Nintendo has two juggernaut franchises, and they manage to squeeze out a new title every year or so. Mario got his 2009 Wii shine mere weeks ago with The New Super Mario Bros., but Hyrule fans were forced to wait until next year to see a Princess of Zelda joint for the Wii. Instead, Link makes his annualish appearance in a new DS title dropping today, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

Not surprisingly, it's garnering the same critical affection most other Zelda titles have (currently at 88 on Metaritic and 89 on Gamerankings), but we're not going to add our voices to the fray by reviewing it for you or telling you why you should cop it. Instead, we've rounded up some of our favorite non-Zelda appearances that Link has made over the years. Sure, you know about Super Smash Bros., but what about the first Final Fantasy? What about Mario and Link shacking up? What about—ah, screw it, just read on...

• In the Wii installment of the SSB franchise, Link iis still around (along with Zelda and Ganondorf), but among a few secret unlockable characters is Toon Link, styled a la Wind Waker and Majora's Mask. Not only that, but the game's Pirate Ship stage takes place on King of Red Lions, Link's ship from Wind Waker.

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