list, particularly the multi-player Zeldas and I doubt it's the worst but I found Breath of the Wild to be incredibly boring for some reason. Normally I like open world games but I lost interest in a couple of days and never went back. Did not enjoy the N64 ones either, though that is true for most N64 games. Early 3d style really did not do it for me then or now.
The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. It was a chore.
Got a double dose of unpopular opinions for ya, but I'm not big on lttp. I have always thought the game just up and leaves you with no clue as to what do next on several points. I also think some of the late game dungeons are too hard. I'm speaking relatively of course. This is far from a bad game.
I also really like Zelda 2.
My favorite is Majora's Mask
“Worst Zelda game”. I must be on the Internet. Next, tell me which Zelda game doctors say they hate.. lol
Anyone voting for the original Zelda or Breath of the Wild is just fundamentally wrong. Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda ever made, and the original Zelda is a perfect example of the genre that later titles expanded upon. It is in no way "too difficult". I played and mastered it when I was 8, so maybe you just suck at video games?
There's a bad Zelda game?! 0_O
(Not including the CDi ones)
Zelda II is nowhere near as bad as everyone says it is. They just hate it because it's unique and it's difficult
Every Handheld Zelda game after GBC.
@Vexx234 Minish cap is amazing.
Dude, no CDi games? Wand of Gamelon? Faces of Evil? Zelda's Adventure?
Blast those contrarians that vote the best Zelda games as the worst!
@Ratmasterd21 not the best but it's good
I voted Zelda II because out of the three zelda games i've played so far (The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, and Link to The Past), it's just the (kind of) least enjoyable out of the three. I do NOT hate Zelda II though. I think it's a pretty good game despite its difficulty and it has a place in the franchise.
I'm sure Zelda 1 & 2 were great back in the day, but I'd say by today's standards they're practically unplayable. Even with rewind and a guide those games were a chore to play through.
Yup, I was looking for that. Though I don't think the game is bad by any means, it is definitely the Zelda I am least interested in replaying again.
Zelda II's a great game. Just very different from the traditional Zelda formula.
I vote for Phantom Hourglass for a couple of reasons:
1. Designing the entire game around touchscreen controls has its issues when you're required to perform pitch-perfect actions under a time limit (Spirit Tracks at least has some backup buttons).
2. Trying to complete the game 100% is beyond annoying when trying to collect all available SHIP PARTS. Randomizing them was a stupid move, and you have to replay challenging mini-games over and over and hope that you get the part that you're missing.
I actually like the Temple of the Ocean King, and returning to it with new items, unlocking new ways to explore it, but the two issues I've listed above are the reasons I can't bring myself to replay it. Spirit Tracks has a lot of the same issues, but at least the train parts only require you collect enough treasures, and it does provide partial non-touchscreen solutions.
@Ratmasterd21 If only that were true.
I voted Phantom hourglass because of the stupid repeating temple and triforce heroes because obvious reasons. I still love Zelda 2 as I played it terribly as a toddler. Nostalgia is powerful.
For me it was Windwaker for being insultingly easy and repetitive, as beautiful as it was with an epic soundtrack. It should be on this list too.
Four Swords/ Anniversary Edition is listed twice (after I voted, it shows as 6%, and 0%, respectively). Maybe need to fix this, and also the correct answers are Triforce Heroes, Four Swords (ALttP bonus game), and Spirit Tracks.
@KayFiOS Four Swords is playable with two or three players, and there's 4-way third party link cables.
where is links crossbow training
Wind Waker is a sly one! Added.
gotta go with Link's awakening, Four swords adventures gamecube, and Zelda II.
Link's awakening had the worst overworld ive ever seen in anything, navigating it was a complete tragedy. So many ways you think you can go even after you have spent so long playing i was still thinking "Oh yeah theres no way past these trees i gotta go ALL the way around.
Four swords adventures was just extremely boring, too OMG ZELDA MULTIPLAYER instead of trying to put something good to do.
Zelda II cuz i dont want to check a walkthrough on gamefaqs written in 2003 for 70% of the game. i can walk through this wall? K great. I go in THAT grave? Oh of course! how did i not know that? Oh theres a dungeon IN TOWN? Spell what spell? Forget it.
All the Zelda II haters just need to get better at video games. Period.
I vote Zelda II, but the mix of side-scroller and original zelda just makes a sludge.
