What's the worst 3D Zelda game? (poll)

Worst 3D Zelda game?

  • Ocarina of Time

    Votes: 82 3.2%
  • Majora's Mask

    Votes: 160 6.3%
  • Wind Waker

    Votes: 204 8.0%
  • Twilight Princess

    Votes: 426 16.7%
  • Skyward Sword

    Votes: 1,256 49.2%
  • Breath of the Wild

    Votes: 218 8.5%
  • Can't decide

    Votes: 209 8.2%

  • Total voters
    2,555

Beje

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,278
Skyward Sword "wins" for me just for the honor of boring me to death and prompting me to just abandon it and go play something else before I was even allowed to go to the first dungeon. BOOOOORIIIIIIINGGGGGGGGG.
 

C_Ali88

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
309
Is Skyward Sword’s control that horrid? I’m playing Twilight Princess now, and TP’s motion control is so much fun for me. I like bow control, sword control, spin attack control, I just like every motion control. Of course it sometimes says ‘point the wiimote to the screen’ message, because I’m playing the game in my room, so the distance between wiimote and sensor bar is a little close. But I don’t mind about that interrupt. Is there a possibility for the likes of me to hate SS’s control?
Depends on the person. I found even with motion plus the 1 to 1 sword control to be inaccurate.
 

Palazzo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
400
Probably Wind Waker. Sailing isn't very fun (especially because you don't get the bow, which gates off a tremendous amount of content, until pretty far into the game - so half the islands you find before the halfway mark, you can't interact with, rendering exploration kind of meaningless) and the dungeons take until the very end of the game to rise above OoT child dungeon complexity.

I'm not the biggest fan of Skyward Sword but at least it handles 3D Zelda puzzle dungeons fine, even if it is way too guided overall. WW has little going for it beyond its fantastic aesthetics.
 

Spacejaws

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,428
Scotland
I can see what people are saying about Breath of the Wild. I don't agree with it entirely but I definetly wouldn't place it close to my favourite Zelda. It feels exciting at first but ends up being quite a chore. I found the quests boring and gave up exploring the landscape for lack of anything interesting to do other than fight the same enemies and find the koroks which was very unsatsifying how obvious and abundant they are. Loathed the shrines. Reminds me a lot about what Metal Gear Solid V lost making a large do anything you want overworld but chucked out story and filling the world with anything meaningful.

That said Skyward Sword is my worst Zelda, I played it for about 20 hours I think and gave up. I'm torn between Twilight and BotW. Twilight was a let down in some places especially the overworld but I did like the dungeon and eviroment designs and what they tried to do with the story.
 

Rickenslacker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,305
I can see where you are coming from and I don't really disagree. My mindset is little different. OOT is much better than TP. Haven't played TP in years tho so my explanations might not be that great.

In a sense TP is a bigger, more 'epic' OOT. Bigger overworld, bigger dugeons, more content, etc. The problem with that is in making everything bigger you run the risk of ruining pacing.

TP to me had some truly awful pacing. Right from the start you have what amounts to an almost 2 hour tutorial, compared to OOT where you have small area where you learn the basics and a small dungeon that expands upon that.

OOT had perfectly paced dungeons, outside of the water temple. Nothing ever felt too long. TP dungeons were bigger but almost always felt long in the tooth, almost to the point of feeling convoluted. I felt no sense of accomplishment in solving a puzzle or beating a boss, rather I was just glad it was finally over with.

None of the minigames in the villages/overworld in TP ever captured my attention quite like the ones in OOT.

Now some of this could just be nolstalgia on my part, and numerous aspects of OOT have not aged well...but I find it difficult to see TP having pacing as well developed.
Hey, thanks for humouring my assertion! Pacing and dungeons are my general gripes with 3D Zeldas, and when I fully played through OoT I found it to be a slog. A big reason why Majora's Mask is my current favourite (and I anticipate I'll be infatuated with BotW) is that it only has four dungeons, and sticks more to world exploration.

