Generally favorable reviews - based on 106 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 106
  2. Negative: 1 out of 106
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  1. Nov 22, 2021
    Skyward Sword HD should be commended for its attempt to improve on the original. Having a new control scheme and making a good deal of Fi’s advice optional make it a more palatable experience. However, the game still suffers from pacing issues that made the original feel too bloated as well as a disappointing deemphasis on exploration. This remaster could have realistically improved upon a lot, yet it would still fall short compared to the series’ strongest entries. There is still enough for those looking for a more traditional 3D Zelda experience on the Switch provided they keep their expectations in check.
  2. 70
    Skyward Sword HD updates an already excellent aesthetic and brings both minor and key enhancements to an originally flawed game. Does it solve all of its problems? No, but we still have a fun adventure filled with amazing characters and a nostalgic picture of a series that evolved so much since then.
  3. Jul 23, 2021
    Hidden underneath the old Zelda formula lies a charming and beautiful adventure that still manages to captivate old timers and those who experience Skyward Sword for the first time.
  4. Jul 22, 2021
    Ultimately, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a decent enough entry point for those looking to get into the series. However, it is hindered by the inability to remap controls and the implementation of a poor secondary control scheme. That being said, it couldn’t exist any in any other form due to its original release relying so heavily on motion controls. Despite its flaws, it still offers the quintessential The Legend of Zelda experience.
  5. Jul 20, 2021
    Skyward Sword's HD remaster helps sand out some of the game's rough edges, but this is still probably the most flawed mainline Zelda game to date.
  6. Jul 19, 2021
    The newest version of Skyward Sword on Switch is undeniably the best way to experience this great adventures but it hardly justifies the HD in its title. And if the controls don't do justice to the game all the time, the adjustments made on the rhythm and the QoF improvements are welcomed.
  7. Jul 14, 2021
    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword still doesn't wholly convince a decade on, with flaky controls, drab visuals, and a dull over-world. But it retains enough of that irresistible Zelda magic to warrant a place on your Switch. Just.
  8. Jul 14, 2021
    The various quality-of-life tweaks that Nintendo has implemented here, welcome as they are, don't fix Skyward Sword's biggest issues, and it remains the most uneven 3D entry in the Zelda series. Even so, the improvements in this Switch remaster make the overall experience more enjoyable, and the characteristic Zelda magic ultimately outshines the game's faults.
  9. Jul 14, 2021
    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’s upgraded visuals and motion-free control options make this the best way to play the Wii classic, even if the game is firmly stuck in Zelda’s past.
  10. Jul 14, 2021
    The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword HD is a constant fight between good and evil : if the game now makes the most of the 60 fps/HD display and a mostly muted Fi, the classic controls are not easily transposables to a simple controller, and most of the already-outdated game design flaws of the 2011 game are still there.
  11. Jul 14, 2021
    What we have here is a polished version of a game that sorely needed some care and attention. It's still old, but it's just new enough - and still more than good enough - to deserve your time. It's a modern relic, and one that I will play again and again. This remaster may not reach the stars, but that's alright because it already has the sky.
  12. Jul 14, 2021
    The controls irk, it is full of breadcrumb busywork and almost everything is done better in Breath of the Wild. But for all its faults, it still offers some satisfying environmental traversal, unique gadgets and complex puzzles.
  13. Oct 16, 2021
    Yes the picture is sharper, yes the game is smoother (60fps), yes there have been some improvements to make the adventure more enjoyable, but damn the gameplay has taken a hell of a beating in the back of the head. It was already painful in 2011, it is even more 10 years later, and it is not the tinkering in classic controls that will sublimate the gameplay of this Zelda : Skyward Sword HD.
  14. It’s all squeeze, very little juice. Maddening.
  15. Sep 9, 2021
    If you’re able to handle moderate frustration or have a friend available to help when boss battles require too much precision, many disabled gamers who couldn’t play the original should theoretically be able to conquer Skyward Sword HD. That said, it’s unlikely you’ll be feeling as cheery as Skyloft’s NPCs when it’s all over.
  16. Jul 22, 2021
    Even if you forgive the nightmarish art style and the dated quest methods, as it is a remake of a decade-old game, it doesn’t forgive The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for having awful controls and a complete lack of quality of life features.
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  1. Jul 14, 2021
    Although 10 years has passed, Skyward Sword still feels like one of the biggest and most interesting Zelda games ever made. [Recommended]
  2. Jul 14, 2021
    But this many years later, it would've been nice for this new package to include some older Zelda games, much like how the Wii classic Super Mario Galaxy came in a $60 Switch package last year, original visuals similarly intact, with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine in tow. If pandemic-related development issues are to blame for this week's uneven "HD" package, a few classic-gaming bonuses would've gone a long way for a project whose ambition didn't quite reach the clouds.
  3. Jul 14, 2021
    You can see with Skyward Sword that something has to change. See it in the way it tentatively messes with the formula, but ultimately retains one of the most rigid central paths of any Zelda. In the way it introduces stuff like the stamina gauge, which will make much more sense in the game that follows it. It's clear now that Skyward Sword is straining against its own rules and rituals. That makes it fascinating to play, and it means that this strangest and most compromised of Zeldas is also amongst the most human. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  4. Jul 21, 2021
    It’s brilliant in ways other Zelda games can’t be, thanks to its refined combat, meticulously built dungeons, and surprisingly heartfelt story about coming to grips with destiny. Revisiting it in 2021, with its more rigid traditions now broken, it can breathe a little easier. It’s played its part.
  5. Jul 14, 2021
    It runs smooth, the graphics look cleaner (despite a few muddy textures here and there), and the new control scheme makes it a more accessible version of Skyward Sword. There are even some nice little tweaks, like a slightly less chatty talking sword that serves as your guide. The biggest barrier is your expectations. Yes, it can feel dated after Breath of the Wild. But for me at least, the fantastical world, clever puzzles, and challenging dungeons made it worth pressing through. And given that the still-untitled sequel to Breath of the Wild looks like it’ll feature a similar sky-themed world, this could be just the thing to hold you over until its release.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 569 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jul 17, 2021
    Unfortunately ports are a target for review bombing so the user score probably won't be that reliable as people who haven't played the gameUnfortunately ports are a target for review bombing so the user score probably won't be that reliable as people who haven't played the game will just give it a 0.

