Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. Feb 6, 2012
    100
    Overall, this is the best experience I've had playing a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time and I'd have to say they are pretty equal in my opinion. Either way, you won't be disappointed getting this game, it's a masterpiece.
  2. Dec 20, 2011
    100
    Pure Nintendo magic.
  3. Dec 8, 2011
    100
    To reiterate, no one takes advantage of Nintendo's hardware like they do themselves. It establishes a new direction for combat, and even justifies motion controls - something that's been a long time coming.
  4. Dec 1, 2011
    100
    Quoting Robin Williams in the most recent commercial of the game, Skyward Sword is the result of a project of 25 years and a clear confirmation that only the experience of a quarter of a century is able to turn a game into a legend.
  5. Nov 26, 2011
    100
    The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword is a product that crosses boundaries and imagination itself, delivering everything the fans could wish for a game on a Nintendo Wii.
  6. Nov 26, 2011
    100
    What Nintendo has done to celebrate 25 years of the franchise is make one of the best games ever.
  7. Nov 24, 2011
    100
    The beauty of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is that it extracts the key core elements that make the series so impressive in the first place and brings along a large does of familiarity, but then goes on to mix in a whole host of newly-styled dungeons, brand new puzzles that appeal to a broad audience, as well as superb 1:1 sword control that actually needs to be mastered for progression rather than being added as a gimmick or just for show and a twist on the normal storyline.
  8. Nov 24, 2011
    100
    The game is also huge. There isn't a staggering amount of terrain compared to other titles in the series, but Skyward Sword gets every last ounce of mileage out of each area. It takes a few hours just to complete each sub-section before reaching a new dungeon, followed by a few more for the dungeon itself. There's a strong 30–40 hour adventure here before even considering the multitude of sidequests you can take on.
  9. Nov 22, 2011
    100
    A master class in videogame design.
  10. Nov 20, 2011
    100
    No, Skyward Sword isn't better than Ocarina Of Time. But of all the Zeldas to be released over the last 13 years, it comes closest. The game's greatest achievement is that it never stops aspiring to be more than it is. It never stops reaching for emotional moments, going full-tilt for players' hearts.
  11. Nov 18, 2011
    100
    An exhilarating journey in every sense. Skyloft is an area you'll want to explore and Skyward Sword is well worth the wait. Prepare to be amazed.
  12. Nov 17, 2011
    100
    Skyward Sword will be remembered as one of the greatest chapters of the series. This is the type of game that Wii deserves. Brilliant!
  13. Nov 17, 2011
    100
    With the Wii showing its age more than ever, Nintendo's strategy is to compensate with an immersive interface, mesmerising world and engaging story. It's an approach that pays off, proving that gameplay should be valued above all else.
  14. Nov 17, 2011
    100
    Every moment is a joy. As Skyward Sword progresses, each new area or item feels like The Legend of Zelda shedding some of the trappings of its past. It never veers too wildly from its time-honoured formula, but in every sense this is the freshest, most contemporary Zelda game in over a decade. An ingenious collaboration of design and motion control, the only shame is that it's taken the Wii so long to come to such fruition.
  15. Nov 16, 2011
    100
    A game of stunning creativity: the work of master craftsmen and women, it's a breathtaking technical achievement in many ways, with subtly beautiful visuals and audio blending with rampantly imaginative design. It's as good a Zelda game as we've ever played, and one that fully delivers on the revolution Nintendo promised back in 2005.
  16. Nov 14, 2011
    100
    Timeless masterpiece. This Legend of Zelda takes over from Ocarina of Time. It's a step in the saga and a revolution in the design of third-person adventures. The Wii MotionPlus works perfectly, so the game is especially fun. A gift from heaven!
  17. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Skyward Sword manages to honor 25 years' of gaming history while simultaneously feeling relevant for anyone new to the ways of Zelda - or those who'd perhaps grown a bit tired of hanging out with Link.
  18. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Nintendo's most time- and workforce-intensive project yet, and it shows in every hour you spend with it. It's a masterful blend of taut design and boldly non-traditional controls, an adventure liberally studded with memorable moments it would be remiss to spoil. Your favourite Zelda is usually your first. For many, come November 18, that won't be the case any longer.
