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 MaskSkyward 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.

About The Author


Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of VG Culture HQ. He has been writing about games for over four years and has written over 900 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture.

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  • Cole Childers

    I couldn’t freaking agree with you more on this. The motion controls we’re the best part of the game to me! I destroyed the lights out of my fan in my room while performing a skyward strike in an intense boss fight (and I was barefoot) lol. Also this was the original Link and his amazing courage is what became the defining characteristic for all of the future reincarnations. They reflected his courageousness very well too. People tend to follow a trend that is around them, but when a game immerses you as well as this game did, you can’t deny it’s greatness.

    • Cole Childers

      Also, great job on the article Morgan! I enjoyed the quick read 👌

      • Morgan

        Thanks once again! Not often to not get bashed by people reading my articles, but hey, it’s a part of the trade. I appreciate the support!

    • Morgan

      This isn’t what the article is about, but this game immersed me more than any other game I’ve ever played, other than Ocarina. Actually maybe a little moreso. I love Zelda, so, feel free to keep coming back because I cover Zelda and Nintendo a lot!

  • RetroCandle

    I disagree. BUT, I think it was a good article nonetheless. I do have some criticisms of the article but I’ll end on what I think was the best thing.

    Firstly, I think that a lot of things in this were treated as absolutes. Everyone _____, they all ______, and then you respond by saying something like “they are wrong because the opposite is true”. I would say this is a step away from discussion and towards arguing. I also think this game clouds important and entertaining. This is the awesome origin of the entire Zelda/Link relationship, and the importance of that can be blinding to other lesser things.
    Lightning round before the good stuff. Play the Zelda game in nintendoland, experience what the motion controls should have been. The items were a lot of push button far away stuff. IGN, really?

    Ok, on to what is great about this. You are someone defending a game they love. And that’s the thing about skyward sword, the people who love it really love it. It’s a game that compiled too many risks at once and shoved people away, but those who stayed got an awesome game that they will fight for, so never give up on it.

    • Morgan

      One, thank you for being civil.

      As for dealing with some as absolutes, I do that stylistically acting as an authority, but, I do think you have a point with going more towards arguing as well. I am going to really consider that in the future and take that criticism to heart. Thank you.

      Rich George was one of the best IGN ever had. Seriously. Yes IGN sucks and they have for a very long time.

      I think while maybe SS did take too many risks, BoTW pandered too much to those who wanted to experience the original game in 3D form. SS had the narrative and the dungeons, even the puzzles, BoTW has the exploration and the amazing world.

      Imagine if we put the two of those together? I really want Nintendo to do that and find that balance. I think they did do that pretty well with ALBW, which was the first game review I did/game I got from Nintendo. It was a kind of “test” for BOTW in a way.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment. If you’re interested in Wolfenstein II, I should have a review out for it today and DOOM for Switch in a few days (a little late due to a medical issue with my eyes.)