Posted on August 17 2022 by Sean Gadus
Despite having a rich legacy of inventive titles like A Link To The Past and The Minish Cap, the 2D, or top-down, side of the Zelda series has been dormant for almost a decade. The last original single-player top-down game (not a remake or remaster) was A Link Between Worlds, which released in 2013. A Link Between Worlds is an incredible game, and it has one of the most interesting new Zelda mechanics of the past decade: merging and moving along walls. Despite this, Nintendo never fully capitalized on the potential of the concept by making a follow up or sequel to the brilliant game. Since 2013, top-down Zelda fans have mainly had to look to other developers for this type of game, with only the odd multiplayer experiment or remake coming from Nintendo.
With this in mind, do you think Nintendo will release a new top-down Zelda game by the end of 2025? 2025 would be the tenth anniversary of Tri Force Heroes, the last new entry in the top-down Zelda subseries. It is also the halfway point of the decade, which feels like a fair measuring stick for the health of top-down Zelda. For the game to count, it must be an original Zelda title, not a port or remake of an existing top-down Zelda game.
Overall, I do not have a lot of confidence that Nintendo releases a new top-down Zelda game by the end of 2025. It seems like Nintendo is content to let other developers create games that innovate on past top-down Zelda games, with Blossom Tales or Tunic being good examples. I would love to see the next top-down Zelda project receive as much time and attention as a game like Metroid Dread received. It seems more likely that Nintendo will release a port of the Oracle games or The Minish Cap rather than a new title. The remakes might even have a similar art style to Link’s Awakening (2019).
What do you think? Will there be a new top-down Zelda game by the end of 2025? Do you think Nintendo still cares about creating top-down Zelda projects? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Sean Gadus is a Senior Editor at Zelda Dungeon. His first Zelda game was Ocarina of Time and he loves all of the 3D Zelda games from 1998-2011. He wants to help build a kinder, more compassionate world. You can check out his other written work at The-Artifice.com.