  19. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    It is the most formally inventive Zelda in a long time (admittedly, that's not saying a great deal). But it's the game's carefree attitude, quick tempo and warm heart that do the most to make it feel new...Skyward Sword will surely be the greatest adventure money can buy.
  20. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    The most important change is that most everything feels new. The fights against giant boss creatures at the end of each dungeon don't rely on old ideas. The classic characters are replaced, for the most part, with novel ones. If you already know what's going to happen, is that really capturing the spirit of the original Legend of Zelda, in which we all went in blind? Skyward Sword shows that "a real Zelda game" is about more than certain items or certain gameplay rituals, which in the end is more meaningful than adding better sword controls.
  21. 100
    Skyward Sword is an epic, the sort of epic you call out of work or school for a few days to complete. A focused playthrough will take you north of 30 hours, and if you try to 100% the game, there is a 50+ hour quest to go through. Throw in the second quest, dubbed Hero Mode, and there is a lot of game to play.
  22. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Revolutionary on at least two counts, with the best motion controls ever seen in a video game and an inspired reinvention and improvement of the Zelda formula.
  23. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Whether or not it's the best ever Zelda game is open to debate, but it's certainly up there. However, nobody could argue that it's anything less than a masterclass in the art of crafting video games.
  24. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Remarkably, this Zelda game manages to reshape its control scheme, design sensibility and pacing all at once while still telling a brilliantly powerful story featuring some very memorable characters. Increasingly Nintendo refuses to compromise cinematic storytelling for gameplay, finding a balance that seems effortless.
  25. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Skyward Sword finally brings satisfying swordplay, delivering on a promise made five years ago.
  26. Nov 4, 2011
    100
    The biggest surprise in Skyward Sword is the story. For all the different shapes it has taken, the plot of The Legend of Zelda has always been a fairly predictable affair that feels like an afterthought. Skyward Sword doesn't elevate the art of video game storytelling, but it is a major step up for the franchise, with clever writing, an interesting (if strange) new villain, and a wide cast of characters that would feel at home in one of Disney's better animated movies.
  27. Oct 21, 2011
    100
    How apt that this ultimate tale of hero-making should see Nintendo's hardware become the console it was always meant to be.
  28. Dec 7, 2011
    98
    A huge departure for Zelda and a proper arrival for motion controls. Link's latest is rule-breaking, dream-weaving, tech-loving, heart-soaring stuff. [Dec 2011, p.45]
  29. Dec 4, 2011
    98
    It's easily the best game I've played in a long time and the benchmark by which future Zelda titles will be judged.
  30. Nov 11, 2011
    98
    Skyward Sword is a masterpiece. It raises the bar for the legendary series and is memorable from start to finish. It's challenging, unpredictable, diverse, thrilling, and endearing. It is the Zelda game you've been waiting for.
  31. 98
    A huge departure for Zelda and a proper arrival for Wii's motion controls. Link's latest is rule-breaking, dream-weaving, tech-loving, heart-soaring stuff. If it Wii's last hurrah, they don't come more impassioned than this.
  32. Skyward Sword stands as an ode to a series that has endured all of recent gaming history. It marks the dizzying pinnacle of both the Zelda series and motion-controlled gaming itself. It's a huge accomplishment that, even by Nintendo's own record, stands out as one of their finest.
  33. Dec 5, 2011
    97
    You may hate motion control, but once this game clicks, it is genius. If you are a Zelda fan, you cannot miss this game. It is simply the best Wii game yet, and definitely up there as one of the best Zelda games I have played in years.
  34. Nov 20, 2011
    96
    A daring break from the norm for Zelda, but a spectacular, boundary-smashing success. [Christmas 2011, p.76]
  35. Nov 16, 2011
    96
    It's impossible to understand the Wii's existence without the launch of Skyward Sword. The last great game for Wii jutifies the creation of the wiimote and, without being the turning point that we would expect, it's definetely a triumphant comeback in the series.
  36. Jan 19, 2012
    95
    A magnificent homage for the 25th anniversary of one the biggest franchises in gaming, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword provides a compelling gaming and artistic showcase for the indefatigable potential of the medium as a whole, and a reason to have gaming as a hobby.
  37. Jan 11, 2012
    95
    One of the best Zelda titles I have ever laid my hands on. Its right up there with Ocarina of Time in terms of how many new innovations it brings to the franchise while still holding its Dungeon focused Puzzle approach to the roots.
