It is for that reason that we’re in search of the ever-encouraging knowledge of you beautiful lot. Beneath, we’ve got gathered each official Zelda console design throughout Nintendo’s historical past and usual a ballot on the backside so that you can resolve which is greatest wanting.

It is harmful to vote alone, check out these…

Each Zelda-themed Nintendo console

Earlier than we dive into the Particular Editions, it is value flagging that not all of those variants had been available, with some being a lot rarer than others. Because of this whereas there are some releases that seemingly each one in all us both owned or performed on at a mate’s home (hello GBA SP!), there are different fashions which, fairly frankly, took us without warning with their legitimacy.

We have additionally eradicated bundles that do not embrace bespoke console designs (sorry, Swedish Ocarina fans and Platinum GameCube Wind Waker lovers) and have restricted the choices all the way down to consoles solely — see the bonus part on the backside for a few honourable, peripheral mentions.

And so, let’s dive off this Skyloft-like introduction and into the glowing gentle of the Hylian exclusives beneath…

Recreation & Watch

Recreation & Watch: The Legend of Zelda (1989)

Picture: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

The penultimate addition to the unique Recreation & Watch vary, the Zelda version just isn’t a lot a themed design as it’s a wholly totally different console, however we could not skip it. These little portables had been all about offering easy gaming on the go and the Zelda mannequin did simply that with its Journey of Hyperlink-like (sorta) side-scrolling journey.

When it comes to appears, we’ve got to confess that this basic continues to be turning heads. Its white and inexperienced cowl and inside are easy, sure, however the little motifs dotted across the console maintain it attention-grabbing. Critically, if we noticed a Swap mannequin with that basic cowl picture of Hyperlink and the Goblins on the again and with the sword/dragon motifs on the Pleasure-Cons, we might be shopping for within the blink of a watch.

Recreation & Watch: The Legend of Zelda (2021)

Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda (2021)
Picture: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

A big mark of Zelda’s thirty fifth anniversary, this revamped Recreation & Watch console packed in three separate video games and a color display screen. Expertise today!

The look itself is definitely quite simple. The gold and inexperienced positively suggests a sure Zelda flare however there’s nothing else to actually touch upon right here. It lacks the ooo shiny attraction of a few of the later gold editions (of which there are quite a bit), however it’s a good spin on the standard Mario-centric crimson mannequin all the identical.

Gameboy Advance SP

The Legend of Zelda Gameboy Advance SP

Nintendo GBA SP Zelda
Picture: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

Okay, having skipped the N64 and GameCube Ocarina and Wind Waker editions that simply threw a typical console in a bundle field, now we’re speaking. This mannequin of the Gameboy Advance SP won’t have the spicy backlight of the AGS-101 items, however let’s simply take a second to take a look at that factor.

That is the primary instance of a Nintendo epiphany whereby the studio can slap a gold casing and Triforce on any outdated console and we’re all assured to gobble it up. However come on, are you able to blame us? The gold casing is oh so shiny and that Triforce decal screams out ‘sure, I’ve performed The Minish Cap, let me inform you about it‘. It is a magnificence.

Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo DS Lite The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Particular Version

Nintendo DS Lite Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Picture: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

Once you consider the Phantom Hourglass DS Lite, you may immediately leap to the extra famend gold version, however let’s not neglect the unique silver mannequin.

This design is the rarer of the 2 (with solely round 1,000 being made out there), and it subs out the standard Triforce motif for a bit Toon Hyperlink working alongside together with his little toon map. If solely the design had left it there and had not slapped an enormous nice recreation title on the opposite aspect (subtlety is essential, folks!) however it is a good design nonetheless and a surefire reminder that the Triforce does not have to be the one signifier of a Zelda recreation.

Nintendo DS Lite The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Gold

Nintendo DS Lite Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Gold
Picture: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

See what we imply about Nintendo whacking out a gold casing and Triforce image? This lacks the shiny attraction of the GBA SP, it is true, however the tried and examined method for learn how to reel us Zelda followers in by no means fails.

At this level, we’re fairly certain that the corporate might launch a gold version of something and we’d all flock so as to add it to our bursting Zelda collections. Is that this the design with the least effort utilized to it? In all probability — that Triforce is teeny tiny in any case — but it surely’s an unique all the identical.

Nintendo 3DS

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS Bundle

Nintendo 3DS Zelda Special Edition
Picture: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

In contrast to the franchise’s thirty fifth anniversary, Zelda’s twenty fifth birthday not less than had one thing going for it. The 3DS and its XL counterparts actually knocked it out of the park with its Zelda editions and this OG mannequin is not any exception.