I haven't played all of them and still know it's Skyward Sword. However, the controls are basically the only thing I did like about the game.
@Vexx234 my mistake. I forgot having an opinion on the internet makes me wrong 100% of the time. I take my statement back. Please carry on.
"Link's awakening had the worst overworld ive ever seen in anything, navigating it was a complete tragedy. So many ways you think you can go even after you have spent so long playing i was still thinking "Oh yeah theres no way past these trees i gotta go ALL the way around."
@Ocaz That's actually the aspect of the game I adore. Having to explore the long way around to get to an area before unlocking a more direct shortcut. Zelda developers certainly liked it, because this map design approach was also used extensively on both Oracle games, as well as Minish Cap and Skyward Sword.
Skyward sword Wii
@Ratmasterd21 You are forgiven for being wrong. Enjoy your day.
Triforce Heroes was awesome. But then again, I played the whole campaign with 3 players. I can see how it wouldn't be good as a single player game.
Unpopular opinion: Aside from the NES games, I really don't like A Link to the Past. I never grew up with a SNES, and I just found the game to be pretty cryptic and dull. The dark world was a pain to navigate, and that final boss was awful (getting pushed off the edge and having to do the whole battle all over again). I'm not trying to change any minds though. Most people love the game, but it really wasn't for me.
@GregamanX I can see that. I never played it even though it was one of the most popular games growing up. I finally gave it a chance and I found it to be decent. I do understand about the dark world. It felt like one giant maze. What worked for me was putting my mind back in the snes days when it was popular and it helped me push through. Why I wouldn't call it the best time I had, I can see for those who grew up with it why it's their favorite game.
@Vexx234 Thanks bro. Most people would have held it against me. It's true what they say, some heroes don't wear capes.
Damn, I didn't think there was so much hate for Zelda II. I'm a big fan of its intent of design. I really liked the adventure time rip off of it
Tri Force Heroes has download play.
The Ds Zeldas are God awful. The Philips games are better for satire reasons. Zelda 2 is a great game and they're remaking everything under the sun so where's the Zelda 1 & 2 remakes (....AND for shizs & giggles, where's the Philips remakes!?)!? All the multi-player ones are.... unique. If you actually played them how they're supposed to be played (with multi GBAs and people) I bet they would be kick a$s. Majora's Mask is the left over cash grab of OoT, which isn't so bad, real choppy though on the cut scenes. Seasons & Oracles were the first ones made by Capcom instead of Nintendo, so take that however you want to. Not bad games. A Link Between Worlds, that whole getting the items first thing was kinda funky, but it's a Link to the Past straight up sequel, so there's that. With the Minish Cap, see my Seasons & Oracle comment. Links Awakening, that was like, "Hey! Gameboy needs love too!" They got it (With a shameless Mario level and Yoshi doll crossover to boot)! Wind Waker was a straight up Zelda with cartoon graphics. I don't get the hate on Skyward Sword? I just sat on the couch and wiggled my wrist through the whole game to use the sword, you know you did the same thing! All in all they are all great games, I've played and beaten everyone of them. Even the worthless DS ones, also did I mention the Ds ones suck? So in closing, Zelda 2 is AMAZBALLS, and nobody does fetch quests quite like Zelda!
@mariomaster96 I agree with you if you play it by yourself , if you have other people to play with it makes the game better. I don’t actually think there is a bad Zelda game they all have there perks.
Battle of Olympus is heavily inspired by Zelda 2, and superior in every way, it is also a contemporary of 2. Those that love Zelda 2 should try Battle of Olympus out, it's great.
I love the strong opinions here, it's like fighting the worst flavor of ice cream. Good luck getting closure.
Zelda's Adventure, unironically.
I voted for Zelda 2. I've only played the game once and had no clue what I was playing. Tri Force Heroes is becoming a Nintendo game that I want to grab out of curiosity. Usually when Nintendo fans say a Nintendo game is bad, it greatly exceeds the experience I was suppose to have. For instance, Hey! Pikmin and Federation Force both are runner up favorites of their series for me.
There are some sick, sick people in this world
Definitely OoT. All the love is just nostalgia fueled.
There's only ever two skeletons at a time!