  38. Nov 30, 2011
    95
    What matters is that it's truly worthy of being called "epic." [Dec 2011, p.82]
  39. Nov 24, 2011
    95
    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword shows that neither the series nor Nintendo has lost its touch. The innovative controls add to the gameplay and turn every fight into a challenge. Furthermore, the traditionally strong level design proves itself once again, with the superb music and visuals making this one of the greats of this year.
  40. Nov 21, 2011
    95
    The latest game in this legendary franchise offers an experience like no other. The majestic graphics along with the superb motion control design create the ideal "swan song" for the Wii.
  41. Nov 14, 2011
    95
    My new favorite 3D Zelda title, beating out Majora's Mask and Wind Waker by a substantial margin. It would be hard to go back to any of those games now. All of the gameplay innovations, emotionally involving moments, beautiful little details, and purely blissful experiences in this game have me completely and utterly spoiled.
  42. Nov 14, 2011
    95
    A must-have that demonstrates that Zelda is still in great form, and celebrates in the best possible way the 25th birthday of the series. As each Zelda game, it is outstanding. Not only one of the best games in Wii history, but also one of the best in the generation.
  43. Nov 11, 2011
    95
    Not only one of the best Zelda games, but one of the best games ever made. It will take you places you've never been and show you sights you've never seen, so ignoring it just because it's on the Wii would be a damn shame.
  44. Jan 1, 2012
    94
    I'm not sure where Nintendo wants to take the series next, but it's going to be awful tough to improve upon this. Beautiful, complex, heartfelt, and exciting all at once, this isn't just the kind of game that defines a franchise; it's the kind of game that defines a genre.
  45. Dec 9, 2011
    93
    When it comes to making games, nobody does it like Nintendo. Skyward Sword is the game that Wii was born to run. [Dec 2011]
  46. Dec 4, 2011
    93
    Skyward Sword is not only a fitting tribute to the long running series, but also a milestone in the life of the Nintendo Wii itself, as it finally delivers a game that shows the true power of the control system. Besides, it is fun and challenging to play in its own right. Very highly recommended.
  47. Nov 17, 2011
    93
    Skyward Sword may not be the big first step into a new era from what Ocarina of Time was, but it's a strong close to the first 25 years, making the most of the dated Wii. The controls aren't just good, they actually do their part in making the game appealing. The entertaining story offers some surpises – Zelda not being a princess even risks offending purists! – and by virtue of that really feels fresh. Yes, Skyward Sword is a good reason to dust off the old Wii one more time.
  48. Nov 11, 2011
    93
    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is not only one of the best Wii games of the year, it's one of the best games to hit the system ever.
  49. Nov 11, 2011
    93
    The new Zelda for Wii is not the best adventure of the series. But it truly is a great game with a lot of fresh elements. The combat system with Wii MotionPlus works well. You also will enjoy the dungeons and bossfights.
  50. Nov 18, 2011
    92
    Even lacking the power and the scope of Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword is still a great Zelda game and an engrossing single player experience like a few others nowadays.
  51. Dec 20, 2011
    91
    It's excruciating, mostly because Skyward Sword is such a rare, utterly wonderful game. It fully deserves to be thought of as a modern classic and a masterpiece, and it's so good that even controller frustrations couldn't keep me from sinking a completely crazy amount of time into it.
  52. Nov 26, 2011
    91
    The moments where the odd discordant cadence make us yearn for times gone by come a little too often, even though it's by far the greatest testimony and most successful game to fulfil the promise of one-to-one motion control. It's an apt swan song for our little white console, but ultimately it's flown a little too close to the sun.
  53. Nov 19, 2011
    91
    Combat is certainly more difficult, but every fight you get into feels like an event. And the game does a great job of pacing out its enemy encounters so the player doesn't get battle fatigue.
  54. Nov 13, 2011
    91
    Stripped bare of accessories, its all-business approach will thrill some and frustrate others. Less whimsical and more weighty, it proves that clever level design and tight gameplay trump all, and perhaps most importantly, that motion gaming can truly be for everyone.
  55. 90
    New Zelda is the best game of whole series since the groundbreaking Ocarina of Time. It is a true masterpiece with uncompromising playability. [Christmas 2011]
  56. Jan 10, 2012
    90
    The beautiful world, noticeable graphics and unique characters make Skyward Sword come to life. Thanks to Wii Motion Plus the game has precise control that pull you in the adventure even more. An experience that makes you forget the five years of waiting.
