The Wind Waker up for “Game of The Decade” Award

JohnDecember 2nd, 2012 by John

The Wind Waker has the slightly ominous distinction for being one of the most divisive Zelda games in the history of the series. Whether it be the graphics, the sailing mechanic or the infamous Triforce Shard Quest in the second half of the game, there are two fierce sides to each argument, arguing for and against the inclusion of each feature in the game. Despite this division however, there is no denying the impact it had on the series and on the industry; it is the fourth best selling GameCube title and one of the most highly rated and loved Zelda games today. But is it deserving of such a prestigious and all-encompassing title like that of Game of the Decade? Spike’s Video Game Awards seem to think so. Hit the jump to find out more!

The awards ceremony last year was quite a fruitful one for Zelda. Skyward Sword picked up awards for “Best Wii Game” and “Best Motion Game” while the Zelda series as a whole was acknowledged in the first ever “Video Game Hall of Fame Award”. Pretty good seeing as the last achievement the series picked up was way back in 2007, where Phantom Hourglass was honored with the “Best Handheld Game Award”. Zelda hasn’t been nominated for any main awards this year, but The Wind Waker has been nominated for a special award which has been wheeled out in honor of the the VGA’s 10th anniversary. The “Best Videogame of the Last Decade Award” has been recently announced to honor the most innovative and boundary-pushing games of the past 10 years. But why Wind Waker?

Well, according to Entertainment Weekly, the website which organised the list, the game has an “eccentric, eerily beautiful cel-shading aesthetic”, standing as “Nintendo’s last great visual experiment, a remnant from a bygone age before the iconic game company shifted its focus toward redefining The Controller”. EW also go on to say that the game” found a raw beauty in cartoonish primitivism” in a series which is “easy to play but difficult to master”.

Even if you don’t agree with the above statements and think that Wind Waker was more of a flop than a success, you’ll still be supporting the Zelda series in a list which has only one other Nintendo-developed game: Wii Sports. The awards ceremony takes place on Friday the 7th of December, so get voting! You can vote for the Game of the Decade here.

But what do you think? Are you surprised to see games like Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword left out? Do you think Wind Waker is even worthy of the title at all? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Entertainment Weekly, via GoNintendo

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  • Hero_of_Skyloft

    Go Wind Waker!

  • Link-of-Lylat

    Seriously? Only other is Wii Sports?

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      I know. That shouldn’t even count as a game.

  • ÁinetheDragon

    Hoping to get it for Christmas, I’ve heard great things about it!
    And some not so great but I have officially completed every Zelda game I own!
    I do think that there are some better ones out there like TP and SS. I’ve only played them and the DS releases though. :3

    • ……..

      WW is truly a great game. Trying to complete the main story only would give you 20% completion. There is so much to do in that game that it should compete on Best Free-Roam with Assassin’s Creed and GTA. Plus, its story and gameplay are wonderful.

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Good luck finding a cheap copy.

      • Link_The_Ultimate_Chronomancer

        eBay. Got my copy for $15.

      • ÁinetheDragon

        I don’t need to, my dad does… 3:D

    • The Blade of Evil’s Bane

      Lol, we have exactly the same games!

  • Nesfan

    Game of the decade is Shadow of the Colossus. Hands down

    • gamer

      I agree, but most people have never played it. You talk about creative, the enemies were the dungeon.

    • Darkgreyfire

      As much of a Zelda fanatic I’ve become, I had to vote for Shadow of the Colossus. Unique gameplay ideas never before seen, to me the most visually beautiful designed game of all time, and the emotion that game brought out when you played it….The fact that you had to kill things so strangely peaceful and passive. It almost made you angry at Wander, wondering what his motive was the entire game…. All to resurrect your love, and slowly destroy yourself.

      • ZeldasFire

        People keep commenting on this game, and I’ve never heard of it. Is it that good? Is it on the wii?

