The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

79 critics

Score Distribution

9.00 to 10.0
8.00 to 8.99
6.00 to 7.99
4.00 to 5.99
0 to 3.99
Heidi HawesSep 26, 2019
This remake has improved upon every aspect of the original and is a delight to behold. Now here’s hoping they’ll give some of the others like A Link to the Past the same kind of treatment. Or perhaps bring back this kind of Zelda charm to the grossly lacking newer installments (I’m looking at you Breath of the Wild).
Shaan JoshiSep 19, 2019
In many ways, playing through the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is like coming home after a long trip abroad. Sure, the sights and sounds of an entirely new world do have their own allure, but nostalgia and familiarity are tough to ignore. Even if you haven’t had the chance to play through the original before, the intimate and casual feeling of Koholint Island offers a welcome change of pace from where the franchise (and genre) is heading. It may not be as innovative as its contemporaries, but it’s still every bit as entertaining.
Trevor GouldOct 01, 2019
Despite its modest handheld origins, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a true console experience. With updated aesthetics and superior controls (especially for inventory), it’s shaping up to carry on the Game Boy legacy and be both a critical and commercial hit. An innovative, generally light-hearted installment that’s full of surprises, Zelda enthusiasts won’t want to overlook this game. Link’s Awakening is also an ideal entry for those who aren’t Zelda fans.
Chris CarterSep 19, 2019
Slight gripes with the new engine and the old source aside, this is still Link's Awakening: one of the best Zelda games to date. Although I don't think I'm going to rotate the DX version out of my yearly Zelda replay sessions, I'll definitely be working the Switch remake in.
Ken McKownOct 09, 2019
Link’s Awakening is yet another outstanding addition to the Switch library. Anyone who says that Nintendo isn’t killing it with first-party games this year is delusional. They seem to pump out a classic almost monthly. Being able to revisit one of the most obscure and delightful Zelda games from the past is just another reason why the Switch is so magical. I cannot recommend this title enough. It transcends history and feels like a game that would pass as a current title.
Jeff CorkSep 19, 2019
Link’s Awakening has always held a special place in my heart, but asking someone to go back to the original release is tough. With this remake, people don’t have any excuses for not playing through one of the best (and strangest) entries. I envy those of you who will be experiencing this for the first time, though revisiting it all these years later is still an absolute pleasure.
Eric ChrismanSep 27, 2019
Despite suffering from some really noticeable frame-rate issues and some straight-up obtuse solutions, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening still shines as one of the most unique and charming entries in the long-running series.
Dean JamesOct 02, 2019
The Legend of Zelda series is known for its quality across both consoles and handhelds, with the latter often standing out for their uniqueness within the franchise as a whole. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was a shining example of that on the Game Boy and once again proves why it deserves to be talked about among the best in the series with its remake on the Nintendo Switch.
Mark SteighnerSep 26, 2019
While it isn’t technically a new game, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening looks and feels as fresh and inviting as any new game released on the Switch. It preserves all the strange, playful fun of the original while utterly transforming it visually and mechanically, and preserves everything that made Link’s Awakening a classic. Whether you’re playing it for the first time or revisiting a longtime favorite, you won’t be disappointed.
Joe SkrebelsSep 19, 2019
Link’s Awakening retains the style and feel of its 1993 self, but looks and controls like a game – albeit a retro-styled one – made in 2019. In doing so, this feels like it was made in some alternate present, where games remained in 2D, puzzle-focused and strange, but tech improved to support it all. You could, I guess, call it time travel.
Chris "Atom" DeAngelusSep 24, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a delightful remake of an excellent game. A lot of its strength is predicated on the fact that it was built on an already exceptional Zelda game, and if you have any nostalgia for the Game Boy version, you'll be charmed by this update. The game's only real flaws are its overall short length and the frustrating frame rate issues. If you're a Zelda fan, it's still absolutely worth checking out, and if the frame rate issues get patched, this title will be the best way to play the handheld classic.
Alex SeedhouseSep 19, 2019
What’s far more important is that The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is just as magical as it ever was, and, in being remade, has lost none of the charm that made the original so special in the first place. Grezzo must take the credit for that, delivering an exceptional remake that’s both a perfect entry point for those new to the series and a worthwhile nostalgic trip for those that have set out on this adventure before.
