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#9: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)
Last Year: New

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword takes the best of the old and the new and creates a game unlike anything else seen before in the series. Some of this is thanks to the implementation of WiiMotion Plus, allowing players to literally wield Link's sword, shield, bow and other assortment of items. It takes a few minutes to get used to, but once everything clicks, the use of motion controls allow for the player to really become the hero of legend. Another highlight is the cast of characters. Skyward Sword really shines in creating amazing friends and foes that you'll encounter on your way. The standouts are Zelda (my favorite iteration by far), Groose (GROOOOOOOOOOOOSE!), the Kikwis (Kew kew kew...), and the nefarious Ghirahim, who really stole the show (and each battle was great fun). And we cannot forget the actual meat of the game, as the adventure itself is full of brilliant game design (the dungeons are among the best I've played in the Zelda series) and amazing graphics and sound (Dat art style. Dat music.). In the end, Skyward Sword treads new ground all while respecting its monumental history. What a ride.