The Greatness of ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’ (1991)

For nearly 30 years, The Legend of Zelda has been one of the most beloved and recognizable franchises in video game history. The first game in the series was released back in 1986 and is regarded as one of the best games on the Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES), and subsequent Zelda games have continued to raise the bar for fans of action/adventure games with their simple yet immersive gameplay and equally immersive storylines.

The Beginnings of the Franchise

The Legend of Zelda franchise continues to enthrall gamers to this day with games on Nintendo’s current generation of game consoles, but it was the third entry into the series that was regarded as one of the top 25 games available on the Game Boy Advance of all time. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was released in 1991, and is the only Zelda game to be released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

Although the later 64-bit Ocarina of Time sticks out in gamers’ minds as the best game in the franchise, A Link to the Past comes in at a very close second, especially for older gamers. It’s hard to dispute the appeal of this game. After the second NES Zelda game became the black sheep of the franchise for its side-scrolling action scenes, A Link to the Past wisely went back to the roots of the series with a top-down view similar to the classic original game. Of course, that was hardly the only thing that this game did right.

It wasn’t just the graphics that got a significant upgrade for Link’s SNES outing; everything about the series was improved upon in almost every way. The game’s world was huge, combat was more intricate, and the storyline became more engaging than ever by replacing the simple “save the princess” plot with one that had gamers travel to a parallel universe (a nightmare version of the game’s main world) to stop the franchise’s main villain Ganon from taking over the world. Add the fact that the game has no less than ten huge dungeons to explore, along with a large overworld, and it’s no wonder that gamers were enchanted with this game. In fact, it still holds up to this day. Even with newer Zelda games being released for more powerful game systems, the comparatively simple and modest third entry is still a lot of fun to play.

Fun for Older and Younger Gamers

Any faults that can be found in A Link to the Past will most likely be chalked up to the fact that this game is over two decades old. Younger gamers who associate Zelda with Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword might be wary of playing a game that was designed on a console that may be older than they are. However, don’t let this game’s age stop you from playing. It’s graphics are still charming, it has some of the most memorable video game music of all time, and there is enough to do to suck in any gamer.

Whether you’re an older gamer who remembers when A Link to the Past was available for the SNES or a younger player who wants to explore the Zelda franchise’s roots, this game is definitely worth checking out on the Wii Virtual Console, a Game Boy Advance, or an old SNES.

 

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