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The Legend of Zelda: How to play every game before Tears of the Kingdom

The ultimate guide to prepare for Link’s next adventure

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom already has fans of the series on the edge of their seats in anticipation of its release in May 2023 – and thanks to a leaked artbook there is lots of speculation and spoilers about the story in the wild.

While Tears of the Kingdom is only a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, this might be a great time to revisit all the Zelda games of old – there’s over 20 of them, so it’s best to start as early as possible. This could also help you catch some hidden references in Tears of the Kingdom. The developers always like to pay homage to their older works and it’s quite a thrill to discover easter eggs of this sort.

Ready to catch up? Here’s how you can play every The Legend of Zelda game ahead of Tears of the Kingdom.

The Legend of Zelda: Nintendo Switch

Aside from Breath of the Wild, which was developed for Nintendo’s current console right from the get-go, a few other games of the series have gotten remakes or remasters for Switch. You can find them as physical copies in many stores or simply buy and download them from the eShop. It’s a lot more difficult to find the older editions of these games.

The Legend of Zelda: Nintendo Switch Online

That’s not everything you can play on Nintendo Switch, though. When it comes to Zelda games, subscribing to Nintendo Switch Online greatly expands the available titles, because the service gives you access to many older entries into the series.

You simply need to download the official NES, SNES, or Game Boy emulators and then play the games through these on your Switch.

The Legend of Zelda: Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack

But wait, there’s more! Nintendo’s more expensive subscription package, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, adds three more titles to the roster. Indeed, some of the entries available in this way are considered among the very best Zelda games of all time.

The Legend of Zelda: WiiU and Nintendo 3DS

The remaining Zelda games that are still available can be purchased via the Nintendo eShop on your Wii U or 3DS, but you’ll need to hurry if you plan on completing your collection this way, as these stores will close on Monday, March 27, 2023. If you purchase games there before then, you can download and play them at a later date as normal.

The Oracle games mentioned above are also available on Wii U, if you cannot wait for them to come to Switch Online.

The Legend of Zelda: Unavailable games



Unfortunately – or fortunately, in the case of the Philips CDi games – some Zelda games are no longer available to buy and play at all. Four Swords, a multiplayer spin-off, is among these, as are the already mentioned games for the Philips CDi, which were so terrible that oblivion is truly the best case scenario for them.