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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What's the single best game Nintendo has ever created?

RaptorChrist said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

The Legend of Zelda (NES)

These are the reasons why it is the best game of all time.

1. Best NES game - Not only is it my favorite NES game (and just my plain favorite game), but it was consistently voted that way throughout the NES era.  Before the internet came around, the common narrative was that Zelda 1 was the best game ever made.  Here are a few quotes from Zelda 1's wikipedia entry: "it was the first NES game to sell over 1 million", "The game placed first in the player's poll "Top 30" in Nintendo Power's first issue and continued to dominate the list into the early 1990s." "The Legend of Zelda was also voted by Nintendo Power readers as the "Best Challenge" in the Nintendo Power Awards '88.  The magazine also listed it as the best Nintendo Entertainment System video game ever created, stating that it was fun despite its age."  "The Legend of Zelda is often featured in lists of games considered the greatest or most influential. It placed first in Game Informer's list of the "Top 100 Games of All Time" and "The Top 200 Games of All Time" (in 2001 and 2009 respectively)...."

2. It Killed Off the Arcades - Throughout the 70's and early 80's it was understood that the arcade games were always superior to the home games.  Super Mario Bros. showed that the home versions could be equally good.  But The Legend of Zelda showed that you could have a game that was better than the arcades.  The action in Zelda 1 was just as intense as any arcade game, but it also had the depth, exploration and character development of a PC RPG.  Because Zelda was better than anything you could play in the arcade, this game, more than any other, contributed to the death of the arcades in North America.  

3. Most Innovative Game - Zelda 1 is arguably the most innovative game ever made.  You have to realize, first of all, that Super Mario 1 was considered an extremely innovative game in it's day.  Think about that.  Just the fact that the screen scrolled in 1 direction and there was music playing and a second button for running and fire -- all of that was extremely new at the time.  However The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros were developed at the exact same time.  Zelda had 4 way directional exploration.  It had dual purpose items that could be used for both combat and to find secrets.  Hell, it had far more secrets than any game that came before.  It was the perfect marriage between arcade action and PC depth.  It was the first console game to actually use a save state.  It was also the first major console game to use anything like hit points.  It was so freakin' innovative, that they included a hint guide with the game.  This is also why you don't start with a sword in Zelda 1.  Miyamoto wanted people to realize that this game was not like anything that had come before.

4. Ages Like Wine - Some old games still are fun decades later and some are not.  Zelda 1 is the only game I've played that was amazing the first time and somehow got better with later replays.  This is because Zelda 1 has so much freedom, while at the same time your choices are extremely important.  For example you can choose the order in which you complete the dungeons.  Also you can choose to do a wooden sword only run or even a swordless run (up until the last boss).  There are a lot of ways to play this game and each one makes the game feel different.  I once chose dungeon 3 first and got the ladder without having the boomerang or bow and arrow.  The game felt totally different.  And yet it made me realize that the ladder is also a combat upgrade.  You can hover over water and attack foes which makes you more powerful in combat.  This leads to my next point.

5. Many Items Have a Dual Purpose - Many items upgrade your combat ability while allowing you to explore the game farther.  I've already mentioned the ladder, but the candle and bomb are two other obvious items.  The items are not just there to unlock the next area like it a lot of other games.  The items almost always make you more powerful.  Zelda 1 is an actual RPG.  You become more powerful as you progress through the game.  Even the items you might think of being about puzzles and secrets upgrade your combat ability too.  This leads us too...

6. Never Been Outdone - Super Mario Bros 3 is clearly better than Super Mario 1, and Final Fantasy 3, 5 and Tactics are clearly better than the first.  For these two franchises the later iterations felt "the same yet better".  Zelda 1, however, has never had a game that was "the same yet better".  Zelda 2 is lacking in exploration.  A Link to the Past is too easy and lacks a lot of the freedom of Zelda 1.  Breath of the Wild actually does have that level of freedom, but neither the dungeons or combat are as good as the original.  And the other 3D Zeldas...instead of making a better game, they simply made a very different kind of game.  It is very common for a sequel to be a "same yet better" game, and yet Zelda 1 has never been bested at its own way of doing things.

