Zelda Wiki
    Most Overrated + Most Underrated Zelda Game
    • What is the Most Overrated and Most Underrated Zelda game in your opinion?
      Original thread Most overated game


      Well here's my take:

      For most underrated I voted Oracle of Seasons. + Explanation near the bottom.
      For most overrated I voted Twilight Princess. - Explanation = I couldn't even tell this was a Zelda game, it played horribly. Throughout the years I played it dozens of times to try to understand what people like about it so much, and still don't understand; dislike it as much as when I first played it.

      I then realized I had a mathematical basis to calculate how overrated or underrated I think Zelda games are. Based on the objective Highest Rated Zelda games list from GameFAQs from tens-of-thousands of voters, and my personal Top 10 Zelda Games, I could then give each game a relative rating of overrated or underrated:

      • Oracle of Seasons - 7 + Points Underrated (Not my favorite Zelda game though...4th Favorite)
      • Oracle of Ages - 4 + Points Underrated
      • Majora's Mask - 1 Point Underrated (3rd Favorite Game)
      • A Link to the Past - 1 Point Underrated (Favorite Game) <-
      • The Minish Cap - 1 Point Underrated
      • Link's Awakening - Appropriately Rated
      • The Wind Waker - Appropriately Rated
      • Ocarina of Time - 1 Point Overrated (2nd Favorite Game) <--
      • The Legend of Zelda - 2 + Points Overrated
      • Skyward Sword - 3 + Points Overrated (Don't like the game)
      • Twilight Princess - 4 + Points Overrated (Don't like the game)
      • A Link Between Worlds - 5 + Points Overrated (I actually really like it, it's just
        not near masterpiece quality.)

      I don't care about games like ST and PH so didn't even bother with them. All-in-all, even though I think Twilight Princess is a worse game than A Link Between Worlds, mathematically speaking ALBW would be slightly more overrated, and I write my opinions why in more depth here:
      gladefinder posted:
      Games overrated are notably TP and ALBW imo. ALttP was so much more legendary and mystical than ALBW in its simple story basis. Atmospherically, ALBW it was more of a cut-out polished clone that was missing the actual heart and soul and mystery of this legendary tale that made ALttP so iconic and wonderful in the first place: it didn't capture that wondrous essence of simple, magical story that makes games like OoT and ALttP my favorites, and lets us immerse purely in the world and its rich personality. The legendary iconicism of deep world wonder that makes Zelda what it is, and the brief little epic scenes like ALttP's and OoT's that tie it together, weren't there in any masterful sense. Zelda story does not need to be involved and complicated, it needs to show us we are indeed in a legendary Zelda tale.

      This aspect wasn't there in games like TP either, or it at least was a lot more pushy. When reflected upon actually
      discovering and exploring the world of TP, the legendary and iconic world depth was totally absent. It was all in the linear scenes, not out in the world where you find the magic. This is Zelda stripped of what makes it what it is, imo, which is why I at first failed to identify TP as a Zelda game. The previous sentence is really putting it all there, I can't explain it any more. I mean, OoS by comparison:

      My vote for most
      underrated Zelda game is certainly OoS. While it's not the best Zelda game, it is themed as one of the most perfect Zelda overworlds for high adventure; mystical dream-like nature and exploration, quizzical companions and beings, all kinds of things going on out in the overworld, albeit a small linear overworld, even small games like these are Zelda's true image. It was bold and epic to step out into that overworld of wonder and riddles for the time it lasted, and I can go on as to why its theme of fantasy is terrific.

      So what are your choices for Most Overrated and Underrated Zelda game?

      The post was edited 72 times, last by guest_15468 ().

    • I'll be honest, I don't understand for a moment how you mathematically ended up with that list, so I'm not going to reference it except for one thing: I think it's silly to set out to find the most underrated and most overrated games in a series, and then deliberately disregard six titles in the series. The Adventure of Link, Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and Tri Force Heroes are all absent from your list.

      Regardless, here are my choices for the most underrated and most overrated games in the Zelda series. I'm going to list multiples for each category...and let's just say I didn't point out those six games for no reason...