@nessisonett Zelda 2 is far worse, imo, to Triforce Heroes (very overhated imo)
People really hate Tri-Force Heroes that much? I really loved A Link Between Worlds, and playing through Tri-Force Heroes with two friends felt like a fun way to explore those of those kinds of dungeons. It's really bad in single-player, and relying on random co-op partners can be a struggle, but I think it can be a lot of fun if you know who you're working with.
I don't think Zelda II is terrible, but it gets my vote. I think it's just a pretty mediocre NES action game, like Castlevania II, and it would be hard to find anyone who cared about it if it wasn't for the Zelda brand.
A Zelda 2 modern remake would be cool... it's different for sure and feels the least like Zelda of all of them... even the abysmal Tri Force Heroes. Actually played that for 4 hours before I realized, this is bad stuff. Zelda 2 is just odd and really not great, like Castlevania 2 and Mario 2...glad all of them went back to their roots with the 3rd entries.
@Cartr36 No doubt. I met Zelda fans upset because it's not lore friendly. Yeah tri-force isn't lore friendly. I always found that odd, given that the series has played fast and lose with it's lore adding in whatever fits the current theme.
For me personally it's Phantom Hourglass. It's a shame too: The characters, like Linebeck, are actually pretty nice, but because you have to go back to the stupid Temple of the Ocean King EVERY time you finish a dungeon it really takes the fun out of the game. Dull, boring, and just not fun. Spirit Tracks is a bit better (even though the panflute sections still suck).
@SNESDisney Err... WInd Waker is on the poll....
1: Zelda CD-i
2: Triforce heroes
3: uhhh?? I dont know apart from these two i actually liked all of them.
I loved Zelda 2, and finished it several times. It has some great elements and ideas.
Spirit tracks is the only Zelda game I played and actively didn't enjoy. Thought it was awful. Was so happy when I got to the end, didn't bother to do the last boss, and never played it again.
I don't know if any of these games are bad, really, but the most boring ones to me are the two DS games. Couldn't get into those.
There's a lot of dislike for Zelda II, but is that because of the game's quality or its reputation? I've been playing it some on the new G&W and sure, it's hard and pretty primitive, but also kinda interesting and... yeah... fun! Would love to see a remake of it!
The crouching instead of fleeing happened to me loads, so I remapped it to the photo button.
Anyways, all the Zeldas I have played have been fun
I voted Zelda II (Yes, i played it, when i was younger, way more patient, and still hated it), Triforce heroes, and (And i'm going to take a lot of flak over this) Majora's mask.
There are a few "meh" ones (The DS ones never really grabbed me, and the NES original, while revolutionary for its time, aged poorly), but those three just strike me as "Now why did they have to go and do that?"
@nessisonett To date, Zelda II still ranks in my top five. When I think of the games I had the most of playing, across the entire series, it's:
1.) Link to the Past
2.) Zelda II
3.) Wind Waker
4.) Link's Awakening
5.) Breath of the Wild
Four Swords and Triforce Heroes are just bland entries that are far from the series' usual quality standards.
Where is Ocarina of Time (Switch)?
Obviously the Philips CDI games are the worst. No contest at all.
Zelda II also ranks on my top five. But what is a top five anyway? I understand "best Zelda games" arguably should be a somewhat objective take. Maybe my top five consists of "Fondest Zelda memories" and surely Zelda II is there since it was my first Zelda experience back when the game was new. Old games will probably only be on a persons top five if said person had the experience hands on at that time and place in history. Nostalgia will and should always be a part of one's personal list.
My point here should sum up why voting in general will always have an odd outcome. It's like casting a vote for best Star Wars film.
@Venivik I actually loved TP when i was a teenager but oooof... replaying it recently, i had such a terrible experience. Among the only two interesting dungeons, on is a semi-ripoff from the Lakebed Temple from Majora. As for the other dungeons, they're just a copied and pasted "central room with 4 paths" structure over and over.
The only thing saving it for me was the caves to find in the overworld and the combat that was kinda fun.
Where's links crossbow training!?
2 relatively easy votes:
Horribly repetitive and gimmicky. Certainly not a horrible game per se, but given its series brethren, it just can't hold a candle.
Simply annoying by design. Resource management from hell and fights against shielded enemies feel like AVGN sketches.
