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#21: The Legend of Zelda: The WInd Waker

Action Adventure
2003

The Wind Waker is a beautiful game. Obviously the graphical style is timeless and conveys the world of Hyrule and its people like never before, but it's also the emotional plight of those characters that offers something not seen before. We have a Princess Zelda that is spunky, adventurous, yet vulnerable. We have a Link that is animated, determined, but also regretful of leaving his family. And Ganondorf, we have a villain who shows that he is not merely someone to defeat, but a person with ambitions, dreams, and a reason for doing what he does (and I even understand that reason). Sure, the dungeons may be on the low side, and there is some padding in the game (thankfully adjusted in the Wii U version). But the game still holds an important role in the grand Zelda universe. And for that I'll always cherish it.