Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
Buy On
  1. Pocket Games
    100
    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. 100
    Perhaps the game with the longest playtime of any released in this series, ZELDA not only features a long quest, but a Master Quest that doubles the length of the game.
  3. The game holds its own despite dated graphics and sound.
  4. Play Magazine
    91
    More than any other game in the Classic NES series, The Legend of Zelda is just as good now as it was back in the '80s. [Aug 2004, p.61]
  5. 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.
  6. Nintendo Power
    90
    The graphics show the game's age (released in 1987), but the Legend of Zelda's gameplay stands the test of time, showing why the adventure that introduced Link continues to be a huge influence on game design. [July 2004, p.121]
  7. 90
    A huge, involving quest full of secrets, challenge and bonuses. The intensely difficult Second Quest remains one of the greatest unlockable extras in the history of the medium. And it's all captured beautifully on this GBA cart.
  8. 90
    If there is one Classic NES cart to throw your nickel to, it's this one. Trust us on this. [Sept 2004, p.93]
  9. netjak
    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.
  10. 80
    The value of the game's been diminished a tad due to Nintendo giving it away to GameCube owners last year, so a 20 dollar pricetag just to have it on-the-go might be a bit much to handle. But if the price isn't an object, go for it...the game still holds a ton of play value more than fifteen years after its debut.
  11. 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.
  12. This game is definitely the highlight of the collection, and is well worth the money.
  13. 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.
  14. Though the game is old and has been followed up by plenty of other, deeper games in the series, The Legend of Zelda still holds up quite well, making it one of the only games in Nintendo's Classic NES Series that is worth the $20 price tag.
  15. AceGamez
    70
    Whilst it isn't as good as the other traditional Zelda games and lacks many of their features, this is the one that started it all and it is indeed a very enjoyable game. The graphics hold up well but are not incredible, of course.
  16. 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.

Awards & Rankings

6
6
#6 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
5
#5 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 71
  2. Negative: 4 out of 71
  1. EBidd
    Feb 16, 2007
    10
    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 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! Full Review »
  2. Jan 4, 2011
    10
    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)
    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)
    Banjo-Kazooie
    Resident Evil 4
    Tetris DS
    Words with Friends (Scrabble)
    Super Mario Galaxy
    Mike Tysonâ
    Full Review »
  3. WillP.
    Feb 11, 2006
    10
    One of the greatest games in the history of video games.