He finished in style with a 105 in the final frame to beat fellow Englishman Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-8.
Mark Selby (England) and Scotland's Stephen Maguire lost out in the semi-finals.
Defending champion Dominic Dale (Wales) was edged out 5-4 by Steve Davis (England) in the first round.
Walden received £52,000 for the victory which was his first major title. His previously best was a quarter-final. O'Sullivan got £25,000 for the runner-up spot. He was aiming to win his third consecutive ranking event.
Jamie Cope (England) made a 147 break in his first-round loss against Mark J Williams (Wales). His consolation prize was £2,000 for the highest break and the £20,000 bonus for a maximum. It was his second career 147.
Walden jumps from 30th to 17th in the provisional rankings. O'Sullivan increases his lead over Maguire and Shaun Murphy (England) in second and third respectively.
The event took place at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China, 29 September - 5 October, 2008. It was the second ranking tournament of eight on the 2008/2009 Main Tour. Next up on the snooker calendar is the Royal Watches Grand Prix which starts 11th October.
- Shanghai Masters 2008 (World Snooker)
- Walden stuns O'Sullivan in final (BBC)
- Walden wins Shanghai Masters (Eurosport)
- Ricky Rocks Rocket (Sporting Life)
- 2008 Shanghai Masters (Global Cue Sports Centre)
- Ronnie O'Sullivan humbled by Ricky Walden (Times Online)
- Hey Ricky You're So Fine (Snooker Scene blog)
- Wonderful Walden Wins Shanghai Masters! (Pro Snooker Blog)
- Shanghai bleibt für Überraschungen gut (Snookerblog - German)
- Snooker Ranking - Shanghai Masters 2008 - Finals (Cuefactor)
- SnookerManager: Shanghai Masters 2008
- Shanghai Masters Qualifying (Official Fergal O'Brien Website)
- Shanghai Masters (Ricky Walden Forum)
- Ricky Walden (Official website)
- Ricky Walden (Wikipedia)
- Dominic Dale on top in Shanghai Masters (2007 Roewe Shanghai Masters)
- It's Ronnie again in the Northern Ireland Trophy (2008 Main Tour)