Universal acclaim - based on 80 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 80
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 80
  3. Negative: 0 out of 80
  1. 10 / 10 / 10/ 10 - 40 platinum
  2. 100
    When one picks up the controller, the ability to step into that time and place (never more hauntingly beautiful than in this latest instalment) never loses its allure. Even the most hardened of cynics would have to admit that this title is something else entirely. It's the stuff of dreams. [JPN Import]
  3. 100
    Simply a stunning, magical game.
  4. 100
    It is a gaming legend that is worthy of the name Zelda in every way. The cartoon graphics are the most fluid, gorgeous, lovingly crafted masterpiece I've ever seen in a game, with atmospheric music and realistic sound completing the experience.
  5. The navigation, the combat, the dungeons, the characters, and the peril you must face as that young elf boy in green are all fantastic.
  6. Do not let the visual style put you off, you'll soon warm to it like everybody I've ever seen who's taken one look at the game. However more importantly the gameplay is the definition of perfection.
  7. Blows every Zelda game out of the water and stands as the video game event of a lifetime. It's an absolute necessity for anyone who considers themselves a gamer. [Apr 2003, p.86]
  8. The Wind Waker defines the five-star rating. The play control and puzzles are stunning. The story is dramatic, funny and often touching and the graphic style is nothing short of amazing. [Apr 2003, p.132]
  9. I felt like a kid playing this game, right alongside Link. I laughed at times; I felt sad at times, I was in shock and amazement. To say this is simply a game is an understatement; it is an adventure. [Import]
  10. Because of the game's subtle tributes to the deeper complexities in life, the game is no less compelling than if I were playing it as a child. The difference is that as an adult, I can herald it as a true work of beauty.
  11. It's only March, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is destined to be the best game of the year on any platform.
  12. For an adventure game with only one story to tell, the amount of replay value the designers squeezed into this game is astonishing, and the time it will take players to unlock all of the delicious secrets it has to offer should add up to more than the time spent on most "replayable" games.
  13. Miyamoto has done it again. The Wind Waker is a definite masterpiece. Link's brand new adventure is as beautiful as it could be and everything's just too good to say it's kiddy.
  14. 100
    As close to perfection as one can get. Wind Waker features some of the greatest graphics to date, an easy and intuitive control scheme, a truly epic storyline and a brilliant score to top it off.
  15. 100
    This is perhaps the greatest ever chapter in the Zelda series. It manages to be absolutely revolutionary and yet still familiar.
  16. Of the 300-plus games I have played, Zelda: Wind Waker ranks in my top three of all time. It's elegant, enchanting, engrossing, beautifully stylized, perfectly polished-a gaming work of art-a masterpiece.
  17. 100
    A brilliant, dazzling wonder, no matter how you feel about Link's new pants... If this game doesn't make you happy, then it's impossible for you to be happy. [Apr 2003, p.94]
  18. Most of the story is conveyed through masterful animation and acute facial expressions.
  19. Enchanting, entertaining, inventive, elegant, rewarding and captivating from start to "finish."
  20. 100
    Epic in scale, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker oozes quality craftsmanship from start to finish. Most importantly, it's incredibly addictive and almost impossible to put down until the end credits roll.
  21. Nothing can prepare you for the greatness that is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker... Mark my words: there will be no finer gaming experience this year. [Mar 2003, p.24]
  22. 100
    The learning curve is perfect, the gameplay beautifully judged and you'll be inextricably drawn into this gem of an adventure. Easily the best game of the year so far.
  23. 100
    The most exciting action-adventure title available on any current system... A masterpiece. [A+; Apr 2003, p.41]
  24. The highly stylized characters are brought to life with surprisingly complex facial animations that not only lend them plenty of personality but also make them appear much more alive than the inexpressive mannequins that populate more traditionally "realistic" titles. [2 May 2003, p.78]
  25. 100
    A gaming triumph and a prime example of the reason we play games in the first place. It instilled in me a sense of awe and wonder with a game I honestly haven't felt in the series since A Link to the Past first hit the Super Nintendo.
  26. Probably the biggest strength of the game is the dungeons and your ability just to explore the immense world at hand. The dungeons are magnificently laid out and require a good bit of thought to successfully complete.
  27. 100
    There's quite a bit of value in the title. Tons of subquests, and a second quest after you complete it, but the main run-through is just not as satisfactory as Ocarina's was.
  28. An artistic masterpiece... Anime-styled characters truly do bring out a wide new range of emotions that weren't possible previously in the Zelda series, which better connects the player with a relatively deep storyline. [Import]
  29. The most perfect game Nintendo has released since "Super Mario 64" came out in 1996. It ranks among the very few elite, unforgettable titles, including the original Zelda, "Grand Theft Auto III" and "Final Fantasy VII."
  30. Personally, I expected to be unsatisfied with the cel-shading but was amazed at the textures and detail that is possible with this type of graphics design.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 735 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 317
  1. JonS
    Jun 24, 2009
    Okay, so maybe it doesn't deserve a perfect score. Sure there's like two bits where i got stuck or kind of bored but the sheer wall of content that is enjoyable and intriguing to the very end is just exceptional, if i could 9.8. Full Review »
  2. Dec 18, 2010
    Nintendo have certainly kept their expectations high while creating this game, an amazing story line (as always) and a very well though out layout (dungeons and the Great Sea). The "Wind Waker" for me, ranks higher than the "Twilight Princess" and "Majora's Mask", and can't wait for the next game to be released ..

    Full Review »
  3. Mac
    Mar 1, 2003
    To everybody complaining about the graphics, would you rather Nintendo do the same boring thing that almost every other comany does of just making their games more life-like? Or would you rather they create them like art, which is what a truly good game is. Zelda has always been cartoony, and that's not just due to graphics restrictions. I'd say that OoT was the exception, not the rule. Full Review »