Our Unanimous Best Game of 1991:
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
T.J.’s Take: To continue with a theme of series finding themselves this year, A Link to the Past was the first Zelda game that was truly made in the tradition of the Zelda games we know and love today. It had a strong narrative impetus from square one. It had a diverse, sprawling world that really felt alive – from the pastoral calm of Kakariko Village to the deadly heights of Death Mountain. We met beloved characters and locations which would be reimagined and reintroduced throughout the series. We explored dungeons with challenging, thematic puzzle design, diverse enemies, and a ton of personality. This game absolutely holds up today every bit as well as it did in ’91, or 2001, or 2011. I’m not being the least shred hyperbolic to call it a masterpiece.
D.M.’s Take: A game changer, period. With its incredible two world set-up, its excellent puzzles, and its well-designed encounters, A Link to the Past represented something incredible for the genre. The story, while simple, still managed to resonate, and when Link takes up his uncle’s sword, we know we’re stepping into something special.