The thing that makes Ocarina more meandering to me is partly technical, partly design. It's a real chugger in performance, and getting to menus is slow (another reason I like Majora's is that they've optimized this), and the ocarina itself is a time waster. Don't know what to do? Try playing a bunch of songs and see where it takes you. Twilight Princess was improved greatly by not having some musical gimmick to trial and error with.

People often bring up TP's slow start, but I didn't really notice it more than any of the other games. They all starts pretty slow (a gripe I have with 3D Zeldas in general), and I find everything before the adult Link stuff in OoT to basically fall under being a tutorial. The dungeons are perhaps the thing I find least interesting in the games for me, so by the end of OoT I was really tired of being trapped in confined stone walled rooms, and eventually the game felt like a run from one dungeon to the other. I don't really care for them in TP either, but it did have the Yeti Mansion, which is easily my favourite.

I might need to replay them some time in the future to revise my stance, but I generally found TP had a better flow to it.
 

Glass Arrows

Member
Jan 10, 2019
927
Is Skyward Sword’s control that horrid?
No. It's mostly a case of whether you gel with it or not. I personally found them perfectly fine and only very occasionally were they annoying.

Also I gotta be honest I don't really get why people are complaining about BotW's story. Like ok it doesn't have a linear "cinematic" story like the previous Zeldas but the stories were mostly nothing special. Majora's Mask is the only one that stands out to me as any kind of substantial narrative experience because of the themes and the gameplay reinforcing one another and the cool atmosphere. And I guess Link's Awakening is good for its time.

Other than that I would be hard-pressed to say any of them should be played for the story. If anything it being minimized in BotW is a good thing.
 

Narroo

Member
Feb 27, 2018
800
TP had gating (all Zeldas do) but still plenty of room to breathe. It really wasn't like SS at all.
I suppose I haven't played SS myself; only seen bits of it. But I recall TP having issues; everything was closed off with ravines. Items had limited use outside of dungeons and basically acted as keys for upgrades, not much to really do or outside the main quest. Compare to OoT where you can run around Hyrule Field. Sure, you can't go to the desert (or the lake?) early, but there's still stuff to see and do - as an example.
 

C_Ali88

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
309
Beneficial in what sense? Financially? Yeah.
Personally? No.

Because I was exactly into the dungeons, items and boss fights. Tight and good linear game design with puzzle challenges and doses of creative action is what made me like Zelda and this is my favorite run of sequels in any franchise ever probably.

Not saying everyone needs to like it the same, but it's a preference and the games were all very well made, that's why even the series has such a great reputation.

I don't care about overworld or immersion, so honestly BOTW alienated me as a fan. It focused on things I don't care in expense of the aspects I like.


No, it controls very well.
As was I 4 Zelda games ago.. Not anymore.


Tight linear design is a cop out and presents little of anything new. Very well made is subjective at best. I do not personally believe SS to be a well made game nor do I believe the twilight in TP with the wolf to be very well made.

On the other hand are you implying BOTW is NOT very well made?

Cause it’s truly the best made game by Nintendo. It’s attention to detail, nature mimicking systems, control and world craft are all top tier for the series. No debate.

It’s why they’ve actually had lectures on how they made BOTW, because it’s so superbly constructed or WELL MADE!

So the argument of Zeldas being well made isn’t one that excludes BOTW.

Now, you got to the real point at hand YOU prefer the stale formula... That’s fine, but it was stale, the same, and overused.
 

C_Ali88

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
309
No. It's mostly a case of whether you gel with it or not. I personally found them perfectly fine and only very occasionally were they annoying.

Also I gotta be honest I don't really get why people are complaining about BotW's story. Like ok it doesn't have a linear "cinematic" story like the previous Zeldas but the stories were mostly nothing special. Majora's Mask is the only one that stands out to me as any kind of substantial narrative experience because of the themes and the gameplay reinforcing one another and the cool atmosphere. And I guess Link's Awakening is good for its time.

