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The Legend Of Zelda Game That Takes The Shortest Time To Beat

"The Legend of Zelda" series has been around for decades and produced such a wealth of games that it's hard to keep track of just how many there are. Today, the franchise is known for sprawling worlds filled with dungeons, mystery, and monsters that can eat up dozens of hours of fans' time. However, not every game has been quite so epic in scale.


The more recent games have moved towards true, open worlds that rival offerings from Ubisoft or Bethesda but some earlier entries were a bit more simple and could be wrapped up in a more manageable amount of time. For those looking to try out a "Zelda" title that doesn't require quite so much of an investment, it would be a good idea to give one of these older games a shot.

Fans have debated which "Zelda" installment takes the shortest time to finish but, based on data from How Long To Beat, the answer seems quite clear.

OG The Legend of Zelda is the shortest

While 2017's "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" can take 50 hours to finish and nearly 200 hours to see everything, the original "The Legend of Zelda" clocks in at a fraction of the time. The charming 2D game that launched a juggernaut of a series is a mere shadow of what the franchise would become, lasting only eight hours (per How Long to Beat). Even taking the time to explore and see absolutely all it has to offer only adds two extra hours to the playtime. While the world is pretty open and there are lots of secrets to uncover, it just doesn't have the scale of the later offerings.


"The Legend of Zelda" ranks pretty low among "Zelda" games today but that doesn't mean it's not worth playing. The franchise may have undergone a stunning transformation but so many of the elements that are a core part of the experience began with the first entry and it can be an illuminating experience to go back and see how it all started.

It should be noted that there's one other contender for the title of the shortest "Zelda" game. At a mere three hours, "Four Swords" is a far briefer entry. However, as this is a multiplayer game that originally came attached to the Game Boy Advance version of "A Link to the Past," it arguably doesn't count. While it is shorter, when it comes to standalone, single-player "Zelda" installments, the original still stands as the shortest.