Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. Nov 14, 2013
    95
    Although this a portable Zelda and a reimagination of an old game, A Link to the Past for SNES, it can be considered as a turning point in the franchise. A Link Between Worlds revitalizes the legend with new mechanics and innovative ideas. Simply legendary.
  2. Nov 15, 2013
    92
    Tricky dungeon design, intense boss battles and more open than expected: You have to fall in love with Link’s latest adventure.
  3. Dec 23, 2013
    100
    Overall, this world is one you are not going to want to miss and I highly recommend it.
  4. Nov 27, 2013
    90
    Even the most stalwart, traditionalist series fan should be able to appreciate A Link Between Worlds for what it is: the most interesting new Zelda game since Wind Waker.
  5. 90
    Despite lacking the challenge of other titles in the series, fans will appreciate the nostalgic music and graphics, and enjoy playing through the new dungeons and boss battles that can be easily tackled on the go.
  6. Nov 14, 2013
    88
    Series fans will not be disappointed, although it may not deviate from formula quite enough for some. In my estimation, the developers stuck to the right parts of series formula while innovating in important areas, such as non-linearity and user-friendly interface decisions.
  7. Dec 4, 2013
    90
    This is the return to form that long-time fans have been wishing for in the classic 2D format for the Zelda franchise for many years; it is the greatest entry in a very long time.
  8. Dec 18, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds is a beautiful experience: a fun retrospective of former Zelda glories while providing enough innovation to stand out on its own.
  9. Nov 14, 2013
    96
    A stellar game all the way around. A Link Between Worlds maximizes the concept of depth, from the 3D, to the 2D mechanic, to the characters. This game certainly fits well in the pantheon of amazing Zelda games.
  10. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    Painting over any cracks that were starting to appear in the Zelda series, A Link Between Worlds is a refreshing experience and another Nintendo 3DS masterpiece.
  11. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    A Link Between Worlds recognizes that it’s not tacked-on stealth segments or waggling a controller to roll bombs that makes Zelda tick—it’s the unbounded exploration and freedom found in the NES original, and it’s finally back in full force here. Every Zelda fan needs to play this game.
  12. Nov 28, 2013
    90
    Take it as an old-fashioned, well-known fable. It might not make the grandest strides to evolve its formula, but for many, many players this will be a very pleasant homecoming, indeed.
  13. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    One of the best Zeldas of all time. No question, just buy it.
  14. Nov 21, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds is connected to the first major evolution of the series, introducing new ideas and a range of innovations that without diluting the identity and structure of the series, define a new experience.
  15. Nov 18, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds is not the game that will revolutionise the franchise. Quite the opposite, actually: it's a recognition of old habits and tradition from the series.
  16. Nov 15, 2013
    90
    A link Between World is a junction point between past and future, one of the most beautiful chapters in the long lasting saga.
  17. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    This isn’t just a tribute; as amazing as A Link to the Past is, I can’t think of a single thing A Link Between Worlds doesn’t do better...In every way, A Link Between Worlds is exactly what you want out of a Zelda game.
  18. Nov 14, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds gets fearless and distinguishes itself from the franchise’s history. On top of that, Link, Zelda, Rovio, and some of the best bosses Zelda fans will ever fight turn that history on its head, both narratively and mechanically.
  19. Dec 5, 2013
    90
    It's probably the Zelda game with the lowest challenge, and one that borrows many ideas from past games, but at the same time it implements a series of innovations that prove the brilliance of this series designers.
  20. Dec 11, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds boasts excellent characterisation and spacial design. Even a too-shallow difficulty curve can't hold this long awaited entry back.
  21. Nov 21, 2013
    95
    A Link Between Worlds is one of the, if not the best Zelda game yet. It takes the player seriously and leaves the innocent charm of the adventure intact at the same time. The game never lets the story get in the war of the adventure, and has a lot to discover for loyal fans. The 'rent an item'-system balances freedom and challenge perfectly.
  22. 90
    The most refreshing Zelda game in a long while, and yet additional proof that Nintendo knows how to utilize the 3DS like no one else. An essential game for the platform.
