Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 55
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 55
  3. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. A mixture of numerous ideas and seemingly unrelated modes that melds to form an exquisite game. Zelda is ever changing, and this iteration sees the dream of true connectivity come to fruition for Nintendo while bringing a fresh face to the series. [Import]
  2. Many clever obstacles, opponents and switches demand co-ordinated effort.
  3. Innovative and absorbing for one or more players. It's a much deeper and more satisfying experience than "Four Swords" for the GBA. [July 2004, p.118]
  4. More than a game that Zelda fans or even action RPG gamers will like. This game is easy to learn, innovative and can appeal to people of all ages. The use of GBA connectivity and all of the extra mini games just fills this game to the brim with replay value. [JPN Import]
  5. It's fluid action all the way, absolutely no problem to pick up and learn for even the most novice of gamers, striking to look at and lengthy enough to keep you going for months. And we've still not played it in English. [JPN Import]
  6. A fantastic game that uses the GBA link in a meaningful way, turning a pretty good single player game into an over the top joy to play multiplayer experience.
  7. Imaginative and brilliant - exactly as every Legend Of Zelda game should be. The GBA-connectivity angle just makes things even more magical.
  8. A nice single player game, but a great multiplayer game. [Multiplayer review]
  9. An excellent multiplayer adventure. The levels are suitably compact and the team-based puzzles are interesting. [Jan. 05]
  10. It's hard to fathom how a game that speaks through elementary text, not voice, with characters that look like the once I drew on my Trapper Keeper in fifth grade (barking such eloquent lines as "Link, did you defeat that giant stone eye-thing?), can still hold me captive. But, somehow, it does. [Aug 2004, p.55]
  11. The only real thing missing are side-quests, but that's made up for with a solid 15 hours of gameplay within the title's story mode. [Sept 2004, p.7]
  12. It is best with four friends though: my girlfriend, two other friends and I discovered this after we lost 10 hours of our lives in one sitting. If that doesn't say something about this game, nothing else will.
  13. Every single moment of Four Swords is magically familiar and every single moment is dazzlingly fresh...Whether being experienced in the competitive, co-operative cackle of multiplay, or the captivating atmosphere of singleplayer, the extraordinary virtues of the game itself remain the same. [May 2004, p.96]
  14. 90
    One sure-fire classic in the making, one surprisingly entertaining competition section and an average battle game...Go on, treat yourself to a slice of 2D magic and show that once again, some of the best multiplayer experiences don't have to be online. [JPN Import]
  15. Amazing. Not only does it introduce a much-needed change in the story, it gives the series a breath of fresh air with some interesting concepts.
  16. 90
    A unique and utterly enjoyable experience; and thankfully, this is true whether or not you've got three friends around to enjoy the adventure with.
  17. You have to have some serious hardware to play Four Swords Adventures the way it's supposed to be played, but if you can manage that, you'll find it's one of the better reasons to own both a Gamecube and a GBA.
  18. A multiplayer classic, for those with the hardware. A fairly decent game for everyone else.
  19. 90
    It's just a shame that you need GameBoy Advances to play through the multiplayer part, it would be a lot better if players could use other GameCube controllers.
  20. 90
    It's the beauty of the unique multiplayer that pushes Four Swords amongst this generations best games. An essential addition to any GC collection.
  21. The top-down 2D look of Four Swords Adventures seems anachronistically simple -- and yet, it's still among the very best Nintendo games, and certainly the current high-water mark of GBA connectivity.
  22. An obscure Zelda game that's demanding on your pockets - but it's one of the finest multiplayer games ever. [NGC]
  23. This is the best four-player game since the original "Gauntlet" and the resulting fun is worth the effort.
  24. 88
    It's not an epic adventure, it's not a classic Zelda game, but it is a fast-paced, fun multiplayer experience that manages to be visceral, exciting, and thoughtful all at the same time.
  25. Designers really worked hard to make each level unique and interesting. Aside from the so-so graphics everything in Four Swords is done extremely well and extensively thought out.
  26. If Nintendo gives us more of this fun, we won't have to shake our heads in disappointment every time the word connectivity is mentioned in a sentence.
  27. 87
    A shining example of connectivity done right. It succeeds where "Crystal Chronicles" failed, providing a solid reason as to why four player should go through all the trouble of hooking up four GBAs to their GameCube.
  28. The game is technically shorter than other Zelda adventures, but there's no way you'll finish this one in a couple days unless you have a strategy guide at your side. Believe me when I say that a strategy guide is no way to enjoy a Zelda game.
  29. Exploring a massive, multilayered Zelda dungeon with three other people definitely ranks up there among the most satisfying multiplayer gaming experiences I've ever had - online or off. [July 2004, p.104]
  30. It is most definitely not to be missed, but do yourself a favor and bring a friend, or two or three. Doing so upgrades the experience from the sublime to the superlative.
