The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Image

Universal acclaim - based on 80 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 649 Ratings

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  • Summary: In this ninth entry in the Legend of Zelda series, Link debuts on GameCube with a fun new cel-shaded look, but the game stays true to the respected heritage of the series. The classic mix of sword-swinging action, perplexing puzzles and stirring story lines remains intact, but the stunning cel-shaded graphics give the people and places of Link's watery world a wildly artistic new look. And for the very first time, Link sails freely on the high seas. Join Link on his most epic and scenic adventure yet. Face unimaginable monsters, explore puzzling dungeons, and meet a cast of unforgettable characters as he searches for his kidnapped sister, Aryll. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 80
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 80
  3. Negative: 0 out of 80
  1. 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 10 / 10 / 10/ 10 - 40 platinum
  4. 96
    It's Zelda's unrivaled design, balanced and varied, and its polished play mechanics and control that ultimately set the game apart from just about every other competitor on the market.
  5. Tingle does make the game a touch easier, but at the same time it makes the story aspects of the Wind Waker a great deal more communal, leading to fewer arguments over whose turn it is. It's also the first game we've seen to really justify the cost of the link cable.
  6. While the game has some minor pacing and audio problems, the brave new art style, tightly evolved gameplay and humorous story takes the famous series in a bright, new direction.
  7. An entertaining, albeit unoriginal Zelda title that fails to be revolutionary yet still has the classic gameplay elements that make the series so great.

See all 80 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 306
  1. Apr 26, 2011
    The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker isn't perfect, but it is as breathtakingly innovative and visually groundbreaking as any NGC game will ever be. Pros: A visually stellar balance of cartoonish design and 3-D environment; excellent controls, camera, and audio; thoroughly involving story; charming characters; lots of bosses, puzzles, and secrets. Cons: The sailing is beautiful at first, but remember, this is more than half of the game; more islands to explore would've been even better; needs a GBA and link cable to unlock ALL of the secrets. Expand
  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 ..

  3. Dec 7, 2011
    Greatest Game Cube title ever made. Along with Ocarina of Time the greatest game ever made for consoles. People who like The Wind Waker will also like Phantom Hourglass for the Nintendo DS. Expand
  4. Aug 12, 2013
    Honestly, if I had to choose one of the Zelda titles to be my first and foremost favorite LoZ title of all time, I wouldn't choose Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, A Link to the Past, or any other game- I would choose Wind Waker. Everything from the reinvented art style to the awesome assortment of gadgets and gizmos you collect over your high flying high seas adventure just screams out 'epic!' to me for some reason. The boss fights were almost always phenomenal and invigorating. The areas of the world opened up to you after defeating bosses, collecting new items, or learning new tricks were always fun to explore and awesome to experience firsthand. Interacting with the awesome NPCs from Beetle to Pearl or Tetra was always exciting and even humorous or scary at times. Gannon's reimagined form was terrifying and powerful, the twist with Zelda comes at the perfect time, and tying all of that in to the original, driving story line behind nearly ever Zelda game- with Hyrule meeting some odd end or being trapped elsewhere, was epic if there ever was a true sense of the word. All in all, I loved the way the GC used the controls, even how it tied in your GB or GBA with the Tingle Tuner and other funny gizmos. The open world was one of the largest yet, and is still almost as big as others such as Twilight Princess. The experience was just...beyond true words for me. And for that reason, Wind Waker is the only perfect ten that I've ever given out in the years I've been reviewing games, and it is completely deserving of the hundreds of hours I've spent playing and replaying excellent dungeons such as Tower of the Gods and Earth Temple. You go Nintendo, and all because of what you did with this game, which is easily my favorite one out of all the others you've ever crafted. This is my love letter for Zelda essentially, and I implore you to at least give it a try if you haven't yet. Expand
  5. Mar 24, 2014
    One of the greatest games of all time, a flawless gem, such polish. The "controversial" cel-shaded graphics are breathtaking even by today's standards. This game is made out of magic and delicious tears of joy. Expand
  6. Jul 25, 2013
    beautiful game, beautiful atmosphere, beautiful music, beautiftul story! what more can i say! its incredibly fun going out and exploring the islands in the deep great sea! the world is so vast with tons of content to discover! you feel so free in this game! you can literally go anywhere in the map right from the get go! it would probably take you about 30 to 40 minutes to travel from one side of the map to the other! a great and wondrous game! the music is great and fits in well with what this game is trying to portray! an epic story, epic final boss battle, and lots of interesting quirky characters to meet!

    only complaint with game! its too easy! way too easy! and sometimes i cant help but wonder how great this game wouldve looked if it was aimed for realistic graphics! the graphics are good, they are,! its very stylized! so i wont bang on the graphics!

    overall the game is superb! if only this game was harder and more challenging, then this game wouldve fringed even closer to perfect!

    9 out of 10!
  7. Mar 22, 2011
    first off the graphics much like every one where shunning when it was first shown (and rightfully so) are rancid dog crap . i dont know what nintendo was thinking going for this dorky saturday morning cartoon look . that aside you still have the solid zelda gameplay and puzzles . problem is its not near enough its just to short . looking at ocarana of time which was 40-60 hours this game is easily beatin in 20 hours and yes thats not doing every thing in the game but a good chunck of it . you could toss in another 10 hours if you do and thats mainly do to all the sailing you will be doing . infact thats what you will be spending about 30% or more of your time doing ... sailing a boat ... it just doesnt have the magic that ocarana of time or prevous zelda games had but is still heald together by its core game play and puzzles . deffinitly not recommended for any one new to the zelda franchise and only the hardcore and i mean the very hardcore and thoose who can get past thoose pissy looking graphics . dont defend them look at twighlight princess .. thats how this game should have looked and it should have had more dungeons and alot less sailing. Expand

See all 306 User Reviews

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