  23. Nov 18, 2013
    90
    A successful mix between old and new makes this one of the most interesting Zelda-titles in years.
  24. Nov 21, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds is a remake and a sequel, then – both a tribute to a classic and a worthy successor in its own right. For all the changes, it’s still recognisably Zelda, and a legend this powerful can comfortably bear another retelling.
  25. Dec 18, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds has everything you expect from your beloved series, and in addition to it there is an open world with original ideas. The new Zelda game is tailored to the handheld, its gameplay is wonderful, it looks great, and it offers plenty of hours of remarkable entertainment that will kindly torture your brains. One of the best Nintendo 3DS titles indeed.
  26. Nov 14, 2013
    94
    Despite its many references and callbacks to the 1991 classic, A Link Between Worlds feels fresh. Not only does it feature some of the best dungeons and bosses in the series’ long history, but its stunning use of the system’s 3D effect should make anyone thinking about saving a few bucks by getting a Nintendo 2DS pause and reconsider.
  27. Nov 14, 2013
    90
    I'm not normally one for 3D, but I wouldn't play A Link Between Worlds any other way.
  28. Nov 14, 2013
    90
    Zelda: A Link Between Worlds brings the outstanding gameplay of the SNES prequel to the 3DS in a well-crafted adventure that will give you a rush of nostalgia. With interesting new characters, atypical series gameplay elements, and fantastic 3D visuals, Link's next adventure is a must play.
  29. Dec 4, 2013
    90
    Link Between Worlds ran the risk of being nothing more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane, revisiting one of the most beloved games in the series, thankfully Nintendo have manage to couple the LTTP memories with some of the best, more unique design seen in the Zelda series in quite a while.
  30. Nov 14, 2013
    98
    A rare accomplishment that recaptures the spirit of classic Zelda. It takes the series into new territory much like its SNES counterpart did two decades ago, and it might be the most significant revision to Zelda’s structure since the landmark release of Ocarina of Time.
  31. Nov 21, 2013
    100
    It’s easily the best original Legend of Zelda release since the N64 days, and I think you’ll find it’s something you don’t want to miss.
  32. Nov 14, 2013
    98
    Classic gameplay, infused with fresh concepts and graced with stellar graphics and sound, make A Link Between Worlds one of the best games in the Zelda series and a must-own title this holiday.
  33. Nov 14, 2013
    90
    It’s not just a nostalgic trip; A Link Between Worlds is an excellent game on its own. That said, this title functions most effectively as fan service to us old heads — the references to the source material are as numerous as they are captivating.
  34. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    It rewards those of us who know A Link to the Past’s version of Hyrule like the back of our hand, but makes enough concessions for those who didn’t play the original the first time around.
  35. 90
    A Link Between Worlds is a delightful return to the classic game we loved. There aren’t a lot of improvements, but the additional world and new power are more than enough.
  36. Dec 29, 2013
    90
    Offers a solid adventure that should sate old and new gamers alike. [Feb 2014, p.74]
  37. Nov 14, 2013
    94
    I haven’t been so challenged by a Zelda since Ocarina of Time, and rarely have I been so consistently surprised by one.
  38. Nov 20, 2013
    90
    A Link between words is a delightful trap - it starts beautifully revamping the A Link to The Past IP, then it shocks you with some lovely twists and saga firsts. It's a "back to the roots to look to the future" vibe which is hard to resist.
  39. Dec 8, 2013
    99
    The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds takes Link into a fully functional 3D world that not only pays homage to the games of yesterday but modernises the franchise into something thoroughly enjoyable and challenging to the gamer.
  40. Nov 21, 2013
    93
    A Link Between Worlds might be the best Zelda in recent years. By diverting from the standard formula by letting you rent items and even decide in which order you go through all of the dungeons, known elements finally feel fresh again.
  41. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    A perfect handheld Zelda experience, offering the classic gameplay you cherish at a snappier pace. Link's new 2D ability, combined with the nonlinear progression, provide a flexibility that makes exploring the land – both Hy and Lo – exciting all over again.
  42. Nov 27, 2013
    89
    A Link Between Worlds blends nostalgic familiarity with newfangled fantasy, introducing innovation with sacrificng any of what made its forebear great. It's an incredible adventure for fans old and new.
