Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
Buy On
  1. Without question a solid game experience, but you still can't wash off that feeling of the Zelda-franchise getting a little exploited here. As a direct sequel to Phantom Hourglass it does it's job good, but maybe too good since it's almost a carbon-copy of the previous game. The railroads are a new addition of course, and the time-limit is gone, but in all other aspects this is the same game more or less.
  2. Spirit Tracks is the weakest title in the series. It isn't a bad game, but it symbolizes a need to retire Link before his career is tarnished.
  3. 70
    Aside from the travel issue, Spirit Tracks is, in every way, a better game than Phantom Hourglass. Sadly, the travel gets so frustrating later in the game that it really drags the whole thing down.
  4. Maybe it's indicative of Nintendo's current business model; making family friendly games that are simple, and won't rock the boat. Yes, they had a winner with Phantom Hourglass, but Spirit Tracks reeks of complacency.
  5. But like the train you conduct, much of Spirit Tracks feels rigidly stuck on rails.
  6. Your 15th trip through the barren Hyrule countryside sums up not just dodging trains in Spirit Tracks, but basically the entirety of Spirit Tracks.

Awards & Rankings

4
3
#3 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
4
#4 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 298 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 298
  1. Jun 9, 2011
    9
    Huge improvement over Phantom Hourglass. Improved DS Stylus control, better story - Princess Zelda is the best companion you will ever have inHuge improvement over Phantom Hourglass. Improved DS Stylus control, better story - Princess Zelda is the best companion you will ever have in a Zelda game and is actually funnier, difficulty is a bit more balanced but just not there yet (Nintendo should stop catering for casual gamers on difficulty, it's like they might cry if they keep dying or can't do it and this was a huge setback for Phantom Hourglass. A challenge would actually benefit them) and a more reasonable handheld length. Though the train travel is actually more tedious than the sailing in Windwaker and Phantom Hourglass, it's actually nice to travel on something new in a Zelda game. Full Review »
  2. Oct 21, 2012
    10
    I hated Phantom Hourglass. The over world sucked, the music was bland, the puzzles were insultingly easy, and the plot was an excuse. So whyI hated Phantom Hourglass. The over world sucked, the music was bland, the puzzles were insultingly easy, and the plot was an excuse. So why does this game get a perfect ten from me? Because it did just about everything right. Admittedly the over world wasn't as good as in the 3D Zelda games, but it's still a vast improvement. The music offers some of the best tracks in the entire franchise, such as the Sacred Duet and the Overworld theme. The puzzles were easily the best out of any Zelda game, making it a bit more of a puzzle game than an action-adventure title. Finally, the plot was probably the best in the series, involving many great characters with a lot of life to them(Especially Zelda and Byrne). This game is different than other Zelda games, but as we established with Majora's Mask and Skyward Sword, different doesn't mean bad. Full Review »
  3. Oct 11, 2017
    10
    The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is easily still one of my most favourite games to play, despite it being almost 8 years old. The entireThe Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is easily still one of my most favourite games to play, despite it being almost 8 years old. The entire game itself is simplistic but still makes you think enough for it to be classed as a puzzle game. The storyline isn’t entirely a prominent feature it’s more just woven through everything else to progress certain parts without it not making sense, it is however still a good storyline for those who enjoy a good plot.

    The story begins in Link’s home village whilst he’s being told the story of why the spirit tracks actually exist, this obviously sets up the base for the whole game or else nothing would make sense. It quickly begins the tutorial of how to use controls by weaving it into the story instead of just simply stating what to use for what, it’s more immersing using the story as a way of teaching controls.
    It soon begins the real story when Link has to make his way to Hyrule Castle by train to see the Princess and gain his engineer’s certificate, again the train journey mainly being used as a way to teach the train controls rather than being anything else important.
    A lot of cutscenes later the first ‘real’ playing begins when Link has to help Princess Zelda escape so that she can investigate why some of the tracks are mysteriously disappearing, this of course eventually leads to the typical “something bad happens to the princess and she needs saving by the hero himself, Link”.

    After the story is set up for the princess needing to be saved the real and true story begins filled with travelling, puzzles and enemies of all shapes and sizes.
    One of the best features, personally, is the use of the spirit flute for puzzles and shortcuts since it’s a new feature for spirit tracks which adds to everything else.

    The graphics are interesting since it’s much more basic compared to the other games and it’s played more on a 2D basis since you use the stylus to tap and walk around whereas in a game like Ocarina of Time you use the control pad to walk and look around, however I think that it makes it much easier to navigate and fight since you have more control using the stylus, therefore the overall game experience becomes better as you spend less time grasping the controls.

    If you were a fan of Phantom Hourglass you may find yourself a big fan of Spirit Tracks too since they are very similar in style, just you drive a train rather than a boat.
    Full Review »