Other than that I would be hard-pressed to say any of them should be played for the story. If anything it being minimized in BotW is a good thing.
Right?? Lol hero of courage reborn locked in struggle with triforce of power holder. Help/save/cooperate with Zelda.... Rinse and repeat.

Throw in some new races that look to be offshoots of old ones, mention Hylia and Boom! Zelda’s story completed!
 

Miamiwesker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,743
Miami
First off, every game on this list is fantastic when compared to other games. When comparing Zelda games though we can get petty and yell about stuff.

For me worst 3D Zelda is easily BOTW. They went from 40 hour epics that have non stop variety, new mechanics every few hours, incredibly designed dungeons, unique events occurring all the time to a game with freedom at the cost of interesting moments. The gameplay overhaul was desperately needed, BOTW is fantastic in its physics based world that is so interactive and it’s more open puzzle solutions. That needs to stay for all zeldas going forward.

But the idea that ultimate freedom makes a game is terrible and NOTHING LIKE ZELDA 1. Zelda is about progression, it is about overcoming very well designed dungeons, earning new gear as you play and finding ways to areas you couldn’t reach before. Zelda is not about wandering aimlessly for 100 hours, hoping to find something that’s not copy pasted 100 times. Shrines are mostly fun, until you hit one of the twenty battle shrines, whoops. Fight the same enemy camps all over. Solve the same 12 korok puzzles 600 times. It’s the most repetitive Zelda ever made and has no respect for your time.

SS would be the next worse for some of the opposite and same reasons as BOTW. Too restrictive, bad overworld but also very repetitive.

TP is a masterpiece, for shame all of you who voted it. It’s everything Zelda should be except for the old kind of gameplay mechanics, introduce a little more free form physics into that game and the structure is perfect.
 

C_Ali88

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
309
"Lacking creativity" and "can't think for yourself" are very different phrases.
Does the original game give you direction on how to play it? Where to go? No, granted most people would NOT like Zelda 1 for that specific reason. A lot of people do not like thinking for themselves in video games. They want direction and guides.

Try to stay in context.

If I wanted to call people dumb I would have.
 

Ekko

Member
Nov 4, 2017
481
Skyward Sword for me, even though I liked it despite its flaws. Didn't like all of the filler content once you go through the main dungeons and obviously Fi is really annoying. Thought the ending was good though.

Wind Waker is annoying due to all of the sailing. Also if you are trying to 100% the game, the pictograph quest is a fucking nightmare. At least the HD version helps alleviate these issues. When you get to actually play the game, it's pretty fun, but I didn't like having to visit the forsaken fortress several times. Boring dungeon if you can call it that.

After that is probably Breath of the Wild, open world at the cost of weak dungeons. And the only thing you're left to do in this big open space is to repeat several of the same shrines over and over again. Not to mention those Korok seeds. Having more physics-based puzzles is neat but some people act like that's never been done before. It's not that crazy that Zelda implemented these lol. However, I would like for them to continue with these types of puzzles more in the future. They have a good foundation here. They just need to build on it while cutting out a lot of the filler.
 

JershJopstin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,806
Does the original game give you direction on how to play it? Where to go? No, granted most people would NOT like Zelda 1 for that specific reason. A lot of people do not like thinking for themselves in video games. They want direction and guides.

Try to stay in context.

If I wanted to call people dumb I would have.
Frankly, you are; or, at best, you're using a phrase that's going to be taken that way.

You also don't appear to be making any sort of effort to understand other people's taste in games, and instead are making very reductive statements towards people who disagree with you. Is it true people who lack creativity and can't think for themselves wouldn't like BotW? Probably, but not necessarily. Is it true that there are reasons that people who are creative and can think for themselves would dislike BotW - or, at the very least, not like it compared to the other titles? Absolutely.

