Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda is essentially gaming royalty, ranking as one of the most innovative, high quality series for almost 30 years. Along with the Super Mario series, Zelda has remained a constant fixture of Nintendo’s software strategy. As one of the only series to truly make a smooth transition from 2D to 3D, its impact on the videogame medium is hard to dispute. There are a staggering number of titles in the Zelda series and the question of which ones reign supreme is hotly contested by diehard fans. While the ranking order of the following 10 Zelda games can be argued and disputed until the gorons come home, they definitely represent the best games in the series.
10. The Legend of Zelda (1986)
It may be almost 30 years old at this point, but the original Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) still holds up as a remarkable piece of game design, and one of the most important games ever made. Created by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, The Legend of Zelda was inspired by Miyamoto’s childhood growing up in the Kyoto countryside. Miyamoto wanted to translate the same wonder he felt as a boy exploring caves and forests into a videogame. The Zelda games have always put an emphasis on adventure and exploration, and those components shine through, even if the game is pretty rough around the edges by today’s standards. That being said, this is where the Zelda template began and that deserves some recognition.