The Wind Waker vs Twilight Princess vs Skyward Sword

The best Zelda game of these three releases was...

  • The Wind Waker

    Votes: 856 60.4%
  • Twilight Princess

    Votes: 417 29.4%
  • Skyward Sword

    Votes: 144 10.2%

  • Total voters
    1,417
  • This poll will close: .

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,345
Saying SS has filler feels like an unstatement to me. I think that game would have been great if a third of it was optional and would have really improved the pacing. I find the pacing in TP breezy after Lake Hylia's twilight realm.
The only filler imo is that one boss fight you have to do 3 times
Revisiting areas is fine, the dragon quests are fine. Rather do that than the dogshit quests in TP involving the children/village, or the triforce hunt in TWW.
 

unicornKnight

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,782
Athens, Greece
I very specifically remember TP being an 8.8
Yes but if we account for the quality inflation of games, an 8.8 in 2006 is a 7 in 2019.

Do yourself a favor and skip it. It all starts to crumble after the third dungeon. The padding becomes insane at that point and it never gets better for the next 40 hours.
I actually started it, got the sword, had the first flight, landed in the woods and was so tired to continue. That took me like 2-3 hours of just following orders, it was the exact opposite of BotW where in the first 3 hours I was exploring the plateau and every minute of it was rewarding.

I'm willing to give it second try if it's ever remastered.
 

VDenter

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,516
I know this is controversial but i actually enjoyed the triforce quest and the game would have been worse had it not been there for me. I like exploring in Zelda games and even though the triforce quest is obvious filler and framed poorly. I still enjoyed it much more than many of the dungeons in most of these games. I finally got some freedom to relax and explore at my own pace. It was the closest the Wind Waker came to recapturing the magic of the original Zelda game.

I hate that Nintendo took the direction they did with Twilight Princess, they should have reused Wind Waker's base. Just remove all the obvious flaws and expand on Wind Wakers potential. We could have gotten something really close to BOTW in 2006, but instead we got something stale with Twilight Princess and that lead to Skyward Sword. Really a missed opportunity on Nintendo's part. Since they nailed the style and everything with the Wind Waker development for the "Wind Waker 2" would have been much smoother overall. What a waste.
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,345
I know this is controversial but i actually enjoyed the triforce quest and the game would have been worse had it not been there for me. I like exploring in Zelda games and even though the triforce quest is obvious filler and framed poorly. I still enjoyed it much more than many of the dungeons in most of these games. I finally got some freedom to relax and explore at my own pace. It was the closest the Wind Waker came to recapturing the magic of the original Zelda game.

I hate that Nintendo took the direction they did with Twilight Princess, they should have reused Wind Waker's base. Just remove all the obvious flaws and expand on Wind Wakers potential. We could have gotten something really close to BOTW in 2006, but instead we got something stale with Twilight Princess and that lead to Skyward Sword. Really a missed opportunity on Nintendo's part. Since they nailed the style and everything with the Wind Waker development for the "Wind Waker 2" would have been much smoother overall. What a waste.
imo half of the original triforce quest was good (the charts involving mini dungeons, the ghost ship, etc)
The other half was pure trash though, and having to farm rupees for tingle.. yeah feck off lmao

My main problem with it is that it's obviously padding to compensate for how little content the main story has (5 dungeons + a boss rush.. geez)
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,215
The only filler imo is that one boss fight you have to do 3 times
Revisiting areas is fine, the dragon quests are fine. Rather do that than the dogshit quests in TP involving the children/village, or the triforce hunt in TWW.
I also felt the 4 stealth sections, flooded forest and fetch quest like finding the fallen broken robot was just too much variety. I like the more conventional structure of item puzzles, finding towns and combat. TP wasn't perfect but a third into it become one dungeon after the other with mostly short interludes.
 

D.Lo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,039
Sydney
I know this is controversial but i actually enjoyed the triforce quest and the game would have been worse had it not been there for me. I like exploring in Zelda games and even though the triforce quest is obvious filler and framed poorly. I still enjoyed it much more than many of the dungeons in most of these games. I finally got some freedom to relax and explore at my own pace. It was the closest the Wind Waker came to recapturing the magic of the original Zelda game.

I hate that Nintendo took the direction they did with Twilight Princess, they should have reused Wind Waker's base. Just remove all the obvious flaws and expand on Wind Wakers potential. We could have gotten something really close to BOTW in 2006, but instead we got something stale with Twilight Princess and that lead to Skyward Sword. Really a missed opportunity on Nintendo's part. Since they nailed the style and everything with the Wind Waker development for the "Wind Waker 2" would have been much smoother overall. What a waste.
Breath of the Wild is essentially Wind Waker 2. All about exploring and the world and NPCs, with a lighter Zelda game set within.