        • damn

          it’s on ps2 and it got an hd revision i think on ps3, and you ask if it is that good, i have to say the gameplay feels very unique for a third-person adventure and the game really has its own soul, like most of zelda games.
          i think every zelda fan should give it a try, not because it’s similar to zelda [it's not] but because zelda fans usually like unique multisensorial experiences, and that it is.

        • gamer

          I hate to post another games trailer on a zelda page, but, here you go ZeldasFire.

      • gamer

        It was strange how it changed taking the colossi down in the game. At first I was all about it. It was truly, without understating the word, epic. Then I began to notice, they only came after you if you attacked them first. Then as the game went on, some colossi would strike back at you and then walk away. You had to keep pegging them with arrows to keep their attention. Then after the dragon one in the water, I felt bad. He didn’t even put up a fight, just tried to shock you and shake you off to get away. Then at the end, when you finally see what Wander was doing to himself, damn. It was so great of a game. That world and the colossi just felt so huge around you.

    • Tingleberries

      Agro!!!! Second best horse in gaming next to Epona. I loved that game, but it was so sad. I’m still voting for Zelda though.

  • Thareous


  • JuicieJ

    Out of all the Zelda games to have come out during the 10 years the VGA has been in existence, The Wind Waker was nominated? Why? Literally every Zelda title released after it was better, especially The Minish Cap and Skyward Sword.

    • Luan Santos

      That’s your opinion, people have different opinions and that is why this list is so flawed

      • erikingvoldsen

        But who’s opinion was this? It lacks integrity. It’s just “some guys” nomination, rather than what the majority of Zelda fans or video game fans in general feel. Fact is, Wind Waker is probably the 2nd most hated Zelda next to AoL.

        • NES_Hoarder

          Which game is AoL?

          • Tehlul

            Zelda 2.
            The game people give a hard time because of how different it was from the others. But don’t assume it sucks, I actually liked it a lot better then the first zelda game.

          • ……….

            I thought it was impossible. Trying to get to the first dungeon is hard enough, but trying to beat that same dungeon is hell!

          • alexlgamer

            i messed up completly i opend up a wrong door with a key and was lost for ever havn’t touched the game since

          • Forest

            Now I understand why Nintendo can’t do anything challenging enough in Zelda games without give you a walkthrough in the same game, or a Fi to think for you.

          • bluchu

            Agreed. It’s sad, but now a days if the game is hard, people end up calling it a bad game. There’s no sense of accomplishment anymore. It’s the same reason there is a target for the hook shot in modern Zelda games and the bosses have become so easy. I wouldn’t have an issue with a Fi character, as long as they weren’t like Fi. She would tell you what to do, before you even get a chance to try it for yourself. They need to make those characters only give hints when asked.

          • Someone

            I went to the first dungeon, died like 15 times and never touched the game again. But still, there is no reason for me to hate the game, it’s just impossible xD I envy the people who got through the first dungeon.

        • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

          I don’t think THAT many people hate WW, do they?

        • Forest

          Come on! Majority Zelda fans hate WW? Are you kidding? Why is then one of the most sold games of GC? Wind Waker is really really awesome game, people who hated it probably never give it a real chance only because of the graphics thing because they didn’t want to feel like playing a game for children… sorry but real Zelda fans don’t do that. I enjoyed WW almost as much as OoT, it has great story, great gameplay, great graphics, GREAT music, and it was more original then other new Zeldas like TP which intended to be a kind of OoT+Epicness.

          • Raphael Gouin

            I agree, as for me wind waker is def not my favorite but i still love it and had lot of fun playing it. I mostly judged the game negatively before its realease because of the toony graphics but i was wrong. Saying its hated by most zelda fans is plain stupid

          • erikingvoldsen

            “Why is then one of the most sold games of GC?”

            Why did it sell so poorly for a Zelda game? It sold little over half of its potential considering how much advertisement it had.

            “People who hated it probably never give it a real chance only because of
            the graphics thing because they didn’t want to feel like playing a game
            for children…”

            Does it make a different why so many people hated it? Graphics? Sailing? Hate is hate.

            “and it was more original then other new Zeldas”

            Another reason it was unpopular.

