When we think about highly successful Zelda games that has been released on various Nintendo consoles for the past 30 years there are many games that comes to mind. The original Zelda game appeared on the NES back in ’86 and we also got to see Zelda II: Adventure Of Link the following year in ’87 which had gameplay that was different from its predecessor; Adventure Of Link is often viewed as the black sheep of the series because of its gameplay. By the time Zelda: Link To The Past was released for the SNES in ’91 it ended up becoming one of Nintendo’s most high profile SNES game of the 90’s decade. Since its release Zelda: Link To The Past ended up become one of the best selling titles for the SNES and ended up reaching over 4.6 million in sales. In fact, The Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past ended up becoming the 7th best selling game for the SNES and is considered to be a legendary action-adventure game that still holds up to this day. Less than, two years later the world got to see the release of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in June 1993. Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda title to ever appear on Game Boy and was also highly successful. Critics praised the soundtrack & story for Link’s Awakening as it went on to sell over 3.8 million on Game Boy.
Following the initial success of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in ’93 the game was eventually ported for Game Boy Color in ’98; this was the same year that Ocarina Of Time was released for the Nintendo 64. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time was arguably the best game within the entire series depending on who you ask. It felt like Nintendo gave new life to the series once it became 3D and it was noticeable in Ocarina Of Time. Features such as good storytelling, level design, robust gameplay, optional side-quests in addition to challenging boss battles made Ocarina Of Time a timeless N64 classic. Since its initial release back in November 1998 Ocarina Of Time has reached over 7.6 million in worldwide sales for the N64 and became the fourth best selling game on that console. Zelda Ocarina Of Time was eventually followed more than a year latter with the release of Majora’s Mask for the N64 in 2000.
As far as visuals and gameplay was concerned Majora’s Mask was similar to Ocarina Of Time but the game had a notice darker tone. It should also be noted that opposed to having Ganondorf as the main antagonist Majora’s Mask saw the debut of a new villain named Skull Kid. Majora’s Mask was a game that also ended up becoming highly successful and reached over 6.3 million copies in sales for the N64. Despite, not selling quite as much as Zelda: Ocarina Of Time it was still impressive to know that Majora’s Mask ended up becoming 12th best selling game on the N64. While there have been some other highly successful Zelda games from other decades such as the first NES games from the 80’s it seemed like they were outshined by the installments for the SNES, Game Boy and the N64 from the 90’s. In the 00’s Majora’s Mask along with Zelda: Twilight Princess from ’06 were also very impressive and stood out in a time where the shooter genre of gaming began to surge in popularity.
In the 10’s decade we got to see the release of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch; the game became way more popular than the likes of Hyrule Warriors and Zelda: Skyward Sword. In addition, we got to see a digitally remastered Switch version of Link’s Awakening from ’93 with 3D graphics and backgrounds during September 2019 which was pretty cool. While everyone has their favorites on which games within the Zelda series are the best there is no question that some of the most iconic titles Nintendo made definitely came from the between the mid-80’s and early-00’s time period.