Disclaimer: This article was written by a member of the Zelda Informer staff unless otherwise stated. The thoughts, opinions, and information presented strictly belong to that of the author and do not represent Zelda Informer on the whole.
Talking about what game is your personal favorite in the series is a rather popular talking point. We all have various opinions and enjoy several different facets of the Zelda kingdom that at any given point we could prefer one game over another. What we don't talk about are the games that are arguably at the bottom end of the spectrum. In the end, none of the Zelda games are bad. I don't even know if Nintendo knows how to make a bad Zelda game, but in my humble opinion I believe I have compiled a list of five games that are probably at the bottom of my list of Zelda titles. Games I will probably not be replaying anytime soon.
- 5. Ocarina of Time
- 4. The Minish Cap
- 3. Four Swords
- 2. The Legend of Zelda
- 1. Phantom Hourglass
I am sure when you take a glance at the listing your first reaction will be "how did Ocarina of Time make it to the bottom 5?” Reality is that I base my rankings mostly on how much I truly enjoyed the experience. Every other game not on this list I enjoyed more than Ocarina of Time. It also doesn't help that when I played the game, it actually felt like I was playing A Link to the Past. While it was revolutionary for various reasons, I have never been able to wrap my mind around what it did that makes it "that" special. It's the same Zelda experience I had already played on a previous console. However, I understand the high place it has for many people. It was the first 3D Zelda and it didn't contain many "glaring" flaws. It successfully transitioned a game to 3D at a time when many failed to do so (hello Mega Man and Sonic). Still, it just wasn't my cup of tea.
The Minish Cap is a fun game that opened up a world of controversy with timeline enthusiast. It's an experience that I am thankful to have played. It's also extremely easy - to the point I questioned if it was intended as an entry point for new fans. Obviously, difficulty isn't the sole measure of quality, and by no means is this a bad game, but I have a hard time trying to place it ahead of the 12 games I put before it. I have no real reason I dislike it more than Ocarina of Time, but I just didn't enjoy it as much. Maybe it was too short for my tastes? I don't know, something about the experience just seemed... off.
Four swords takes the 3rd worst spot simply for the fact it required too much equipment to enjoy. Multiple game carts, cables, Gameboys... it was a giant mess to enjoy this game for what it was. Four Sword Adventures, at least, let you play even if you didn't have any friends. Still, when I finally did get to experience the game, it quickly occurred to me just how underrated it is. It's just a shame Nintendo put in such a massive barrier to gain entry.
The Legend of Zelda is an iconic game, and I doubt anyone would ever place it this low but me. Unfortunately, I have a hard time bringing myself to enjoy it - which seems ironic consider how much I enjoy The Adventure of Link. While I enjoyed the simplicity, I think I have grown fond of at least having some slightly better tips. The main problem for me is that I am a story lover, and frankly, there just isn't a story present here if you don't count the manual. Of course, I still enjoyed it much more than...
Phantom Hourglass is a neat experience. I thought some of the boss fights were absolutely brilliant. Besides, who can forget Linebeck? However, I hated the centralized dungeon, and of all the sequels I have seen over the years it felt forced. Add on the fact it's such an easy game and... ug, I just wasn't a fan of the gameplay. It's ironic a bit, because I really enjoyed Spirit Tracks. What are your least favorite games in the series?