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Generally favorable reviews- based on 700 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 314
  1. Jun 12, 2011
    When I saw the game's graphics I was pretty disappointed having grown up with OOT and MM, but I grew to accept it the instant I stared playing. This is one of the best Zelda games there is, and the animation actually works to invoke a certain emotional sense that previous games in the series didn't allow the characters to have. This really is a great game, and the story increases the lore of Hyrule and creates an entirely new world to explore. There's lots of great side-quests and a vast ocean to explore. There's very little not to do in this game, and you can't beat it in a matter of a few hours. This is a game that will take you a few days at the very least and is definitely worth buying. 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. May 26, 2012
    My favourite childhood game of all time. I loved every aspect of this game; story, gameplay, etc and I especially loved two aspects of the game alot of fans disliked; sailing and the cel-shaded graphics. The sailing was one of my favourite parts of the game because of the vast ocean that I loved to explore and find new islands to explore and find hidden treasure in them. The graphics was a nice turn of style as it was all bright and colourful which was nice and made me want to sail the ocean when it was day as it was all very bright and made me feel happy and adventurous. As I said before ever aspect was great and there were no flaws at all. Expand
  4. Dec 7, 2013
    Wind Waker. In my opinion it's the best Zelda game out there. Sure the sailing and tri-force shards were tedious, I admit but it really gives you a chance to feel free and explore. The story is amazing, the soundtrack is easily the best in all of Zelda, and Link himself is great. Most hate this game because of the graphics style, but have you actually sat down and played this game? If you liked Link in Ocarina of Time (who by the way is emotionless) you'll love the our new loving hero, Toon Link. A few minor flaws are the difficulty (which is very insulting to the Zelda franchise considering it's very simple,) the fact that there are only 7 dungeons (if you include the Forsaken Fortress and Ganon's Castle that is,) and of course the infamous Tri-Force quest which could've been 9 more dungeons. I wouldn't give it a ten but my score rounded is ten, I'd give it a 9.7/10. Expand
  5. Jul 31, 2014
    Much controversy still revolves around this title due to it's cutesy art style. Nonetheless, this has turned out to be an amazing title in the series. Clever dungeons, awesome art style (You know you like it), and memorable characters make it this one of the best Zelda adventures ever. 10/10 (I also reviewed the Wii U version) Expand
  6. Sep 11, 2013
    Very engaging, with a new take on the Zelda universe with the addition of the great sea, and cell shaded graphics. Although starts off a little sluggishly the game delivers an excellent plot where Link finds a new world on each island. The islands themselves are always exciting to stumble across, however I feel that they are a bit small and don't give the sense of habitability and realism.
    Nonetheless the game is rightly considered a classic, with many brilliant moments, my favourite being the construction of the Triforce during a difficult and challenging but thoroughly rewarding hunt.

    Well worth a purchase as it is a true legend, no pun intended.
  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 314 User Reviews

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