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For The Legend of Zelda series: Do you prefer the 2D games or 3D games?

Do you prefer 2D or 3D Legend of Zelda games?


  • Total voters
    80
Aug 24, 2016
8,169
7,267
1,125
The Legend of Zelda has a lot of games that are considered high quality by some, and it's a franchise that has very passionate fans. However, I've noticed there seems to be a split in many fans as to whether they prefer the 2D games or prefer the 3D games. Usually, though not all the time, a fan will say either OoT or Link to the Past is there favorite game and then when you see their list there will be either more 3D or 2D games on that top list than 3D respectively. Some exceptions of course.

Out of curiosity, do you prefer the 3D Zelda games or the 2D Zelda games overall? And which ever you choose be sure to mention the reasons why in a post below, I've seen many arguments breaking down why 2D or 3D would allow more "freedom" and better "mechanics" for the Zelda series and I want to know what you think.

Zelda has many games and there will be varying opinion on this discussion.

Here are the 2D/3D Zelda games (English releases):

2D Legend of Zelda games:

  1. The Legenda of Zelda
  2. The Adventures of Link
  3. Link to the Past
  4. The Faces of Evil
  5. Wand of Gamelon
  6. Links Awakening
  7. Oracle of Ages
  8. Oracle of Seasons
  9. Four Swords
  10. Minish Cap
  11. tingles rosey rupeeland


3D Legend of Zelda games:

  1. Ocarina of Time
  2. Majoras Mask
  3. Wind Waker
  4. Twilight Princess
  5. Link Crossbow training
  6. Phantom Hourglass
  7. Spirit Tracks
  8. Skyward Sword
  9. Hyrule Warriors
  10. Breath of the Wild

Line games(disputed by fans):

Link Between Worlds
Tri-Force heroes
 

kunonabi

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I'm going to restructure things a bit for my personal outlook

2D
The Legenda of Zelda
The Adventures of Link
Link to the Past
Links Awakening
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
Four Swords Adventures
Minish Cap
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks
A Link Between Worlds
Tri-Force Heroes

Love: 4
Like: 5
Hate: 3


3D
Ocarina of Time
Majoras Mask
Wind Waker
Twilight Princess
Skyward Sword
Breath of the Wild

Love: 2
Like: 1
Hate: 3

Based purely of the numbers I seem to prefer 2D

If we look at my overall rankings

Top 5:
A Link to the Past
Skyward Sword
Spirit Tracks
Twilight Princess
Four Swords Adventures

3-2 ratio in favor of 2D

Bottom 5:
Ocarina of Time
Breath of the Wild
Wind Waker
Link's Awakening
Oracles

3-2 ratio again in favor of 2D games

So anyway you spin it I'm pro 2D. I think it's easier to make decent to good 2D Zeldas but the potential for the 3D ones is much higher. SS actually flip flops between 1 and 2 for me which is crazy considering how much I love AlttP.
 
May 25, 2014
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Orcarina of time, majoras mask, wind waker, breath of the wild, no contest for me those are all some of my fav games of all time.

Link to the past was the first one I ever played and four swords is a childhood classic but only 3d really immersed me
 

RoadHazard

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I don't know about that "consistent quality" qualifier, but I prefer the 3D games, yes. ALttP is a masterpiece, but BotW is the best game ever made. Even if all the other 3D games were bad BotW would singlehandedly win it for me.
 

Gamernyc78

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I prefer them 2D games more. I am one of those ppl that didnt care much for botw. Its the same with Castkevania for me.
 

Achelexus

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The 3D games are better, but again they're the main series and have much more thought (and budget) put into them.

However I think the 2D design fits the series just so much better. Other than BotW, the third axis never really added anything to the game, they tend to have little verticality.
 

Petrae

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I really don’t like Zelda games at all (save for Link’s Crossbow Training, which is a fun light gun game), but the game that I dislike the least is A Link to the Past. I was actually able to invest more than an hour into that game before I ultimately got bored and stopped playing it.

