By EW Staff
Updated May 12, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Why The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of the 100 greatest videogames

The history of videogaming can be split into the pre-and post-Zelda eras. Before Zelda, adventure games had rigidly linear story lines interwoven with obstacles that, once overcome, offered little more than a high score to brag about. But Link to the Past, as imagined by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, gave players a quest in which mindless scoring took a backseat to heroic acts. It was clear that gaming would never be the same — and continued refinements ensured that subsequent Zelda titles (there are 10) all became best-sellers. Each button-thumping and symbol-filled world elevates the simple journey to save a princess into a successful franchise that continues to advance the notion of interactive entertainment.
IT’S A GOOD THING HE WASN’T PLAYING CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN… Robin Williams’ daughter is named after Link to the Past’s heroine, Princess Zelda. (Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 1991)