The day has finally arrived. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is officially out in the world and you can check out our full review and our extensive Zelda guides, maps, and more that will help you in your quest to save Hyrule. However, we’re here today to talk about what game from The Legend of Zelda series’ past you chose as the best of the best before we all dive deep into this newest adventure.
After thousands and thousands of 1v1 battles in our latest Face-Off with matchups like Breath of the Wild vs. The Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask vs. A Link to the Past, the ultimate Legend of Zelda game has been chosen.
So which competitor claimed the top spot and proved they can stand side-by-side with the Hero of Time and be worthy of the Triforce? Drumroll please…
We kind of gave it away with that whole “Hero of Time” call-out, but we couldn’t wait to tell you that 1998’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time from the Nintendo 64 has risen above all other games in one of the most beloved gaming franchises to secure the win.
Ocarina of Time won 132,562 of its 151,459 battles for a win percentage of 87.5%. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as Ocarina of Time remains one of the most revolutionary games of all time and took Zelda from its 2D roots to a 3D world and changed the way we look at video games forever. From the incredible music from Koji Kondo to the unforgettable dungeons and that sprawling Hyrule Field that at the time felt as big as any area we’d ever explored in games, there are just so many special things about Ocarina of Time.
Its path to victory was not an easy one, however, as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came in second place with a win percentage of 85.4%. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the sequel to this 2017 classic that, once again, changed what we thought not only a Zelda game could be, but a video game itself. The creativity and freedom to tackle this world in any way you see fit was unmatched and the moments that we all created on journeys that truly felt like our own were something to behold.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker sailed into third place and Twilight Princess landed at #4 and it once again has us asking why Nintendo has yet to bring these classics to the Nintendo Switch. We remain hopeful they will make their way to Nintendo’s latest console sooner or later (or maybe its follow-up?!), but this Face-Off shows the love for these titles hasn’t diminished despite them being locked on older systems.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask rounded out the Top 5 and was followed by A Link to the Past, Skyward Sword, A Link Between Worlds, Link’s Awakening, and The Minish Cap.
On the other side of Hyrule sits The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, which is obviously not a traditional Zelda game and placed a huge focus on multiplayer. We loved it here at IGN and gave it an 8.5/10, but understand it is going up against some of the greatest games of all time.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which itself is also a very non-traditional Zelda game, was right behind Tri Force Heroes and was followed by Four Swords Adventures/Four Swords, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, Phantom Hourglass, and the original The Legend of Zelda. We love the Zelda series for the risks it takes and how it doesn’t play it safe when it comes to new entries, but that also comes with the cost of not everyone loving each one.
You can check out the full results of our latest Face-Off here, and you’ll have to let us know below where your favorite game landed and why you believe it deserves a higher spot! Also, we very well may be revisiting this Face-Off in the future after we’ve all had some time to play The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to see how it stacks up against the rest of the games in the series. Until then, have the best time with this long-awaited game!
For more, check our our full walkthrough of Tears of the Kingdom, the best things to do first, a guide on what the game doesn’t (but maybe should) tell you, and handy explainers on how to import your Breath of the Wild horses, how to unlock the full map, and so much more.
Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.