The concept is quite neat and i'd love to one day see a more reasonable remake
@Callisto4081 Wow, what a coincidence! I played Tp back when I was teen too! It's funny how nostalgia messes with your memory. I tried to get back into it and suddenly I couldn't remember why I liked it the first time around. I could only play it in spades and just gave up.
Obviously the CDi games are the worst, but this list Zelda II, TriForce Heroes and Four Swords GBA.
Zelda II worst Zelda game? I'm shocked.
It's one of the best NES games, having a great influence on sooo many games that came after it, even as of today.
Zelda II is not a traditional Zelda game but in "spirit" it is it a lot.
It's a game in which you are given no clues, you don't know where to go, what items you need and where to find them. Yet it is a game very based on adventure, discovery and solving mysteries scattered in a vast semi-open unmerciful world.
We can think of it as an 80s NES 2D Breath of the Wild.
For me, I did not like Skyward Sword at all. It wasn’t even the motion controls that bothered me, I just found the entire game incredibly boring. But hey, if it took Skyward Sword to get BotW, then I’m certainly ok with it happening.
Voted on Majora´s Mask. A lot of it´s best elements also makes the game a drag to play. Zelda 2 isn´t great, but a remake could fix most of the issues. The problem of Majora´s Mask is the whole concept of the game. A remake wouldn´t and didn´t fix it.
Phantom Hourglass, by far. It's one of the most tedious games I've ever played.
From what Ive played I’d say Phantom Hourglass, the temple of the ocean king was just too repetitive for me.
The game and watch games ZELDA and Vermin (Zelda edition) are missing, as are the CD-i triforce of evil games. And so is the Zelda game watch. And also missing is Nintendoland's The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest. Not to mention, Hyrule Warriors, Cadence of Hyrule, and Age of Calamity.
While Vermin is legit fun, and so are those last three spin-offs I mentioned, all the others are worse than everything on this list.
Skyward sword just sucks. The motion controls were just bad at the time and they are even worse now. How were they able to make it worse? I know, it's just the nature of the game. The game itself just sucks, that's why
@marandahir well yes out of those games I would say the cd-i games are the worst but the article did mention its only main games, not spin offs
Skyward Sword....I tried so hard to like it but the controls are simply atrocious. I reached the second temple and never went back. If the HD version had regular sword controls I def would have liked it.
Zelda II was my favorite until BotW came out; I know I'm not alone here. There are dozens of us... dozens!
(It nailed the excitement of exploration and discovery, damn it!)
I love Zelda II, but I do admit, I've never beaten it without cheating. That final palace is just too much.
I would not have counted the multiplayer games. To me, they're as much a spin-off series as the Tingle games, or Crossbow Training.
My least-favorite mainline game is Ocarina of Time. I had such high expectations for it, but instead, we got a proto-3D game with Navi.
Second least favorite is Twilight Princess.
But I mean, even the worst Zelda game, to me, is still a pretty good game.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was a hard game. Which is fine! I like hard games. It was just hard for some frustrating reasons.
Skyward Sword in terms of what i have played, but i also heard that Triforce Heroes is quite bad too, never played it though.
Tri force heroes, phantom hourglass and a tie between twilight princess and skyward sword.
Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks are the only Zelda games I genuinely dislike. The touchscreen-only control, with no traditional option, felt clumsy and was forced gimmick Nintendo at its worst.
Zelda II was my third, though I think it’s far above the DS duo. It doesn’t hold up very well today, but to be honest, that’s true of a lot of NES games, much more than SNES.
@Chibi_Manny Minor spoiler, but it's not a BotW prequel, and even its canonicity is unconfirmed at this point. It's a time-travel story that shows us an alternate timeline and a completely different course of events; frankly, it's more of a sequel to BotW than it is a prequel.
Zelda 2 was a huge letdown when it came out (I was like 8, and couldn't get very far). Now, it's strangely charming. However, maybe it deserves to win the poll just because it was so poorly balanced. What other Zelda do people even have to cheat just to see the ending? I don't know, I still love it.
There’s a few rom hacks of Zelda II that really improve the game.
On its on merits, Zelda II is a collection of fantastic ideas executed poorly. It’s not so much the difficulty itself, it’s how unfair it is. Which is a criticism I level at a lot of NES games in their original incarnations.
The rom hacks fix most of its balancing issues and it’s a really, really good game at its core.
Twilight Princess, followed by A Link Between Worlds. If you really analyse those two, they are the worst, in terms of expectations and being generally soulless entries.
