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General Classic Is There a Separation Line Between Classic and Modern Zelda for You?


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
Is there a separation line between classic and modern Zelda for you? Why/why not? And where does it start? Is there anything that classic Zelda has that modern Zelda doesn't?

ZeldaDungeon, for example, cuts off classic and modern Zelda at the Oracles: the Oracles series and backwards are classic, and TWW forward is modern.

I personally use that same line. And I daresay that classic Zelda simply has more quality in the titles, and more direction. Sure, their stories aren't particularly gripping for most (bar MM), but the developers sure as hell didn't know what they were doing and just winged it, which somehow resulted in the legendary titles we have today. o_O


embrace the brand new day
Oct 23, 2012
I try not to categorize Zeldas by modern/classic. Each Zelda game (or pair of games, or trilogy) is an individual, and I treat them all as such.
If I categorize them at all, it's simply by 2D and 3D.
i dont see a distinction between them the only distinction in Zelda games are 3d/2d ones, a classic/modern divide doesnt exist to me. There is no real reason to consider a change in distinction through the chronology of game releases, like ZD's defining of classic and modern i think both eras have some great and some not so great games do there really is no way for me to consider a divide such as modern/classic based on quality or capabilities since every instalment moves with the technology too so it isn't fair to define and determine based on that. not that it matters any way its still all just Zelda for better or worse.

Azure Sage

Spread Smiles!
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
I most definitely do not categorize them. I don't see the need for it. It's all Zelda, and it's all good for the most part. There's no reason to categorize them unless you want to be organized about it. But categorizing them and then comparing them like that isn't something I do.


Swag Master General
Aug 1, 2012
The End
Apache Helicopter
I usually "separate" Zelda games by 2D and 3D. If I needed to choose the but off between classic and modern, I would say any thing before The Wind Waker is classic and anything after the Oracle games are modern.

Games that were made after the Oracle games have more of a modern feel, in my opinion.


つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
Nov 12, 2007
In bed
I feel there's something lost, and it's just Nintendo needing to try new things.

I don't feel, as a game, that Zelda has gotten any worse. It's still fun, reviewed and received well by most people, obviously it's still a good game. I still get excited every time a new one comes out, or at least a new console one. But gaming's moved on, and it's not the juggernaut it once was. There was a time when Zelda drove the Industry forward, with the original, OoT, when it was a masterpiece. It's not anymore. It's still one of the best franchises around, and one of the most respectable, but it's not what it once was. I feel that's been lost.

So that's just my personal opinion about it.


The Fierce Deity
Jan 16, 2013
Inside the Moon
No way no how. I might call one game a classic, but I never liked the Zeldadungeon way of classifying them. Ít's too rigid, and it fails to not just how different these games are. I mean it puts 2D games on both sides, and it fails to account for the big jump in game quality from NES to SNES or N64 to Wii. Its just too rigid wile being ti undetailed.

Here's a real classification for you. You start off with each major game debuting after the release of a new home console.

Gen1- LOZ, Zelda II

Gen 2- Alttp, LA

Gen 3-OoT, MM, OoX, LADX

Gen 4- WW, FS, FSA, MC, TP (it was designed for a released on gamecube but ported to wii)

Gen 5- TP, PH, ST, SS

Gen6- AlBW


Darkest of all Dark Links
Oct 28, 2012
The line is between OoT and LA. If you compare OoT to the original four and then the games onward, it's easily closer to modern Zelda. Same with MM and OoA. Even OoS isn't quite as classic as the others in terms of gameplay.

Classic Zelda is challenging, generally non-linear by design, focuses on combat, and has very little story

Modern Zelda tries to be linear, is easier, and focuses on puzzles, and has some story.

OoS is in the middle. It's easy and linear...but it focuses on combat and doesn't have much story.
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May 18, 2013
There's no separation line, only a transition between classic and modern games. It started with Oot, completed with WW, every titles after that is "modern". Personally, I don't like that such a destination exists, but I guess it's necessary sometimes.


Jun 22, 2011
I feel like the differences between modern and classic Zelda occurred gradually so it doesn't make a ton of sense for me to draw a line in the sand. However I do find myself using Wind Waker as the mid-point of the series. I find it very interesting how we started off with a game in which we collected 8 pieces of the Triforce and then 8 games later in Wind Waker that same mechanic was used. So in this sense by alluding to the original game, Wind Waker acts as sort of a bridge between modern and classic Zelda. This also neatly breaks the 16 games we have so far into equal sets of 8 each starting with a game in which we collect 8 pieces of the triforce.

Having said that we do have lots of overlap if we try to separate the games into these two categories. DarkestLink sums up the general attributes of classic and modern Zelda well, and what I find interesting are the games that seem out of place in some respect. Keep in mind that I am using Wind Waker as the first modern game. Some examples include: Link's Awakening is very linear, Ocarina of Time is one of the easiest games, Oracle of Ages is the puzzle game, Phantom Hourglass is nonlinear, and Skyward Sword has a lot of emphasis on combat. I just find it interesting how we automatically try to categorize the games even though there are many exceptions to the general attributes.

Mellow Ezlo

Spoony Bard
Forum Volunteer
Dec 2, 2012
I do not classify Zelda. I don't know why, but classifying games seems, in a way, a little biased to me. I mean, you like the older games better, so you call them classic; then you like the newer games worse, so they're the modern ones. I have never in my life drawn a line between classic and modern Zelda, because a Zelda game is a Zelda game. 2D and 3D is a much classification, since it is less biased. There is no place to decide "Oh, I like these games better, so I'll draw the line here". Zelda is not, and never will be, about modern and classic. It is about the series as a whole, and each individual game within it.


Darkest of all Dark Links
Oct 28, 2012
I dunno why Wind Waker is generally considered the first modern title...it's linear and easy, yes. It focuses more on story and puzzles, yes. But Wind Waker focused a lot more on exploration than either OoT or MM and it's overworld wasn't nearly as restricted as MM's and TP's

Heroine of Time

Rest in peace, Paris Caper...
Aug 6, 2011
Take a guess.
While that line does sort of exist for me, I don't judge a game simply because of it being "modern" or "classic". There's definitely a different type of style to each of them, but I absolutely LOVE several the "classic" games (Link's Awakening <3) and plenty of the "modern" ones, so I think the distinction isn't completely significant. For me. The difference is there; I don't like it, but it's there. But I can't say one has more quality than the other really. I'd rather judge on a case-by-case basis.

Sure, their stories aren't particularly gripping for most (bar MM), but the developers sure as hell didn't know what they were doing and just winged it, which somehow resulted in the legendary titles we have today. o_O
^ I laughed at that. And it's probably true. XD

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