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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda#history

Given all listed games here what would be the most feasible option to play all the games (preferably legally)? Remastered/updated versions okay over older versions, if they didn't change the storyline dramatically. What comes into mind:

  • buying all consoles + games (might be difficult + expensive)

  • buying all cartridges + reader for it + using an emulator

  • buying all cartridges + downloading roms + using an emulator

  • just download everything

  • buy only those consoles (which?) that offer to play old games as download or special edition

What would the most feasible option be? I'm located in Japan by the way!

3

As of 2019-10-06

TL;DR

The cheapest way to play all (main) Zelda games is to buy a Wii U and a New 3DS or New 2DS, which gives you access to almost all (main) Zelda games ever released, with a few caveats:

  • Four Swords and Four Swords Adventure require a GBA and NGC respectively (or the backward compatible NDS and Wii).
  • Four Swords Anniversary Edition is an updated remaster of the GBA original released for free as DSiWare, and is no longer available.
  • Twilight Princess HD, The Wind Waker HD, and Link's Awakening DX are remakes, but very close to the original. Twilight Princess HD in particular has very few changes, other than minor graphical improvements. Link's Awakening (2019) is itself a remake of Link's Awakening DX that is very close to the original.

Keep the following compatibility list in mind (consoles on the right can play games from consoles on the left)

  • GB -> GBC -> GBA
  • GBA -> NDS
  • NDS -> DSi -> 3DS/2DS -> New 3DS/2DS
  • NGC -> Wii
  • Wii -> Wii U

Switch

  • Physical/Digital
    • Breath of the Wild
    • Link's Awakening (2019)
  • NES — Nintendo Switch Online
    • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link
    • The Legend of Zelda
  • SNES — Nintendo Switch Online
    • A Link to the Past

Wii U

  • Physical/Digital
    • Breath of the Wild
    • Twilight Princess HD (Remaster)
    • The Wind Waker HD (Remake)
  • Wii Digital
    • Skyward Sword
  • Virtual Console (Digital only)
    • Ocarina of Time (N64)
    • Majora's Mask (N64)
    • Phantom Hourglass (NDS)
    • Spirit Tracks (NDS)
    • The Minish Cap (GBA)
    • A Link to the Past (SNES)
    • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (NES)
    • The Legend of Zelda (NES)

(New) 3DS/2DS

  • Physical/Digital
    • Tri Force Heroes
    • A Link Between Worlds
    • Majora's Mask 3D (Remake)
    • Ocarina of Time 3D (Remake)
  • Virtual Console (Digital only)
    • Oracle of Ages (GBC)
    • Oracla of Seasons (GBC)
    • Link's Awakening DX (GBC)
    • A Link to the Past (SNES; only on New 3DS)
    • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (NES)
    • The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Wii

  • Physical
    • Skyward Sword
    • Twilight Princess
  • Digital (Since the servers have been shut down, there is no way to buy digital games on Wii anymore)

NDS/DSi

  • Physical
    • Spirit Tracks
    • Phantom Hourglass
  • Digital (Since the servers have been shut down, there is no way to buy digital games on DSi anymore)

NGC

  • Twilight Princess
  • Four Swords Adventure
  • The Wind Waker
  • Majora's Mask (Emulated; part of bundle or promotion)
  • Ocarina of Time Master Quest (Port of N64 original + new challenges; part of bundle or promotion)
  • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (Part of bundle)
  • The Legend of Zelda (Part of bundle)

GBA

  • The Minish Cap
  • A Link to the Past & Four Swords (Port of SNES original + multiplayer)

N64

  • Majora's Mask
  • Ocarina of Time

GBC

  • Oracle of Ages
  • Oracle of Seasons
  • Link's Awakening DX (Color remake of GB original)

SNES

  • A Link to the Past

GB

  • Link's Awakening

NES

  • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link
  • The Legend of Zelda

No longer available

  • Four Swords Anniversary Edition (DSi; remaster)

Not included in this list

  • The various spinoffs, such as Hyrule Warriors, Link's Crossbow Training, etc.
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Gotta buy a CD-i for Wand of Gameleon and Faces of Evil /sarcasm – zero298 May 4 '19 at 15:20

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