The Legend of Zelda series has many games, and their storylines can be tangled. We’ve got you covered if you’re new to the series and wondering where to start. We’ll guide you on the best order to play Zelda games.
Order to Play the Legend of Zelda
To understand the best way to play Zelda games, you should know that the series gets complicated after The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The storyline splits into three different scenarios. In one, Link loses, and Ganon triumphs. In another, adult Link defeats Ganon. In the last one, young Link emerges victorious, and the Sacred Realm remains protected. These scenarios create different eras in the timeline of the kingdom of Hyrule.
For instance, the Age of Twilight covers Link’s adventures in Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess, and Four Swords Adventures. Each era has its unique stories and significant events in Hyrule’s history. But let’s start with the timeline up to Ocarina of Time. Here’s the order of the games:
The Age of Heaven
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
After Ocarina of Time, we have the three branches of the timeline. We’ll begin with Link’s childhood adventures because there are more connections between the games, and it flow more naturally.
The Twilight Kingdom and the Hero’s Legacy
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
Now, let’s move on to Adult Link, where we see a different version of the character, often referred to as “Toon Link” due to his more cartoonish appearance. Here are the games that follow this version of Link:
Age of the Great Sea
- The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Now, let’s explore the timeline where Link loses to Ganon and, unfortunately, meets his demise. However, this story doesn’t end there. Years later, the Hero of Time comes back to life to confront the villain once more:
The Decline of Hyrule and the Last Hero
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
- The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Legend of Zelda: The Adventure of Link
Where does Breath of the Wild fit in?
According to Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set in three timelines. However, it’s a bit puzzling how all these versions of Link come together in the latest game without a clear connection point.
In the game, you can find references to other Zelda games like Twilight Princess, a beach town reminiscent of Wind Waker, and inspiration from Skyward Sword.
With the sequel coming in 2023, fans hope that Nintendo will clarify which timeline this new Switch game fits into.