Grant HuffSep 30, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was fantastic back in 1993 and the original is still great to this day. But Grezzo’s remake is now the definitive Link’s Awakening experience. If you missed it on the Game Boy, there is no question that this is a must-buy for Switch owners. Koholint Island features some of the best dungeons, level design, weapons, and boss battles in the entire series. Everyone should come to its shores to awaken the Wind Fish.
Jason FaulknerOct 08, 2019
At $60, you can get this great 26-year-old game with some updated graphics, or you could get Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Hell, depending on the time of year, you could get The Witcher 3 for you and five of your friends and loved ones. With so much competition, the Nintendo tax isn’t worth paying for this one, especially with such a packed release calendar over the next six months. Unless you find this one on sale, do yourself a favor and grab Link’s Awakening DX instead.
Michael GoroffSep 19, 2019
The remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is stuck between two places—the past and the present. Chances are that you’ve already made up your mind about whether or not to play it. It’s a classic Zelda game given a second chance with a striking visual language and evocative, haunting musical reinterpretations. Making the jump from the Game Boy to the Switch means that you’ll spend a lot less time changing items in the menu and much more time appreciating the meticulous clockwork of Koholint Island’s challenges.
Andrew StretchSep 27, 2019
Link's Awakening takes everything excellent about the original release and adds a fantastic shine to it. This already might have been one of the best Zelda titles to date, and it's only improved here.
Joshua BroadwellSep 24, 2019
With a host of enhancements that more than make it worth playing for newcomers and old fans alike, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remains a brilliant example of impeccable design.
James PaleySep 19, 2019
Putting aside the gorgeous graphics, the obtuse level design, and the various modern touches, Link’s Awakening is still an exceptional Zelda game. I found myself sneaking in extra sessions instead of sleeping or working. I was frantically seeking out guides online, only to discover they were all obsolete. I put off challenging the final boss for hours, all to scoop up more shells, heart pieces, and collectibles. Whatever flaws I spotted, I had no desire to leave Koholint behind. I still don’t. However long it takes, I’ll keep plugging away until I’ve crafted a fully complete save file.
Kirstin SwalleySep 23, 2019
With all the changes it’s easily the best version to experience the adventure through. While the frame dips on the overworld are annoying, it’s not enough to take away from the beautiful world this title brings back to life. Every little thing is recreated in such a beautiful setting that it’s no surprise people would want to experience Koholint again, or perhaps for the first time. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is an unforgettable adventure, and this remake does it justice by capturing exactly what made it one of the most popular in the series.
Alec SandarSep 26, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Switch remake should be an example to all, not only Nintendo, on how to revive oldie goldie games we all love and would like brought back to life on new-generation consoles and platforms.
Dan HastingsOct 11, 2019
A really enjoyable game that looks great and has very high production values. The inclusion of so many characters from the Mario franchise will raise an eyebrow and have you wondering what the point is. Link’s Awakening doesn’t do anything bad, but it doesn’t have that special something that other titles in the Zelda franchise have.
Peter BrownSep 19, 2019
Though the remake has a couple of blemishes, it's still an easy game to recommend. People speak of Link's Awakening as the secret best Zelda game. That's a tough call to make, but it's definitely one of the best. If you haven't touched a classic Zelda game in a while, Link's Awakening will almost instantly transport you back to the '90s. It's simple, in many ways, but the orchestrated journey still conveys a sense of adventure, and this new version is without question the best way to experience it. And more than anything else, it will put a smile on your face.
Shubhankar ParijatSep 24, 2019
Chamber Dungeon feeling like a pointless addition really doesn’t detract from the package, which is still impeccably strong because of how great Link’s Awakening was and continues to be. While the shine is a little tempered owing to the limitations of the original game a showing a little, 26 years later, on the whole, Link’s Awakening is still delightful. For newcomers and returning fans alike, this is an adventure worth experiencing.
Ankit GabaSep 19, 2019
Link’s awakening has a great soundtrack, and looks visually stunning but, it still lacks a lot of things, and there are some bugs in this game too, it kind of feels unfinished they should’ve fixed all of the issues. First, The worst problem is the frame rate you will usually see it drop as you go in some big dungeons, a town or boss fights during combat, which ruins the experience as mentioned before, but the game still manages to offer a great experience.
