4. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Remember Wind Waker? We were just talking about it! Well, even though the internet was awful upset when it came out, time has been kind to the game the cel-shaded, cartoony graphics have aged well, the story is one of the more interesting ones, and there's so much to love about the game that it's getting the HD remake treatment for the WiiU. Pretty much every aspect of it works perfectly and excels at pushing the Zelda series in an interesting new direction. Except sailing (speaking of directions
). You'd think Link would have learned his lesson about the dangers of sailing back when he got stranded on magic-fish-dream island.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Who would have guessed mixing Bill Murray films with Zelda would have birthed such an incredible game? (Answer: me, even though Nintendo refuses to reply to my letters suggesting a Zelda game based on Ghostbusters) Since they were re-using the engine built for Ocarina of Time, Nintendo was free to spend their time developing a weird and particularly unique (among Zelda games, at least) story, where Link somehow stuck in a parallel dimension has to battle a sentient mask before an evil-faced moon crushes a city that has somehow not been evacuated yet.
The intricate, complex schedules that the townsfolk follow, the effects of the various masks you can collect, and the three-day time limit made for a very different Zelda game, pretty much unlike any that had come before or since. It still had all the big staples: dungeons, annoying fairies, cool weapons (HELLO, FAIRY SWORD), and an awful, awful water temple; but it also had a lot of new, game-changing additions that would stick with the series for the rest of its lifespan.
I'm referring, of course, to Tingle.
2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
To many, this is it. This is the quintessential Zelda game, the ultimate, perfect work of the 16-bit era, and a great chicken-stabbing simulator. But one of the main takeaways most should have about A Link to the Past (besides it having the punniest title of all Zelda games), is that this is the game that set the standard and the framework that pretty much every Zelda game afterwards would follow.
Before A Link to the Past, there were two Zelda games: the original and Zelda II: Link's Adventure. The original is incredibly bare-bones, and Link's Adventure is such a weird entry that it's almost been discarded from Zelda canon. But A Link to the Past changed things. For one, it added a lot of atmosphere that previous Zelda games really didn't have the story opens on a stormy night in Hyrule, when a psychic plea for help rings out. Link's uncle rushes to the rescue, when Link wakes up and decides to follow along (speaking of, Link's uncle only has ONE bed in his house. Where does he sleep at night? Maybe these are questions not meant to be answered). He finds his uncle, dying, in the dungeons of Hyrule Castle, is handed a sword and shield, and then is sent on a quest to save the princess and rid the world of evil (and spend a little time as transformed bunny).
With all of this in mind, it's hard to disagree with the argument that A Link to the Past is the best 2D Zelda game of all-time. But the best Zelda game period? You said no (remember, this is all based on YOUR votes, so don't blame me if you thought this should have taken the number one slot). You said there was another Zelda game that surpassed it. And that game is