The issue is different people want and expect different things from Zelda games. As a natural explorer, I had already done the majority of the Triforce quest when it was time (same with the artefacts in Metroid Prime), but many seem to just want to go to the next objective they're told to.
 

Molten_

Member
Oct 28, 2017
585
If you prefer a pretty looking game over good gameplay, Wind Walker.

If you prefer good gameplay / story / atmosphere over pretty graphics, twilight princess.
 

DJtal

Member
Oct 30, 2017
406
Capetown / South Africa
This is an easy one, Wind Waker.
I remember when it was first shown, the backlash from people that wanted a realistic Zelda. I was like at that time, go get a PS2 and leave us alone :))... That game IS beautiful !
 

Demoli

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
431
It's twilight princess by such a wide margin it's not even comparable.

Yeah wind waker will always look by far thebest of all 3 but falls short on everything else.
 

EarthPainting

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,747
Town adjacent to Silent Hill
Wind Waker is probably the "worst" of the three, since it's clearly rushed and lacks polish in numerous areas, but I don't think it's the one I like the least. It also has a very slow start, with a forced stealth section pretty early on. The infamous triforce quest near the end has earned its reputation as a pacing killed, and clearly is what it is to pad out a game that's also got a meagre amount of dungeons. Aside from that though, it's just a jolly game. The atmosphere and visuals are probably the first thing people think of when they think of Wind Waker, and for good reason. It controls very nicely, and you can tell they spend a decent amount of time on iterating on the foundations of the N64 games that came before it. It's also got my favourite depiction of Ganondorf. Injecting a little character into the guy changed my perception of him in every game before and after, which I can only applaud.

The one I like the least goes to Twilight Princess. Good to great dungeons, but that's about it. Horrendous pacing from start to finish, off-putting NPCs all over the place, glacial opening, a story that gives up on itself and morphs into bland "classic" Zelda tropes to try and mask it, knock-off Tingle, etc. Wind Waker also had a pretty bad implementation of the Ocarina of Time-style music mechanics, but Twilight Princess comfortably limbos underneath the very low bar that Wind Waker set, with howling noise. When I was sick of this game and ready to move on, I still had two dungeons, filler sections in between, and a final castle to do. I was also very annoyed by how much time they set up Zant as a badass, and then immediately had to start trivialising him the moment Ganondorf was forced into the story. I tried to Wii version as well, and the pointer controls do help spice things up, since most items you get use 'em, but the downside was that the mediocre swordplay was made a bit more cumbersome. Still a worthwhile trade-off in the end though, I think. It's far from a bad game, but it's definitely the mainline Zelda game I like the least.

Skyward Sword keeps the tradition of slow openings alive. Like Twilight Princess, the dungeons themselves are again great, and they applied similar design sensibilities to the overworld now. Really enjoyed that, unfortunately there was a bump in the road here as well. The theme of the game was related to the sky, and they had to find ways to force you to go up fly up there from time to time. They couldn't think of anything better than to segment every section of the world off, and harms the world design quite a bit. The motion controls took me quite a while to get used to. The game allows you fumble and still progress, which meant I didn't bother to learn for hours, and blamed the game for it. When I did take the time to figure things out, things clicked and it was pretty neat. I don't mind that they dropped it after this, but it was a neat gimmick for one game. Speaking of gimmicks, I don't like Fi, and I'm pretty sure it's entirely due to how she's written. I do like Girahim though. Skyward Sword is a bit of a black sheep, but it was an entry that gave care and attention to the parts I value the most in the series, so at least I'm pleased with how it turned out.

In summary, I think I'd rank them Skyward Sword > Wind Waker > Twilight Princess.
 

JangleLuke

Member
Oct 4, 2018
515
I have yet to play WW and TP (I'm planning to fix that soon-ish)

But I also stan Skyward Sword after having beaten it over this summer for the first time and having a great ol' time, so it wins for me.
 
OP
OP
ManCityX

ManCityX

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,609
Manchester, England
Breath of the Wild is essentially Wind Waker 2. All about exploring and the world and NPCs, with a lighter Zelda game set within.

The issue is different people want and expect different things from Zelda games. As a natural explorer, I had already done the majority of the Triforce quest when it was time (same with the artefacts in Metroid Prime), but many seem to just want to go to the next objective they're told to.
I guess the difference is that BOTW actually has a world to explore and one of the best ever seen in gaming, whereas Wind Waker has a 99% empty ocean with barely anything worth while outside of the core islands.
 

