Why Nintendo should port older Zelda games to the Nintendo Switch

Zelda Links Awakening Wind Fish Egg
Zelda Links Awakening Wind Fish Egg (Image credit: iMore)

Over 35 wonderful years, Nintendo has brought us some amazing Legend of Zelda titles. Whether you're a long-time fan of the series or have just started with Breath of The Wild for Nintendo Switch, there's going to be at least one Zelda game you hold near and dear to your heart. However, that can be a problem, especially if you want to pick it up and play it again.

While you can still play Breath of the Wild without a problem, some older games and consoles are getting harder to find. If you don't still have your original copy or a way to play it, you may be out of luck. While there are a few, there just aren't enough Nintendo Switch Zelda ports! Nintendo can easily solve this issue and make the fans happy by porting older Legend of Zelda games to the newest console.

Why make Nintendo Switch Zelda ports?

Zelda Majoras Mask 3d Happy Mask Salesman

Zelda Majoras Mask 3d Happy Mask Salesman (Image credit: @ZeldaMaster on Youtube)

The Legend of Zelda series is one of Nintendo's most popular franchises, and Breath of the Wild is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. Not only has it been going strong for 35 years, but it's also spawned a handful of spin-offs, including Hyrule Warriors and a cross-over with the Necrodancer in Cadence of Hyrule. The characters have also been included in group games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Brothers. Link and Zelda are everywhere, and pretty much any time Nintendo announces a remaster or remake, the fans are there for it.

Nintendo is no stranger to re-releases. Just recently, it released a remake of the classic Link's Awakening, and that wasn't even its first time being remade. Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask got the 3D treatment for the 3DS, while Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker went full HD on the Wii U. It probably wouldn't be much of a stretch for these games to make it to the Nintendo Switch, even as just ports. There's definitely enough demand for it.

Some ports are already here!

Zelda Link To The Past Link In Bed

Zelda Link To The Past Link In Bed (Image credit: iMore)

You can currently play the oldest titles in the series via the retro console downloads if you have Nintendo Switch Online. If you're interested in seeing how the franchise began or want to take a trip down memory lane, you can play the original Legend of Zelda and Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for NES, or Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the SNES. However, there is a noticeable gap between retro games and games today. For the main title Zeldas, you are limited to Breath of the Wild, the Link's Awakening remaster, and the original three.

Recently, Nintendo brought some classic Mario games to the Switch in the limited edition Super Mario All-Stars 3D. The same can easily be done for Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, hopefully with a few enhancements. Most recently, the company is re-releasing Super Mario 3D World with bonus content in Bowser's Fury. Since that game had a home on the ill-fated Wii U console, much like Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker HD, it could be possible to bring those Zelda titles to the Switch. Plus, there has been buzz lately about Phantom Hourglass's trademark being updated. So, that could be something to look forward to!

It's not just as far back as the Wii U — the remasters go even further. The Switch launched a remaster of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles that originally launched on the GameCube. Additionally, Pikmin 3 Deluxe arrived as recently as October 2020. It seems remastering and remaking old Wii U and other Nintendo classics is standard fare at the moment. Why not include Zelda?

Ports and remakes don't just extend to the Nintendo archives. The Switch has a whole library of ports, including the Witcher 3 and the Resident Evil series.

Finally, while Zelda remasters could release any time, the ideal moment is during the 35th anniversary. What better way to pay respects to such a beloved series than to bring at least these titles to the Nintendo Switch?

Bringing more Zelda to the Nintendo Switch

Skyward Sword Link Zelda

Skyward Sword Link Zelda (Image credit: @ZeldaMaster on Youtube)

Nintendo can really make a few tweaks to the motion controls debacle of Skyward Sword in addition to bringing some older games or granting new life to remasters. The Nintendo Switch really gave Nintendo a chance to fix any issues with motion controls, and that could really breathe new life into the Wii title.

When it comes to some of the most beloved series, like Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, fans of the series would scream at the chance to play these games with polished graphics. That's basically like printing money. When it comes to Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker, each game is already in HD. It would be easy to add some DLC or even bring back Link's Crossbow Training from the Wii. Imagine it: Twilight Princess HD and Link's Crossbow Training as a double pack. The latter can really show how much the motion controls have improved, and it could have a fun online-component, even just to compete and compare scores.

With the introduction of retro consoles, there's no reason why Nintendo can't find a way to port older Zelda games from the handhelds, like the original Link's Awakening, Oracle of Ages, and Oracles of Seasons. After the NES and SNES, Game Boy or Game Boy Color games seem like the next logical step. Just clean up the graphics, and you have some great games to add to the list.

Living up The Legend of Zelda's 35th Anniversary

Releasing some of these beloved classics on the Nintendo Switch is not only smart; it's money on the table. Zelda's 35th anniversary is just the opportune time to make it happen, even for just one or two of our favorites. It's an opportunity to introduce a whole new generation to the classic games that made this series great. And if they can give us some Breath of the Wild 2 updates, that'd be amazing too.

Sara Gitkos

Sara is the Freelance Coordinator, writer, and editor at iMore. When not editing or writing away, she's glued to her Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or PS5, though she's a retro gamer at heart.