Take OoT's Water Temple; it's one of my favorite dungeons in the series. If I couldn't think for myself, I wouldn't like that dungeon. You're asked to figure out where to go and how to get there quite frequently, and doing so is a fun navigational challenge - that sometimes requires creativity. The same goes for most of OoT's adult dungeons, MM's dungeons, half of SS's dungeons, and while TWW and TP aren't as good in that regard, they still make an effort beyond what BotW does for that specific form of gameplay. BotW scratched the same sort of itch traditional 3D Zelda dungeons do for me exactly one time, with one particular puzzle setup in Vah Naboris. I could definitely see people who prefer those challenges beyond all else not appreciate BotW as much as the others.
 

Vargas

Member
Oct 27, 2017
62
Was going to say Wind Waker but gave it Skyward Sword since I can't stand motion controls. Call me when it gets normal controls as an option but as is I couldn't play it for more than an hour.
 
Skyward Sword is my favourite, I'm a terrible human being. 💁 It really depresses me how much hate it gets, I don't know why I decided to torture myself by even clicking on this thread. I guess I hoped maybe the hyperbolic hate wouldn't be as bad this time.

Majora's Mask is the only 3D Zelda I've never finished. I don't really like calling it "the worst" though and I can appreciate why anyone would consider it their favourite. The 3 Day Cycle just isn't for me.
 
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Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,918
Ocarina of Time is such a god damn slog to play. I've tried multiple times to get into it but I just hate it so much. I hated it when it came out and I hate it now.
 

Cyrus_Saren

Member
Oct 25, 2017
83
Iowa
Skyward Sword. That was the one Zelda game so far that I have struggled to get through just because of how it was. The sword fights were pretty cool but that was about all it had going for it, I feel.
 

Miamiwesker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,743
Miami
I suppose I haven't played SS myself; only seen bits of it. But I recall TP having issues; everything was closed off with ravines. Items had limited use outside of dungeons and basically acted as keys for upgrades, not much to really do or outside the main quest. Compare to OoT where you can run around Hyrule Field. Sure, you can't go to the desert (or the lake?) early, but there's still stuff to see and do - as an example.
I do not get these complaints, as if some people read them once and kept repeating them until they believed it to be true. “Compare to OoT where you can run around hyrule field”, guess what you can run around hyrule field in TP too! Guess what it’s WAY bigger in OoT. And it has multiple mounts, jousting, horse combat, a gigantic desert to explore, a huge lake to explore, a huge snow peak to explore. It has more exploration than OoT.

Lack of things to do? The issue TP is that it places everything into the main quest, fine by me as it makes sure everyone sees all the game has to offer. It also means the main quest is FAR more varied than OoT. In OoT you don’t have an epic joust on a bridge, you don’t have a huge escort mission across hyrule while enemies decend on you from all over, you don’t fly a dragon over a river, you don’t have a river water rapid ride, you don’t have an old Wild West shootout in a town. It has just as many mini games, the same amount of hidden mini dungeons and secrets to find. The items are used just as much as any previous Zelda game. It has the best dungeons of the series. Many of the best boss battles of the series. Has more gameplay variety and better combat than any Zelda up to that point.

It’s big flaw is that OoT came first. That’s about it.
 

Garlador

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,904
I will always share this story whenever people ask me about Skyward Sword.

There I was, in the final battle against Demise. The music swells. Lightning crashing all around me. It's the ultimate battle of good against pure evil, the fate of the world hanging in the balance. One more clean hit will save the day... and one more hit taken will seal my fate. I'm invested heavily, immersed in this epic struggle, my nerves hardening as I patiently wait to line up my final life-or-death strike against my foe. Demise comes at me, I press attack and...

... And Fi suddenly pops up, pausing the battle to tell me that my controller batteries are running low and need to be replaced.

In over three decades of playing games, I have never been sucked out of a game or had a moment ruined THAT HARD before. I'm still blown away.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,131
I have to say this: I can see why every one of those games listed might get a vote, and that's because they're all different enough to attract or repel players in vastly different ways.

For me, it's Skyward Sword because I hated even trying to play the thing. TP bored me and I never finished it, but it was at least playable with a Gamecube controller, which, while a controller that I personally hate, I didn't have to fight with like I did with WM+.

