Today marks one year since the launch of Tears of the Kingdom, and what a year it’s been! Even now, players are still pouring hundreds of hours into this game, and yet there are still new things to discover. The in-game tools Tears equipped players with and its immense allowance of creative freedom has spawned hours upon hours of online content, and has led to the creation of groups completely dedicated to flexing their creative muscles and pushing the game to it’s absolute limit.

Although the excitement surrounding Tears of the Kingdom is still relatively high, it has waned a little, as is natural. Recency bias gives way to clarity and our feelings deepen as we turn a critical eye towards a game we may love. On the other hand, as we continue to play, our increased understanding of the game and its mechanics may breed a new appreciation for some of the subtler qualities.

Whether you love it or hate it, time and experience brings about nuance in our thoughts and feelings, so we want to hear how your opinions of Tears of the Kingdom have changed over the last year. What do you think of it now?

Thankfully, Zelda Dungeon has been running Daily Debates gauging reader opinions since the day Tears of the Kingdom launched, so let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how we’ve changed. Here are a few excerpts of the comments from our Daily Debate on May 12th, 2023, launch day.

  • A boot: “why did i play this game for 11 hours straight without sleep i have a life please help me
    on a different note, the game’s great! 10/10″
  • Andy Stout: “That bit where birdsong leads you out of the Room of Awakening and you find yourself up in the sky with the whole of Hyrule below you? *That*. It’s a sense of wonder and sheer scale that I’ve only ever got from BOTW and TOTK and it’s worth the price of admission on its own.”
  • Jim Pyne: “I think they made have made the best Zelda game ever. Super early but the story is cool so far. New exciting abilities to keep things fresh. The cut scenes are fantastic. All the shrine and tower updates are done so well. Most of the issues from BOTW seem fixed. Entirely new enemies as well. Feels so fresh for a sequel.”
  • It’s breathtaking. Just wow.”


Though there were a few minor criticisms in the comments, most of you were enthusiastic in your praise. Let’s contrast this to a Daily Debate from October 7th, 2023 where we asked how your feelings have changed since launch.

  • Logan: “It’s still awesome, but part of me wants to return to something more grounded, and less wild and fantastical . . . I still like what they’ve done for BotW and TotK, it fits their respective stories and styles, but part of me hungers for some good old-fashioned trekking and adventuring in the lands of Hyrule, on foot and horseback, fighting enemies with traditional hand-held weapons.”
  • Downthrust: “At first I was like NEW ZELDA YAAAAAAAAAYY! Now, I think that it is a great game. But, I want a new overworld to explore, and better dungeons. This game is still amazing and 20 years in the future, I think it will be remembered more than BOTW.”
  • What is love?: “I was definitely feeling the new game hype when it dropped, but as I progressed I got more and more disappointed, so i distanced myself from the game, thinking I was trying too hard to finish it ASAP. but honestly, I don’t feel much different now. I think it was overhyped and i fell for it, and so i think i was expecting much more than it was ever going to be.”
  • SkyloftSword: “Still absolutely love the story, dungeons, characters, music, gameplay even on my third playthrough and almost 600 hours in the game. Starting to appreciate Ultrahand much more and how fun the building mechanic is . . . But the storytelling flaws really stick out to me now and they HURT. This game needed to have linearity, because as much as I loved the Regional Phenomena, Mineru’s quest and Dragon Tears, you can spoil yourself and that isn’t good design. Still a 10/10 game overall for me despite this issue though.”
  • Isaix: “At first, I saw it as the best Zelda game. I still do, but honestly I was bored through most of my playthrough of the game. I can’t replay open world games and Totk felt like I was replaying Botw.
    So I have very mixed feeling about the game. As much as I dislike Skyward Sword, I had more fun playing SS than Totk, but Totk is still a better game. I guess in a way Totk is the game Botw should have been.”


So, while still having an overall positive reception, some fans started to turn a more critical towards Tears of the Kingdom. Again, that’s not a bad thing, rather its entirely consistent with the lifecycle of a game. That new game excitement wears off and we start to view the game through a clearer lens. Our experience with the game allows us to see things we might have overlooked at launch. However, time doesn’t always sour our experience with a game; sometimes it improves it.

That’s why we want to hear your thoughts now. Exactly one year later, how do you feel about Tears of the Kingdom? In what way has your opinion changed? Are there any ways in which you appreciate the game more now than at launch? How do you think players will perceive the game ten years from now? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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