      Most Underrated
      1. The Adventure of Link
      The Adventure of Link is absolutely, without a doubt, the most overlooked and underrated game in the series.
      Too often, it is disregarded as "not a real Zelda game" or simply because it's difficult. Here's my take on that: In 1987, there was no real definition of a "Zelda" game. There was only one game before it. Yes, it's vastly different, but it set a great precedent: expect change. The Legend of Zelda games may never have strayed quite so far again, but they do try new things (like adding more story elements to certain games or experimental control schemes).

      The Adventure of Link deserves a lot more credit than it receives.

      2. Phantom Hourglass / Spirit Tracks
      Let me begin by saying that there are some legitimate problems with both DS Zelda games, but I don't think the stylus controls are one of them. Do I wish they'd done something different? Absolutely. But the design decision they made works ell. The real problems with these games are other experimental control choices (blowing/yelling into the microphone), a heavy reliance on stealth as a dungeon mechanic, and their boring overworld designs.

      But when they shine, they really shine. I love the stories, the characters, the items (and how they work with the touch screen!), and the non-stealth dungeon design.

      3. Four Swords / Four Swords Adventures / Tri Force Heroes
      Once again, there are legitimate problems with the multiplayer Zelda games - specifically how difficult it is to play the first two multiplayer games with multiple people. But the concept is solid. Nintendo has gradually improved their implementation, but it's just not quite there yet. Four Swords was just too difficult to play in general. Four Swords Adventures was still too difficult to play, and the addition of single player (which I am completely in favor of being in these types of games) was so easy to play that it wasn't worth the effort to try multiplayer. Tri Force Heroes relies so heavily on multiplayer - often online - gaming that the level designs are now very short and simple.

      I hope they continue to experiment with this idea, because I think there's a lot they could do with it. They just need to strike that balance between gameplay mechanics/level design and accessibility.

      Most Overrated
      Okay, I have a lot less to say about the overrated games. I still love all the games on this list, and I think this list changes a lot more with the times.

      1. A Link Between Worlds
      I love this game. It's like a love letter to my childhood (A Link to the Past was my first Zelda game), but at the same time it relies too heavily on that nostalgia. The game definitely has it's own identity - the Merge mechanic is brilliant - but I think a bit more originality in plot, dungeon design/location, and overworld could have gone a long way to make that game even greater.

      All that said, I do think A Link Between Worlds is easily the best Zelda game that has been released in the last 10 years.

      2. Majora's Mask
      Majora's Mask has one key redeeming feature that makes it one of my favorite Zelda games: the Bombers' Notebook. It also has the honor of being one of the most "niche" Zelda games - the game that only the real Zelda fans played and loved for 15 years while praying for a remake.

      Besides that, there's nothing particularly remarkable about the game. It's a solid Zelda game, but that's all.

      3. Twilight Princess
      I don't think Twilight Princess is "not a Zelda game" like the thread writer, but I do think it's a bit too highly regarded. I consider Twilight Princess to be one of the most interesting Zelda games when looking at game design. This game hits some of the absolute lowest points of any game in the series (Temple of Time dungeon, bug hunting as a Wolf) while also providing some of the best experiences ever put in a Zelda game (Arbiter's Grounds is the best dungeon ever).

      I'm glad it's being remade; I really like the game. I'm just not as attached to Midna as some other fans.
      Joshua, Zelda Universe Content Director

      How can I make Zelda Universe better for you? Let me know!

      Follow me on Twitter: @WatcherJoshua
    • Joshua wrote:

      The Adventure of Link, Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and Tri Force Heroes are all absent from your list.

      It sort of nullifies the results, without the other 6 in equation.

      Honestly, Joshua, I can agree with most of your list, although in my opinion, Twilight Princess isn't overrated. It may have been at the time of it's release, but I've seen the game take it's fair share of criticism. I won't go far to say it's under rated, because that would be a lie.

      Twilight Princess does have an interesting development cycle...

      Adventure of Link is shunned by in the Zelda community. I'm surprised a lot of fans never even played the game.

      Any of Toon Link's games are tossed aside like they aren't canon ( for some odd reason).
      It's "OAK-UH-REENA."