  31. All of the maps are completely different, and offer different types of play, which makes replay value soar.
  32. 85
    There is a very satisfying mix of competitive and cooperative gameplay. And because of the way that the level design, puzzle design and all four Links work together so greatly, the end experience is a truly entertaining and enjoyable one.
  33. Strangely enough, there is no continuity between the various stages... This method of play makes Four Swords seem like more of a compilation of adventures than a conventional Zelda game.
  34. 9 / 8 / 8 / 8 - 33 gold [Vol 797; 26 Mar 2004]
  35. Little touches, like the clouds casting shadows on the ground as they float overhead, and improved lighting create a solid looking game.
  36. I still can't help but feel that the game could have used just a little more content or even a few more graphical bells and whistles. Final word: great game.
  37. If you've been waiting for a truly compelling reason to invest in a GameCube-to-GBA link cable, this is probably it.
  38. Playing this with a friend or single player can be a blast, but remember to play with the right kind of gamers.
  39. Like all connectivity-driven titles, Four Swords needs multiplayer to stay alive. Once you make it past that small hurdle, there's no denying the perfect design of vintage Zelda.
  40. Nintendo has put together a fantastic cooperative quest, but compared to most single-player games, it's short, and compared to most multiplayer games, there's little reason to go back once you've played through it. [July 2004, p.83]
  41. It won't satisfy everybody - and we'd stress again the importance of approaching it as a new experience inspired by an old favourite rather than expecting the expected - but those who band together to tackle the evil sorcerer Vaati will likely be spellbound by a tremendously well-designed example of modern multiplayer gaming.
  42. It is a joy in singleplayer and borderline heavenly in multiplayer; the challenge is set just right; the puzzles are set just right; even everything from the box art, the feel and most importantly the playing is just right.
  43. The expense of having to use four GBAs, each with their own link cable, can't be avoided if you want to experience the game as it was intended; however, doing so gives you access to a world that proves that connectivity is more than just a gimmick - done properly, it can offer a wealth of new gameplay experiences. [July 2004, p.106]
  44. The real genius in Four Swords Adventure is that it creates the perfect blend of teamwork, competition, and sadism.
  45. If you do happen to have four friends who are Zelda fanatics and GBA owners, you are going to have the time of your life playing this game. [June 2004, p.130]
  46. To fully appreciate The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure, you're going to require a GameCube, three friends and four GBAs. If you have no problem meeting these requirements and you're also a big Zelda fan, then you're in for a treat.
  47. 80
    The problem? It's built on the assumption that when four people play together, they won't play for long periods of time. And as such, it's extremely simple.
  48. 80
    Though it's a great title in the Zelda franchise, the action is hindered by all the extra equipment necessary to get the most out of it.
  49. 80
    First time through, play times will vary from twenty to thirty hours, and the overall package is impressive: But at what cost?
  50. 80
    It's not necessarily a reason to go out and buy a bunch of Game Boy Advances and link cables, but it's definitely a reason to get them out of the closet again. [July 2004, p.72]
  51. 80
    Yet despite its faithfulness to the series, its rousing music, the throwback visual style, and inclusion of familiar characters such as Epona and the owl, the game's narrow scope nonetheless elicits a twinge of disappointment.
  52. The one-player game does its best to keep you enthralled, but the multiplayer game is truly where it's classic.
  53. There's no question that The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures handily trumps "Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles" as the best example of Nintendo's connectivity plan and serves up some fun multiplayer gaming.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. Uter
    Jul 21, 2004
    I don't want a game that requires lots of gbas in order to have fun.
  2. May 3, 2014
    This is an absolute masterpiece of local multiplayer. I hope the 3ds can get a sequel soon with online multiplayer. The only bad thing aboutThis is an absolute masterpiece of local multiplayer. I hope the 3ds can get a sequel soon with online multiplayer. The only bad thing about is all the Gameboy cables. I got **** ton of them hanging around so I wasn't worried. The adventure is epic and its a great merge between Wind Waker and A Link to the Past. The game kept me excited from beginning to end. Full Review »
  3. Jan 28, 2014
    Excellent on single player. Graphics and sound are incredible. It's retro like if a sequel to Link to The Past were released on 32bitExcellent on single player. Graphics and sound are incredible. It's retro like if a sequel to Link to The Past were released on 32bit (PSX/Saturn). I feel so dumb not having this game before. No Gba or extra cables are needed to singleplayer. The mission structure gives this one a Arcade-ish gameplay, with more challange than your usual Zelda, and no endless storytelling. The only reason not giving this a 10 is that I cannot play the multiplayer. And I envy those who did play 4-player. Full Review »