Top 10 Best Legend of Zelda Dungeons, Ranked

Since its earliest entries, the Legend of Zelda series has been home to creative and challenging puzzles and dungeons. Dungeons have served as the basis for the series’ game design since it was first released over 35 years ago. Some have united the fandom in mutual hatred – like the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time – but there are many popular dungeons in the game. Here are our top ten dungeons in the Legend of Zelda series to add to the discourse.

The best dungeons of The Legend of Zelda series – our top ten

The Legend of Zelda series is known for many things, from its memorable characters to its ever-floating and changing timeline. However, it is the dungeons that form the core of the gameplay in the series. This list focuses on some of the most challenging and memorable dungeons in the history of the series.

10) Divine Beast Vah Ruta – Breath of the Wild

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Breath of the Wild completely changed the structure of The Legend of Zelda such that there aren’t as many dungeons in the game as in previous games that focus more on exploration than dungeon crawling. Of the four divine beasts Link must master to save Hyrule, Vah Ruta is the most memorable. Not only does it reward players with an emotional reunion with Mipha, but the trunk movement mechanic in the dungeon is much more straightforward than some other Divine Beasts.

9) Lorule Castle – A link between worlds

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A Link Between Worlds is a great nostalgic game for fans of A Link to the Past, but this dungeon is also a great example of how the game’s themes move. Not only does it force players to use every mechanic and weapon they’ve gotten up until now, but it also underscores Lorule’s flipped nature. It’s everything Hyrule isn’t, but still feels cute. There is a careful balance here that works better than any other dungeon in the game.

8) Spirit Temple – Ocarina of Time

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No dungeon in Ocarina of Time borrows as much from the time travel mechanics as the Spirit Temple. In several places you can only make progress in either your child or your adult body. This is the first time it feels like Link has fully mastered time himself, becoming the hero of time he keeps citing. Also, the boss fight against Twinrova is a great example of how to use the dungeon’s key element in a fun and creative way.

7) Lanayru Mining Plant – Skyward Sword

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Skyward Sword is packed with interesting dungeon designs, but our favorite is the Lanaryu Mining Facility section, which forces players to play with the times to reach the end. Moving the time crystals around the sprawling rooms, bringing the machines to life, and then shutting them down is key to progression, but it’s more than a gimmick. It helps tell a story of a world that even predates Hyrule’s legends as Link finally reaches the end.

6) The Deku Tree – Ocarina of Time

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Opening with one of the best Legend of Zelda games, The Deku Tree is a bittersweet moment for the players. They go there to rescue the keeper of their forest, but instead witness his death and rebirth. The dungeon also highlights the need to think in three dimensions to reach the ending, which was a big change from previous games. It’s hard not to be emotional at the end of this dungeon knowing it will banish Link from his home forever.

5) Skull Woods – A connection to the past

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A Link to the Past is brilliant in its use of parallel worlds, with light world locations having a twisted but still familiar version in the dark world. This is where the whimsical and mind-bending Lost Woods, where Link finds the Master Sword, transforms into one of the most interesting dungeon designs in the game. With multiple entrances and a great boss fight at the end, this area feels dark and spooky from start to finish.

4) Snowpeak Ruins – Twilight Princess

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This dungeon stands out from the others on this list because it feels less spooky than most Legend of Zelda dungeons. Instead of being inhabited by one of Ganon’s minions, it houses a pair of beloved yeti who need help to free them from a curse. The icy puzzles are challenging but not as bad as many ice levels in video games. The long hike to the top of the mountain this dungeon sits on adds to the sense of isolation and fear players feel upon entering. Top it off with a solid boss fight at the end, and you’ve got one of the best Legend of Zelda dungeons of all time.

3) Tower of the Gods – The Windwaker

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This is another dungeon that mixes elements of fantasy with sci-fi to great effect. The Tower of the Gods is easily The Wind Waker’s standout dungeon, featuring your first experience of Darknuts and one of the most epic boss fights in the game. You’ll have to travel through multiple levels, climb the outside, and solve the statue puzzles to get to the other side, but it’s all worth it for the satisfaction of being at the top.

2) Palace of Twilight – Twilight Princess

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This is one of the simpler dungeons in the Legend of Zelda series, but it’s a perfect example of storytelling through an environment. No other dungeon in the game looks and feels as dark and hopeless and tells us more about Midna and her past than any dialogue in the game. It’s incredibly atmospheric and stands out from all the other dungeons in the series.

1) Jabu-Jabu’s Stomach – Ocarina of Time

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A controversial choice? Maybe, but if you want a Legend of Zelda dungeon to remember, you won’t find a better one than rescuing a princess from a whale’s belly. Everything about this dungeon demonstrates how the Ocarina of Time dungeons work, from the multiple levels to the need to rescue the stubborn Princess Ruta from the beast’s belly. Best of all, the dungeon feels like completing it will have a positive impact on the world around you, freeing Jabu-Jabu from the dark influence that has taken control.

https://www.gamepur.com/guides/the-top-10-best-legend-of-zelda-dungeons-ranked Top 10 Best Legend of Zelda Dungeons, Ranked

Curtis Crabtree

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