On November 17, 2006, I camped out my local Walmart in order to get a Wii and the latest entry in the Zelda franchise, Twilight Princess. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I made lifelong friends and was one of 10 people to buy both the system and the game. Naturally, I came home and instantly played at 1am on the 19th. Little did I know I was in for the experience of a lifetime. While some regard Twilight Princess as a mere copy of Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, I beg to differ. The boss battles are epic, the dungeons are superb, the story is one of the best in the franchise, and the story is one of the darkest in any Zelda game. Some may claim that it isn’t dark enough, but this is Zelda we’re talking about. The game is also graphically one of the best looking games in the series. Even the original Wii version stands the test of time and looks fantastic. The music is also one of the best scores in the series and is often overlooked, especially the Hyrule Field theme. All of these reasons are why Twilight Princess is the most underrated Zelda game.

Most Underrated Zelda Game

A pivotal encounter

Twilight Princess was the Zelda game that everyone wanted. After The Wind Waker, many wanted a realistic-looking Zelda game. While Twilight Princess, graphically, isn’t 100% realistic, it maintains that feel and has a world that feels alive, although Hyrule Field is somewhat barren. Unlike Breath of the Wild, Link is full of expression and character, which is often overlooked. Considering it’s running on a modified version of The Wind Waker engine, this is no surprise, as Link in The Wind Waker was expressive as well. Twilight Princess is criticized for being linear, due to aspects of the overworld being cut off due to the Twilight Realm, but I don’t see this as a problem. This is common in many Zelda games, even the much-lauded A Link to the Past. There are only a handful of Zelda games that have a true open-world, such as the original Legend of Zelda and Breath of the Wild. To judge Twilight Princess for not opening up the game until the halfway point is unfair, as many games in the series do the same.

Many also criticize the Twilight Realm and the tears of light. While this aspect of the game may seem like a “fetch quest”, it is actually a nice change of pace from the action and compliments the game nicely. It allows you to fully grasp the mechanics of Wolf Link, which is one of the most unique and innovative creations in the entire Zelda series. Midna is by far Link’s best companion in any Zelda game (save maybe Navi), and has a depth and complexity that had been missing from the franchise for a long time. This is not a mere clone of Ocarina of Time, despite some structural similarities (A Link to the Past anyone?) It is its own game and not only sets itself apart from Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, but is vastly different and adds new gameplay mechanics that evolve the franchise even further.

Link in the Temple of Time

Many complain that Twilight Princess is too easy, but I beg to differ. While the bosses may be a tad easy, and enemies don’t do much damage, the dungeons can be quite difficult. Unlike Breath of the Wild, the game is rife with mind-bending puzzles and challenging dungeons (especially Lakebed Temple.) I play Zelda for the puzzles and combat and exploration are secondary to me. Twilight Princess consists of nine superb dungeons and none of them disappoint. The first dungeon, the Forest Temple (which I believe is the Great Deku Tree), is a tad easy, but the rest are some of the best dungeons in the series. The bosses are epic, although some are, once again, a tad easy, but they are so much fun. While Hyrule Field may be a tad barren, it is still full of secrets and I have spent hours simply riding around on my horse killing enemies. For fun. The game is by far one of the top Zelda games and gets a bad rap because purists want more exploration as opposed to puzzles. They got it in Breath of the Wild, which we believe is vastly overrated, but it’s good to at least have a variety of Zelda games that appeal to all. Twilight Princess is not to be overlooked though: it is one of the top five Zelda games of all-time. This cannot be overlooked.

Most Underrated Zelda Game

The Ultimate Confrontation: Dark Lord Ganondorf

The highlight of Twilight Princess is Link’s confrontation with Ganondorf. The battle consists of four different phases, and Ganondorf cannot seem to die! This is by far the most enjoyable part of the game and is one of the reasons it catapults it to the top. Of all the enjoyable bosses, this is by far the most fun. I remember standing up, Wii Remote in hand, acting as if I was using a real sword. The Wii version of the game was so immersive and added to the experience, not that the GameCube or HD version of the game was any lesser. Twilight Princess has also aged incredibly well. It has some of the best-supporting characters in the series, some of the best puzzles in the franchise, and on top of it all, is a lot of fun. The music is astounding. Even without Koji Kondo composing it directly, the game never misses a beat.

Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD Coming to Switch

Link attains the Master Sword

Twilight Princess is vastly underappreciated. It is one of the best Zelda games with some of the most exquisite dungeons, but for some reason, many Zelda fans fail to recognize its strengths rather than perceived flaws. The puzzles are thought-provoking, the bosses, while a tad on the easy side, are a lot of fun, there are a ton of collectibles (such as the Poes) in order to 100% the game, Hyrule Field is rife with secrets, and the game has some new items which are incredibly innovative, such as the Spinner and the Ball and Chain. The NPCs feel alive and Link is expressive and feels like a real character, as opposed to his counterpart in Breath of the Wild. Midna is Link’s best companion to date, and hopefully, Breath of the Wild 2 adds another memorable companion, such as Princess Zelda herself!

Twilight Princess is the most underrated Zelda game and hopefully, people come to realize its true greatness once the HD version is hopefully released for the Nintendo Switch for a brand new generation of gamers.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over six years and has written over 2,000 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 and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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