Tears of the Kingdom vs Breath of the Wild: Which Is the Better Legend of Zelda Game?

A Breath-taking battle that's bound to cause Tears.

TikToker Attempts to Complete Every Shrine in Tears of the Kingdom the "Wrong" Way Image Source: Nintendo via Twinfinite

There’s no doubt about it, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is another monumental success for Nintendo, and the Zelda franchise. Inevitably, comparisons will be drawn between it and its predecessor, even though they belong to the same series. And it might be easy to claim that Tears of the Kingdom is the better game because it’s the sequel and offers more, but there are still factors to consider between it and Breath of the Wild. That’s why it’s time for a showdown between Tears of the Kingdom vs Breath of the Wild: which is the better Legend of Zelda game?


Where Is the Throne Room In Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom? Answered
Image Credit: Nintendo via Twinfinite

It’s no surprise that TotK introduced a bunch of new gameplay mechanics like the Ultrahand, Fusing, and Zonai devices, and all of these elements contributed to the most creative Zelda game ever. These alone create an almost entirely brand-new game and experience.

With Breath of the Wild, the game felt very grueling and tough on players, especially first-timers to the Zelda franchise. Resources were scarce, your powers were extremely limited, and it really felt like a survival simulation game mixed into the genre. On the flip side of things, the Tears of the Kingdom was made to be more complex, but at the same time, all of the new abilities make TotK easier in many aspects.

In comparison, Breath of the Wild now feels like the game that’s perfect for beginners to launch into the action-adventure survival genre and prepares players for all of the unbound possibilities waiting for them in Tears of the Kingdom.

Winner: TotK


Zelda TOTK Penn.
Image Credit: Nintendo via Twinfinite

Breath of the Wild had a story that restarted the cycle for Link, the hero of time, in a new Hyrule, and although it’s as exciting as ever, it does lend to a bit more confusion in regards to the entire Zelda timeline. Regardless, the darker and edgier tone is perfectly balanced with previous titles like Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess so that it still remains accessible for all ages.

TotK continues from where BotW leaves off and expands on all of the lore by adding new characters and mysterious constructs. This is fantastic, but BotW does the series justice by providing the initial clean slate and intriguing players to learn about a brand new world of Hyrule, the notorious Ganondorf, the Ancient Guardians, and the history of the kingdom and its inhabitants.

This initial deep immersion and feeling of discovery of BotW cannot be replicated in TotK, or any sequel really, and will always serve to amaze and awe players that step into Link’s role for the first time, or as an evolution from previous titles.

Winner: BotW


where to find ninjis shrine in zelda tears of the kingdom
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This goes to Tears of the Kingdom easily, well, almost. The new Zelda Switch game did offer an even more expansive geography over Breath of the Wild thanks to the Sky Islands and the Depths, which added a total of three layers to explore. With the possibility of DLC opening up even more enemies, quests, and areas, the scope of Tears of the Kingdom will only grow.

Another notable improvement was the Quest Log from the menu that made it much easier to keep track of side quests and objectives. The amount of quests and their complexity also increased tenfold over Breath of the Wild, too. This is a pretty easy and obvious category for TotK to dominate in, and that’s totally fine.

Winner: TotK

Impact & Legacy

Where Is Hudson in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom? Answered
Image Credit: Nintendo via Twinfinite

When Breath of the Wild was first released, it caused a huge uproar on a positive note and surprised everyone at just how different the game was when compared to other games in the Zelda franchise. But it didn’t stop there; BotW also delivered an experience that rivaled action RPGs, 3rd-person perspective adventure games, and everything in-between. The game is not without its fair share of critics, but most who gave negative feedback complained about the new gameplay elements that made the game feel more like a survival simulation RPG, for example, the introduction of breakable weapons.

Tears of the Kingdom has also received amazing review scores and plenty of positive support, albeit some critics feel like the game still feels too much like its predecessor. Regardless, it can’t be denied how much different and enhanced TotK is. However, what gives this category to BotW is how it’s the must-have first-to-play game in the new vision for the series, to experience everything accordingly. As a result, it will no doubt amaze players and introduce them to the world and story with the most amazement and revelation, allowing them to transition into TotK and enjoy the full experience as it was meant to be played.

Finally, BotW will always historically be the first Zelda game to achieve all the things it did while revolutionizing the entire genre for the better.

Winner: BotW


Is Tears of the Kingdom open world
Image Source: Nintendo via Twinfinite

Although TotK took the same formula of BotW, as it should, and added even more exciting features on top of that, it will never be able to match the initial impact and legacy that the first game has. The “wow factor” of BotW will always remain unique and unmatched, forever solidifying its legacy in the history of video games. Therefore, we’re going to edge the win to Breath of the Wild as being the “better” game for its historic value, revolutionary achievements, and its simpler, more raw gameplay, in this battle of Tears of the Kingdom vs Breath of the Wild: which is the better Legend of Zelda game.

Ultimately, both games are equally important and should be enjoyed along with Hyrule Warriors to get the most out of the series and do it all justice. You can’t go wrong with any of these games, as they all tie together the overall story. Now let’s hope we get more fantastic DLC for TotK ASAP!

About the author

Twinfinite Staff Writer

Dennis Limmer

Dennis is a freelance writer for Twinfinite covering all things video games and anime since August 2023. A storyteller and artist who enjoys partaking in the art created by others and promoting culture.