Hey, listen! Last year, the sequel to Breath of the Wild, the latest Zelda game, Tears of The Kingdom—on May 12, to be exact. In honor of this anniversary, I had to reflect on the Zelda games that helped make me a writer and chose my career path. I would not be the writer I am today without wielding the master sword, the urgency of Navi’s voice erupting in my living room, and going on adventures with my favorite character of all time, Link. So, dear reader and writer, “listen!” And maybe try out one of these suggestions—these top three Zelda games will change your life. 

#3 Ocarina of Time

Ah, the classic of the classics. Even though I must admit I was tempted to put Wind Waker as number three, Ocarina of Time had to make this list. I know this game is nostalgic for many of us—I often love to replay this game to listen to the classic Zelda tunes we all love. The sound of the ocarina takes me back to the same time Link was a child of the forest protected by The Great Deku Tree. If your goal is to create a series with lore that goes deeper than the Kokiri Forest and classic characters that are loved for a lifetime, this game can be your inspiration. 

#2 Twilight Princess

The darkness of twilight emulates the touching story, characters, and atmosphere of Zelda’s The Twilight Princess. Throughout the game, there is an ominous gloom that changes Link between a human and beast form as he scavenges across Hyrule. Link is actively attempting to save his homeland while trying to distinguish between the hellish landscape that has wrapped its anguish around the kingdom. The Shadow Beasts in this game have stuck with me in my nightmares, as I too slash around like the wolf Link was, trying to wake up. If you are writing a fantasy, horror, science fiction, or anything with weird creatures, turn to this game for creature-building inspiration. This game has some of the coolest bosses I have played against. 

#1 Breath of the Wild

I purchased a switch just to play Breath of The Wild, and six years later, I’m still holding on to it, ready to play Tears of the Kingdom. If you are a true Zelda fan and have been playing these games forever, you know how vital world exploration was for us in this game. I felt like a true Hylian, and even though every game above has interconnected me with the Zoras and Gorons, I never felt the free will to create Link’s adventure how I wanted to as a Hylian. The storytelling is not only beautiful in this game, but it is urgent and fluent. 

Additionally, the gamer finally gets to see Zelda in a much different light than many of the other Zelda games have given her—she’s strong, determined, and more self-sufficient than ever. If you are looking for world-building and character development inspiration, look to this game. 

Honorable Mention: Majora’s Mask

There’s much we can learn from video games. With my knowledge of the Zelda franchise and the accumulated inspiration from the storytelling of these video games, I’d say to you, writer, “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” Please, take these video games with care and swing them like the master sword onto your paper; watch your words flow like the gold of the triforce. 


Meet the blogger:

HANNA MCDANIELS is an upcoming undergraduate at Hamline University. She majors in English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in professional writing.  She is a massive lover of words and storytelling. In her free time, you’ll find her writing about another world or heavily annotating horror and science fiction novels. 

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