Back in January, we wrote about a Zelda survey for fans of the series. Created by Max Nichols, the survey investigated all manner of opinions the Zelda community has about the games they love. A good portion of those polled actually came from users of our forum!

Now, six months and 5,890 responses later, the results are in, and we have a good idea what our general favorite Zelda game is.

Favorite Game

It was a close battle between the Nintendo 64 games, but Ocarina of Time barely edged out Majora’s Mask for the top spot. Interestingly, when looking only at data from people that have played every game in the series (excluding CD-i titles and remakes), Majora’s Mask was the fan favorite. Last place goes to Four Swords, gathering a whopping three votes.


Highest Rated Game

The results of a different question tell a similar story. When fans were asked not to pick just their one top Zelda game but rate every game in the series, Ocarina of Time still came out on top. Games jumped around though, and A Link Between Worlds rose to the #2 spot. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link plummeted to the bottom of the poll to take the title of lowest-rated Zelda game. Check out where the other games stand below, having been rated by fans on a scale from 0 to 3.


Most Played Game

Fans were also asked which of the 17 Zelda games they have played, again discounting the CD-i games, remakes and spin-offs. It seems Ocarina of Time isn’t just the most popular title; it is also the most played. Only 2.5% of Zelda fans polled have not experienced the iconic game. All games scored high in this category, however. Among the Zelda community, it seems the only game under 50% played was Four Swords Adventures for GameCube.


First Game

Ocarina of Time scores again, this time by an extremely high margin. Over two-fifths of gamers surveyed said that the N64 classic was their first game. At a distant second and third place were A Link to the Past and the NES original; a testament to how long many of Zelda‘s fans have been playing. No one polled said that the newest game, A Link Between Worlds, was their gateway into the series.


Other Observations

The survey is a treasure trove of data. There is far too much to report here, so be sure to check out all the answers for the full numbers, as well as analysis from Max and quotes from several of those polled. That said, here are some of the highlights contained in the data:

  • About 80% of those polled indicated that they were male, and about 20% responded as female.
  • The most popular element fans enjoy in a Zelda game is exploration, with plot being second.
  • Most fans agree that Link should always remain mute, but a majority also said that the series should include more voice acting overall.
  • Those polled were split on whether the series should someday feature a female protagonist.
  • Over half of respondents said that they enjoyed Skyward Sword‘s motion controls.
  • When fans were asked how they liked the item rental system in A Link Between Worlds, the most common response was positive, but still not wanting to see it implemented in future games.
  • Majora’s Mask is clearly the fan-favorite for best plot.
  • Almost 70% said that they are confident that the Zelda series is headed in the right direction.

Do you agree with the survey results? Let us know your favorite Zelda game and revelations from the survey.