Easily Breath of the Wild. It's the only title in the series where you can literally starve to death and there is no sense of direction whatsoever in the game. A terrible RPG for beginners and LOZ is a series meant for casual gamers and people new to RPGs.
@ZimmerRemmiz I find the gameplay to be better than most Zelda games, but I prefer Spirit Tracks.
@XE77 That's the only game I like better than Link's Awakening.
Sorry Zelda 2, I could not get far with you. Bad communication with progression. I wish they'd remake the NES games someday, along with the DS games. These are diamonds in the rough held back by either archaic design choices, quirky control, or dated hardware. If the CDI Zelda's were here, they'd be the target.
I'm sorry but I do not agree about Zelda 2. It's a fantastic game and I have enjoyed it since I was a kid. Beaten it probably a dozen times over the years. It's not even the most difficult NES game, there are way more difficult games such as Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Mega Man 1, and Castlevania 1 and 3. For me, my least favorite games are Breath of the Wild, Skyward Sword, and both of the DS games. Now don't get me wrong, I liked Breath of the Wild but it sadly never felt like a real Zelda game to me. As for Skyward, I didn't like the Wii controls. They are better in remake. As for the DS games, it was the controls and I hated the Temple of the Ocean King. Tedious and frustrating to say the least.
@nukatha I'm aware. Just could never pony up enough people for a local co-op session, whether due to schedule conflicts or lack of interest.
For people saying Spirit Tracks, say what you want about the controls, I got them in 5-10 minutes and the spirit flute but a lot of charm with the music in spite of the flute and blow mechanics and story in spite of the hud being called New Hyrule. and between playable Zelda working with Link, the dungeons. The train sections while slow also have a Pacman and Star Fox vibe to them, eluding the evil trains and shooting obstacles and nukes on rails.
@SNESDisney when I saw Wind Waker was omitted at first, I realized the poll was garbage. It's a shame it was "forgotten" and left out because the poll creators favorite Zelda game is probably WW.
One simply doesn't "forget" Wind Waker. I'm sorry, but definitely calling BS on their claim.
The people voting for Zelda II have anger-induced tunnel vision. That, or haven't played Tri Force Heroes solo at all.
I personally wouldn't have bought the Game & Watch without it, and I wish they had made a game in that style back when they did smaller scale development for their handheld consoles. Now on the Switch it'd get backlash from these kinds of people and just get lost in the shuffle, unfortunately.
It really deserves better for all the new things it brought to the table.
Triforce heroes for me …I still haven’t even finished it and I’m a die hard zelda fan …I wish Zelda 2 got a remake though maybe in the style of Metroid dread…. I feel it deserves some love and Maybe some tweaks to make it a bit more forgiving.
Zelda II? Wow lol.
@SNESDisney But 4 Swords/ Anniversary edition is the one with 0% meaning no one or not enough voted to impacted the poll whatsoever.
Edit: I just realized they have 4 Swords/ Anniversary edition twice. But WW its tied with others as the least so nobody can tell.
@Mazor775 You're serious about the CDI games being better than the DS games or Zelda 2 for that matter.
Didn't we all want to just come into this topic to bomb some Dodongos?
Triforce Heroes is a spinoff game, who cares. Spirit Tracks however is easily the worst mainline Zelda. That era of experimenting with no real overworld was Zelda at it's worst. Thankfully BoTW got the series back to it's roots of exploring.
Majora's Mask 3D is also a pretty terrible remake, the Zora swimming alone makes it an inferior version to the N64 original.
@ModdedInkling the four swords you mention i believe is the extra that came with link to the past. I believe the four swords in the poll means the game cube and 3DS versions as it is slightly differnt and you only need one copy of the game .. however it certainly is beyond annoying to have to have two gba's to play multiplayer .. and or 3DS for the anniversary editon
@Kevlar44 No, Triforce Heroes is as mainline as Links Awakening, 4 Swords. As for Spirit Tracks at least had charm, and could communicate progression, and had unique qualities like Zelda being playable.
@GinMiguel Tri Force Heroes is an online multiplayer game with no overworld or dungeons. It nor the 4 sword games are mainline apart from story. Links Awakening is a traditional Zelda experience, Tri-Force Heroes is not. If you'd prefer lets just say Tri-Force Heroes isn't traditional. It's no different than Federation Force and Metroid, it's a spinoff. I've played every Zelda game ever made, including the sattelaview games, and I just can't agree with the idea that a game with entirely different mechanics isn't a spinoff.
