Arts and Entertainment

Review: How The Legend of Zelda ranks among top Nintendo franchises

How "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" became one of the most top selling game in 2017.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/jakec1107/" target="_self">Jake Chi</a>

Jake Chi

April 19, 2023

If anyone has heard of Nintendo, the first thing that pops into their head is probably “Super Mario”, “Pokemon”, “Animal Crossing”, and “The Legend Of Zelda”.  

However, does “The Legend Of Zelda” franchise deserve to be up there?  

Well, IGN listed “The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild” to be the number one best game in 2017.  That is not the only recognition “The Legend Of Zelda” series has seen.  

It all started in 1986 when designer Shigeru Miyamoto and his team and publisher Nintendo released the first “Legend Of Zelda” game.  Which is centered around an elf-like boy named Link, who aims to rescue princess Zelda from the antagonist Ganon.  After releasing “The Legend Of Zelda”, Nintendo and the designers were met with tons of fans buying the game.  Amassing 6.51 million copies sold making the first Zelda game the fourth most popular Zelda game in the franchise.  This caused them to begin working on more games.  Most notably “The Ocarina Of Time” which amassed 7.6 million copies and the 1996 game of the year awardAlso, “The Legend Of Zelda; Twilight Princess” which sold 8.58 million copies

Now fast forward to December 4, 2014, when the first sneak peeks of “The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild” were shown during the 2014 game awards.  Fans were ecstatic because they were anticipating a new Zelda game in 3D.  Three years later on March 3, 2017, “The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild” was released on Nintendo Switch and Wii U.

Needless to say, “Breath of the Wild” was a huge success.  In the first three weeks of release, it was reported that 1.3 million copies were sold.  By March 31, 2018, it became the best-selling game in “The Legend Of Zelda” series.  However, it did not stop there.  Most recently, 28-29 million copies have been sold, making it one of the most-sold Nintendo games.  It also received a ton of awards.  Including the game critic award in 2016 and the Golden Joystick Award in 2017.  Most notably “Breath of the Wild” received a metacritic score of 97 from more than 100 critics, placing it among the highest-rated games of all time.

Now you may be wondering why is “The Legend Of Zelda” series so popular.  Does it have excellent storytelling?  Or does it include awesome fights and mechanics?  Or does it even have some amazing music?  Yes, yes, and yes.  The story begins with a young elf, Link who is tasked with rescuing the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda from the hands of Ganon who is the antagonist.  Now the concept may seem sort of dull, but the game is much more than just fighting Ganon and rescuing the princess.  Players are given freedom the moment they begin the game.  They are free to play the game however they want, from exploring every nook and cranny to adventuring and completing every side quest.  The Legend Of Zelda is suitable for all sorts of gamers.  Some of the craziest ways people have completed the game are beating the game with a literal stick in The Breath Of The Wild to speed-running the original The Legend Of Zelda in just under 27 minutes.  

Now that I have talked a little bit about the history and concept, I want to ask you the question, does “The Legend Of Zelda” franchise deserve to be placed so high among the top Nintendo franchises?  In my opinion, yes, it should be. 

Everything about this series just makes it an unforgettable experience.  To the music or action, or even the fond memories of playing the game together with friends.  I ultimately believe Nintendo and the designers have been able to create one of the most popular franchises out there. But however you think, almost everyone who grew up in the late 90s to early 21st century could at least tell you one fond memory they had with this series of pure awesomeness.