Posted on March 25 2023 by Mike Midwood
I am a huge fan of buying and collecting physical media. Even now, when digital downloads have become the standard for most people, I prefer to buy a physical copy with it’s own mass and weight when possible. There’s an undeniable convenience to digitally stored video games, but I absolutely love holding a full-size piece of box art in my hands. Unfortunately, we are living in a drought of good cover art, with most games opting for the “main character standing stoically in the foreground” approach. For a series as long and storied as The Legend of Zelda, there’s only been a few stylistic shifts in how the game is physically represented. Which Zelda game has the best box art?
For quite a while after the series’ inception, the series standard was to focus on the design of the title itself and impose it against a golden backdrop. It’s easy to say that this standardized approach is a bit boring. I agree that some of the better box art came after this era, but there’s something very classy about the game’s title crest emblazoned upon the gilded backdrop. For those who remember those old days, there was no question about it when you saw a Zelda game. What else could it be? The big exception was Majora’s Mask, which did use the same formatting, but with the game’s signature purple motif and the glaring eyes of the titular villain.
My personal favorite would have to be the original release of Twilight Princess. It stood out significantly from the previous games in the series and most games at the time in general. This cover art also does a great job at communicating the tone and atmosphere that would pervade the game. The split image of Link in both his Hylian and wolf forms portends the game’s central hook (regardless of how it worked out) and I remember being so excited to pop this game in when I first saw it. I still can’t believe that every release region got a similar cover for Twilight Princess HD except North America, which received a design I consider to be vastly inferior.
What about you? Which Zelda game has your favorite box art? What do you feel it says about that game? Let us know in the comments below!
Hi, I’m Mike Midwood and I’m a Senior Editor at ZeldaDungeon! Video games and literature are my greatest joys in life. An avid Zelda fan, some of my other favorite games include the Resident Evil and Dark Souls series. I hope you enjoy my content here on ZeldaDungeon!
“The sword has no strength unless the hand that holds it has courage.”