For almost 40 years, The Legend of Zelda has graced every Nintendo console since its inception on the NES. Now that’s a long time, so it’s no surprise that there’s a plentiful cast of colourful Zelda characters. There’s no specific order to this list. It’s simply who we believe are the best characters in the Legend of Zelda franchise.
If you’re wondering when the outstanding game The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker is coming to Nintendo Switch, check out our guide speculating on a potential Winder Waker Switch port. Although, if grand a scale adventure doesn’t tickle your fancy or your youngsters are craving some more gaming action check out our picks for the best Switch games for kids. You can also check out our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review to get the full deep dive.
Now, here are our thoughts on the best Zelda characters.
It’s hard to pick just which king of Hyrule (the world Legend of Zelda often takes place in) is our favorite. Whether it’s King Rhoam from Breath of the Wild, a controversial character where most of what is wrong with the land of Hyrule when you start your adventure comes down to his faulty decisions and avarice.
Or maybe you prefer the jolly, lighthearted King Harkinian, who warms your day with a welcoming “My boy!” you probably know this Zelda patriarch better from his influence on internet culture when YouTube was on the rise. Or maybe you prefer him as a boat. That’s cool too.
The map-giving, balloon-floating clown of Hyrule, and self-proclaimed fairy, Tingle, comes soaring in as our next entry. He’s as flamboyant as he is floaty, often putting a humorous spin on a dark situation to the point where his involvement in a game can seem controversial if not clashing with the design and setting.
With a sparkly dance and song, Tingle assists Link, more often than not, with a helpful map or treasure chart. Just try to forget that we found him in jail in Wind Waker. Just what was he locked up for?
Impa is a member of the Sheikah tribe, a group with ties to the Hyrule royal family, serving as their bodyguards and sometimes maidens. Impa offers wise guidance to Link on his adventures, often detailing the point of his quest and the stakes at hand. Impa has many interpretations, but her appearances in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Hyrule Warriors, and Age of Calamity are our favorites.
While Impa being the wise instructor is interesting, her involvement as a cool kickass warrior who lives up to the Sheikah name is always much more appealing.
When the land of Hyrule and the kingdom is all but forgotten, the sassy pirate captain Tetra enters the scene in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker as a descendant of Princess Zelda. The amount of sass she gives Link while he tries to save his sister makes her such a memorable character and a nice change of pace to the generic “princessy” vibe Zelda usually comes with.
The biggest shame of her character is that when Tetra embraces her role as Princess Zelda, she sits on the sidelines with a severe lack of sass for the remainder of the game. A bit of a waste if you ask me.
Ganon or Ganondorf is often the main villain in the Zelda series, with few exceptions. Whenever Ganon enters the scene, you know exactly who he is and what he’s up to. Ganon is stuck eternally resurrecting with the goal of taking over the world with a cruel iron fist.
That is when he’s not kidnapping a princess like another certain Nintendo villain we all know and love, bringing all that is good and true to ruin unless you stop him. Whether he’s a giant pig monster or a Gerudo with a jawline that won’t quit, Ganon is the villain that every gamer knows.
The stoic princess of Hyrule has gone from a damsel in distress to a powerful warrior who is wise beyond her years. It’s hard to ground where Zelda stands as a character sometimes, but she’s always there and faithful to the forces of good when push comes to shove. Though her character in one of the latest mainline Zelda titles, Breath of the Wild, shows a young wide-eyed princess with a lot to learn, which has some interesting potential with Tears of the Kingdom being set as the sequel.
The hero of time himself, Link, is one of the most iconic videogame protagonists of all time. Wielding the triforce of courage, one of Link’s best character traits is that you can consider him a blank slate to implicate yourself upon. Such as in Wind Waker, where Link is a no-name descendant, reluctant to adventure.
Or in Breath of the Wild, where Link holds a high position of responsibility as the personal guard of Princess Zelda. The story of each individual game often leans into who Link is as a person and a hero and builds from there. Whether he lives up to the expectation of his ancestors is on you. To learn even more about him, pop by our BotW Link article.
If you want to know how this famous protagonist fares in his latest adventure, make sure you check out our The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review, where we claim that “there’s nothing like it on the Switch.”
A strange warrior watches over and assists Link on his adventure in Ocarina of Time, setting him off on his adventure, teaching Link songs on their trusty harp. Sheik is there to direct Link whenever he’s in need of it on his adventure through Hyrule. It’s not just the in-game features of Sheik that make them interesting, it’s also the mystery surrounding the character throughout, as we have no idea who this person is in Ocarina of Time with no prior mention of them.
The mystery remains until the game’s finale, where Sheik reveals themself to be Princess Zelda in disguise. It’s a very interesting twist that not only benefits Zelda as a character but also makes Sheik stand out in one of the best Zelda titles ever released.
There you have it, our favorite Zelda characters from the iconic Nintendo series. If you’re ready to dive into the next title, check out our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom geoglyph locations, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom korok locations, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom old map locations, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom armor locations, and Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom depths guides.
Wait, what’s that? You want even more Zelda content? If that’s the case, take a look at our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gleeok locations, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Misko’s treasure locations, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom enemies, and Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Zonai articles. Or, to learn more about a different franchise, check out our Mortal Kombat 1 characters list.