The modern black casing and gold element is an try to steal the gentleman’s alternative. If George Clooney had been to play a 3DS, it might be this one. It is a stylish design that carries one thing inherently Zelda regardless of not being brandished with a picture of neither Hyperlink nor an enormous Triforce — what an idea!

Those that personal this console have a three-piece go well with for each event and drink black espresso straight from their Nespresso Pods. Oooh, the dignity!

Nintendo 3DS XL / New 3DS XL

Nintendo 3DS XL A Link Between Worlds Special Edition
Picture: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

All members of the Nintendo Life workforce ooh-ed and ahh-ed at a number of of the Zelda console designs, however none acquired fairly as optimistic a reception as this dangerous boy.

Launched alongside A Hyperlink Between Worlds, the primary 3DS XL is simply beautiful. It has the gold casing and Triforce image (see? Like mosquitoes to an electrical zapper) however there’s a lot extra hidden between the floor. To be a fly on the wall when one intelligent designer instructed taking the basic gold idea and opening up the console to disclose a black mirror picture beneath. “Take 5 everybody, we have to give this man an enormous pay rise.”

It is an all-time nice and many people maintain it up as one of many ‘greatest DS designs evs’ (besides not phrased precisely like we’re a cool child in an early-2000s film).

Hyrule Version

Nintendo 3DS XL Hyrule Edition
Picture: Nintendo

This New 3DS XL may simply be the head of the make it gold and stick some Zelda image on it method. The shine has by no means been shinier and the central motif has by no means had the prospect to be fairly as detailed.

There may be an argument to be made that every one of this further element does nothing however distract from the simplicity of the Triforce design, however as a pleasant nod again to the OG GBA SP solely on a a lot larger canvas, we expect it is fairly neat.

Majora’s Masks Version

Nintendo 3DS XL Majora's Mask
Picture: Gemma Smith / Nintendo Life

There are some on the market preferring Majora’s Masks to Ocarina of Time (an enormous battle and we salute you for flying your flag so defiantly), so it is smart that Nintendo would profit from this debate and likewise launch a Majora version of the earlier Hyrule design.

The detailing works much better right here, to our eyes not less than, actually making that signature spooky masks pop. After all, the gold casing is as soon as once more at work to actually underline the ‘it is a Zelda version, see???‘, however we prefer it all the identical.

Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo 2DS Link Edition
Picture: Nintendo

It is a disgrace that after so many sure-fire bangers, Nintendo needed to lastly slip up. The boxy design of the basic 2DS was fairly contentions proper from the beginning, however releasing a inexperienced/brown color approach is extra harking back to one thing you’d discover on the backside of the meals bin than one thing to show you are a top-notch Zelda fan.

Do not even get us began on the yellow buttons. With so many beautiful designs on the market, this exceedingly plain instance is a uncommon miss.

New Nintendo 2DS XL

Hylian Protect Version

2DS XL Hylian Shield Edition
Picture: Nintendo

You’ll be forgiven for assuming that after the 2DS’ stomach-churning Zelda version, Nintendo would by no means be capable to bounce again to its former design greatness. You’ll, nevertheless, be fallacious.

This bundle with A Hyperlink Between Worlds is without doubt one of the sexiest editions on the market. No extra targeted on pure gold and Triforce, this took a swing for an additional iconic piece of Zelda iconography — the Hylian Protect — and struck, properly, gold.

This 2DS XL design may simply be one of the vital out-there fashions going, however nothing screams Zelda fairly prefer it. The blue inside continues the defend theme onto the console’s inside so that you might be reminded of simply how huge of a fan you actually are while enjoying.

Wii U

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Restricted Version GamePad

Nintendo Wii U Wind Waker Limited Edition
Picture: Nintendo

As soon as Clooney will get drained together with his 3DS playtime and desires to improve to one thing all-round chunkier (although no much less stylish, in fact), the place would he flip? We reckon it might be to the Wii U’s Wind Waker HD GamePad.

Very similar to the aforementioned 3DS mannequin, this design combines the modern black casing of the Wii U with some refined gold detailing for one more dignified improve. After getting completed sipping in your Nespresso, you may translate the Hylian textual content across the fringe of the GamePad to discover a Wind Waker prelude story – that is positively bursting with suaveness!

Nintendo Swap?


With Breath of the Wild as a Swap launch title, it is smart that Nintendo wouldn’t make a particular version console design that early on within the life cycle. However with an excellent few Zelda titles underneath its belt within the ensuing years (remasters although they could be), we’re absolutely due a Hylian-themed Swap about now, proper?

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