7. Second Quest - After completing this amazing and highly polished game, what do you get?  A whole another quest to complete.  You basically get a whole second game.  Today's games will sell you DLC to download.  This is like a major DLC pack that is also free and included on the physical copy of the game.  It is far more generous than anything the modern game industry will offer you.  In fact, Nintendo is not this generous anymore.  Imagine if you'd completed Mario Galaxy 1 and then found you'd unlocked Mario Galaxy 2 and got it for free already included on the disk.  That is what the second quest in Zelda 1 is like.


For all of these reasons and more, The Legend of Zelda (NES) is the greatest game ever made, Nintendo or otherwise.

I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this. Content like this is why I read through the forums in the first place. It actually makes me really want to play through it again.

The last time I played through this game was during high school, with the Zelda Bonus Disc that came for people who pre-ordered The Wind Waker. That was also the first time I beat the game, despite a memory I have of my mom always bragging to other people saying that I beat the Legend of Zelda when I was just four years old. For the longest time I believed her... No offense mom, but there's no way in hell I beat this game as a four year old, so I have come to terms with the fact that I didn't beat it until playing it on the Gamecube.

That being said, I do remember getting a couple pieces of the triforce as a youngster (probably a little older than four... like six years old), and I remember thinking to myself how insanely, godly, big the game was compared to all the other games I'd played to that point. Having a game that took multiple sessions to complete a single playthrough was not common, and for me at least, this was the first time I'd encountered a game with save file on the cartridge.

Edit: I also remember having a large, unfoldable map of the game world. I don't know if it came with the game or not, but as a young, impressionable kid, that map made the game seem more important than other games. It's difficult to describe in words, but at a time when games didn't really have lore, Zelda had it's own map and seemed like a place that could be real.

Okay, I'm done gushing about Zelda and the fond memories I have playing it as a kid.

Thanks for the kind reply.

Zelda 1 did in fact come with a map of most of the world (except the upper corner areas) that also had some hints on the other side about the first couple of dungeons.  The instruction manual also had several pages of art and story about the game.  This is the sort of thing that helped make the first Zelda feel like a living, breathing world.  It also is a lot like what some PC RPGs would do in the day.  In the 80's some RPGs would include maps or other inserts to make you feel like you were entering a fantasy world.  Zelda 1 did the same thing. 

I found this PDF that has the original instructions and map.
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/clv/manuals/en/pdf/CLV-P-NAANE.pdf

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 01 October 2019

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Just completed Breath of the Wild and wins this easily. Thinking about doing a review for it as well.



HylianSwordsman said:
Well fine curl, I'll do it properly. My pick is Majora's Mask, for a few reasons. First, it is the best execution of what it tries to be, no other game has done a time travel Groundhog's Day style game like that, at least that I know of, and certainly not to the level of the 3DS version's execution. Second, what it tried to do was actually a lot more than a Groundhog's Day concept. The Groundhog's Day time travel mechanic was just a narrative mechanic to deliver what the game wanted to give you. The game portrayed really mature themes at a level a child could understand, because it was a game about growing up. It took the player through the stages of grief, taught you that part of growing up is losing people that are important to you. Through the foil of the main villain Skull Kid, it showed what happens to those that can't accept this truth, and also taught that just because people aren't in your life anymore doesn't mean they stopped caring. Link has to learn this to accept the loss of his friend Navi. Through various characters in the main story and sidequests, he has to learn that death and loss are a part of life, and that even the Hero can't save everyone. Once you've conquered every task and gotten every mask, and gone through the stages of grief, you face the final boss. If you didn't get all the masks, and thus haven't learned all the game wants to teach you, you don't get the Fierce Diety Mask, but if you did, you get it, and it basically transforms you into adult Link. Without the mask, the final boss is somewhat difficult. With the mask, you spank the final bosses ass like a misbehaving child, because you've achieved manhood, and the problems of childhood are nothing to you now. At least that's more or less how I see the game. Every Zelda game is a different take on a coming of age story, that's why the original character was based off of Peter Pan. Majora's Mask is the Zelda game that does this coming of age story in the most powerful way possible. Not just better than any other Nintendo game, but better than any game ever, in my view. So in addition to be a fun game that still looks great in the 3DS version and still has a fun concept that has yet to be executed better anywhere, it also is just the most meaningful game I've ever seen Nintendo make.

