Ganon is unquestionably the biggest and most popular foe Link faces throughout the Legend of Zelda collection, despite the fact that Hyrule, Lorul, Termina, and other threats are also present. He represents the ultimate evil that calls for the famous hero’s eternal resurrection. We chose to rank Ganon’s several looks in the Legend of Zelda franchise because he appears in a number of incarnations throughout the games.
Get warned: This checklist contains spoilers and nbsp for every game listed, though we made an effort to keep the Tears of the Kingdom access for the time being properly ambiguous.
Demise was not included on this list because it is not Ganon and is more the terrible force that will ultimately create him. Hyrule Warriors Ganon was even excluded because it is not included in the canon. That version is also omitted because his only look in Phantom Hourglass is a brief recalling of Wind Waker’s occasions.
Take a look at our positions beneath, and let us know what you think in the feedback section. Check out our & nbsp’s ranking of each game in the series for more Zelda rankings.
The Adventure of Website in Zelda II
In The Adventure of Website in Zelda II, Ganon doesn’t appear in gameplay, which solidifies this appearance as his worst. However, in the story to the series’ first sequel, Ganon’s minions are trying to resurrect him after his death in the original Legend of Zelda, but they need Link’s blood to do so. Following that logic, Ganon only appears when Link dies. It’s a small role, but it’s menacing enough to remind players what is at stake… plus, since Zelda II is one of the more difficult entries in the series, players see the screen pretty often.
Link’s waking up
Link’s waking up is a different beast from other Zelda games. It leaves Hyrule behind in favor of Koholint Island, and Ganon is not the main threat. At the end of the game, a nightmare takes the form of the evil beast, and Link must fight a formidable shadow of his biggest enemy. Because this isn’t truly Ganon, and he isn’t the main antagonist of the game, this version ranks low.
The Zelda Legend
He was portrayed as a great sin in Ganon’s launch, but the conflict does not reach the same level of climax as it does in other books. The big, pig-like Ganon alters around the space, shooting fireballs in Link’s direction and just making a fleeting appearance for Link to reach. Ganon eventually explodes into a cloud of ash as Link is able to deliver the fatal blow. If you know what you’re doing, the battle will be over fast, but it still makes Ganon the main enemy of the company.
Oracle of Ages / Seasons
Although the Oracle activities are very dissimilar from one another, if you can finish both of them, Link will be able to face off against Ganon. You must finish both activities because of his hidden character, which makes the conflict seem like a special prize. It’s also not a walk in the park when it comes to the battle. He appears even more massive than any 2D activity when as he phases in and out of view. The face-off is a satisfying incentive for completing two underappreciated journeys.
Adventures with Four Swords
For much of the game, you don’t know Ganon is the main adversary of Adventures with Four Swords. Later on, it’s revealed that he is in fact the main threat. The final battle sees Link constantly sent to the Dark World, which is shown with a pop-up Game Boy Advance screen. Ganon is an imposing creature to face off against due to his massive size and diverse moveset. He also features a cool death sequence thanks to the enhanced visual effects.
A Connection to the Past
A Connection to the Past is a phenomenal game. In our ranking of the Zelda series, we gave it the top spot. However, Ganon’s appearance in the game doesn’t measure up to what has been accomplished since. Still, the King of Evil is a constant presence in Link’s epic journey, and the final battle is one that challenges you as much as any other encounter in the game. He retains his ability to teleport around the room, making him difficult to keep track of, and the moves he uses and the phases he progresses through ensure players are always on their toes.
A World Link
Though the bulk of the focus in A World Link is on Yuga, Ganon appears for the final battle as the two fuse together to form Yuga Ganon. While A World Link is a direct sequel to A Connection to the Past, the Ganon encounter adds some interesting twists that capitalize on Link’s new abilities. Yuga Ganon is huge, taking up much of the throne room the battle takes place in. Several fun strategies you must use to deal damage lead this to being the best 2D encounter with the Demon King.
The Wild Breath
As Kyle Hilliard pointed out in his review, by the time you decide to storm Hyrule Castle, it feels like a lifetime of preparation has led up to that point. When you finally reach the throne room, the battle against Calamity Ganon does not disappoint. Not only is it Ganon in his most grotesque form, but this Calamity version has myriad attacks at his disposal. The final confrontation in Hyrule Field against the absolutely massive Beast Ganon doesn’t have the same level of challenge that the Calamity Ganon duel had, but it is a fittingly epic conclusion to the masterpiece that is The Wild Breath.
Tears of the Kingdom
Whereas The Wild Breath’s Calamity Ganon was very much a mindless force of nature, Tears of the Kingdom’s Ganondorf gave fans the modernized version of the tactical Demon King they were craving. This version includes various showcases of just how powerful he is, as well as how intimidating a presence he can be, thanks in large part to this being the first-ever fully voiced incarnation of the character. Throw in some entertaining backstory cutscenes, tense encounters, and an awesome character design, and the 2023 Legend of Zelda title delivered a Ganondorf worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the other top versions of the Demon King.
Princess of Twilight
When most people think of Ganondorf, they probably think of the one that appears in Princess of Twilight. Not only does he feature a darker, more mature design in line with the overall aesthetics of Princess of Twilight, but this version also makes appearances in the recent Super Smash Bros. entries. This is one of the games that features a face-off against both Beast Ganon and Ganondorf, with both encounters playing completely differently. To top it all off, the wide shot at the end, with Ganondorf standing next to Link and Zelda with the Master Sword sticking out of his chest, is a great way to wrap up a lengthy and enjoyable adventure.
From the very first moment, Ganondorf is on your mind in Time Ocarina. Not only is this the first time we see Ganondorf, but throughout Link’s time-traveling journey, the powerful Gerudo is there, looming over your quest to stop him. You even fight one of his forms in a surprising boss battle in the Forest Temple against Phantom Ganon, which is the debut appearance of Ganon’s shadowy incarnation. It is also one of the few occasions in the Zelda series that you get a chance to learn about Ganondorf’s history. He is not just an evil force that suddenly appeared. He is a rare Gerudo male. The triumph over Ganondorf in Hyrule Castle is short-lived, as the intimidating Beast Ganon rises to present the final challenge. Escaping the crumbling castle and killing Ganon is a sequence forever etched into the memories of anyone who has played it.
The final encounter in Wind Waker begins with a unique, visually striking fight against the enormous Puppet Ganon. Beyond the visuals, Puppet Ganon takes three different forms, adding multiple unique folds into the mix. The battle is challenging, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg for this culmination of Link’s seaward adventure.
Few battles give off the true David-versus-Goliath feel of Wind Waker’s final confrontation. After completing a long, challenging journey and a lengthy battle against Puppet Ganon, the small child named Link faces off against a massive, dual-sword-wielding Ganondorf in a climactic clash. The seemingly insurmountable odds add to the feeling that Link truly should not stand a chance against this smug form of Hyrule’s ultimate evil. Still, with perseverance and the necessary assistance of Zelda, Link leaps up and delivers the final blow through the skull of Ganondorf in a scene that is in stark contrast to the cute cel-shaded visual style in the best way possible. Though Ganon has remained a persistent threat to Link, Zelda, and Hyrule throughout the many games in The Zelda Legend franchise, his display in Wind Waker delivers players one of the most memorable final sequences in gaming.