      • JuicieJ

        Of course it’s my opinion. I feel that my opinion is justified, though. As I’m sure you feel about yours. Everyone feels their opinions are justified. They believe them to be fact. That’s how opinions work.

    • Blakenator

      Maybe because it started a trend within the Zelda series. How isolating and polarizing it was set a new standard for Zelda titles, pushing them further to reinvent themselves and create games that learned and improved from each other. Skyward Sword was the culmination of that, taking aspects from many games in the franchise such as the RPG elements in Zelda II and the Oracle games or the idea such as a central hub like Hyrule Town where secrets were uncovered as you further progressed into the game. Wind Waker showed us and the world how intrepid Nintendo could be with their approach to Zelda and video games in general, going with a risky design and concept that came off successfully IMO as injecting new life into the series.

    • Tehlul

      No. Wind Waker is the best Zelda game.
      Wind Waker really shook things up in Zelda in terms of style, story, and gameplay but hey, it’s your opinion. Just be thankful a zelda game got nominated at all.

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Oh, Juice, I hate to be on the opposing side again, after arguing with you about SS, but I think the only recent game that I might consider better than WW is TP. WW was probably the most daring and original Zelda game if you consider the art style, the post-flood setting, and the strong independent Zelda (barring the second half of the game). Because it was so daring, I think many people panned it. And it’s true, it had a few problems, like the triforce shard quest mentioned above (Although it was really the shards, and not the charts, that were the problem). For me, it’s still the most charming Zelda game and it lies closest to my heart.

      • JuicieJ

        There’s nothing wrong with being on the opposing side. If you feel what I said is wrong, then you have every right to say why.

    • Darkgreyfire

      I think it’s been shown in the past that the VGAs are geared to more of the COD/Madden “I’m playing what everyone is playing” type of gamers.(Not that there’s anything wrong with those games, I love madden) Classic gamers are usually pushed to the back. Proof of that is the fact that Skyward Sword wasn’t even nominated for game of the year last year, until a huge backlash by the gaming community forced them to add it to the nominees. They probably just chose a Zelda game at random, just to shut the classic more art based gamers up. I’m shocked that they even have Shadow of the Colossus. (Beautiful game by the way)

      • Pyro

        Skyward Sword WAS nominated last year. The other nominees were Skyrim, Arkham City, Portal 2 and Uncharted 3. NO COD. This year is the same with no COD or Halo for that matter. They nominated JOURNEY this year! They are far better than before.

        • HunterP

          i think you need to go back and re-read what he wrote

  • duane

    There is no way to vote for a best game of the decade, each game is good for different reasons, and people have different tastes. And a lot of people would agree that other games should have been on that list

    This is 2011’s game of the year all over again.

  • Kyle Clark


    • amae

      Wasn’t MM released 1999? It can’t be game of this decade >.<

      • guest

        It was released in 2000.

      • Gaseous Snake

        That was Oot

        • marill

          Oot was released in 1998.

    • Blakenator

      I would agree mostly (The Wind Waker is still my favorite Zelda, close seconded by Majora’s Mask), but the VGA said that it’s celebrating its tenth anniversary and is taking the video games from 2002-2012, excluding the 2000-released Majora’s Mask.

      • Kyle Clark

        oh and AWWWWW

  • Dark Majora

    (just sits here wishing ive played it eve more) …………….torture

  • Psi Yoshi

    Wind Waker is the best Zelda Game. It definitely deserves game of the year.

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Best Zelda game. But they’re comparing more than just Zelda games. As much as I love Zelda, I think I’m gonna go with Portal.

      • DunbansBiggestFanForever


      • Tehlul

        Wow. The fanboys sure didnt like that one, let me try now…
        I voted for Red Dead Redemption.

      • Flaming Lemons

        How dare they make me vote between WW, Portal, and Half-Life 2!
        But I did vote WW because it’s one of my first best games played.
        Such a dedicated Zelda fan :’)

  • linkfan

    that was on Nintendo yesterday

  • erikingvoldsen

    “and one of the most highly rated and loved Zelda games today.”