It's funny. When I played Majora's Mask, all I could see was a game less polished than OoT, less cohesive, and just more off the same, but lesser :P I didn't like the time time pressure or the changing masks all te time to be able to play as an Zora, deku scrub or Goron. But besides the fact that I didn't give the game a fair chance, because I used OoT as a reference (which I saw as perfect), I don't think I really understood what the was about. Should give the game a new chance, if it ever comes out for Switch online. 



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I'm pretty young so the first Nintendo console I owned was a Wii (I did own a ps2 and a pre-owned ps1 though), but I'll still say Odyssey, cause it has such a superb level design, great music and an actual somewhat decent storyline for a Mario game.



coolharry said:
HylianSwordsman said:
Well fine curl, I'll do it properly. My pick is Majora's Mask, for a few reasons. First, it is the best execution of what it tries to be, no other game has done a time travel Groundhog's Day style game like that, at least that I know of, and certainly not to the level of the 3DS version's execution. Second, what it tried to do was actually a lot more than a Groundhog's Day concept. The Groundhog's Day time travel mechanic was just a narrative mechanic to deliver what the game wanted to give you. The game portrayed really mature themes at a level a child could understand, because it was a game about growing up. It took the player through the stages of grief, taught you that part of growing up is losing people that are important to you. Through the foil of the main villain Skull Kid, it showed what happens to those that can't accept this truth, and also taught that just because people aren't in your life anymore doesn't mean they stopped caring. Link has to learn this to accept the loss of his friend Navi. Through various characters in the main story and sidequests, he has to learn that death and loss are a part of life, and that even the Hero can't save everyone. Once you've conquered every task and gotten every mask, and gone through the stages of grief, you face the final boss. If you didn't get all the masks, and thus haven't learned all the game wants to teach you, you don't get the Fierce Diety Mask, but if you did, you get it, and it basically transforms you into adult Link. Without the mask, the final boss is somewhat difficult. With the mask, you spank the final bosses ass like a misbehaving child, because you've achieved manhood, and the problems of childhood are nothing to you now. At least that's more or less how I see the game. Every Zelda game is a different take on a coming of age story, that's why the original character was based off of Peter Pan. Majora's Mask is the Zelda game that does this coming of age story in the most powerful way possible. Not just better than any other Nintendo game, but better than any game ever, in my view. So in addition to be a fun game that still looks great in the 3DS version and still has a fun concept that has yet to be executed better anywhere, it also is just the most meaningful game I've ever seen Nintendo make.

It's funny. When I played Majora's Mask, all I could see was a game less polished than OoT, less cohesive, and just more off the same, but lesser :P I didn't like the time time pressure or the changing masks all te time to be able to play as an Zora, deku scrub or Goron. But besides the fact that I didn't give the game a fair chance, because I used OoT as a reference (which I saw as perfect), I don't think I really understood what the was about. Should give the game a new chance, if it ever comes out for Switch online. 

Give the 3DS game a try. It's pretty great. I didn't really get into it for the N64 either but the updated version really hooked me.



