Known for his extensive work on The Legend of Zelda series dating back to Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma has been the franchise’s lead producer for almost 20 years. As the driving force behind the Zelda series, some fans may be curious to learn which Zelda games stand as his favorite. Well, Aonuma recently revealed that his top three Zelda games are Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, and Phantom Hourglass, with Phantom Hourglass taking the top spot.
Aonuma divulged his top three Zelda games in a recent interview with Game Informer. Some fans may be surprised at the order in which The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild producer ranked the games, but the reasoning behind his rankings make sense. He explained that Ocarina of Time was the first game that gave him an opportunity to design a 3D world, which is why he holds it in such high regard, and Twilight Princess is closely behind it because it was his attempt at creating something better than Ocarina.
As for his top ranked Zelda, Phantom Hourglass on the Nintendo DS, Aonuma offered a couple of different reasons why it’s his favorite Zelda game.
“This is something my wife also likes, Phantom Hourglass. That’s number one. I was developing Twilight Princess, and the goal for that was to make something better than Ocarina. But then that game was something I proposed as a new style of gameplay, and I was a producer on that game for the first time, so I have a lot of sentiment for it.”
Besides revealing his top three Zelda games, Aonuma also pointed out a Zelda game he feels is underrated. Aonuma named The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes on the 3DS as an underrated Zelda adventure, going as far as to claim that he loves the game. Unfortunately, the majority of video game critics didn’t share Aonuma’s love for the quirky multiplayer-centric title, making it the lowest-rated Zelda game from Nintendo to date.
Perhaps the comparatively poor critical reception to Tri Force Heroes is why Breath of the Wild doesn’t have any multiplayer options, but even so, Aonuma hasn’t given up on the concept entirely. In fact, he has teased in the past that the next Zelda game on the Nintendo Switch could support multiplayer in some capacity.
Regardless of what the future holds for Zelda, it’s interesting to learn what the franchise’s lead producer thinks are the best games in the series released so far. It will also be interesting to see if The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild edges one of those games off Aonuma’s list if he’s asked this question again a year from now, especially since its taking some bold risks with the franchise’s established formula, like adding voice acting and featuring a massive open world.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on March 3, 2017 for Nintendo Switch and Wii U.