The other games up there are either fine or very good, with Majora's Mask being my favorite (and I understand if you hate it, I really do),
 

C_Ali88

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
309
Frankly, you are; or, at best, you're using a phrase that's going to be taken that way.

You also don't appear to be making any sort of effort to understand other people's taste in games, and instead are making very reductive statements towards people who disagree with you. Is it true people who lack creativity and can't think for themselves wouldn't like BotW? Probably, but not necessarily. Is it true that there are reasons that people who are creative and can think for themselves would dislike BotW - or, at the very least, not like it compared to the other titles? Absolutely.

Take OoT's Water Temple; it's one of my favorite dungeons in the series. If I couldn't think for myself, I wouldn't like that dungeon. You're asked to figure out where to go and how to get there quite frequently, and doing so is a fun navigational challenge - that sometimes requires creativity. The same goes for most of OoT's adult dungeons, MM's dungeons, half of SS's dungeons, and while TWW and TP aren't as good in that regard, they still make an effort beyond what BotW does for that specific form of gameplay. BotW scratched the same sort of itch traditional 3D Zelda dungeons do for me exactly one time, with one particular puzzle setup in Vah Naboris. I could definitely see people who prefer those challenges beyond all else not appreciate BotW as much as the others.
I don’t need to understand their tastes. I was and am a fan of the Zelda series. To make the argument that BOTW was “boring” because it wasn’t linear is an asinine argument.

I can understand the weapon degradation, or the Guardian beasts argument. Just not the old formula was somehow more exciting. It wasn’t, while it was familiar and nostalgic it was more boring due to it at times also.

Look we are all going to have differing opinions but calling the highest rated, best received and highest selling Zelda as “boring” is not it.

Even as I dislike SS I wouldn’t just call it “boring” as a valid argument. As there are actual valid gripes that lead to the belief, as I said the familiarity makes it a slog for me. Implying if there were no familiarity it wouldn’t be a “slog” at times.

Not just SS IS BORING....

And just FYI I still play the old Zelda games but since BOTW I do find them even harder to play for long periods of time. So if I’m calling “original” Zelda fans dumb that would include myself.

What I was really getting at was that people would not rather make up their own story/path and follow a predesignated one. I agree I could’ve said it more politically correct.
 
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nanskee

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,424
It's Wind Waker but since people don't care about quality dungeons or bossee they say skyward sword.

It's not about the meat and potatoes apparently
 
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ibyea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,443
Twilight Princess. It's the only zelda game you can accuse of being derivative, and the game as a whole is not very cohesive. It's also tedious way too often, and too big for its own good. I still beat it like three times. It has really good dungeons and Midna is a great character.
 
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unholyFarmer

Member
Jan 22, 2019
156
BotW, closely followed by SS for completely different reasons. Both are good games though, just not on the same level as the previous entries.
 

Speevy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,779
Skyward Sword is honestly the first Zelda game that made me think "Man, I don't even want to play this."

I'm not really eligible to comment on its quality because of that, but if those who have played it mostly think the same, well there you go.
 

Burly

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,261
The only one I haven't played is Skyward Sword so I'll have to ignore that one.

Of the rest It's gotta be Majora's Mask. Played it for the first time on the 3DS at it was utterly miserable. Maybe if you originally played it as a kid and you have forgotten all the trial and error you had to do and you know all the solutions, you might have some nostalgia for it. But a dozen side quests with no real direction, that you are not even sure if you can finish them given your equipment at the time, is just god awful.

Also playing as not Link sucks. It like Twilight Princess' wolf form but now with multiple versions of it.
 

Aigis

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,156
I guess you hate BOTW if you like to be told what and how to do things and lack individual creativity.

Botw is only boring if you can’t think for yourself.... Take that however you wish.
What is this take lol? There are various reasons people dont like botw that cant be distilled to just "they are morons", come on now
 

ThomasJames

Member
Jan 15, 2019
1,594
BotW > Twilight Princess > Majora's Mask > OoT > Wind Waker > Skyward Sword.