Twitter: @d21lewis

coolharry said:
HylianSwordsman said:
Well fine curl, I'll do it properly. My pick is Majora's Mask, for a few reasons. First, it is the best execution of what it tries to be, no other game has done a time travel Groundhog's Day style game like that, at least that I know of, and certainly not to the level of the 3DS version's execution. Second, what it tried to do was actually a lot more than a Groundhog's Day concept. The Groundhog's Day time travel mechanic was just a narrative mechanic to deliver what the game wanted to give you. The game portrayed really mature themes at a level a child could understand, because it was a game about growing up. It took the player through the stages of grief, taught you that part of growing up is losing people that are important to you. Through the foil of the main villain Skull Kid, it showed what happens to those that can't accept this truth, and also taught that just because people aren't in your life anymore doesn't mean they stopped caring. Link has to learn this to accept the loss of his friend Navi. Through various characters in the main story and sidequests, he has to learn that death and loss are a part of life, and that even the Hero can't save everyone. Once you've conquered every task and gotten every mask, and gone through the stages of grief, you face the final boss. If you didn't get all the masks, and thus haven't learned all the game wants to teach you, you don't get the Fierce Diety Mask, but if you did, you get it, and it basically transforms you into adult Link. Without the mask, the final boss is somewhat difficult. With the mask, you spank the final bosses ass like a misbehaving child, because you've achieved manhood, and the problems of childhood are nothing to you now. At least that's more or less how I see the game. Every Zelda game is a different take on a coming of age story, that's why the original character was based off of Peter Pan. Majora's Mask is the Zelda game that does this coming of age story in the most powerful way possible. Not just better than any other Nintendo game, but better than any game ever, in my view. So in addition to be a fun game that still looks great in the 3DS version and still has a fun concept that has yet to be executed better anywhere, it also is just the most meaningful game I've ever seen Nintendo make.

It's funny. When I played Majora's Mask, all I could see was a game less polished than OoT, less cohesive, and just more off the same, but lesser :P I didn't like the time time pressure or the changing masks all te time to be able to play as an Zora, deku scrub or Goron. But besides the fact that I didn't give the game a fair chance, because I used OoT as a reference (which I saw as perfect), I don't think I really understood what the was about. Should give the game a new chance, if it ever comes out for Switch online. 

You really should, I wouldnt compare it with OoT because conceptually those 2 games couldnt be more different, even tho Majora recycles all its assets and said comparison feels inevitable, but I wouldnt say its lesser than OoT at all, its just as perfect for what it is. But its definitely a game that grows on you, I think it doesnt give a good first impression, at least to me it didnt, but as I kept playing I absolutely loved it. 



d21lewis said:

My favorite game and Nintendo's best game are two different things.

I think Twilight Princess is their best game. It's just perfectly designed, well paced, had tons of epic moments, and the best boss fights. The world is not needlessly large but it's a big game with tons to explore, nonetheless. It takes all of the greatness of tried and true Zelda formula and refines it to perfection.

My favorite: Pikmin 3. If I play it for a couple of minutes, I'm playing nothing else for the next few days until I beat it. Sending my minions out into an unknown world to explore never gets old.

SWITCH PORT WHEN?!

This and Mario 3d World need to get their act together and get ported off the WiiU, there is now at least 26 million Switch owners who didn't have a WiiU so there is 26m potential new players who never had the option to buy these titles before, although I guess games like those and Windwalker / Twilight princess HD are going to be aces up Nintendo's sleeve which they'll break out when there is a gap in great games coming out.... maybe sometime around next April lol.



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Ganoncrotch said:
d21lewis said:

My favorite game and Nintendo's best game are two different things.

I think Twilight Princess is their best game. It's just perfectly designed, well paced, had tons of epic moments, and the best boss fights. The world is not needlessly large but it's a big game with tons to explore, nonetheless. It takes all of the greatness of tried and true Zelda formula and refines it to perfection.

My favorite: Pikmin 3. If I play it for a couple of minutes, I'm playing nothing else for the next few days until I beat it. Sending my minions out into an unknown world to explore never gets old.

SWITCH PORT WHEN?!

This and Mario 3d World need to get their act together and get ported off the WiiU, there is now at least 26 million Switch owners who didn't have a WiiU so there is 26m potential new players who never had the option to buy these titles before, although I guess games like those and Windwalker / Twilight princess HD are going to be aces up Nintendo's sleeve which they'll break out when there is a gap in great games coming out.... maybe sometime around next April lol.

Those two games are (Pikmin 3 and 3D World) are practically the only reason my Wii U is still connected. I'd buy them both all over again!



Twitter: @d21lewis