There have been many incredible video game series’ to come out over the years, but none of them have distinguished themselves quite like The Legend of Zelda. I’ll say it simply. The Legend of Zelda is the greatest video game series of all time. Over its 34 years in existence, it has spanned 19 games (not including remakes), and as of this year, three of the top 25 games of all-time according to IGN. This doesn’t even take into account the number of Zelda games that are severely underrated or simply left out so as not to include too many Zelda games, such as Twilight Princess, Majora’s Mask, and The Wind Waker. Skyward Sword is also up there; it may not be top 100 material, but the motion controls are underrated and it has some of the best bosses and dungeons in the series, not to mention the best story. Ocarina of Time is still considered the best game of all-time among many, ourselves included, but IGN still ranks it at a mere 25, showing how strong the series is. While Breath of the Wild is a bit overrated, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a fantastic game and worthy of being one of the greatest games of all-time. The Legend of Zelda incrementally changed the way games were played. The original title was rife with exploration and dungeons, and while there weren’t many puzzles, there was a level of freedom that was previously unseen in any video game. It set the standard for the action-adventure genre. Breath of the Wild emulated this, but the problem with that game was that it didn’t evolve past that much. It lacked the level of story that previous Zelda games had; if it had a cohesive story, it would have been the greatest Zelda game and the greatest game of all-time. From what it seems though, with the return of Ganondorf, Breath of the Wild 2 seems like it will rectify this aspect of Breath of the Wild. One thing that is so unique about the Zelda series is its neverending ability to evolve and introduce new gameplay elements. Each game is different and fresh, which is why it is the greatest gaming series of all time. Even Skyward Sword, which is rather divisive, was fresh and unique, and a lot of fun. That’s another element that makes Zelda the greatest gaming series of all time: the fun factor. The games are so much fun and the mixture of both the puzzle elements and adventure elements make for the most enjoyable experience in all of gaming. The story element is another thing that makes the Zelda series so great. Although the stories are somewhat simple, the execution is done to perfection. Even side games, like Majora’s Mask and Link’s Awakening, along with the Oracle games, have superb stories that rival the mainline games. They’re a bit darker and contrast nicely to the somewhat lighter stories in the series, although Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, A Link Between Worlds, and Skyward Sword can be dark in their own right. Story is important, but it never overtakes the gameplay in the series which is key. It’s a part of what makes the series so fantastic. I’m a puzzle person, and the puzzles in the dungeons from A Link to the Past on are what make Zelda so fantastic. The dungeons are masterfully crafted and each dungeon has its own mechanic, which is unfounded in today’s games. Each game also has its own overall gameplay mechanic, such as the Wind Waker in The Wind Waker, Wolf Link in Twilight Princess, and the Ocarina in Ocarina of Time, to name a few. The motion controls in Skyward Sword are a gameplay mechanic itself and introduces puzzles never before seen in any Zelda game. The same can be said about A Link Between Worlds which is the ultimate puzzle game; the wall merging mechanic is masterful and crafts a level of creativity never seen before in a Zelda game. There is no video game series that can come close to comparing itself to The Legend of Zelda. Over 19 games, it has proven that it is the greatest video game series of all time. The exploration, the variety of gameplay mechanics, the dungeons, the puzzles, the music, and the story differentiate it from any other video game series ever crafted. Each game is a masterpiece in its own right. While some games may not rank so highly as Zelda games, as the bar is set so high, compared to other games, the games in the series are unmatched. Each game offers something fresh, which is rare in today’s age, especially considering how many games are in the franchise, which spans 34 years (as old as I am.) There’s no mistaking it: The Legend of Zelda is the greatest video game series of all time and will continue to be as long as it continues to evolve and offering something fresh and new, but also something familiar. There’s a reason why so many games try to emulate the series but fail. It will be interesting to see what Nintendo does with Breath of the Wild 2, but there is no doubt that the company will continue to push the envelope and deliver an experience like one we’ve never seen before.