Didn’t at all like Ocarina of Time. Muddy graphics and annoying Z-Targeting turned me off quickly. They just got worse for me from there, though the visuals gradually improved.
 

cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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The only Zelda games I really enjoyed are :
The Legend of Zelda NES
Link's Adventure NES
Wind Waker Wii U
Breath of the Wild Wii U/Switch

I am not a fan of the series. I don't like its mechanics and world-design. This is why I started not liking it with A Link to the Past and the Gameboy game. Too easy, too much text, too much tutorials, too much hand-holding. When 6 years old me was playing Zelda 1 on NES, I was actually imagining in my head something a lot closer to Demon's Souls (without the scary side of things of course). So when I saw that Nintendo moved to something more casual on SNES/GB, it never clicked for me.

I still somehow enjoyed Wind Waker with the fast boat that goes in all directions, it was an okay game. And Breath of the Wild felt like a step in the right direction, but the game needs dungeons. The world is filled with nothing. So much to improve... But it kind of came back to the roots I loved when I was a kid.
 
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Razzorn34

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I still love Link to the Past over any of the 3D games. While 3D is nice for exploration, all of the traditional main mechanics work better in the 2D games. Many aspects didn't transfer well to 3D, and I feel like they covered that up with large scale exploration for the open world crowd. Those of us that that enjoy focused gameplay and tight mechanics are being left behind now. While BotW is a good game, it's is certainly not where I want the Zelda games to stay at going forward.
 

ClanOfNone

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When Ocarina dropped I was pretty impressed, Nintendo managed to successfully translate the "Zelda" formula into 3d. I was similarly impressed when Retro did the same thing for Metroid Prime.
I think the 2d Zeldas have aged much better and I prefer the pixel art stuff anyways. Breath of the Wild was an amazing step in the right direction for the 3d games. Just wish we would get more 2d stuff besides Crossed Swords nowadays.
 

Greedings

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May 23, 2016
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You poll is annoying.

I prefer 3D...but they're not more consistent. 2D is consistently decent, 3D Zelda is all over the fucking place.
3D Zelda games range from some of the greatest games ever made to some of the most boring I've ever played. Higher highs and lower lows, but damn it's worth it.
 

Airola

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The first two Zelda games are the best ones. Zelda 3 & 4 set up the modern 2D Zelda formula and while I like both of them very much I don't think they are as interesting as the first two games. I enjoyed Oracle and Ages too when I played them on my 3DS but I kinda don't have much interest in Minish Cap and I didn't like Spirit Tracks at all (I kinda want to count it as a 2D title even though it really isn't).

When Ocarina of Time was released I tried it and didn't like it at all. I thought 3D was a wrong direction for the series and just didn't think it was enjoyable to play it. Maybe 8-10 years later I gave it another chance and ended up liking it quite a lot. I still haven't played Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword (even though I have that on my Wii). And I played a few hours of Wind Waker HD but lost interest. Breath of the Wild is really good.

I definitely prefer 2D Zeldas just as I prefer 2D games in general.
 
Aug 24, 2016
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He's not much in The Wand of Gamelon either and the series is called The Legend of Zelda ;)

At least He's IN Wand of Gamelon and he's a GOAL for Zelda to save. Can't say that for old Zeldas Adventure unless Link aged 400 years and became an old FMV wizard ;)

The first two Zelda games are the best ones. Zelda 3 & 4 set up the modern 2D Zelda formula and while I like both of them very much I don't think they are as interesting as the first two games. I enjoyed Oracle and Ages too when I played them on my 3DS but I kinda don't have much interest in Minish Cap and I didn't like Spirit Tracks at all (I kinda want to count it as a 2D title even though it really isn't).

When Ocarina of Time was released I tried it and didn't like it at all. I thought 3D was a wrong direction for the series and just didn't think it was enjoyable to play it. Maybe 8-10 years later I gave it another chance and ended up liking it quite a lot. I still haven't played Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword (even though I have that on my Wii). And I played a few hours of Wind Waker HD but lost interest. Breath of the Wild is really good.

I definitely prefer 2D Zeldas just as I prefer 2D games in general.

Minish Cap seems to be the Black tiger of the series.
 
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JimmyJones

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Both. The 3D games have been shit since Skyward Sword though. I didn’t think they could sink any lower than Skyward Sword until Breath of the Wild came out.
 