  57. Jan 3, 2012
    90
    You can easily overlook occasionally frustrating controls and early 2000s graphics when the adventure itself consistently motivates you to want more and more for all of the nearly 60 hours it takes to complete. Skyward Sword isn't perfect, but it absolutely is not a game that should be missed by fans of the series.
  58. Dec 16, 2011
    90
    Quotation forthcoming.
  59. Dec 12, 2011
    90
    Not a game without its faults, but Skyward Sword is another great entry in the Legend of Zelda. From it's familiar gameplay and structure to it's unique use of the Wii Motion+ controller, this one is a sure fire hit.
  60. Nov 30, 2011
    90
    One of the best Zelda games ever and this years cosiest adventure.
  61. Nov 21, 2011
    90
    Link is back in the best shape we've seen him in for years. The puzzles and challenges are brilliant, and the motion controls really shows you how to do something right. This 25 year old kid is still as relevant as ever.
  62. Nov 18, 2011
    90
    Skyward Sword is one of the best adventures of this generation, allthough not the best Zelda title. The new control system works well most of the time, but there issues with the camera and some repetition in the gameplay.
  63. Nov 16, 2011
    90
    Skyward Sword is different form the usual Zelda experience: there's no overworld, resulting in a hampered exploration. But the other aspects of the gameplay are nothing but great: level design shines in every single area of the game; the pace is engaging, the progression linear but always entertaining. Plus, the game has a strong identity, thanks to its characterization, impressive visuals and the extraordinary musical score. It's not the same Legend, but it's another masterpiece.
  64. Nov 11, 2011
    90
    A superb adventure game with tons of charm, intelligence and – basically – fun stuff to do. Skyward Sword is a game that's fallen from heaven, with only some minor bruises.
  65. Nov 11, 2011
    90
    A perfectly balanced mix of innovation and classic Zelda gameplay, Skyward Sword truly lives up to the Zelda legacy of excellence and offers the most variety of any Zelda game to date. Its swordplay and puzzles are some of the best in the series, and seeing Link and Zelda's first story chronologically is a treat for longtime fans.
  66. Nov 11, 2011
    90
    One thing's for sure: Skyward Sword will divide. Its numerous qualities, among which the changes of scenery, the ingeniousness of the puzzles, make it able to provide us with a quest rich with intense moments, but some imprecision and lengthy sections prevent it from becoming the new and reformed shiny prince the series needed. If the Wii MotionPlus gameplay enables the immersion to go a step further, it requires a rigorous play style and will spawn some frustrations when it sometimes (rarely) doesn't work perfectly well. A beautiful adventure remains, still, proud to be the hallmark of the 25th anniversary of Link, Zelda & co... but not sufficiently sparkling to eclipse the infinite magic of the Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past episodes.
  67. Nov 11, 2011
    90
    It is a game punctuated by near-constant moments of genuine exhiliration, dishing out a stream of physical and mental satisfaction which moves between taxing and rewarding the player with an almost flawless equipoise. It is, however, a stream that's tragically interrupted by the filler which has reared its ugly head in so many of the series' past iterations.
  68. Nov 1, 2011
    90
    Spellbinding, dramatic and absolutely epic in both the world it paints and the story it tells, Zelda: Skyward Sword is a hugely important event for the Wii, for Nintendo, and for anyone with even a passing love for the venerable series it celebrates.
  69. Nov 21, 2011
    85
    Ultimately, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an excellent entry into the series, but its rough spots prevent it from achieving true brilliance. It's still a fantastic choice for any Wii gamer, and it deserves to be in your library.
  70. Nov 11, 2011
    83
    While the developers made a conscious effort to shake things up with new ideas and implementations, the game falls into a weird middle ground filled with genuine surprises, inessential carry-overs, and copy/paste quest structures. That said, I still believe this to be one of the more admirable chapters of the series, even if at times it feels the developers were unsure of which sacred cows to keep and which to sacrifice.
  71. Dec 1, 2011
    80
    Like any reimagining of a series, Skyward Sword doesn't get everything right in the first try. Despite everything it does well, there are still several kinks that need to be worked out. That said, it's still the most creative, bold, and arguably important Zelda title to be released in over ten years.