    “The “Best Videogame of the Last Decade Award” has been recently
    announced to honor the most innovative and boundary-pushing games of the
    past 10 years.”

    That’s a very very misleading title for the description. Wind Waker may be innovative, but it remains one of the least popular games of the series.

    • NES_Hoarder

      No, it’s not. Many comments posted on this very same article are proof of how much love Wind Waker gets. Personally, it’s my favorite

    • Blakenator

      I wouldn’t say that. To be honest, I don’t think Wind Waker is as nearly bashed now as Twilight Princess is. In terms of sales, yes, Twilight Princess sold the second most copies in the entire series, but just because The Wind Waker had about two thirds of those sales does not mean it isn’t popular. In fact, I would say Twilight Princess aged worse than Wind Waker.

      Plus, it *is* one of the highest rated in the series. The aggregate score for The Wind Waker is 96, the same as Twilight Princess (Gamecube) and outranking heavy hitters such as A Link to the Past (GBA re-release, 95), Majora’s Mask (95), Twilight Princess Wii (95), and even Skyward Sword (93), all of which Wind Waker has out-sold, excluding TP Wii.

      • Soir

        If you’re talking about metacritic I wouldn’t trust it in the least. TWW was bashed the most which inevitably led to more people “picking sides” and fanboying over it for all eternity.

        Take Twilight Princess for example, it’s widely considered the worst of the entire series and yet it’s still somehow at 95. All of what happened with TWW happened with TP so, inevitably, now you’re seeing the “oppressed” people getting away with saying “TPs the BEST ZELDA!” whereas years ago they would have been met with severe backlash, meaning that then buffers the score because anyone who disliked it has faded or simply couldn’t care less anymore.

        If you need even more proof just LOOK at SS. The only reason its scores are so honest is because it, unlike the others, has BOTH sides reviewing it instead of just the praisers who’ll beat it again in 5 years for the 9th time.

        • Soir

          Oh wait, you were talking about critic score.

          Sorry I assumed it was respectable as in the opinion of the majority of people who bought it.

          But that’s just me, I really don’t trust critics at all.

      • erikingvoldsen

        Well I’m looking at a Zelda Dungeon poll right now…in terms of favorite games, Wind Waker is getting owned. Even more important are the sales. Wind Waker had so much advertisement…possibly the most out of any Zelda game…and it still sold horribly. Nintendo was actually worried that it could lead to the series’ end.

        • Blakenator

          4.6 million copies sold is horrible? 2.2 million of those sales were in North America alone and 742,000 units were sold in Japan. It is the sixth best-selling canon Zelda title and almost outsold the original SNES A Link to the Past, trailing by about .01 units.

          • erikingvoldsen

            That’s pretty bad for a Zelda game. OoT and TP nearly doubled it. And Wind Waker had far more advertisement than both of them put together.

          • Pyro

            It’s because the GameCube itself was a poor selling console. Compare its 22 Million to the Wii’s 97 Million and even the Nintendo 64’s 35 Million.

    • John

      You’re entitled to your own opinion on whether you yourself like the game or not but you can’t argue with the numbers. In last year’s IGN competition to find the best Zelda game Wind Waker reached round 3, where it was beaten by Ocarina of Time, which went on to beat Majora’s Mask which had beat Twilight Princess just before. Even though Ocarina of Time got about 14,000 more votes than Wind Waker, there are still about 7,000 who regard it higher than Ocarina of Time, which won the competition.

      Numbers aside, it’s my personal favourite Zelda game as well. You can’t argue with the amount of charm and beauty the game has.

      • erikingvoldsen

        Sales alone show how badly it has done compared to games like Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, which both nearly double it.

        • baileygirl99

          Yeah, TP should be on that list.

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Zelda Dungeon ought to do a poll to settle this.

      • Soir

        There IS no settling it. Over time the people who hate it move on while those who love it stick around. The poll wouldn’t nearly show the full truth.

