Welcome back to another edition of Nintendo Showdown! This is a weekly series at Nintendo Enthusiast, and it requires some audience participation. Every week we’ll compare two (or more) Nintendo games and pit them against each other in a showdown. Your votes decide the winner, so choose wisely! In celebration of the upcoming launch of the Link’s Awakening remake, we’re doing a month of Zelda matchups! This week we’re heading back to a time before 3D graphics. We want to know what your favorite classic Zelda game is! Cast your vote below and let us know why you love it in the comments.
Nintendo Showdown: Classic Zelda games
The Legend of Zelda
The original Legend of Zelda was an incredible adventure unlike anything most gamers had ever seen. Players were dropped into a dangerous and labyrinth-like open world with nothing but a sword and mission: save Hyrule. It quickly became one of the most beloved games of all time and continues to be influential today.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
For Link’s second quest, the developers decided to shake things up and take some risks. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was a bold new take that focused on 2D sidescrolling segments and featured RPG elements. It had somewhat of a mixed reception, but it was a commercial success, and many of its unexpected innovations would return in later games.
A Link to the Past
A Link to the Past returned to the formula of the first game but took it to the next level. A bigger world with more weapons and dungeons, 16-bit graphics, and a more fleshed-out story all helped the SNES adventure stand out. Toss in the incredible dimension-hopping mechanics of the Light and Dark world, and you have an unforgettable Zelda adventure.
Link’s Awakening was the first major handheld Zelda adventure. For the first time, the series left Hyrule behind and set sail for new land. The core gameplay remained largely the same from its predecessor, but Koholint Island was a strange and mysterious new place. It quickly captured the hearts of its players, and it remains as one of the most charming in the series, despite its somber undertones. This game is a dream you won’t want to wake up from.