BusierDonkey

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There needed to be an option for both really.

I prefer good games, I don't care if it's 2D or 3D. Some of the 3D Zeldas like OoT, WW and BotW are among my favorites, but Link's Awakening, ALttP, and ALBW were phenominal games as well.
 

Fuz

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This is a really hard choice.

Thinking of it, my favourites are the 3D ones. But I voted 2D. They're thighter, more consistently good games.

P.S.
Minish Cap is awesome and Spirit Tracks is dull and boring.
 
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ROMhack

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3D by a long shot but Link's Awakening and Link to the Past are really great games.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I'm a flip-flop Zelda fan. I only really enjoy a few titles out of the franchise even though I've tried to play nearly all of them.

Aonuma is a bad game designer. Zelda is at its best when the combat is fun and engaging. Puzzelda is boring to me, so my preferences fall along those lines.

Favorites:
Breath off the Wild
Link's Awakening DX
Legend of Zelda
 
Dec 3, 2018
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I like them both, but I consider Breath of the Wild to be a third direction to Zelda that I think I like more. I’d like 3D Zeldas to continue to coexist with Skyrim Zeldas.
 

Omeggos

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What the hell ever happened to simple votes? There’s no one specific reason why I prefer the 3D games.

It’s not about consistency, I love 2d zeldas like ALttP, LA(DX), LBW, MC, the Oracles. Its just that 3D has OoT and MM which are far and beyond my favorites of the franchise along with WW, TP and BotW.
 
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Idc I just want Koizumi to do another Zelda. His first and last one was Links Awakening.

Overhead
 
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Nymphae

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2D, I've never actually played a 3D Zelda game to completion. My favourite has always been the first Gameboy version.
 
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Airola

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At least He's IN Wand of Gamelon and he's a GOAL for Zelda to save. Can't say that for old Zeldas Adventure unless Link aged 400 years and became an old FMV wizard ;)

But Link is in Zelda's Adventure.

According to the manual Zelda is supposed to save Link:
https://archive.org/stream/ZeldasAdventureManualCDI/Zeldas_Adventure_-_Manual_-_CDI#page/n1/mode/2up

And here he is after beating the game holding hands with Zelda:


"Off you go to celebrate Link's return" is said by the wizard guy afterwards too.


Minish Cap seems to be the Black tiger of the series.

I bought Minish Cap as a GBA Virtual Console game on my Wii U years ago but haven't bothered to start the game even once yet :messenger_pensive:
 
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JediLink

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The 2D games are good (my favourites being Link to the Past, Link's Awakening and A Link Between Worlds) but the 3D games have a size and scope that the 2D games just can't match.
 
Oct 10, 2018
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The biggest issue for me is combat is a large part of Zelda and what makes the 2D games fun even though it has flaws.

People like OoT because of hype, especially in the US, but the combat is trash and would have it's system used by games after OoT. The ztarget Stages mechanics in 3D Zelda games before botw basically took Zelda out of discussions talking about game combat. It's piss poor and clunky.

BOTW combat is a bit better but is still heavily flawed. But other 3D Zelda games have terrible combat.
 

Fbh

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I prefer 3D Zelda but I think 2D ones are more consistent in quality.

One thing I still find surprising is how Indies haven't focused that much on 2D Zelda style games. Everyone makes metroidvanias, and there have been some awesome ones, but the number of Zelda inspired games seems much lower (not that there aren't any)
 
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cartman414

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May 3, 2006
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I'm going to restructure things a bit for my personal outlook

2D
The Legenda of Zelda
The Adventures of Link
Link to the Past
Links Awakening
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
Four Swords Adventures
Minish Cap
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks
A Link Between Worlds
Tri-Force Heroes

Love: 4
Like: 5
Hate: 3


3D
Ocarina of Time
Majoras Mask
Wind Waker
Twilight Princess
Skyward Sword
Breath of the Wild

Love: 2
Like: 1
Hate: 3

Based purely of the numbers I seem to prefer 2D

If we look at my overall rankings

Top 5:
A Link to the Past
Skyward Sword
Spirit Tracks
Twilight Princess
Four Swords Adventures

3-2 ratio in favor of 2D

Bottom 5:
Ocarina of Time
Breath of the Wild
Wind Waker
Link's Awakening

Oracles

3-2 ratio again in favor of 2D games

So anyway you spin it I'm pro 2D. I think it's easier to make decent to good 2D Zeldas but the potential for the 3D ones is much higher. SS actually flip flops between 1 and 2 for me which is crazy considering how much I love AlttP.

