Top 10 Miyamoto Games

Zelda: Ocarina of Time didn't make the list (gasp!)

5. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube, 2003)

 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

It was a tough call, but if we could only play one Zelda game on our fancy HDTVs, we would choose The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker over Ocarina of Time. Though Ocarina's gameplay was more pioneering, Wind Waker borrows heavily from it, feels more refined, and has aged better thanks to its darling, cartoon-inspired, enhanced-definition graphics. When the game was first unveiled in 2001, gamers freaked upon seeing the cel-shaded, kid-friendly style. But it wouldn't matter — Wind Waker plays like a dream, confirming Miyamoto's wise foresight.

4. Wii Sports (Wii, 2006)

Wii Sports

Though Wii Sports comes up short in terms of gaming perfection, it's easily one of the most revolutionary and memorable console games ever released, as evidenced by its widespread popularity, its engaging motion controls, and its ability to arouse certain players to the point of self-injury and/or the breaking of really expensive TVs. When Wii Sports 2 is inevitably announced, the mainstream world is likely to explode with joy. Until that time, the original Wii Sports is still a good time in short doses.

3. Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64, 1996)

Super Mario 64

What is there to say about Super Mario 64 that hasn't been said already? As stated above, it was the first game to optimize and popularise the freedom of non-linear gameplay. It introduced the now-standard analogue stick for player movement, which added subtleties such as variable movement speed based on how hard you pressed the stick. It was also one of the first games to feature a free-roaming camera for players to better gauge their surroundings. Sound familiar? They should — these features are found in virtually every 3D game that's been released since Mario 64.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES, 1992)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Make no mistake: the original Legend of Zelda created by Miyamoto is what started it all for the action-adventure genre. The first game was also the spiritual predecessor for console RPGs and popularized large-scale game maps. But if you only play one 2D Zelda game, make it A Link to the Past. It's bigger, better, and easily stands the test of time. It's two-dimensional Zelda bliss and represents some of Miyamoto's finest production work.

1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, 1990)

Super Mario Bros. 3

Not unlike the first Zelda game, the original Super Mario Bros. was more influential than the third game in the series. But if you only play one 2D Mario game, play this one, Super Mario Bros. 3. Upon doing so, you'll quickly realize why this is the third best-selling game of all time. The levels are diverse beyond compare, the controls are spot-on, and surprises abound in what is still an imaginative-looking game. Play it again for the nostalgia factor before remembering how truly great of a game it was — and still is. Super Mario Bros. 3 is Miyamoto's ultimate opus.

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Blake Snow

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