  72. Nov 19, 2011
    80
    Storywise The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a very important game that reveals and explains certain points in the series. And as a game it's great fun, but still two full heart containers from being completely fantastic.
  73. Nov 11, 2011
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  74. Nov 11, 2011
    80
    Skyward Sword​ is absolutely packed with content. There's hardly any fluff to be found in the 35 hours or so it takes to complete the main quest, outside of the typically sluggish opening scenes. But I feel like Zelda should be going back to its roots and becoming less linear, rather than moreso. It's a curious decision, and I'm not sure it'll sit particularly well with longtime Zelda fans.
  75. Nov 11, 2011
    80
    Designer Shigeru Miyamoto once said "the first 30 minutes of a game is the most important," and Skyward Sword fails to pass that test. It takes several hours before you're given any sense of real freedom, which is too bad, as the game manages to merge the sublime openness of the sea from Wind Waker (without the Triforce madness!) with the directed fun of most other games, as it's easy to just keep moving forward without much fuss. And by the time you start seeing what the designers really have in store for you..., you actually don't want it to stop, even if you're able to constantly, cynically predict when the game will ask you to find just One More Thing before it's all over.
  76. Dec 27, 2011
    75
    You will soon discover that during fights you can wave your Wii Remote randomly and still defeat most of the enemies. The problem is that apart from the new control system there is nothing fresh in Skyward Sword. [January 2012, p.75]
  77. Nov 28, 2011
    75
    The introduction of the antagonist Ghirahim and the relationship between Link and Zelda are excellently laid out and the story contains a few twists and turns you will never see coming. It makes the entire experience feel more worthwhile - especially after the bafflingly cliched beginning.
  78. Nov 15, 2011
    75
    The formula is beginning to show its age. There just aren't enough new ideas to separate Skyward Sword from its predecessors, and the few additions come with mixed results. Even with many bright spots, Skyward Sword still feels like a nostalgic retread. Those yearning for something new will be disappointed, but anyone thirsty for another exciting adventure will find plenty to enjoy here.
  79. Nov 27, 2011
    70
    Skyward Sword is an old and repeatedly-repaired blade. At the sun it dazzles the eyes, but not so much to hide its flaws from the past. A new blade must be forged at last to let the blade fully radiate.
  80. Nov 26, 2011
    70
    Skyward Sword holds dear to a lot of things we love about the series, but quite frankly just doesn't do enough to move things forward, leaving us with a merely good game that should have been great.
  81. Jan 9, 2012
    60
    After finishing the game, I can say that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was not what I expected. I thought it would be a good (but not great) practitioner of the Zelda formula hampered by unnecessary motion controls, much like Twilight Princess was. Instead, I got a game that's cripplingly hamstrung by its controls and even falters when presenting the basic Zelda recipe.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1563 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 86 out of 708
  1. Nov 20, 2011
    10
    This is the game the Wii was built for! The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end. IGN, a trusted website, doesn't hand out perfect 10's lightly. A must own. 10/10. Full Review »
  2. Nov 20, 2011
    10
    To the people who have been giving this game a zero. If you expected this game to have guns, blood, sexuality, or anything like that you are ignorant beyond any reasonable belief. IF you think those elements make a game mature, once again, ignorant. If you gave this a 10/10 for one group of people but 0/10 for another the full review cannot be 0/10 it must at least be a 5. If you actually have a review of this game please post it. If you just say you don't like it, I don't believe you even bought it/ I don't believe you were going to buy it anyway. zeros are by far the most ridiculous scores, even people on Skyrim who give it a zero are ignorant. You know it is worth more, review the game fairly. This game is a 10 for me. Full Review »
  3. Nov 20, 2011
    10
    Maybe the best zelda game yet? Maybe! Skyward sword is another game in the long running series, a series well known for having one of the best games of all time. This game is a masterpiece. Enough said. The gameplay is incredible. Trust me, once you play an hour of SKyward Sword, you will never want to go back to controllers. Wii motion plus is what Zelda is made for. Every enemy isnt, WHO CAN HIT EACHOTHER FASTER or somethign like that. It is now, SEE IF YOU CAN LOCATE THE WEAKNESS IN MY STRATEGY AND THEN ATTACK THERE! Trust me it IS amazing. Full Review »