- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
If anyone can remember what it was like in the early 2000s to not be watching all the live tech news instantaneously, they may end up thinking of the excitement surrounding the original announcement of this game. After proving everyone wrong with critically adored Wind Waker, Nintendo decided to take a stab at the more realistic Zelda game the fans were clamoring for as a result of that Spaceworld 2000 tech demo.
Twilight Princess certainly isn’t the darkest in tone of the franchise, or the most challenging, but by the goddesses, it has atmosphere in spades. Taking a note from A Link to the Past, Hyrule is encountered with a parallel realm in this game, the Twilight Realm, which is slowly taking over the kingdom with unique looking terrors. When encountering the barrier to this alternate world, Link is turned into a wolf, and meets his new informational companion for the journey, Midna, who is easily the fan favorite among Link’s companions as she exudes mystery and personality instead of simply nagging the player about where to go. Twilight Princess has the most cinematic feel to the franchise throughout, often having reviews cite that it felt like Nintendo’s successor to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films a few years later. This is not simply an observation through dialogue and cutscenes, but through well thought out chase sequences, larger than life boss battles and electrically charged combat through a new list of combos for Link to execute. – Evan Griffin