    I'm a few hours in and really enjoying the game though. The art style really holds up and this is such a great version of Zelda (the character I mean). I love her design and she's quite funny. The quality of life features make the experience noticeably better.

    I also really appreciate that I can use a gamepad. Joycon drift is a big headache so I just couldn't handle playing with joycons.

    Having tried the original version on wii just a few months ago I can definitely say this is hands down the best version of the game. Better control options, less annoying tutorials/pop up messages, visually it's far nicer (the old wii version looks awful on modern tvs), autosaves, camera controls etc. It really is a massive improvement.

    Is it better than breath of the wild? personally not at all. botw has a lot more to offer but skyward sword is full of charm and it's a fun adventure. I'd definitely recommend it.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 17, 2021
    A wonderful game, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the saga, having the best story,the best soundtrack, impressive dungeons, bosses andA wonderful game, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the saga, having the best story,the best soundtrack, impressive dungeons, bosses and others that make this game very special. A version that corrects a large part of the errors of the past and offers luxuries to the most complaining or picky eaters, already full HD AND 60 PFS, and yes, I said in full HD haters;), without a doubt one of the best Zelda, and an excellent way to relive this title in HD and 60 FPS.

    PS: Beautiful Zelink, the best.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 17, 2021
    10 years ago The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword released to typical critical acclaim from the media, but an unusually mixed fan reaction for10 years ago The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword released to typical critical acclaim from the media, but an unusually mixed fan reaction for the series - and it has been the fan reception that has stuck with this game in the years since. That was mostly fair, there were definitely a number of issues with this game such as a very prolonged intro, no option to not use motion controls, a broadly empty sky world which seemed like it could have been so much more, and a particular annoying repeated boss, to name a few. Furthermore, the game was unusually linear for a Zelda game, with very little focus on exploration and more on environmental puzzle solving for progression, with the surface world areas essentially playing like dungeons in themselves. This felt like the opposite of what the fanbase wanted at that time - a large-scale exploration-based game with less of an emphasis on motion controls, as the craze about these had died down. Skyward Sword seemed like a dated game on release, rather than a groundbreaking game in one of their most beloved series.

    One important thing has happened in the Zelda series since Skyward Sword, and that is of course the release of Breath of the Wild, the Zelda game of many's dreams. With this game, pushing firmly opposite to the direction proposed by Skyward Sword, the future of the Zelda series as an open-world adventure rooted in exploration seems secured.

    And so we come to Skyward Sword HD. With this game clearly not indicating the direction of the series, we can perhaps view this game in its own right. The critical praise of Skyward Sword did not come from nowhere - there was always a lot right with this game:

    - The dungeon design was the best in the series, with some interesting ideas such as a dungeon which you largely traverse on a large boulder floating through lava, and general novel puzzle solving.
    - The dungeon design was helped by an interesting set of items including the return of some classics (e.g. bombs, bow and arrow etc.) and some new ones (e.g. a mechanical beetle that you obtain early on). Included are some new ways to use familiar items, such as the ability to roll bombs like a bowling ball, which add a few fresh puzzle and combat ideas.
    - Surface world level design, while linear, keeps focused and you are not running through large areas of empty space often.
    - The addition of a stamina wheel allowing you to run faster and climb higher objects than in previous games.
    - The ability to upgrade many of the items you obtain throughout the game giving the game more of an RPG-lite flavour than some previous Zelda games.
    - Fun sidequests up in the sky area give you some downtime can break up the more linear, focused action on the surface world.
    - A story that, while not fantastic, has its moments and is a suitable beginning to the Zelda timeline

    And then the HD version has made several key improvements, some of which directly address issues with the game:
    - It looks visually pleasing. They haven't done much modelling work so the geometry is jagged but the increased resolution and the more defined textures do wonders, and the geometry isn't particularly jarring in the surreal painterly style of Skyward Sword.
    - 60 FPS. People's mileage seems to vary on this, but for me 60 FPS is world's better than 30 and to see Skyward Sword as the first ever 3D Zelda game officially running at this framerate is a big deal for me and dramatically improves the experience.
    - The addition of button controls. These are unintuitive at times as ultimately the game was designed to be played with motion controls, but they do the job and provide an option for those who are not interested in motion controls (or want to play handheld, another feature this port naturally adds)
    - Several quality of life additions, such as faster text skipping, cutscene skipping, less interruptions from your partner, auto-saving and so on. These serve to greatly increase the pace of gameplay, if you're keen to progress quickly the game is going to stop your flow a lot less now.

    Some of the issues of the game are more inherent and have not been addressed, but by improving the overall QoL they are less problematic than remembered. Furthermore, in a world where now we are saturated with open world games, the old-school linear action-adventure gameplay may be refreshing (if it's to your taste), as they really do not make games like this anymore.

    The way I see this remake, I think this is a second chance for Skyward Sword. Selected improvements have been made to the experience to enhance it, motion controls are no longer mandatory, and perhaps most importantly, we have the context that the more ground-breaking experience of Breath of the Wild 2 is on its way. With that said, this may be an opportunity to enjoy Skyward Sword for what it is, rather than for what it is not. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it, and if you have the right expectations, there's a good chance you can too.
    Full Review »