      "I'm sorry you have to waste your time with these little brats when you must be tired from doing all the important stuff you do!" -_-;;

      Honestly, I gotta say- there hasn't been "the best Zelda" yet. Here's to hoping Zelda U Breath of the Wild finally takes the title.

      "It appears people finally realize that realism IS an art style! :D"
    • Joshua, nobody is overlooking any games as far as I know. I also personally don't believe one "sets out" to find the most Underrated and Overrated games of the series. The terms Underrated and Overrated are of personal opinion based on the relative value comparison to others opinions. ie. "Twilight Princess is a highly praised game. But I don't personally like the game, therefore the game is overrated." The main point is, Zelda 2, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks are not highly-rated games nor in my opinion are they very good games, so therefore they wouldn't qualify or be relevant in this. They would just end up in the middle, appropriately low-rated as they should be. This is common sense, logic.

      The mathematics or logic of my evaluation you might actually want to look into if you haven't, even though I wouldn't waste too much time on my opinion. I'd rather hear others. Games like OoS and OoA are unpopular as well, however they are to me magnificent games, they're full of the overworld fantasy that hits this series smack in the face, they're beautiful and imaginative, and they have the same feeling of the classics except simply richer in thematic overworld, mysticism and wonder, they do qualify for the running. PH and ST I thought were very poorly themed, where curiosity for the unusual and open-ended was supposed to be met, there was just a feeling of blandness and I did not get a sense of adventure. I think OoS is probably one of the top 3 most adventurous-feeling Zelda games. (Next to ALttP and TWW.)

      I also think there's one notable error in a mathematical approach: The math says ALBW should be considered the game I think is most overrated, but in reality I felt Twilight Princess was just such a let-down for its high appraisal and hype. It just wasn't how Zelda was supposed to be played and it didn't get the lost ethereal exploration and deep fantasy world feeling of autonomous and mysterious interaction of what exploring a Zelda world is really about. It was so much like a movie that I was waiting for the end credits to just pop up, and the gameplay practically played itself. My feeling of its overratedness seems purely an emotional reaction towards how anyone could like it. As in "Wow people enjoyed this game, and I spent all decade-long playing it and contemplating to figure out why, that I have no other conclusion to form other than, it's really overrated," and that is just a personal opinion. But I appreciate your comments and opinions.

      The post was edited 53 times, last by guest_15468 ().

    • I definitely agree with Adventure of Link being underrated. That game is actually awesome, even even if it is very archaic and rather unapproachable. I would love to see a proper sequel to Adventure of Link--a "Metroidvania" style side-scrolling RPG.

      My opinion is that Twilight Princess is the most overrated. On the surface, there is a lot to like about Twilight Princess, and it is a good game for sure. However, among all the 3D Zeldas, it left me feeling the least inspired and fulfilled.

      Skyward Sword is a game I have a personal affinity for. I can totally understand and even agree with the widespread criticism it receives. The fragmented structure of the surface and the barren sky were unforgivable sins. That said, it was still my favorite 3D Zelda since Majora's Mask.
    • I'll take a stab at it (not listed in any particular order except just overrated, fairly rated, and underrated).


      ALBW has always struck me as overrated since the start, and as I said a little while after it was released, it's a good game but it relies far too much on nostalgia, and you can kind of tell it started out as a remake of ALttP.

      TP also comes off as overrated I suppose. I enjoyed it but I do tend to feel like its flaws are overlooked.

      MM. I enjoyed it when it was new and all, I never disliked it, but I never thought it was anything special.


      TMC tends to strike me as underrated, but I've also seen some praise for it.

      Fairly rated:

      TWW strikes me as being rated fairly, (or perhaps slightly overrated) these days.

      Not sure about the rest.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ich Will ().

    • ich Will wrote:

      MM. I enjoyed it when it was new and all, I never disliked it, but I never thought it was anything special.
      I wonder, what are examples of some aspects you tend to find just unspecial about MM, that others always praise? You can just give an example, like a story or gameplay mechanism piece which is known to be adored, I'm curious.

