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The 10 LONGEST Zelda Games To Beat

VOICE OVER: Johnny Reynolds WRITTEN BY: Johnny Reynolds
Each "Zelda" game is a commitment, but these will take the longest for most players to beat. For this list, we'll be delving into the history of Nintendo's beloved fantasy series to see which entries take the longest to complete. We're ranking them based on the length of each story, but we'll also cover averages for completionist runs. Our list includes “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011), “The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages” (2001), “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998), and more!
Transcript
Script written by Johnny Reynolds

Each "Zelda" game is a commitment, but these will take the longest for most players to beat. For this list, we’ll be delving into the history of Nintendo’s beloved fantasy series to see which entries take the longest to complete. We’re ranking them based on the length of each story, but we’ll also cover averages for completionist runs. Our list includes “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011), “The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages” (2001), “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998), and more! Which “Zelda” game have you poured the most hours into? How about the one you’ve played the least? Let us know in the comments below.

“The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” (2013)


“A Link Between Worlds” is one of the best top-down “Zeldas” around. Set in the same Hyrule as “A Link to the Past,” it follows a new Link as he works to stop Yuga, an evil sorcerer from a parallel world who’s attempting to resurrect Ganon. Completing the story and stopping Yuga’s plans won’t take you much longer than its SNES precursor. The story clocks in at around 16 hours, which is still a pretty good size for a handheld game. A completionist run isn’t too strenuous at 23 hours. Although, like many other entries, it does mean a lot of collecting. On top of Pieces of Heart, there’s also Mother Maiamai’s 100 missing, scattered children. That’ll take some dedication.

“The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages” (2001)


One half of the Capcom-developed duology on the Game Boy Color, “Oracle of Ages” is a bit harder than its sister game. So naturally, it takes a bit longer to beat. Set outside of Hyrule, “Ages” sees Link square off against a time-traveling sorceress after she possesses Nayru, the titular Oracle. The story will take you around 17 hours, though completing its trading sequence and collecting every Heart Piece and Magic Ring will balloon the playtime to 24 hours. Of course, if you want the full experience of both connected games, that’s another story. “Oracle of Seasons” will add another 15 hours to the story, or 22 hours for completionists.

“The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” (2007)


As the handheld follow-up to “Wind Waker,” “Phantom Hourglass” doesn’t take nearly as long to beat. But it still has a vast sea to explore and plenty of activities to get lost in. The story picks up on Link and Tetra searching for a new home, only for Tetra to get kidnapped by the mysterious ghost ship. Link is yet again sucked into a struggle much bigger than himself. Putting an end to the malevolent spirit behind the kidnapping will take around 17 hours. But if you want to fully explore each island and complete each sidequest, which includes fishing, a trading sequence, and a handful of mini-games, you’ll move up to around 31 ½ hours.

“The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks” (2009)


Set 100 years after “Phantom Hourglass,” this sequel isn’t much longer than its predecessor. Link and Tetra were successful in discovering a new Hyrule, and their descendants must keep it safe from the Demon King, Malladus, and his conniving minion, Chancellor Cole. If you’re only interested in keeping your new homeland out of the monster’s clutches, you’ll only need to put in around 19 ½ hours. But its side quests will add more than 10 hours to that. There are several ways you can improve the lives of New Hyrule’s citizens, which earns you Force Gems. These will open up new locations that lead to unlockables, secrets, and a playtime of around 32 hours.

“The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” (2000)


As it reused assets from “Ocarina of Time” and was developed in only a year, “Majora’s Mask” is one of the shorter 3D entries. In this gloomy adventure, Link helps the people of Termina, whose home is set to be destroyed in three days by the masked Skull Kid and a terrifying moon. With only a handful of dungeons, you can blow through the story in about 20 hours. But helping out the land’s citizens through a plethora of engaging side quests will bolster the playtime to around 31 hours. It is definitely one worth earning 100%. However, if you’re playing the 3DS remake, your completionist run might take up to to 38 hours. But a big chunk of that time will be spent completing its two added fishing holes.

“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)


Argued to be one of the best games in existence, you’ve probably already put more than enough hours into “Ocarina of Time.” Taking Link across two time periods to foil Ganondorf’s Hyrule-conquering plans has become a big focus for the speedrunning community. For the rest of us, vanquishing the big bad will take around 26 hours. But man, will those side quests take you a long time. Not only are there trading sequences for both versions of Link, but completionists will also have to collect 100 Gold Skulltulas hidden throughout the world across both time periods, taking around 39 hours. Unlike “Majora’s Mask,” the 3D remake didn’t make many changes and will take you around the same time.

“The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker” (2003)


Bigger and grander than what came before it, “The Wind Waker” turns Link into a bonafide explorer. With Hyrule flooded from events long ago, the Hero of Winds must rescue his younger sister and stop Ganon’s return to power. There are a plethora of islands to explore, many of which are spread out and offer both story events and side quests. Saving the sea will take players around 29 hours, but earning 100% percent on every island will take much longer at around 59 ½ hours. The HD remake shortens things a bit thanks to the inclusion of the Swift Sail and a much shorter and far less tedious Triforce Quest. This version takes around 25 ½ hours or 42 for everything.

“The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” (2006)


In order to appease fans unhappy with “Wind Waker’s” cartoonish art style, Nintendo created the more adult “Twilight Princess.” And it’s pretty massive. With invading forces from an alternate dimension, Link must venture to all corners of the kingdom to save its people. From the deep depths of a lake to a sprawling, sweltering dessert, the story will take you around 37 ½ hours. The difference between completing the story and finishing everything is a bit more manageable than in “Wind Waker.” Completing every side quest and hunting down every Golden Bug, Poe, and Piece of Heart will take around 55 ½ hours. The HD remake won’t take quite as long, 30 hours for the story or 44 for completionists, due to some quality of life changes.

“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011)


Although criticism for its empty overworld led to the next entry being much larger, “Skyward Sword” is still one of the longest “Zelda” games to beat. Set at the very beginning of the timeline, it follows the first Link after his childhood friend Zelda is knocked to the land below his floating home, Skyloft. Becoming the hero you were born to be will take you around 38 hours. Though, to be fair, “Skyward Sword” was also criticized for too much backtracking. If you want to complete everything, such as collecting all Gratitude Crystals and finding all Goddess Cubes, it will take around 58 hours. Of course, the HD remake will be quite a bit shorter as Fi doesn’t interrupt you nearly as much.

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (2017)


This should come as no surprise. While “Breath of the Wild” is light on story, it is absolutely heavy on exploration and discovery. And while it’s possible to blast through straight to the Ganon confrontation, we’re talking averages here. Even though your quests are very straightforward, the gigantic map will make reaching each Divine Beast a struggle on its own. Completing all story events can take around 50 hours. However, with 120 Shrines, 900 Korok Seeds, an abundance of armor sets to collect and upgrade, and just a smorgasbord of NPCs to go on quests for, that 50 will expand to around 189 hours. It gets even longer if you factor in DLC. “Breath of the Wild” is easily the longest entry on average to beat…until the sequel comes out.
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