D.Lo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,039
Sydney
I guess the difference is that BOTW actually has a world to explore and one of the best ever seen in gaming, whereas Wind Waker has a 99% empty ocean with barely anything worth while outside of the core islands.
In your opinion. I loved it, there was plenty to find and it gave it a great sense of scale and had no load times.

BOTW is obviously much better at that aspect but it was also 1.5 decades later.
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,345
I guess the difference is that BOTW actually has a world to explore and one of the best ever seen in gaming, whereas Wind Waker has a 99% empty ocean with barely anything worth while outside of the core islands.
TWW's world is nice to explore, but half the quadrants being copy pasted and borderline empty is a shame.
The map system with the fish is also imo quite cumbersome.
 

Dr Pears

Member
Sep 9, 2018
957
I love wind waker.

Started twilight princess 3 times and dropped all 3.

About to start skyward sword soon.
 

Ekko

Member
Nov 4, 2017
630
Out of those three, Twilight Princess had the best dungeons, the best items, and the best boss fights. Yes, yes the world is bland to explore or whatever. But for the vast majority of the game you are not spending time in the overworld. Wind Waker has the best art style. The world is initially nice to explore, until you get to a point where you are constantly sailing. I had other issues with the game too. Skyward Sword is a weird one. I've only completed the game once when it came out while I've beaten the other two several times. I should probably revisit again sometime to see how it holds up. But I just remember not liking the motion controls (the boss battle with Ghirahim comes to mind). Also all the hand-holding was pretty bad.
 

eXistor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,686
Well, it has reached that age where most of this board would have played it as a kid rather than other Zelda games. The art style probably helps a ton to keep a rosier picture of the game in people's minds as well.
This is 100% it. People tend to negate positive opinions on old (NES or whatever) games and just shout "nostalgia! The game actually sucks!", but suddenly here's a obviously heavily flawed game, but this one gets a pass because it's their personal childhood and suddenly that makes it okay. I've seen it so many times on this board. It happens with tons of new and shiny games too. Heaven forbid you are critical about them, they are right and you are wrong for seeing flaws. It's comical really.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,215
I respect everyone's tastes but I remember at the time how dissapointed people were with Wind Waker, over 17 years ago. People criticised it was the easiest Zelda yet, that the third dungeon was missing and maybe a ghost ship dungeon, the dungeons were too simple, that the sailing was repetitive, the ocean was empty, the forsaken fotress was far too long a stealth section to be at the beginning, the triforce quest was horrible, there wasn't enough done with the underwater Hyrule concept other than a straight line between the castle and Ganon's tower, and that the end scene with all the characters suddenly on the ship was crap compared to the character montage endings of previous 3D Zelda games.

I have to agree with most of that.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,215
Ahhhh. Glad to see I missed out on nothing whatsoever by skipping Skyward Sword.

Nothing whatsoever.
To be honest TWW is the worst 3D one. SS might not be as good as the reviews said it was, but I'd still go with a decent 6 or 7 out of 10. The story's good, the dungeons are interesting enough, the controls are imperfect but at their best in some of the bosses they're amazing, the soundtrack feels like the cousin of Mario Galaxy's, Skyloft is one of the best towns along with Clocktown and Windfall. The areas BOTW sucked at, narrative and dungeons, is what SS was good at, which is a shame
 

Starsunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
392
I find wind waker to be dreadfully boring, so it’s easily twilight princess for me

it’s not perfect, but it’s still a quintessential Zelda game for me.
 

Vampirolol

Member
Dec 13, 2017
1,923
Impossible to decide for me, all three have high highs and low lows. I remember WW more fondly but I know it's mostly nostalgia, the game has some huge pacing problems and it's braindead easy.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,215
I remember when you get to Dragon Roost Island in TWW where the bird people live and their prince, it looks amazing with a bit dragon sitting on its arse, fantastic music, you get inside and it's just a post office. So disappointing, the whole game is like this after you leave Windfall Island. You think the ocean is going to have loads of settlements but there's such a lack of wonder and life. It really makes me appreciate how varied the towns are in BOTW.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,464
In your opinion. I loved it, there was plenty to find and it gave it a great sense of scale and had no load times.
It had no load times because they were able to pad it with vast amounts of nothing between points of interest. Any GameCube era game would have no load times if they were allowed to put a full 30+ seconds of empty space containing nothing on approach to anything that would need to load.
 

LeleSocho

Member
Dec 3, 2017
2,179
the only thing thing that WW misses from being the best all time Zelda ever is another 2-3 dungeons
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,215
In your opinion. I loved it, there was plenty to find and it gave it a great sense of scale and had no load times.

BOTW is obviously much better at that aspect but it was also 1.5 decades later.
Except from the story essentials, was is there to find in the ocean except money, charts and heart pieces? All yeah there's like 2 gorons you can find and maybe 1 or 2 mini game, but the rest is like as repetitive as a procedurally generated world. Even at the time it was a poor world and felt crude.
 