Nadia OxfordSep 19, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake for the Switch improves most of the flaws from the original game while maintaining (or enhancing) everything that makes Link's Game Boy adventure a classic. Its shiny new coat of paint suits it well, even if slowdown issues pop up from time to time. A few hours of play is all it takes to remind you why Zelda fans love Link's Awakening so very much.
Sam LoveridgeSep 19, 2019
This is old-school Zelda at its best and most strange, reimagined for a modern audience. For those looking for a more traditional Zelda experience on Switch, this is the dream, with its inventive dungeons and puzzles galore (although don't make me do any more horse head bouncing), set in a world that'll keep you exploring for days to come. Regardless of whether you're familiar with the game or are experiencing it for the first time, this is a sweet slumber you'll want to slip straight into.
Ozzie MejiaSep 26, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has been an overlooked treasure for a long time. As new generations of players have grown up, having grown up without the primitive Game Boy, this classic was running the risk of eventually being forgotten. Nintendo has reminded everybody of what a marvelous adventure Link's Awakening truly is, thanks in part to an innovative art style.
Freddie GreenNov 04, 2019
Overall, Nintendo has done an excellent job introducing Link’s Awakening to a new audience. The fresh lick of paint is stunning, it screams charm and personality, and the updated controls make the game more accessuible than ever. Nintendo deserves huge credit for making a 26 year old game feel this modern.
Geoffrey TimSep 19, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a loving remake of a decades-old game remake with just enough modern touches to make it worth playing again. Graphical overhaul aside, it’s perhaps a little too faithful to the original, while additions like the dungeon-builder are a bust. Newcomers get to experience one of the quirkiest games in the series, but for those who’ve played through it multiple times, there’s little reason to play other than nostalgia or adoration - both of which are perfectly good excuses to return to Koholint.
George FosterSep 19, 2019
When it comes to looking at remakes and remasters, the one question you really have to ask is, does this improve upon the original game? Thanks to a beautiful presentation, fantastic gameplay that more than holds up today and some significant gameplay tweaks, Link’s Awakening shows that old-school Zelda has just as much of a place in contemporary gaming as it did back in 1993.
Dave AubreySep 19, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening looks gorgeous, sounds beautiful, and tells a twee and compelling tale. While the game can be played through in around ten hours if you know what you're doing in advance, new players will find a lengthy and engaging Zelda game to love. Whether it's your first time playing Link's Awakening or your dozenth, you will still find a gripping Switch game that you'll remember for another twenty years.
Michael DamianiSep 20, 2019
Kim SnaithSep 25, 2019
There’s no denying Link’s Awakening is a very enjoyable adventure, however. It hits you right in the nostalgia spot if you’ve played before, and even if you haven’t it stands up well against more modern titles. After all, games are still continually being made in the vein of classic Zelda adventures. It’s just a shame it’s let down by such troublesome graphical and performance issues. With an optimisation patch and a price cut, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening would be a must-buy. Until then, it isn’t.
GameCentralSep 19, 2019
The lack of any meaningful additions is a surprise, but it only underlines what a fantastic game the Game Boy original was, in what is still a classic Zelda title that thoroughly deserves the star treatment.
Jamie DaviesNov 16, 2019
Link's Awakening is a joyous adventure and a treat for the eyes, marred by some minor performance hiccups. It's truly a shame that this title is following up the most ambitious entry in the series' history and feels dissapointingly small in comparison.
Nicholas TaylorOct 24, 2019
The game itself is a fulfilling experience and I felt a healthy mix of nostalgia and a fresh sense of wonder while playing through it, but the biggest boon for me is the reaffirmation that Nintendo hasn't entirely cast aside the classic tenets of the Legend of Zelda experience, making me quite hopeful that we'll see future games in the franchise that hold on to what made the series originally special in so many of our hearts.
Adam CookSep 19, 2019
Whether you’re a new or old player, Link’s Awakening remains is hugely compelling and is another Switch must-have.
