The Legend of Zelda Games Ranked by Critic Scores

A countdown of the top 20 highest rated The Legend of Zelda Games

The Legend of Zelda is arguably the most storied franchise in the history of videogames. Spanning nearly 40 years, the multi-generational, Nintendo exclusive series is among the most awarded titles in gaming, and even contains the highest rated game ever made, according to the review aggregating website Metacritic. With the highly anticipated Tears of the Kingdom set to arrive for the Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023, let’s look back and count down the best games in the history of The Legend of Zelda, according to the series’ critic Metascores.

Recommended Videos

(Note: Not all games in the series are included, as some do not have Metacritic scores. Compilation editions are excluded from the list, and the tiebreaker between two games with the same critic rating is higher user score.)

20. Tri Force Heroes

Release Date: October 23, 2015

Metacritic Score: 73 (Nintendo 3DS)

19. Classic NES Series: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Release Date: October 25, 2004 (originally launched on NES in 1988)

Metacritic Score: 73 (Game Boy Advance)

18. Skyward Sword HD

Release Date: July 16, 2021

Metacritic Score: 81 (Nintendo Switch)

17. Classic NES Series: The Legend of Zelda

Release Date: June 2, 2004 (originally launched on NES in 1986)

Metacritic Score: 84 (Game Boy Advance)

16. The Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda

Release Date: June 13, 2019

Metacritic Score: 85 (Nintendo Switch)

Related: Resident Evil Games Ranked by Critic Scores

15. Four Swords Adventures

Release Date: June 7, 2004

Metacritic Score: 86 (GameCube)

14. Spirit Tracks

Release Date: December 7, 2009

Metacritic Score: 87 (Nintendo DS)

13. Link’s Awakening Remake

Release Date: September 20, 2019

Metacritic Score: 87 (Nintendo Switch)

12. The Minish Cap

Release Date: January 10, 2005

Metacritic Score: 89 (Game Boy Advance)

Related: The Best Star Wars Games of All-Time, According to Critics

11. Phantom Hourglass

Release Date: October 1, 2007

Metacritic Score: 90 (Nintendo DS)

10. The Wind Waker HD

Release Date: September 20, 2013

Metacritic Score: 90 (Wii U)

9. A Link Between Worlds

Release Date: November 22, 2013

Metacritic Score: 91 (Nintendo 3DS)

8. Skyward Sword

Release Date: November 20, 2011

Metacritic Score: 93 (Wii)

7. Ocarina of Time 3D

Release Date: June 19, 2011

Metacritic Score: 94 (Nintendo 3DS)

6. A Link to the Past

Image Courtesy of Zelda Wiki Fandom

Release Date: December 3, 2002 (originally launched on SNES 1991)

Metacritic Score: 95 (Game Boy Advance)

5. Majora’s Mask

Release Date: October 25, 2000

Metacritic Score: 95 (Nintendo 64)

4. The Wind Waker

Image Courtesy of Zelda Wiki Fandom

Release Date: March 24, 2003

Metacritic Score: 96 (GameCube)

3. Twilight Princess

Image Courtesy of Zelda Wiki Fandom

Release Date: December 11, 2006

Metacritic Score: 96 (GameCube)

2. Breath of the Wild

Release Date: March 3, 2017

Metacritic Score: 97 (Nintendo Switch)

1. Ocarina of Time

Release Date: November 21, 1998 

Metacritic Score: 99 (Nintendo 64)


Prima Games is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article The Rogue Prince of Persia First Impressions | The Rude Sandstorm
The Rogue Prince of Persia
Read Article Can Escape from Tarkov Recover? Thoughts From an Early Tarkov Supporter
Escape from Tarkov Unheard Edition Warehouse Shootout
Read Article 8 Simple and Fun Mobile Games to Play in 2024
Cats and Soup gameplay.
Related Content
Read Article The Rogue Prince of Persia First Impressions | The Rude Sandstorm
The Rogue Prince of Persia
Read Article Can Escape from Tarkov Recover? Thoughts From an Early Tarkov Supporter
Escape from Tarkov Unheard Edition Warehouse Shootout
Read Article 8 Simple and Fun Mobile Games to Play in 2024
Cats and Soup gameplay.
Author
Grant Testa
Grant Testa is a writer at Prima Games, who specializes in achievement hunting and horror gaming. He is also an avid comic book reader/collector, fantasy footballer, and rock music fanatic. Thousands who have been defeated by Grant in online multiplayer games have cried to themselves, wondering, "How did he get so good?! Why can't I be a gaming demigod like him?" They would probably be surprised to learn that Grant actually inherited his elite gaming skills from his mom, Joann Hansen, one of the speediest stenographers/typists in the nation, (and probably the world). Fun fact: he is also the son of the world’s first “let’s player” and comedy legend, Tim Testa.