The Legend of Zelda, a renowned series by Nintendo, holds a special place in the hearts of fans worldwide. Since its inaugural release in 1986, this iconic franchise has consistently delivered extraordinary gaming experiences, casting players into the role of Link, the valiant hero of Hyrule, on a mission to assist Princess Zelda in thwarting the looming threats that typically manifest in the form of Ganon or Ganondorf.
While the entire Zelda catalog is a treasure trove of gaming gems, there are select titles that serve as ideal entry points for newcomers. Whether you seek a gripping narrative or accessible gameplay, these games offer an excellent starting point to embark on your Zelda journey.
As of September 5, 2023, here are some excellent Zelda titles tailored for beginners:
The Minish Cap: Crafted by Capcom, in collaboration with Nintendo, this game follows Link’s quest to rescue Princess Zelda and restore the Picori Blade’s power after the malevolent sorcerer Vaati unleashes monsters on Hyrule. What makes this adventure exceptional is its enchanting world, where Link can shrink to the size of the Minish, interacting with everyday objects that suddenly become colossal. The vibrant pixel art draws players into this 2D masterpiece, making it an enticing entry point for newcomers.
- Advertisement -
A Link to the Past: This game is a cornerstone of the Zelda legacy, introducing elements like the Master Sword and Pieces of Heart. In this adventure, Link endeavors to thwart Agahnim’s plot to bring Ganon from the Dark World into the Light World. It offers a quintessential Zelda experience, featuring a captivating soundtrack, puzzle-laden dungeons, and formidable yet enjoyable bosses. For those new to the series, it offers a comprehensive introduction to core mechanics and an immersive experience that seamlessly bridges to the rest of the franchise.
The Wind Waker: Distinguished by its toon art style, The Wind Waker stands apart from other Zelda titles. It recounts Link’s journey across the submerged Hyrule after his sister’s abduction from Outset Island. Sailing through the expansive world creates an adventurous ambiance, complemented by the heroic Great Sea theme. The game boasts a delightful cast of characters and one of the finest renditions of Ganondorf. It radiates vibrancy and joy, embodying the quintessential Zelda experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Why not begin your Zelda odyssey with the game that ignited it all in 1986? The original Legend of Zelda remains an enduring classic, offering formidable challenges as players navigate the expansive world. It’s an ideal starting point, as it introduced many iconic elements like the Triforce, Ganon as the primary antagonist, and the in-game currency, Rupees.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Remake): Originally launched in the early ’90s, Link’s Awakening received a delightful remake for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. This version marries the best of both worlds, combining old-school adventure with updated graphics, making it an excellent entry point for modern gamers. It faithfully upholds Zelda traditions with its puzzles, intricate dungeons, and an engaging main quest. Its simplicity compared to recent installments ensures a smooth introduction for newcomers.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: While the series timeline may be a topic of debate, Skyward Sword is an ideal starting point for understanding Link and Zelda’s recurring journeys. It introduces compelling lore that sheds light on the entire series. With its extensive main story campaign and a captivating portrayal of Link and Zelda’s relationship, it is a welcoming entry for beginners.
- Advertisement -
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Revered as one of the best Zelda games, Ocarina of Time was a groundbreaking 3D entry in the series. It’s a must-play for all Zelda enthusiasts and is also accessible for newcomers. The time-travel mechanic weaves a unique and compelling narrative, and it serves as a reference point for other titles in the series. With a magnificent soundtrack, it’s a masterpiece worth exploring.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Ages: These Game Boy Color titles are often overlooked but offer quintessential Zelda experiences without overwhelming difficulty. Seasons emphasizes combat and adventure, while Ages focuses on puzzles and storytelling. Players can choose the one that suits their preferences, and both are available on the Nintendo Switch with an NSO subscription.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Serving as a spiritual successor to A Link to the Past, this game melds classic top-down gameplay with a fresh twist – the ability to merge with walls. It combines nostalgia with innovation, offering a unique Zelda experience that appeals to newcomers and longtime fans alike.
- Advertisement -
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: This game revolutionized the series by immersing players in a vast open world, allowing them to chart their own course to save Hyrule from Calamity Ganon. Its breathtaking scope and inclusion of Zelda lore make it an excellent starting point, and its captivating gameplay will keep you engrossed from start to finish.
These handpicked Zelda titles provide an array of options for newcomers, ensuring a captivating and enjoyable initiation into the rich and fantastical world of Hyrule. Whether you prefer classic 2D adventures or the grandeur of 3D open worlds, these games offer a diverse and inviting entry into the Legend of Zelda series.