Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

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  • Summary: In this classic NES game, you'll embark on a quest to find the Triforce, slay Ganon, and save Princess Zelda. The Legend of Zelda comes to the Game Boy Advance, complete with all the dungeons, puzzles, and menacing enemies from the original game. As Link, you can brandish a variety of weapons, including swords, boomerangs, bombs, and arrows. Collect rupees to buy even more weapons and other special items. There are many secrets, hidden passages, and caves to be found in Hyrule--now you can see if you still have what it takes to find them. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Not only is this the best game of the classic series, it's arguably the best game in the history of the NES. [Summer 2004, p.14]
  2. The game holds its own despite dated graphics and sound.
  3. One of the best games to be released on the NES years ago, and even though it is over fifteen years old, it still retains the fun factor as it did back then.
  4. 85
    The important thing to understand is that you’re getting exactly that, being the version that came out for the NES; you get nothing more and nothing less. More than any of the other NES re-releases, though, The Legend of Zelda is easily worth the $20 investment, despite the lack of updates and occasional slowdown.
  5. Zelda has aged rather gracefully compared to some of the games from its time, and it's worth picking up for the portability factor alone.
  6. This is a mediocre re-release of a great game that is adequate, yet one can’t help but wonder how great it might have been if Nintendo hadn’t rushed it to the market.
  7. But for those of you who have yet to play the NES title, unless you're extremely curious as to how the Zelda franchise started, you're better off without this mediocre 'adventure'. Nintendo, lay this one to rest.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. EBidd
    Feb 16, 2007
    I completely disagree with GBA Central. Nintendo should NEVER lay this one to rest! When I think back to my top 5 games of all time, this one is always on the list! Infinite replay! Long live The Legend of Zelda! Expand
  2. Aug 11, 2013
    This is for the 3DS version. This is a classic nostalgia game. Over all you can complete the game in about 5 hours but will give you a life time of joy. This game is the ultimate grand daddy of all action-adventure games. You can not call yourself a gamer if you haven't played this game. This game is being sold for $5 on the Nintendo e-shop and is worth every penny. Expand
  3. DouglasR.
    Jun 9, 2004
    I love this game, everybody HAS to buy it!
  4. Jan 4, 2011
    Here's my Top 50 games of all time: The Legend of Zelda a Link to the Past Super Metroid The Legend of Zelda Metroid Prime (Trilogy)
    Resident Evil 4
    Tetris DS
    Words with Friends (Scrabble)
    Super Mario Galaxy
    Mike Tysonâ
  5. AlanB.
    Apr 19, 2006
    It's a remake so what do you expect. I like it though because it was so well made before and it stood that way even when it went to the GBA. Good job nintendo keep up the good work. Expand
  6. Feb 18, 2013
    This is a really awesome, bang on port of the classic nes title. same great music, same legendary gameplay, this is truly the stuff of legend. the only reason why my score is so low, is because its just a straight up port, no more, no less.. Thats obviously a good thing, as they dont try to change a good thing, rather they release it as is, and i wouldnt have it any other way. Basic, simple, classic gameplay, and one of the best ways to experience the beginning of the master works known, as the legend of zelda series. Expand
  7. May 15, 2014
    This game is a classic. It's the one that started it all. It's the one that established many of the enduring elements of the Zelda franchise. For all of these reasons, every Zelda fan should respect this game.

    But respecting something is not the same thing as liking it, and I can't honestly say that I like this game very much. It was a great game for its time, but it has aged very poorly. The gameplay is simplistic, the world isn't that interesting, it's not visually appealing, there's no real story, and of course, like many NES titles, it's overly challenging and frustrating. It's true that it established the classic formula that almost every Zelda game has followed. But every Zelda game that followed it took that formula and did it better, making the original, in many ways, irrelevant. At least Zelda 2 has more staying power by virtue of being unique.

    While games such as A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time haven't aged entirely gracefully, they are still well designed and fun to play, and overall have withstood the test of time despite a few gray hairs. The original Zelda, on the other hand, has aged very poorly, and by todays standards isn't very good at all. There's no denying that it was incredibly important for the Zelda series and gaming in general. But the reality is that it's an incredibly primitive and outdated game, and every Zelda game that has come after it has been better. Unless you're a passionate Zelda fan who really wants to see how it all began, you can skip this one.

See all 16 User Reviews