Best remake or remaster
Over the past decade, we've seen several remakes and remasters on Nintendo hardware, many of which were in the Zelda series. There's nothing quite like being able to play a classic game with updated controls and menus to make it relevant by current gaming standards and to introduce it to new audiences.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
From the opening scene to the final boss, the Link's Awakening remake brings back all the fond memories of hacking bushes, breaking jars, and fighting baddies. Originally launched on the Game Boy in 1993, it was an immediate hit, and for some, the jumping-off point for a long love affair with the pixelated protagonist. What makes this remake practically perfect is that it is nearly identical to the original in terms of story and gameplay. The much-improved graphics and speed turn a beloved classic into a 2019 modern hit. Whether you play the 25-year-old original on Game Boy or are just beginning your adventures with Link this year, Link's Awakening will become one of your favorites. -Lory Gil
2. Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Of all of the Pokémon games, this one was the one that got me most excited for the future of Pokémon. It brought the charming 2D graphics of the original version to 3D, introduced overworld Pokémon, and the ability to see which Pokémon were appearing in the tall grass. When surfing in the water, you could even dive down and encounter deep-sea creatures. I thought for sure that this kind of freedom would be explored in future Switch games. Sigh.
These games also provided the most distinct differences between the two versions out of any other Pokémon game — there was a different enemy team depending on which version of the game you played. One of the things I loved most was that when you beat the game, you were able to fly over the land in 3D. You could even battle bird Pokémon flying in the sky next to you. I had hoped that this flying aspect would be in Sword and Shield, but alas that didn't happen. To this day, this is still one of my favorite Pokémon games and is definitely one of the best Nintendo remakes. -Rebecca Spear
3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The Nintendo 64 holds a very special place in my heart as a gamer, and this game is the sole reason why. Ocarina of Time is considered a masterpiece by many, and I'm thrilled that it received an update for a new generation. This game had a brand new and fresh coat of paint with tweaked graphics and fixed mechanics. Add on the Master Quest and you've got yourself a solid remake! It's an amazing way to re-experience the game or for newcomers to jump onboard the OoT train. It earns its spot as one of the all-time greats, so this is a title to buy. -Sara Gitkos
4. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
I was super excited when I learned that Majora's Mask was getting remade for 3DS. The graphics update was seriously needed as the original blocky look of the 64 version doesn't hold up well. As a kid, this was a complicated game that took a lot of my time and attention. I definitely had to rely on guidebooks to keep all of the sidequests straight. However, the remake included additional elements that made the game easier to play.
First off, additional saving locations were added throughout the map. You can't fly to them, but they definitely make it easier to save your progress. Another thing I loved was that the Bomber's Notebook was updated to include more helpful information, making it easier to complete sidequests. Finally, the 3DS version rearranged the menus and offered different button mapping options, which made it easier to equip the weapons and items you want. Even with all these changes, the game is still challenging and complex. -Rebecca Spear
5. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
The Wind Waker was a polarizing Zelda title, to say the least, but it was a beautiful game when it first released on the GameCube. The Remaster rerelease for the Wii U gave this amazing title in stunning HD, and this is how the game was meant to be played. If you bought a Wii U for any reason, having this game should be one. It is a visual masterpiece. Plus, the gameplay has received a much-needed upgrade, and by that, I mean you get a Swift Sail. It changes the wind's directions for you, so you don't have to whip out the baton every five seconds — full speed all the time. Also, the grappling hook pulls in items a lot faster too. Using the Wii U controller, you can really take advantage of the Picto Box item, and give Link some funny emotes while you're at it. And for hardcore gamers, there's now a Hero Mode. -Sara Gitkos
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