  43. 100
    No two ways about it: if you own a 3DS, this Zelda is a must. It’s an intelligent and entertaining action game, brimming with fresh ideas and fascinating worlds. [Issue#237]
  44. Jan 2, 2014
    90
    Much is the same in A Link Between Worlds. Just like in A Link to the Past you follow Link from a birds-eye perspective in both light and dark worlds. But A Link Between Worlds is not merely a simple game of nostalgia but one that perfectly blends the new and old Zelda games. The result is one of the best games in the series.
  45. Nov 29, 2013
    97
    Hiromasa Shikata assumes for the first time the challenge of directing a Zelda title. The result will please fans of both the classic action-0oriented Zelda and the puzzle oriented Zelda of Aonuma. Beautiful art direction, great music and the triumphant return of some classic features of the series make this Zelda one of the most memorable additions to the franchise.
  46. Nov 14, 2013
    95
    An instant classic that mixes the best of old-school Zeldas with some of the best Nintendo ideas of recent years. Brilliant level designs, great bosses and better in some new mechanics than its Nintendo DS predecessors.
  47. Nov 14, 2013
    90
    One of the best Zelda games of all time and one which manages to quietly rewrite the series’ usual formula in some surprising, and surprisingly successful, ways.
  48. Nov 29, 2013
    100
    Even put up against the likes of Animal Crossing and Pokémon X & Y , The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is easily the best 3DS game of 2013. It's quite simply a work of art that deserves to be part of your private collection.
  49. Nov 14, 2013
    95
    A wonderful new take on the classic formula of the series that manages to deliver a familiar but at the same time fresh experience.
  50. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    Without a doubt, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is currently the greatest game you can experience on the 3DS.
  51. Dec 3, 2013
    100
    An amazing accomplishment; it manages to root itself deep in the fertile nostalgia millions of gamers have for A Link to the Past while simultaneously morphing classic Zelda mechanics and introducing brand new ideas that fit in perfectly with the storied franchise.
  52. 95
    A Link Between Worlds is a delightful adventure that hits every high note a 2D Zelda game has ever produced while creating many new hallmarks of its own.
  53. Classic Zelda fare riddled with veins of audio-visual mastery and an inspired gameplay twist. The greatest Legend Of Zelda title of recent years.
  54. Mar 11, 2014
    93
    A very good action RPG in a sandbox-like Hyrule. The game features a redefined equipment progression along with the nice flattening trick. It's a bit on the easy side, though. [Dec 2013]
  55. Nov 16, 2013
    95
    At once accessible and incredibly deep. It displays a stunning fearlessness. Tweaking and completely redefining the basic concepts of the series might have been risk enough. But Nintendo has been shockingly cavalier with one of the most beloved games ever. The result is the sequel I never knew I wanted — and one of my favorite games of 2013.
  56. The addition of the newer, free-er structure and the loss of a lot of the chaff from the post-Link-to-the-Past Zelda’s make the game a joy to play.
  57. Nov 25, 2013
    96
    A new Zelda that will set the standard for years to come.
  58. Dec 1, 2013
    90
    The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is probably the biggest surprise of the year.
  59. Nov 14, 2013
    90
    Quite honestly, I didn't realize Nintendo still knew how to make a Zelda game at this level of sheer quality. Though A Link Between Worlds may not become an enduring classic through the decades like A Link to the Past, it stands as a worthwhile successor and a modern masterpiece in its own right.
  60. Nov 18, 2013
    90
    Like a journey between two parallel worlds, we feel continually tossed between a gameplay that is no more, and some contemporary mechanics. Maybe that's the true secret of Zelda: the game manages to turn itself into the allegory of its own game mechanics, without ever overdoing it, in a sober and elegant way.
  61. Dec 12, 2013
    90
    The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is easily the best handheld Zelda title since the days of the Game Boy Color, as well as being the strongest and most focused entry in the legendary series for easily the last ten years.
  62. Nov 14, 2013
    92
    Beautiful, fun, addictive and with a lot of care put into it, Link comes back with another great game for 3DS, closing an almost perfect year for the handheld. It goes back to its classic gameplay, but manages to add some new ideas. Sure, it could have been harder and longer, but we've enjoyed every second we've played.