      Bill wrote:

      Skyward Sword is a game I have a personal affinity for. I can totally understand and even agree with the widespread criticism it receives. The fragmented structure of the surface and the barren sky were unforgivable sins. That said, it was still my favorite 3D Zelda since Majora's Mask.
      What made you feel a deep connection and affinity with Skyward Sword? What are some key aspects of it you think could be considered masterpiece qualities, or highly exceptional? (or reinterpreted for lack of better word.)

      The post was edited 7 times, last by guest_15468 ().

    • Overrated-
      Display Spoiler
      Feel free to fight me , but I'm gonna say Ocarina of time.
      I've played this game more times than is possibly needed. And while I won't say it's bad by any means, its not really inaccurate to say that it's not the greatest game of all time as many people crown it as, or even the greatest Zelda game in general. For example- Majora's Mask, which came out 2 years later and built upon things that OoT had but still made it a new and just overall better experience to me.

      Fairly Rated-
      Display Spoiler
      Twilight Princess (to a lesser degree- a lot of people overlook its flaws but that's not as common these days) , The Wind Waker, Skyward Sword (which got a lot of hate, so its kind of a 50/50 thing. i think SS was pretty good but did certainly have flaws that were obvious when you beat it) , pretty much every other Zelda game that isnt mentioned in this post
      I should note though, you don't have to feel as if you're responsible for liking something because everyone else does. If you don't... you simply don't. It's fine.

      Display Spoiler
      The Minish Cap, Links Awakening, Oracle of Ages/Seasons, Four Swords Adventures, Zelda II

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Windra ().

    • The trouble with saying whether something's overrated or underrated is that it changes depending on whose opinion you're asking.

      For example, inside the niche bubble that is hardcore Zelda fan discussion from people who've played most of the Zelda games, games like Majora's Mask and the Wind Waker which change up the Zelda formula in interesting ways are really highly rated here, and solid but uneventful sequel games like OoT and TP get less of the spotlight.

      In general though, if I were to do a poll on our Facebook page full of more casual fans, you'll find that Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess massively overshadow all other Zelda games since they're the first or only Zelda games for so many people.

      So I think that Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess are very overrated in the general community, but not so much here.
    • overrated: The Wind Waker, Skyward Sword and Twlight Princess

      underrated: Four Swords Adventures, Zelda 1

      The Wind Waker has better combat system than OoT and MM, the item usage is much better, and included a Hero Mode in the Hd version, but the dungeon progression is too linear, the triforce quest was an unnecessary fetch quest (which had to be more streamlined and is much better in the HD version), and while the world opens up after the second dungeon, the beginning is very restricting like the level of Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. I also found the exploration to be kind of bland despite great visuals. while the hidden holes are more diversified than in OoT, most of them are single holes with the prize either being a heart piece, rupees, or treasure chart (which usually leads to one or the other). the only optional item used for battle is the magic armor, and due to the game being easy as it is kind of makes it a bit unnecessary (and it is extremely broken in the HD version), the hurricane spin was an interesting idea, but sometimes a bit impractical to use at times, the Hero's Charm was a nice idea to see the enemy's health, but the HD version diminished its use until more than halfway through the game. as for main quest items, only the iron boots can be obtained early. and then there is the sailing which was extremely tedious from a completionist perspective. the HD version made it much smoother and the game pretty much wants you get the warp song to make it easier. combat in the sea is atrocious and you cannot simultaneously use an item while sailing. despites is flaws, the HD version is alright, but the strict dungeon linearity, and the world that is more about quantity than quality really hurts it. it is still better than skyward sword and twilight princess, which are way too restricted by the story and unnecessary padding. the game's progression in both is the only brief explanation I give as to why they are bad Zelda games. at leas the wind waker gave mostly an open world after the second dungeon and most of the dungeon items remained useful after the dungeon.