Majukun

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,996
wind wakdr is the worst one by far, twilight princess is a good zelda game with someslightly straneg design decision and that went a bit too big for it's own good without doing something clever with it like botw did, skyward swords also has some strange design decision and only really delivers in some parts..

all in all i'd say

1) twilight princess
2) skyward sword
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3) wind waker
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,215
the only thing thing that WW misses from being the best all time Zelda ever is another 2-3 dungeons
And the dungeons being rather simplistic, a god awful dull world, too much stealth at the beginning and the supporting characters getting poor closure, towns like Dragon Roost island being a rubbish post office.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,554
Wind Waker is the only one of those i'd care to play again. you couldn't even pay me to play SS again

gonna be honest though it's the charm/aesthetic that carries WW for me above all else. i'm really not too hot on any of these three games in retrospect, something about the "OoT formula" only worked with OoT imo
 

Wamb0wneD

Member
Oct 26, 2017
15,720
Wind Waker's the worst but of course it's gonna win *eyeroll*. Worst dungeons and music. Worst fetch quest. Tedious sailing and wind stuff. Etc.

TP is the best. Those dungeons and that atmosphere are still a series high.

SS had amazing music and atmosphere as well.
The dungeons aren't as good (Outside the wind temple, which has better item combinations for puzzle solving with the leaf, steel boots and the hookshot than most other Zelda dungeons), but music? Come the fuck on lol. TP and SS have utterly forgettable soundtracks compared to WW. The intro and Dragon Roost Island alone shit all over the other games.

WW has the most unique atmosphere in any Zelda game ever outside of Majora's Mask. TP is just tryharding way too much and SS has the atmosphere of a wet towel.
 

Tavernade

Member
Sep 18, 2018
1,132
To me, Wind Waker was just pure bliss to play. It was fun to sail and explore and the lack of dungeons was barely an issue because of how great and rewarding the overworld was.

Twilight Princess was fun but has little staying power for me. The story was interesting but kept teasing things it never bothered to act on, the overworld was meh and lacked reasons for exploration, it has the worst bosses in the series, and lacks an identity.

Skyward Sword was the exact opposite of what’s important for me in a Zelda game.
 

LavaBadger

Member
Nov 14, 2017
1,647
Wind Waker by a mile.

But really, the most important thing is that we all recognize that Skyward Sword is not a very good game. In fact, it may not even be good. Some good ideas in there though. Would love to see someone take an axe to that game and cut out all the needless time sinks, and remove the terrible motion controls of course (Motion controls aren't inherently bad, but these were quite bad).
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,345
Wind Waker by a mile.

But really, the most important thing is that we all recognize that Skyward Sword is not a very good game. In fact, it may not even be good. Some good ideas in there though. Would love to see someone take an axe to that game and cut out all the needless time sinks, and remove the terrible motion controls of course (Motion controls aren't inherently bad, but these were quite bad).
SS is a good game
 

Sabercrusader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
983
Yeah, I loved Twilight Princess on release more than Wind Waker, but looking back on it all, Wind Waker has way more charm and interesting ideas than Twilight Princess.

Never played Skyward Sword, though I heard less than stellar things about it.
 

Odeko

The Fallen
Mar 22, 2018
3,505
Midwestern America
the only thing thing that WW misses from being the best all time Zelda ever is another 2-3 dungeons
Maybe not best of all time when BotW and the 2D games exist, but I definitely think this is true for the OoT-style 3D games.

The reason why Wind Waker feels so easy is because the game ends half-way through. The “first-half” isn’t really easier than any other Zelda game’s first half, it just lacks the final set of dungeons that ramp up the challenge. Also, if the game were finished, then having multiple new dungeons would also necessitate having multiple new fleshed out areas as well, which would also help the Great Sea’s problem where Outset, Windfall, Forsaken Fortress, and Kokiri Forest are the only interesting islands.
 

Freezard

Member
Oct 28, 2017
163
TWW has the best music out of all Zelda games and one of the best soundtracks of all time, among other things, so that's my vote. I haven't played TP since I boycotted it at the time due to all the bad design decisions that ignored hardcore fans and the fact that the whole game was a disrespect to OoT. I did try to play it recently but the visuals are god awful today even in HD so I never got out of the starting area. SS was alright had some good moments and ideas but ultimately repeated areas and annoying hand-holding made it a below average Zelda game for me.
 

Karateka

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,944
I do not like windwaker.
I think twilight princess is great.
Have not played skyward sword.

So my answer is TP although I dont know much about SS.