With the recent release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, let’s look back over time at this great video game classic!
The Legend of Zelda is a beloved video game franchise that has captured the hearts of gamers since its inception in 1986. Developed by Nintendo, the series has become one of the most iconic and successful video game franchises of all time. With its immersive worlds, engaging gameplay, and memorable characters, it’s no surprise that fans eagerly await each new iteration of the series. In this article, we’ll dive into the rich history of the Zelda franchise, covering every game released up until 2023.
The Legend of Zelda (1986) – The first game in the series, The Legend of Zelda introduced players to the world of Hyrule, where they played as a young hero named Link who sets out on a quest to save Princess Zelda and defeat the evil Ganon. The game was a massive success, selling over 6.5 million copies and spawning a franchise that has lasted for over three decades. The Legend of Zelda was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1987) – The second game in the series, Zelda II introduced RPG elements to the franchise and featured side-scrolling gameplay. Players controlled Link as he traveled across Hyrule to awaken the sleeping Princess Zelda. Zelda II was also released on the NES.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991) – A Link to the Past was the first game in the series to introduce a top-down perspective, giving players a larger view of the game world. It also introduced the concept of two different worlds – the Light World and the Dark World – which players could explore. In the game, Link must save Hyrule from the evil wizard Agahnim. A Link to the Past was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (1993) – Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda game to be released on a portable console, the Game Boy. The game follows Link as he becomes stranded on an island and must awaken a creature called the Wind Fish to escape. Link’s Awakening is often cited as one of the best games in the series.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) – Ocarina of Time is widely considered one of the best video games of all time, and for good reason. The game was revolutionary when it was released, with its innovative gameplay and 3D graphics. Players control Link as he navigates a time-traveling adventure to stop the evil Ganondorf. Ocarina of Time was released on the Nintendo 64.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000) – Majora’s Mask was a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time and took a darker turn than previous games in the series. The game is set in the land of Termina, where Link must stop the moon from crashing into the world within three days. Majora’s Mask was also released on the Nintendo 64.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages (2001) – These two games were developed in unison and released simultaneously for the Game Boy Color. Players could link their games to unlock additional content. Both games featured different puzzles and items, but followed a similar storyline where Link must save two lands from destruction.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002) – The Wind Waker was a departure from previous games in the series, featuring cel-shaded graphics and a new art style. Set in a vast ocean, players control Link as he seeks to rescue his sister from the evil sorcerer Ganon. The Wind Waker was released on the Nintendo GameCube.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (2004) – Four Swords Adventures was a multiplayer game that allowed up to four players to control their own Link characters. The game featured four different worlds for players to explore. Four Swords Adventures was released on the Nintendo GameCube.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006) – Twilight Princess was released on both the Nintendo GameCube and the Wii, with the Wii version featuring motion controls. The game featured a darker, more realistic art style and explored the theme of light versus dark. Players control Link as he navigates a quest to save Hyrule from destruction.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007) – Phantom Hourglass was released exclusively for the Nintendo DS and utilized the system’s touch screen for control. The game is a direct sequel to The Wind Waker and features a similar art style. Link must rescue Princess Zelda from the clutches of the evil Bellum.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (2009) – Spirit Tracks is a direct sequel to Phantom Hourglass, featuring a similar control scheme. The game takes place in an entirely new land called New Hyrule and features a train as a primary mode of transportation. Link and Princess Zelda must restore the spirit tracks that have been destroyed and defeat the evil Chancellor Cole.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011) – Skyward Sword was developed for the Nintendo Wii and featured motion controls for sword fighting. The game explored the origins of the series, featuring a story set in the land of Skyloft. Players control Link as he seeks to rescue Zelda from the clutches of the evil Demise.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013) – A Link Between Worlds was developed for the Nintendo 3DS and is a direct sequel to A Link to the Past. The game features a similar top-down perspective but introduces a new mechanic where Link can merge into walls. Players must save Hyrule from the evil sorcerer Yuga.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) – Breath of the Wild is the latest game in the series, released on both the Nintendo Switch and the Wii U. The game features an open-world design and an emphasis on exploration. Players control Link as he wakes up from a long slumber to discover a world in chaos. Breath of the Wild received widespread critical acclaim and is often cited as one of the best games of all time.
So, there you have it – every game in the Zelda franchise up until 2023! With each new game, the series has evolved and improved, while still retaining the charm and magic that makes it so beloved.
What’s your favorite game in the series? Let us know in the comments!