      Zelda 1 I consider an underrated title because despite being very cryptic and a bad translation with a lack of hints, the game's biggest problems could be easily fixed and would not really sacrifice anything from the game. the fact that you can go almost anywhere in the beginning, which the exception of 2 islands until getting the raft (which can be done earliest when entering the third dungeon as your first destinations) is the reason why I think it is a great title. you don't even need the sword until you get to ganon (although the lack of information on the silver arrows being needed or hidden in the final dungeon is a design flaw that could be fixed if added as a new hint). there is no story that interferes with the gameplay. you choose the adventure and for a greater challenge, there is the evil second quest which can be started by typing in Zelda. because of its archaic nature and for being less polished than later titles, i cannot rank it as the best Zelda game. on the other hand, almost every title that had more polished controls and mechanics had the issue of adding unnecessary padding and became too linear. a link to the past was the closest to the original Zelda, but was more refined despite being more linear, and because it was improvement on several areas, is why i consider it to be the best series despite its flaws. while a link between worlds was more open than a link to the past, i cannot rate it higher because despite being a separate title, I see it more of a glorified second quest to a link to the past with a 3D engine, and the recycled overworld to me (plus the endless cucco, octoball, and the very final battle) is what prevents it from surpassing a link to the past. had albw been released before alttp, then that would probably be my number 1 title. so overall, i rank Zelda 1 second best in the series because of its freedom and presentation.

      four swords adventures was a decent title when I played it and while the game is linear, it is not really a typical Zelda game. the levels can be replayed and there are no permanent upgrades, which does ease up on the completion factor. everything resets itself after clearing the level, which is nice because I do not have to worry so much about dreaded side quests or mini-games. my issues come from the fact that mercy invincibility almost appears to be non-existent. and while the game can be played perfectly fine on single player, the multiplayer is where it falls because you need at least 2 GBA cables and GBA's themselves. it has also been a while since i played the, but from what i recall, found it to be a decent title.
    • Overrated: MM

      Most fans just want another OoT with improved effects/graphics for each Zelda game. And MM is pretty much OoT part 2. Meanwhile, the gameplay was a set back because the time was not only limited but so were the gameplay and difficulty because of that. It was short and easy but then again that's how Zelda fans like their games.

      Underrated: Adventure of Link

      Its hard. Hardest Zelda game to date. And so the Zelda community responded with vitriol. Honestly, what is a video game without a good challenge? Its got some of the best bosses on Zelda, some of the best dungeons in Zelda, and a really big overworld to travel even if it is rpg stylised. Still don't understand the hate other than "that game is too hard!" from other Zelda fans.

    • Overrated: MMMost fans just want another OoT with improved effects/graphics for each Zelda game. And MM is pretty much OoT part 2. Meanwhile, the gameplay was a set back because the time was not only limited but so were the gameplay and difficulty because of that. It was short and easy but then again that's how Zelda fans like their games.

      What? I don't agree with that at all. MM is truly innovative because it didn't rely simply on graphical/control updates to distinguish itself from its predecessor. It has the exact same game-play foundation/core as its predecessor, yet offers a radically different experience. Regarding your final comment, I thought Majora's Mask was substantially harder than Ocarina of Time, but that's my opinion I guess.

      Of the two, I do prefer OoT. However, I place the two as a pair into their own tier above the rest of the series. The N64 era was the pinnacle of Zelda for me.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Bill ().

    • The Baton of the Wind wrote:

      Overrated: MM

      Most fans just want another OoT with improved effects/graphics for each Zelda game. And MM is pretty much OoT part 2. Meanwhile, the gameplay was a set back because the time was not only limited but so were the gameplay and difficulty because of that. It was short and easy but then again that's how Zelda fans like their games.

      Underrated: Adventure of Link

      Its hard. Hardest Zelda game to date. And so the Zelda community responded with vitriol. Honestly, what is a video game without a good challenge? Its got some of the best bosses on Zelda, some of the best dungeons in Zelda, and a really big overworld to travel even if it is rpg stylised. Still don't understand the hate other than "that game is too hard!" from other Zelda fans.

      the problems with adventure of link include how the exp system works. you get a game over (which is very common) and all your exp is lost. it does not help how in this game some enemies will steal your exp. what kind of game does that where you gain experience points to level up and only to lose it? seriously, that is cheap design right there. oh and most of the ones who do steal it give little to no return. also getting a game over is painful because you always go back to the starting position with the exception of the great palace.
      then there is a castlevania effect where link dramatically gets pushed back whenever he is hit. furthermore, the game has its version of flying medusa heads, and they can steal your exp. there are also invisible pitfalls which leads to a trial and error gameplay. gaining lives is also very difficult. so a lot of this game's challenge in fact comes from fake difficulty. if those problems are fixed while keeping the enemies just as aggressive then this title could be seen as being much better.

