For almost 30 years, Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda has captivated and entertained game enthusiasts. Fans of the franchise are always eager for the next installment in this Hyrule fantasy. Each new adventure offers something new to the player as well as the overall story of the franchise.
Below is the chronological list of Zelda games. Games such as Hyrule Warriors, Zelda Game & Watch, and the CDi titles are located in our spin-off list.
The evil wizard Ganon has kidnapped Princess Zelda and Link must collect 8 shards of the Triforce to defeat Ganon and rescue Zelda.
The story expands the lore of Hyrule, introduces us to Dark World, and sees Link needing to rescue Princess Zelda from Ganon.
Link’s Awakening departs the series from Hyrule and takes place on the somewhat similar landscape of Koholint Island. Link washes up on the island and embarks on the quest to wake the sleeping Wind Fish.
Ocarina of Time takes place in another era of Hyrule’s storied past, with this title being set before the events in the SNES’ A Link to the Past. The story finds Link waking up to his new fairy partner, Navi, and the two start on a seemingly simple quest that spirals out into an epic time traveling adventure taking place in all corners of Hyrule.
Ocarina of Time was re-released to the Nintendo 3DS as Ocarina of Time 3D.
On a personal trek to find an old friend, Link ends up in a new land: Termina. Termina is quite like Hyrule, only Link enters Termina at a bad time. The moon is set to crash to the surface ending all life leaving Link 3 days to save the citizens of Termina.
Like its predecessor, Majora’s Mask was re-released to the Nintendo 3DS platform as Majora’s Mask 3D in 2015.
2001 brought two Zelda adventures to the Gameboy Color handheld system: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons.
Though separate in adventures with each game having their own main end boss battle, the two titles, once completed, would allow for an ultimate show down with Ganon.
In Oracle of Seasons, Din is kidnapped by Onox, the General of Darkness and Link must master the flow of the seasons to save her.
The companion game to 2001’s Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages sees Nayru kidnapped by Veran, Sorceress of Shadows.
Once Link collects the essences and defeats Veran, Nayru is freed.
If played as a sequel using a linked password between the two games (both being completed), a third quest starts with Link attempting to save Princess Zelda from being sacrificed to resurrect Ganon.
The first title for the Gameboy Advance also boasted the first multiplayer game for The Legend of Zelda. Though not much changed in the game of A Link to the Past, save for really the Hurricane Sword Spin, this title featured Four Swords.
A multiplayer experience, Four Swords was mostly a puzzle based game that relied on two to four players to solve while still playing similarly to A Link to the Past. Four Swords introduces a few concepts such as a magic hat that shrinks Link down to size and the recurring villain of Vaati.
Sailing into the GameCube era, 2002’s The Wind Waker is often met with criticism based solely on its cel-shaded art style and being to “childish.”
After a mysterious young pirate crash lands on his home island, Link is swept into a high seas adventure well above the old ruins of Hyrule.
This title was cleaned up and re-released for the Nintendo Wii U in 2013. A limited edition bundle of the Wii U was available for a short time.
Four Swords Adventures is similar to its predecessor Four Swords.
For the GameCube, Four Swords Adventures sees Link needing to save Hyrule from a dark version of himself.
Capitalizing on a few of the fun ideas from the Four Swords series, The Minish Cap is a new adventure that sees Link battling Vaati once again to rescue Princess Zelda.
Link’s companion this time out is a magic talking hat named Ezlo that can help shrink down to size to save not only the large world of Hyrule, but the tiny world of the Minish as well.
Originally intended as The Wind Waker 2, Twilight Princess was teased as a much darker game in scope, akin to Majora’s Mask.
Boasting a very large Hyrule Field and taking us into a temple in the sky and the Twilight Realm, Twilight Princess offers beautiful textures, music, and game play.
Twilight Princess was released on the GameCube and was also ported to the Wii at launch.
The first Zelda title for the Nintendo DS handheld system was a continuation of The Wind Waker.
After Tetra is kidnapped by the Ghost Ship, Link sets out on another high seas adventure to rescue her.
A follow up to Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks introduced the railway system to Hyrule and is one of the first times in the series where Princess Zelda is more of an asset than a princess needing to be rescued.
The 25th anniversary of Zelda was celebrated at the time of the release of the Wii’s Skyward Sword. A graphical adventure that looks like a watercolor come to life, Skyward Sword sets the stage as we know it for the origin of the legendary Master Sword.
A series of new items for Link to use and upgrade in the game were paired with the clever design of the Wii Motion Control Plus making for a truly epic Zelda adventure.
The first title original Zelda adventure for the Nintendo 3DS handheld system, A Link Between Worlds takes the player back to the era set after A Link to the Past.
Returning to an overhead view of Hyrule, A Link Between Worlds introduces us to Lorule, a world that had its own Triforce and the people that were forsaken by it.
The Legend of Zelda Wii U is still underdevelopment and recently has been pushed back.
Though intended for a Fall/Christmas 2015 release, this title has been delayed to 2016 in hopes of making one of the largest scaled Zelda adventures in history.
You might be asking yourself isn’t there that Hyrule Warriors game or something? Yes. However, this list of Zelda games is compiled of what Nintendo has deemed the official Zelda canon. For games that are spin-offs or featuring characters from the series check here.