In retrospect, due to the “Zelda cycle”, where fans retroactively claim how horrible the last installment in the franchise was, Skyward Sword is regarded as one of the weakest Zelda games. It’s been going on for years, ever since Twilight Princess. It’s doubtful it will happen to Breath of the Wild, as it’s heralded as the greatest game of all time, but even Ocarina got backlash after Majora’s Mask. Skyward Sword was a different kind of Zelda game, but that didn’t make it a bad Zelda game. In fact, there are so many beautiful things to be had in the game. It’s a top five Zelda game, at least. And it was so entertaining and exciting to follow former IGN Nintendo Editor Rich George’s live tweets of Skyward Sword while reviewing it. He gave it a 10/10. What happened Zelda fans? The Plot Was Too Heavy It’s funny, Zelda fans have complained for years that they want more story in the franchise. Ocarina of Time’s story was incredible for its time and balanced both gameplay and plot perfect, but it was still a bit thin. The execution, however, is still the best in the series, which is why Ocarina’s story still holds up. Breath of the Wild’s story was meh at best. Skyward Sword, by far, has the best narrative in the entire Zelda saga. It has the amazing NPCs like Majora’s Mask, some incredible characters (yes, including Fi), and the best incarnations of Link and Zelda to grace the series. Plus, it’s implied the two actually kiss. Can we really ask for much more? The Motion Controls Sucked This is one of the worst assertions. If you had to keep re-calibrating, you were doing something wrong. The motion controls were incredible and the reason why both the puzzles and dungeons are among the best in the series. The boss battles were some of the best in the franchise, including the memorable Ghirahim. 1-to-1 sword fighting couldn’t be any more enjoyable, and there were so many new items that utilized these controls, like the Beetle, essentially a replacement for the boomerang. Skyward Sword injected some new much-needed freshness into the series after years of trying to emulate Ocarina of Time. It succeeded in this respect, beyond any expectations. There Was No Exploration This is actually one of the most ridiculous assertions when it comes to Skyward Sword. Yes, it wasn’t an open-world game. Yes, it could come across as somewhat linear. But the game itself actually had quite a bit of exploration to be had! Yes, the game was segmented into several sections that slowly open up, but all of those sections were incredibly dense. There were so many secrets and sidequests to be had, Goddess Cubes included. The Lanayru Desert was the best and probably the largest area. Faron Woods was rife with secrets and exploration. Exploring each of the sections within the game was actually one of my favorite parts, and there were some fun minigames. Skyloft and its surrounding islands also had some cool stuff. Yes, even the sky. The Silent Realms Everyone seems to hate the Silent Realms, but I think they were a great change of pace for the game. That goes for the “padding” at the end of the game too, but the Silent Realms, were, in particular, fantastic. They caused your adrenaline to go wild and were incredibly frantic. They had great rewards, and they also helped Link grow spiritually as a character. With Skyward Sword being a narrative-driven game, it was actually one of the few times I was so immersed in the main character that I became him. I was Link. And I felt his character’s growth, as well as his love for Zelda. The Silent Realms worked really well as a change of pace from the dungeons and grow Link’s character. They fulfilled their function perfectly. Skyward Sword is easily one of the top five Zelda games. The criticisms levied at it are not only unfair, but for the most part, they are invalid. Yes, Nintendo decided to go a different direction in Breath of the Wild, but that has no bearing on whether or not Skyward Sword was an amazing game. It was. One of the best.