When it comes to worldbuilding, few games can match the magic of The Legend of Zelda series. Throughout this long-running Nintendo saga, the world of Hyrule has been established as one of the most beautiful and mysterious locales in gaming.
A large part of what makes Hyrule feel so well-realized lies in its excellent hub towns. Each Zelda game’s main town or village – often a location that’s visited multiple times, where you communicate with important characters and receive quests or key items – is important in establishing the feel of each game, giving you a safe and interesting place to land when you’re taking a break from your adventuring. Here are our rankings for every main town in The Legend of Zelda series.
15 Castle Town (Spirit Tracks)
The largest settlement in Spirit Tracks, Castle Town contains the citizens, quests, and shops you’d expect from a Zelda hub.
You can assist a few characters by delivering goods to and from Castle Town from them, and you can even give one lucky Goron child their dream trip to the big city.
14 Mercay Island (Phantom Hourglass)
In Phantom Hourglass, Link’s Adventure begins on Mercay Island, where he winds up after being shipwrecked and separated from Tetra and her crew.
On top of containing an elaborate temple on its rear side, the island is home to one of the series’ recognizable Milk Bars, a handy shop, and even a Shipyard where you can repair and upgrade your ship.
13 Hytopia (Triforce Heroes)
Triforce Heroes’ main town of Hytopia stands out in many ways. The location is primarily focused on fashion, with the highlight of the area being Madame Couture’s, a shop where visitors can customize their outfits and appearance.
On top of containing some of the series’ most broad customization options, Hytopia also serves as the location from which you can warp to each of the game’s other areas.
12 Horon Village (Oracle Of Seasons)
Link’s central town in Oracle of Seasons, Horon Village, is stocked full of side characters and optional quests, along with a handful of useful shops (including Vasu’s Jewelry, which allows you to transfer rings between the Oracle games).
Aside from being the only location in the game where the seasons change naturally, the town is notable for being the location of Seasons’ drowsy but wise version of the Maku Tree, an extremely important figure in the game’s overall plot.
11 Lynna Village (Oracle Of Ages)
Lynna Village, like many of the areas in Oracle of Ages, changes as you visit the past and return to the present, allowing you to make major changes to the events that shape the location’s development.
This dynamic leads to some interesting interactions, like being able to visit this game’s cheerful version of the Maku Tree when she was just a cheerful sapling. Add in a host of interesting characters and the ominous presence of the Black Tower, and this hub town definitely stands out.
10 Kakariko Village (A Link Between Worlds)
Kakariko Village is one of Zelda’s most frequently reoccurring locations, and the version seen in A Link Between Worlds greatly mirrors the iconic original village from A Link To The Past.
This iteration of the town features a host of new locations, villagers, side quests, and mini-games. This is essentially the modernized version of the classic village, which is hard to argue against.
9 Kakariko Village (A Link To The Past)
Although Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link featured a few basic towns, A Link to the Past’s Kakariko Village is the series’ first true hub area. Watching Link wander into town only to be met with suspicion over Princess Zelda’s disappearance – and later having him return to find aggressive enemies guarding the homes of citizens – is an undeniably memorable moment in gaming.
A Link Between Worlds may have updated the formula a bit, but the original remains the most exemplary version.
8 Castle Town (Twilight Princess)
Twilight Princess’ Castle Town is the series’ most bustling, city-inspired environment to date. The active town is full of life, even if Link can’t always interact with the crowds of townsfolk roaming the streets and clogging up storefronts everywhere.
Aside from its lively nature, Castle Town is also notable for some of its more intriguing side quests, such as aiding Agitha’s bug hunt and infiltrating Chudley’s ridiculously expensive shop, as well as housing Telma’s bar, where Link and his associates plan out many of their next steps.
7 Mabe Village (Link’s Awakening)
Link’s Awakening is a smaller Zelda experience than many of the other games in the series, but it makes up for this with its shining personality. No area of the game makes this clearer than Mabe Village, the central location of the game.
You’ll revisit Mabe Village constantly throughout your adventure, whether it’s to shop, play mini-games like fishing or the claw machine-style Trendy Game, or converse with the game’s extremely colorful cast of characters. Engaging side quests, item trading, and even a few main story events can all be found in this quiet little town.
6 Kakariko Village (Breath Of The Wild)
Breath of the Wild’s towns are consistently fascinating, with fully fleshed-out backstories and some of the series’ most entertaining side characters. The game’s version of Kakariko Village is a clear example of this strong worldbuilding.
The mountainside location is rich with Shiekah lore, with its distinctly Japanese flavor standing out among the mostly Europe-inspired series’ other areas. Add to this the constant influx of new quests, the relationships between different villagers, and the variety of shops, and this is one of the series’ most compelling central hubs.
5 Hyrule Town (Ocarina Of Time)
Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule Town is another staple of video game history. For one, its existence at the dawn of the 3D, polygonal era set it as one of the forerunners of large towns in third-person games, with its lively town square, hidden shops, and variety of denizens.
Once Link gains access to the Master Sword and jumps forward seven years, however, the town becomes a nightmarish hellscape full of Redeads who haunt the location where children and townspeople once gathered, helping to change the entire game’s tone.
4 Windfall Island (Wind Waker)
Windfall Island is simply a joy to explore. Wind Waker’s gorgeous hub town is full of things to do, items to find, and characters to help.
From the Auction House to the school building, every corner of the island houses something interesting, and that’s without even mentioning that a few of the game’s most pivotal story moments occur here.
3 Skyloft (Skyward Sword)
While Skyward Sword may be somewhat divisive among fans, its main area is undeniably entertaining to revisit throughout the game. Aiding characters like Cawlin and Pipit with their unique quest lines, searching the highest and lowest points of the island as new items increase your traversal, and even shopping in the location’s massive Bazaar give this floating island plenty of personality and charm.
The fact that the area is changing constantly throughout the game only adds to your motivation to return frequently.
2 Hyrule Town (Minish Cap)
Minish Cap’s version of Hyrule Town is one of the most active, dynamic, and captivating locations in any Zelda title. Featuring the pixelated versions of some of the series’ most popular characters, there is an unbelievable amount to do in this little town, and progressing through the game will unlock your ability to explore further as you acquire new equipment.
What truly sets this version of Hyrule Town apart, though, is the ability to shrink down to the size of the Minish, communicating with the tiny, unseen citizens who live there and engaging in familiar locations like libraries and gardens in brand-new ways.
1 Clock Town (Majora’s Mask)
There is no location in Zelda history quite like Clock Town. Every individual who exists in Majora’s Mask’s central town has their own daily schedule, progressing through the game’s three days in unique and interesting ways that lead to the series’ best side quests and activities.
Add in the wide variety of store locations, games, and adjacent areas, and there just isn’t a hub town in the series with more to do, see, or enjoy.