To each their own, but that is some decidedly contrarian shit right there.
 

Yoshi

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I'm going to restructure things a bit for my personal outlook

2D
The Legenda of Zelda
The Adventures of Link
Link to the Past
Links Awakening
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Seasons
Four Swords Adventures
Minish Cap
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks
A Link Between Worlds
Tri-Force Heroes

Love: 4
Like: 5
Hate: 3


3D
Ocarina of Time
Majoras Mask
Wind Waker
Twilight Princess
Skyward Sword
Breath of the Wild

Love: 2
Like: 1
Hate: 3

Based purely of the numbers I seem to prefer 2D

If we look at my overall rankings

Top 5:
A Link to the Past
Skyward Sword
Spirit Tracks
Twilight Princess
Four Swords Adventures

3-2 ratio in favor of 2D

Bottom 5:
Ocarina of Time
Breath of the Wild
Wind Waker
Link's Awakening
Oracles

3-2 ratio again in favor of 2D games

So anyway you spin it I'm pro 2D. I think it's easier to make decent to good 2D Zeldas but the potential for the 3D ones is much higher. SS actually flip flops between 1 and 2 for me which is crazy considering how much I love AlttP.
Love your 3D preferences and top games. Skyward Sword is the best 3D Zelda.
I'm a flip-flop Zelda fan. I only really enjoy a few titles out of the franchise even though I've tried to play nearly all of them.

Aonuma is a bad game designer. Zelda is at its best when the combat is fun and engaging. Puzzelda is boring to me, so my preferences fall along those lines.

Favorites:
Breath off the Wild
Link's Awakening DX
Legend of Zelda
Link's Awakening is pretty Puzzelda though. Other than that we are pretty perfect opposites though, the more puzzly a Zelda is the better.
 
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kunonabi

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To each their own, but that is some decidedly contrarian shit right there.


Yeah, it just sort of turned out that way. TP probably should be lower since it suffers from a lot of the same issues that OoT had but it had the third best dungeons in the series, I enjoyed the story and Midna, and it was the game that got me back into zelda after the last couple entries pushed me away.
 

Caffeine

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I really like the 3d ones. specifically Majora's mask and Twilight princess they have a great overall portrayal of dread and sadness which is pretty unique for Nintendo games.
 

kingbean

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The 3D games always gave me a great since of awe. The scope and mystery of the world felt so much greater.

The only 2D Zelda to blow me away was the original, but Ocarina, Majora, Windwaker and BotW all had me captivated.
 

Kamina

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Although I had my first Zelda Experiences with Zelda 1 and AlttP, the game series only really clicked with me through OoT. So I say 3D.
 

Belmonte

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I can't wait to be a full Neogaf member to be allowed to vote on a Afro Republican Thread® .
 

Georome

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My favorite game of all time is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (see avatar), but I also loved Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Breath of the Wild. Did not care for Skyward Sword. Honestly, I find this hard to vote on.
 

petran79

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Problem is that NES Zeldas are not that well remembered. You have also to take into account the huge player drain Nintendo had during Playstation 1 era and many players who did not return to Nintendo never got a chance to play the 3d games.

One reason I choose the 2d games, especially the NES ones. 3d games took a very long time to put the player into action and I never liked them. One reason I switched to Falcom Action RPGs, especially Ys, that have more in common with NES Zeldas
 

entremet

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They both have their strengths. I really enjoyed ALBW. Hopefully, that's not the last one in that formula.
 

#Phonepunk#

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i grew up with the NES and SNES entries, and haven't played through any of the 3D games aside from BOTW, so i have to go with 2D. so basically mine is an "i'm old" vote lol