A Link Between Worlds

A Link Between Worlds is my favorite Zelda game.  If I wasn't so close to the end of my playthrough of the series I wouldn't be confident enough to say that, but now I am.

It takes everything I love about all the 2D Zelda games before it and includes those elements... then improves upon them in many ways.  Plus, it renders them in a cool 3Dish way on the 3DS.  A Link Between Worlds is also a huge homage to Link to the Past, which has been sitting at my number one spot in the rankings up to this point.

And it really shows.  Everything from the overworld to the dungeons pays tribute to Link to the Past.  It's not a one to one copy or direct rip off but there's no question that this is supposed to be the same world and deal with the same themes.  It was a brave choice since it could have made this game feel like a retread instead of something new.  Instead, it feels amazing.

I love the open and non-linear style of Link Between Worlds.  Being able to rent any key item you need and then tackle the main dungeons in any order you want is awesome.  It makes every playthrough different and leads to lots of experimentation.  There's also never the frustration of seeing an area you would be able to get to if you just had the right item.  If you see it and you understand the right approach you can get there from very early on.  Not to mention that it has a cool 2D flattening mechanic that works on walls.

I feel like I heard a bunch of praise for this game right when it released in 2013 and then it fell off everyone's radar.  I hope as time goes on that isn't the case.  It really deserves to be included in the best Zelda lists.  For me, this one goes right at the top without any hesitation.
  1. A Link Between Worlds (2013)
  2. A Link to the Past (1991) 
  3. The Wind Waker (2002)
  4. Oracle of Seasons (2001)
  5. Oracle of Ages (2001)
  6. Majora's Mask (2000)
  7. Ocarina of Time (1998)
  8. The Legend of Zelda (1987)
  9. Twilight Princess (2006)
  10. Link's Awakening (1993)
  11. The Minish Cap (2004)
  12. Skyward Sword (2011)
  13. Spirit Tracks (2009)
  14. Phantom Hourglass (2007)
  15. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1988)


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