Hands down Majora's Mistake, reprehensible rotten game all around, so many broken mechanics, bad design decisions, and useless time frittered on most of the gimmicky masks. Clearly rushed garbage to fill a fat hole in the late N64 life using cobbled junk patched into the OoT core.
Triforce Heroes is a given, and Phantom Hourglass with its touch only and broken...roll roll roll til you die with the ever return to rerun dungeon from hell.
Kind of surprised to see Zelda II score so much, it's not bad, it's just far harder than the rest.
Four Swords Anniversary Edition on the DSi/3DS is an enhanced port of the original GBA game that was bundled with every game pak of A Link to the Past. The GameCube game, Four Swords Adventures is an entirely different game; a loose sequel to Four Swords.
That's why I had to choose my wording carefully. I still resent Nintendo (and by extension, Capcom) for not future-proofing this game on either platform.
@Kevlar44 A lot of Zelda games have different mechanics. Side Scrolling, Time limits, sailing and wind control, Transforming. Yeah they all have the same template but the multiplayer Zelda's follow that gameplay. Say what you will about the quality of TF or 4 Swords but Link uses items to solve puzzles and fight bosses in those games following previous adventures.
Edit: And another thing Spirit Tracks did have exploration, Its just not the conventional type.
No Wand of Gamellon or Faces of Evil?
Folks, read the poll rules no non-Canon Zelda games, ergo no cd-i games in the poll list.
The Zelda II discussion had been quite riveting. Personally I hold a special place in my heart for the game, but I think a lot of the shots fired at the haters here aren't necessarily fair. Definitely a game with plenty of reasons for some to legitimately love and plenty of reasons for others to legitimately hate.
Lol I love Zelda 2. Guess I’m some kind of freak
@ModdedInkling See. Thats where it gets confusing. Its a shame those games arent more accessable. I do have the anniversary one on my 3DS tho, im sure it was a free download for a limited time. Either way not sure why rhey hold it back
A few days ago, a remark I made in jest about Breath of the Wild being a rip-off due to the fact that it can be beaten in under 30 minutes is removed for "trolling/baiting", while the very same website publishes an entire article calling upon readers to vote for which mainline Zelda game (most of which are critically acclaimed) is the "worst". 🙄
@nessisonett The problem with Zelda II is that a lot of the deaths are cheap, even when you have maxed out your health, magic, and attack by collecting EXP.
You could be jumping over a pit, only for a flying fish skull, as I call them (or as they're called in the game, Bago-Bago), to knock you right back into the pit, causing you to lose a precious life.
And regarding those lives, if you can't find the Link dolls (of which there are only five), you will have to farm 9000 EXP to get an extra life.
Some enemies, like Iron Knuckles, are rather unfair, as they have the ability to move their shield faster than you can attack them, so it really comes down to luck whether or not you land a on hit them.
And the dungeons are rather labyrinthian, more so than the original game. And without a map telling you where you are, it is easy to get lost, especially in the Great Palace.
It's not a terrible game, but there is quite a bit going against it. I have yet to play Tri Force Heroes, but I would like to, if only to see for myself how bad it really is.
But I think we can all agree that the CD-i Zelda games are easily the worst Zelda games of all time.
@Baker1000 Not at all. I think people are voting for it because it feels nothing like a Zelda game, has no clever puzzles and is dull.
I genuinely voted for Breath of The Wild. It's the only game here that I failed to get into and didn't complete. I just found myself not caring really quickly and playing something else instead.
I appreciate that this is a sacrilegious thing to say on a Nintendo site but I stand by it. I don't think it's bad at all, just my least favourite.
Not the worst but the most disappointing The Legend of Zelda game is Breath of the Wild.
Interesting how no one voted 4swords, that means it is the best Zelda game?
Looking at this list and realizing that I haven't played as much Zelda as I thought I had...