  63. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    Along with some of the best music I've ever heard in a game, its intelligent dungeon design, incredible use of 3D and the merge mechanic - which will constantly trick and challenge your mind - and the numerous nods to the entire series meant I thought my heart would burst from my chest in joy. This deserves its place among the great Zelda games of yesteryear.
  64. Dec 1, 2013
    100
    A Link Between Worlds is a relief for those who feared the franchise was stagnated. The innovations are here to stay.
  65. Dec 1, 2013
    90
    The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is one of the most fun Zelda titles on the market, and it's easily the best handheld Zelda game since Link's Awakening.
  66. Nov 25, 2013
    98
    Simply put it’s one of the best games available on the 3DS or anywhere else, and it’s a must play.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 644 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 157
  1. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    What initially looked like a game leaning on the aging crutches of A Link to the Past has turned out to be a thoroughly poignant, vivid and immensely satisfying game worthy of standing on its own two feet. Set in the world of A Link to the Past, Link Between Worlds makes the serendipitous combination of a reinvigorating spark with a meaty hit of nostalgia. Presenting freedom of choice gameplay not seen since the original, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds makes no effort to hold the players hand through the richly dense world of Hyrule and it works brilliantly. Rather than following in the footsteps of Game Freak and introducing the franchise to a new generation of audiences at the risk of patronising its long term fans, (I’m looking at you Pokémon X and Y) Link Between Worlds pays homage to those of us who have followed Link since his debut over 25 years ago all whilst paving the way for a reinvention of what it means to make a Zelda game. The puzzles in Link Between Worlds are, as aforementioned, immensely satisfying. I could almost hear the pieces of a riddle snap together in my head as I strived to calculate the answer. It’s a feeling experienced whilst playing the Professor Layton series, but puzzle-solving in this game is made relevant and interesting by the vivid world, close to perfect combat and awe-inspiring imagination. This is a beautiful game, presenting a colourful and vibrant world that just seems to radiate adventure and exploration. The characters are complex and interesting, but perhaps the biggest achievement in terms of its presentation is the silky-smooth 60fps frame rate which stays consistent throughout this 18 hour adventure even with the 3D effect turned on. Full Review »
  2. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    One of the best games I have played. I have not played a link to the past in SNES and I haven't played much Zelda games apart from Twilight Princess, and those NDS titles. This has got to be my best experience with Zelda. I have always loved the music and it brings so much memory back with Hyrule castle, field and Kakaro Village being so condensed in the map, feeling great as in twilight princess the 3D is overwhelming but to see these places so reachable it simply feels great.

    All the little puzzles are connected and don't seem redundant. I love how equipment are based on stamina now. There are still more explore, it is really well worth the money. Best 3DS game thus far.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    A Nostalgia paradise! Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is nothing short of a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Nintendo proves once again that they are true masters of their craft. in this barren and desolate gaming landscape where AAA, 4 hour long, slapped together, interactive movies rule the "video game" industry ALBW truly shines brighter than ever.

    To understand, appreciate and pay homage to ones roots is one thing. but to do it in a way that brings so much innovation to the table is nothing short of astounding which is more than i can say for some companies (Im looking at you Sega so get your notepad out you might learn something). Some might say that making a sequel based on an old established and proven formula is too safe but to them i say LOOK AT THE SONIC SERIES. It seems no matter what Sega does they fail, even when they for all intents and purposes do exactly what ALBW does ala sonic 4. Generations got it better than the former but in comparison to almost ANY Nintendo title, where classic characters are concerned: I would still consider Generations a failure. Nintendo has a mastery of balancing nostalgia with innovation that Sonic Team can only dream of having.

    The 3DS has been absolutely ON FIRE this year and with great titles like Kirby, Yoshis Island and Bravely Default heading our way next year Nintendo shows no signs of stopping. If ALBW is any sign you can bet those games will be incredible as well. Its great to see a huge company not afraid to bring new things to the table while not forgetting what got them there in the first place! Thanks Nintendo for the trip down memory lane!
    Full Review »