Should You Play Breath of the Wild Before Tears of the Kingdom?
The Legend of Zelda timeline is fairly disconnected between games, meaning you don’t necessarily have to play the previous entry in the series to enjoy the latest. That doesn’t necessarily apply to Tears of the Kingdom, however, because the developers always planned on making it a Breath of the Wild sequel.
So if you haven’t already played Breath of the Wild and are wanting to dive right into what our Tears of the Kingdom review called a “A remarkable sequel that somehow raises the bar”, you may want to slow your roll. While you can certainly play Tears of the Kingdom without playing Breath of the Wild and still enjoy yourself, you’d be missing out on one of the best Legend of Zelda games of all time.
If you do want to skip to the latest Zelda game, though, the official story recap above should fill in the broader strokes. Otherwise, let’s dive into some of the reasons you should for sure play BotW first.
The Breath of the Wild Map Sets the Stage for Tears of the Kingdom
Outside of the obvious story tie-ins between games, both games being the same version of Hyrule is a huge reason to play BotW first. The Breath of the Wild map is enormous, and many of the locations are also in Tears of the Kingdom.
Considering Tears of the Kingdom is set years in the future, something you’d be missing out by the previous game is to see the evolutions that have taken place in Hyrule. Things have changed, and if you don’t have the context of what it was like before, you likely won’t be able to enjoy the smaller details.
The Characters Have Evolved Over Time
Yet another aspect that comes with a direct sequel is that there will be a lot of crossover characters between titles. Link and Zelda will have changed over the years between games, but so will most of the surrounding characters. The story will likely still make sense without the context of what core characters like Sidon and Riju were like in Breath of the Wild, but you’ll still be missing a lot of great story details.
The same goes for some of the memorable characters from many of the best Breath of the Wild side quests.
Breath of the Wild Is One of the Best Games of All Time
Perhaps the most important reason not to skip The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the simplest of them all. It’s flat out one of the best video games of all time. Not only was it the first truly open-world Zelda game, it brought in new elements to the genre that revolutionized how we interact with open-world games in general. There’s so much to explore and uncover that you’ll likely never get tired of doing just that.
Tears of the Kingdom was made on the foundations that Breath of the Wild built, both literally and figuratively. It would be a shame if you missed out on playing such an amazing game just because the sequel has arrived.
If you are playing Breath of the Wild for the first time, or replaying it before Tears of the Kingdom, you can check out our guide on how to finish the game quickly using our Wiki guide.
Also be sure to check out our Tears of the Kingdom guide for all of the gameplay tips, tricks, and secrets in the new Zelda game when it goes live.
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