Lots of great games here. Of the ones I've played I'd have to pick wind waker (though I could see myself picking the NES entries - not because I think they're bad, but because they were the baseline that the rest of the series grew from). I was originally really disappointed by the cartoony look of wind waker, but it didn't stop me from playing it. It wasn't bad at all, and I actually quite enjoyed both of my attempts to finish it, I just ended up losing interest around the korok dungeon both times. I did love stealing weapons and hurling them at things
For me it's Phantom Hourglass just because how standard it is. It recycles the Wind Waker's world, literally every item is from another game, there's simply no innovation aside from the touch controls and the central temple, both of which were improved upon in Spirit Tracks.
It's as though someone is just checking off the items on the list of 'Things that should be in a Zelda game' Its not a broken busted game but it lacks any kind of heart and soul.
Zelda 2, tried it so many Times, even with the "easy" Rom Hack (lesser damage, more xp), but it is just no Fun.
Than Majoras Mask, has so a cool World, but i don't like the reset Mechanics and Time Limit.
As third i voted for Minish Cap.
If possible i would vote also for the Oracle ones, because they are all from Capcom and they feel kind of different.
Its funny that people have thought that Zelda 2 is the worst. Yes, its cheap at times, and the formula is different, but...idk i still kinda like it.
Also, i find it funny that when I got my LoZ Game&Watch, the game i have played the most on it is Zelda II. Like ive been going to town on that game for some reason...especially over my favorite in Link's Awakening.
Zelda 2 is a perfectly competent game for the console it was released on, and aged better than most RPGs from the 80s.
Tri Force Heroes is a flawed multiplayer experience at best and a frustratingly tedious waste of time as a single player game.
Spirit Tracks. The game was broken. The flute mechanic didn't work.
Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon... I played 5 mins of this in the hey-day of CD-i... and it was 5 mins too many...
@GinMiguel Hey dude, Thanks for actually reading my comment! So ya I think Philips CDi games are better than the Ds games for sure. I played both of them all the way through at a demo stand at like Sears or Jc Penny's when I was a little kid (So you know, nostalgia). The games played the whole way through and never reset. It was a simpler time back then. Lol! But Zelda 2 is in my top three Zelda games, there's nothing wrong with crouching in the corner and slicing away to beat stinky Shawdow Link. If he's dumb enough to get hit like that, I'm cheap enough to do it!
Breath of the wild voters need to be banned from the site.....
@EriXz They did vote for it, its just there twice.
No one voted Four Swords. Now let's live with the fact it's the best Zelda game.
Voting innovators such as OOT or BotW is just silly.
The only good thing about Skyward Sword was that I was available to trade it in at my local game store to get a 60% discount on Pokemon Brilliant Diamond on launch day.
I want to say none! They are all great in their own right!
I'm the 1% that voted oot
The answer is Triforce Heroes.
Everybody loves saying Zelda II because memes and it is different from other Zeldas. But if you haven't played it, you shouldn't vote for it. And for the record I have played them both
@Travisemo007 nah, it's triforce heroes
The only way you enjoyed Triforce Heroes is if you were in a group of triplets that all loved video games and fashion.
If they were to include the CD-i games then a poll wouldn't be necessary... (well, perhaps only to decide which is the worst out of the CD-i games)
I never finished playing Skyward Sword on the Wii, and I was interested to come back to it on the Switch. I now know why I never finished it as it’s painfully unmemorable. All the dungeons merge into one and everything is easily forgettable. I had minor issues with the motion controls, I’m surprised how many didn’t like them actually. The two main issues with the game for me are:
1. The locations and environments lack personality and character. Everywhere feels kind of samey, whether you’re in a forest or desert. All the textures are the same. Nothing like OOT or BOTW. There is no atmosphere.
2. They recycle locations, making everything repetitive and boring. The Silent Realms obviously. And the bit where Faron Woods was flooded was so excruciating it made me wanna stop playing it there and then, again. It was a cheap and lazy way to extend the gameplay. Don’t get me started on the Imprisoned…
Skyward Sword is by far the worst modern Zelda game ever created. People seem to dislike BOTW mainly because they didn’t play it properly, i.e they bum-rushed through the main story and didn’t bother to explore the world, which is what the whole game is all about.
@elias84631 "Story was usually saving Zelda." If you played both DS games fully, especially spirit tracks you'd know that's far from summing it up.
Majora’s Mask, Triforce Heroes, and Four Swords Adventures. Ironically enough Zelda 2 is top tier for me..lol.
@Rascal0302 skill issues, that's why.
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