        Not that it even matters anyway, in the future after the poll is over there will be people who weren’t a part of the poll saying its a relic and so continues the cycle.

        • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

          I’m curious how popular it is among current Zelda fans compared to other games it the series. I think a ZD poll would fairly accurately reflect that.

          • Soir

            Depends on how its handled.

            Unless it’s a “Number each Zelda in order of which you like most.”and allowed for having multiple in the same number, I kind of doubt it.

      • erikingvoldsen

        There’s a poll on the forums asking for favorite games, Wind Waker is far from the top.

      • npatoray24

        no, ign did a pole and OoT won… there is probably a better way to poll the majority, such a taking the raw numbers of peoples top 3 zeldas and simply counting them…. and after SS was released for awhile ign did a survey on which game was better, SS or OoT and sadly somehow SS won…

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    They picked one game from each year starting with 2002 and goes up to 2011, because Batman: Arkham City was released last year. So they had WW for 2002, etc, etc.

  • Randy Rodriguez

    I went to go vote for my nigga Wind Waker, then I saw Half-Life 2 on the list. Can’t vote.

    • alexlgamer

      I know your problem

  • ………..

    WW was my first Zelda game. I am glad to see it up here in this nomination (although I still prefer TP, MC, and SS over it)

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      It was my first, too. And probably my second favorite after TP.

  • Tehlul

    One does not simply make a game of the decade list and not include jak and daxter and the precursor legacy

    • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule

      Considering that this list spans from 2002-2012, and that that game was released in 2001, yes, yes one does.

      • Tehlul

        …so it was. It came pretty late in 2001 though

  • HeyListen!

    The “Game of the Decade” has to be mindblowing. Apparently, EW has no idea of what they are doing. The winner should be unique as to the extent that no other game matches its style and at the same time appealing to the masses. And seeing the list, all nominees have games similar to them. The only Zelda game in my opinion that would come in question would be Skyward Sword, since it greatly expanded on the preset Zelda concept of earlier games. This is because the fighting mechanic, which in pretty much every other game consists of button mashing, the motion control integration was a concept that distincts SS from any other Zelda game and also any other game with fighting mechanics. I would suggest Super Mario Galaxy (2 if you wish) as winner. It is both generally appealing and the planet concept was a galactic leap for the franchise. The vibrant world, the great gameplay and the epic music just makes Super Mario Galaxy (2) a perfect game. Especially with Nintendo, each game franchise has its distinct flair, compared to all the shooters on the PS and XBox, and Galaxy definitely stands out from its other Mario games. I can’t think of anything right off the bat that comes even close to this game. I’m not saying Galaxy is a game far more superior to any other, I just believe it perfectly fits the title “Game of the Decade”.

    • npatoray24

      SS was not part of that decade so it is not eligible, but i can see super mario galaxy 2 as being a contender

  • gamer

    I waited a while before I finally played wind waker, because of the way it looked. But, after playing it, I consider it my second favorite only to Ocarina of time. After looking at the list though, I have to go with Shadow of the Colossus. I know it doesn’t have a chance, and most gamers have never played it. But, the ideas of gameplay, and even the overall beautiful design of the game will always make it my favorite game ever. For those who haven’t played it, I suggest you go out and get it.

  • Someone

    I’m voting for Wind Waker,
    I don’t agree with it being the best Zelda game of this decade though, because the others did better (such as MC, SS and TP)
    But after reading why they choose Wind Waker, I actually agree, because Nintendo really took a big risk with making this cell-shaded style, and let’s be honest. It’s impossible now to imagine Zelda without Toon Link ;)
    I hope it wins!!

  • One

    Actually, SS couldn’t even be nominated, as it was released last year which was on this decade.

    • Heroine of Time

      By decade, they don’t mean increments of ten, they mean within the last ten years: 2002 to 2012. That includes Skyward Sword.

  • itsameluigi1290


  • Taylor

    im not surprised at all actually. wind waker is personally my second favorite game in the whole series. twilight princess was more or less a grander retelling of oot which is great but it didnt really bring to many new things to the table as for skyward sword lets just say i thought it was mediocre at best in my opinion. i mean i liked the game but i didnt love the game.