      I like majora's mask, but I think the game has not shown its full potential. the 3ds version was not the remake I was hoping for because changing the bosses and an optional mini-dungeon (which I find to be worse) with various minor changes and a graphical update gives the developers a pass to call it a remake when it is really just a glorified enhanced port. I have not played the ps3 version of tales of vesperia, but I can say that title had more significant changes within a year when ported from the xbox 360 in comparison to having a graphical update from the n64 to the 3ds, which took twice as long to work on as the original apparently. I love oot and mm, and it is because I am a fan of those games that I want to see them remade to their fullest potential.
    • I think you could say all the games could be made to a better potential. But the fact of the matter is, we are critiquing these games by their finished product, not by what they could be. I know they planned more for MM but time was a factor (ironically) and we got what we got.

      And regarding Zelda II, I don't agree those are very big problems, at all. I don't see the problem with losing it all if you fail. And starting over is how a lot of games used to be set up, particularly arcade types like Super Mario Bros (which btw happens to be widely popular).

      Anyways, like Cody said earlier, it has to do with our personal opinion when it comes to this sort of thing. I don't want games to be as easy as most expect, so my opinion will probably usually differ from most users anyway. Meh. *shrugs*
    • i think what made majora's mask really stand out was how consistent the time system was although I wish there were more of those moral dilemmas instead of just stopping sakon (killing him should have resulted in a different side quest). the mask system was a great idea but so many of them were useless and only reward you with a heart piece. they could have added more text to see more reactions when wearing them. the overworld's regions did not need trolling obstacles like the fences in ikana roadway or have it that they disappear on the final day. respawning enemies such as guays, stalfish, and real bombchus in the overworld never made any sense and I hated ho the battle music always interrupted the over world theme and yet this was not the case after the 1.0 version in he pirate's fortress, the mysterious woods and the deku palace. majora's mask was an 18 month developed game so I want to see an expanded version of the game.

      as for adventure of link, I don't think most players enjoy level grinding to make the game easier. in fact, the Japanese version had less exp needed to get an extra life. and yes I do thin many titles could be of better potential. a link to the past and ocarina of time had so many limitations during their release. a link between worlds could have received a second quest or an ancient tone tablets remake that was a full open world. the problem with AST was that it was episodic and never released in America.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by wizrobemaster ().

    • For my money, Minish Cap is criminally underrated. It was charming, pleasant, and an altogether good experience.

      Meanwhile, Twilight Princess gets my nod for most overrated. I've played it through several times, and it just isn't that good; anything it does well has been done better by another Zelda title. It strikes me as almost a parody of the franchise, a Zelda-paint-by-numbers.
    • the minish cap would be better if restricted dungeon order was not a problem. that is why it is among my lower ranked titles. it is still better than phantom hourglass, skyward sword four swords and spirit tracks. it had a lot of secrets but the kin stones needed to be executed better and I don't like how rolling was thrown in a 2d Zelda game when you have the Pegasus boots. oh, and there is no mercy invincibility in that game either.
    • well there were not that many dungeons in the game. the lack of mercy invincibility for me also ruined the experience and I hated the freeze and burn mechanic. one time I got hit by a fire wizzrobe in t he palace of winds, fell down a hole and immediately attacked by a gibdo. the kinstones were interesting at first, but when you have to backtrack, it gets annoying. it would have been better if there was a track of who you kinfused with. the light arrows were also a permanently missable, but you do have a good window of opportunity. dark hyrule castle was probably one of the final dungeons in the series. it was actually a dungeon and not just a couple of rooms or a series of trials like in oot and the wind waker. it was probably the best final dungeon since a link to the past's ganon's tower.