I really don't see how people could vote for Twilight Princess in this poll over Skyward Sword.
 

Silent

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
490
I voted Skyward Sword even though Ancient Cistern is one of the best dungeon/boss combos in the series. I just didn’t enjoy the claustrophobic overworld. By the time I made it to the dungeon, I was all puzzled out, if that made sense.

Wind Waker has the stigma of being the most unfinished game, but it’s actually my second favorite Zelda game. It was just full of personality, and it certainly gave off the adventurous vibe. Also had some of the highest highs of the series despite the lacking dungeons.

Breath of the Wild is a difficult one. I loved it for its sense of exploration and interactivity. Being able to go through a 3D fully realized Hyrule Castle is amazing. The first time seeing Naaydra or (funnily enough) more linear section of the Zora area was probably my favorite part of the game. I’m not sure if that just means I wish the game were a tad more linear or what. Maybe I just like those events in games you can do once that drive the story, such as saving Midna or following a scent into Telma’s Bar in Twilight Princess or going to old Hyrule in Wind Waker.

I like them all a lot, though, and can appreciate that the games are so different from one another.
 

Vini256

Member
Oct 20, 2018
290
Brazil
Yet, a subset of fans honestly and truly believe SS was better than BOTW? That TP was better than BOTW? That Windwaker and it’s child dungeons were better than BOTW?


Edit: You’ve said SS was top tier... Yeah ummm no. Crap game, couldn’t play it myself due to horrible controls and that bird, but I did allow my friend to play it on my Wii (sounds dirty) and by the end we both agreed how forgettable a Zelda game SS is. From the music to the motion controls and overworld traversal, to the characterizations of Groose and others.

SS was a poor mans Zelda game, regardless of what era polls do or don’t say....
@bold Yes, yes I do. In fact, SS is my favorite game ever, while BotW is the most disappointing thing I've ever played, so freaking boring...

@bold 2, You say that as if BotW had any memorable music... or characters for that matter. At least Groose has an actual character arc and completely redeems himself by the end of the game. BotW's main characters are paper thin personality-wise since they barely had any screen time to begin with. And Skyward Sword's soundtrack is top notch.
 

mernst23

Member
Oct 27, 2017
245
Chicago
So much hate on SS, the waggle controls were annoying but otherwise I thought it was a great game.

Either way, if I'm forced to choose its SS or BOTW, and BOTW is mainly because of some of the repetition and obscure shrine hunting. I have sunk almost 200 hours into BOTW and I still haven't beaten my master mode run through as I can only take short bursts of the game at a time now. I have a feeling once I beat the game a second time I might never touch it again to be honest.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,224
I guess you hate BOTW if you like to be told what and how to do things and lack individual creativity.

You know the whole Zelda formula by heart by now, do you feel more comfortable with that? What else can be done to it? Comfortability is not an excuse to keep making the same game with new shades of veneer.


Botw is only boring if you can’t think for yourself.... Take that however you wish.

Many a Zelda game since OOT have been slogs at times for me just due to familiarity.

Oh a water dungeon!!
A boomerang!!
A requisite forest!!


Yeah it’s been beat to death. Let it die!
Preferring a handful of long dungeons filled with puzzles, to 120 repetitive 5-minute challenge shrines, is not a lack of creativity.
"Make your own fun in an empty world" is not what I come to Zelda for. Or most games. Being able to fight off boredom, or finding that world interesting to explore is not "creativity".
I stopped playing Breath of the Wild after defeating two of the divine beasts, because neither of those were remotely comparable to a proper dungeon.
 

Benzychenz

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,300
Australia
Skyward Sword hate makes me sad. The game has the best dungeons and bosses in the series.

For me it’s between WW and TP. Think I’m gonna give it to WW for being obviously unfinished and having pretty bland dungeons and boss fights.
 

ThomasJames

Member
Jan 15, 2019
1,594
Kinda interesting that if you set aside BotW these results are in order of their chronological release date. Is it nostalgia, or is each 3d zelda until BotW really worse than the last?