    • npatoray24

      i dont view TP as a grander OoT, but thats my opinion….. but i agree with your opinion of SS, not great, but definately good

  • Lupine Hero

    Lol, Wii Sports is the only game on the list that I’ve played! Oh, well, probably wasn’t going to vote anyway.

  • Zoralink128

    I don’t Think Wind Waker out does Ocarina of time.Or Skyward Sword.But Its still good.I would put it in #9 in my top 10 games.

  • Zoralink128

    If only they expanded the reach of time,Than Ocarina would blow them clear out of the water!

  • links 2 life

    the only thing that needs saying!!!!!!

  • the Unicorn Hanger-Outer

    It was the slide puzzle before the master sword that did it for me. A FRICKING SLIDE PUZZLE!!! SO HARD!!! They should have more puzzles like that in the future.

  • Driorianos

    I like that WW is on there, but why do they do ‘Of the Decade’ on such an odd year date?
    And unfortunately, since they put Batman in, and that’s recent and still wow in peoples minds, they probably won’t vote for it unless we flood the voting.

  • baileygirl99

    Only two Nintendo games? They can do better than that. I still think WW deserves this appreciation

  • The Rocket Lollipop

    I can’t decide which is my favorite zelda game, WW, or OoT

  • Dreiko

    so hard to choose, i love almost all of the games on that list, especially bioshock, red dead redemption, batman arkham city, portal shadow of the collossus and obviously, the wind waker, my third favorite zelda game of all time, i won’t vote, i simply can’t, i loved playing many of those games

  • Ryan

    Must say I disagree with some of the choices. Wii Sports? The only reason people have that is because Nintendo bundled it with the console. Why not something truly epic like 2003’s Knights of the Old Republic?

    • TheMaverickk

      Well Wii Sports is the reason why Nintendo sold so many Wii’s in the first place.

      There are very few games in the history of video games that have ever moved hardware as fast as that game did.

  • npatoray24

    I prefer TP over WW any day, but dont get me wrong, i love WW

  • Matthew Shannon

    The more time goes on. the more i realize how awesome this game is. its now one of my favorite games.

    • Matthew Shannon

      it was a tough vote between all of those games, but i had to go with red dead redemption . sorry zelda :/

  • Steele

    good, yes
    game of the decade… HELL NO
    dont take this the wrong way, but i liked tp better, nostalgia? maybe, but if i like that game better and wouldn’t nominate it, I’m not going to nominate the SLOWEST zelda game (maybe zelda 2 was slower, the point is the same).

  • Infinite1UPs Mask

    While WW is not my favorite, its still spectacular. If it wins, i will jump for joy and shat my pants. lol

  • Mr. Resetti

    Out of the games on that list, Wind Waker is easily number 1. I’m not sure as it’s my favourite game, or even favourite Zelda for that matter but, something about it is so charming, it bought in loads of new features and all the staples we’ve come to expect Don’t get me wrong I loved Red Dead Redemption (a favourite of mine) and I’m happy to see that, as well as others, make the list, but I feel as though a few examples have been left out, I mean where’s about Metroid Prime? that was an absolutely brilliant game and I think it deserves to be on the list (more so than Wii Sports anyway) That game did exactly what a sequel should do, it bought an old 2D franchise into the 3D era with all guns blazing, Prime is unique, it has a brilliant atmosphere, superbly crafted worlds and collectables and uncovering the story was extremely rewarding.

    • Valoo

      How about Pikmin 2 – Pikmin 1 was a little too early to make this list. maybe this guys dont like Nitnedno much. it seems like many of the game on this list are the “mature” HD ones of very recent years, they’re all great games but Worldof Warcraft and batman, as great as they are, just aren’t wuite up there with as you said Metroid Prime.

  • Austin_NES

    Uuggghhhhh it’s tied with MM for me but I think I like the windwaker a bit better.

  • Nico

    How could they not include Okami? Must… repress… urge to kill…

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