Juan A. FonsecaSep 19, 2019
As such, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is able today to do again what it did back then. You might find much more complex and deep narrative and mechanics, but this game doesn't need to dive those waters to stand out. Neither does it need to find new concepts, as its charm lies in how faithful it remains to the original, and how it keeps the essence of a video game legend.
Bernard BooSep 26, 2019
Link’s Awakening isn’t the most revered entry in The Legend of Zelda, but perhaps it should be. If anything, this remake is a reminder of just how meticulously crafted this game is, and it’s heartening to know that a new generation of gamers can experience the game in even better form than we old-heads did in the ‘90s.
Daan KoopmanSep 19, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, despite its share of technical mishaps, remains one of the most wonderful entries in the series. The charm, gameplay and world building are wonderful to behold and deserve to be seen. The selection of smart fixes makes the game less of a grind and mostly an experience that keeps on trucking. While I don't think much of the Chamber Dungeons and other added trinkets, the refinements made to the overall flow make the journey worth it. For newcomers or Zelda veterans, Link's Awakening is a hoot from beginning to end.
Stefan LSep 19, 2019
With a quirkiness to it that stands out from the rest of the series, Link's Awakening still holds up beautifully well as a modern 2D Zelda game. Outside of some nagging performance issues, Link's Awakening is a wonderful remake of a Game Boy classic.
Jon MundySep 19, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Switch reasserts the original's position as one of the richest, strangest and most affecting games in the series
Paul MurphySep 19, 2019
If you have never experienced Link’s Awakening before then go and buy this now, because it’s amazing. If you have, the new styling perfectly complements the adventure. Plus, you’ll know that it’s well worth playing again. It’s the best 2D Zelda.
PJ O'ReillySep 19, 2019
This beautiful Switch remake rebuilds all of this from the ground up in fine style. It adds modern conveniences, a dungeon creator, amiibo support and lots of little quality of life improvements whilst infusing every single square inch of Koholint – every secret passage, Piranha, Pokey and Pig Warrior – with a level of detail and depth that totally reinvigorates both its timeless story and classic Zelda gameplay for a whole new generation of gamers.
Drew HurleySep 20, 2019
The lead project manager of the Zelda franchise, Eiji Aonuma, has been with the series since Ocarina of Time, but he had no hand in the original Link's Awakening. However, he's said many times that it holds a special place in his heart. It's easy to see that this is true with this game, as he has given a rebirth to a classic.
John FrisciaSep 19, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for Switch completely faithfully updates the Game Boy classic for modern audiences, and Zelda fans would be out of their minds not to play it. It is a piece of art in the literal sense with its impeccable presentation. It just doesn’t last very long, Chamber Dungeon is tedious and illogical, and the game won’t surprise longtime players with anything especially big and new. I can’t imagine those factors will bother fans very much though.
Remington JosephSep 19, 2019
Returning players will get to experience this game the way it deserves to be played and newcomers will get to embark on a Zelda adventure unlike any other. Even with its annoying performance issues, this remake trumps the original in literally every way when it comes to visuals and quality of life improvements. While I do wish the touted Dungeon Chamber Mode lived to all the hype, it does nothing to take away what is otherwise a fantastic recreation of an underappreciated Zelda title.
A.J. MaciejewskiSep 19, 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was a wonderful game when it first released and this new Switch version may not deviate much from the original but it definitely looks and sounds great. The few sprinkles of additional content add some much-needed value, too.
Billy AtmanSep 30, 2019
The Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening is an extremely well done remake and stays true to the original in all of the best ways. The wonderful new art style and score make this hands-down my new favourite way to experience this classic. The lack of hand-holding may make things challenging for first-time younger players, but a solution is thankfully never too far away. Whether you've played the original a hundred times or have never experienced it at all, the Switch version is far and away the best way to play it today.
Ben SalterSep 19, 2019
Having previously only dabbled with the Game Boy Color remaster, it was about time I gave Link’s Awakening a proper go. In turn, it rewarded me with one of the most engrossing and rewarding gaming experiences of 2019. Despite being over a quarter of a century old, the gameplay holds up remarkably well, especially the short and sweet dungeons and delectable puzzles. It’s one of the shorter Zelda games, clocking in at 8-10 hours, but it’s quality over quantity with a relaxing and familiar The Legend of Zelda jaunt.