While March 3 will mark the fourth anniversary since the release of the Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch, a much larger anniversary is set to take place this month. On February 21, the Zelda series celebrates its 35th anniversary, with many of its games such as A Link to the Past, both Oracle games and even Skyward Sword, celebrating some big anniversaries and yet, I find myself wondering what comes next?
Yes, Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel, with the sequel being the next new 3D instalment in the series and with it being an anniversary year, it’s possible we could get a rerelease of one or more of Link’s earlier adventures on Switch, but, to ask it again, what’s next after Breath of the Wild 2?
As a game that has sold 23.12 million copies worldwide on Switch and Wii U combined, it’s understandable that Nintendo would want to create a sequel. Heck, just last year we got one the best musou games ever, serving as a prequel, but here’s the thing to remember, Breath of the Wild started development in 2011.
That’s ten years ago, ten years of Nintendo being dedicated to this intriguing narrative and during that time, while Zelda fans did get a few new games to sink their teeth into, we’ve also had a lot of remasters and a couple of spin-offs. Let’s list them, shall we?
Re-releases & Remasters:
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (2011) / 3DS
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition (2011 with a re-release in 2014) / DSiWare & 3DS
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (2013) / Wii U
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (2015) / 3DS
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (2016) / Wii U
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019) / NSW
Hyrule Warriors (2014) / Wii U
Hyrule Warriors Legends (2016) / 3DS
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (2018) / NSW
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda (2019) / NSW
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (2020) / NSW
For a quick reminder of every NEW game, we’ve prepared a list for that as well:
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011) / Wii
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013) / 3DS
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (2015) / 3DS
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) / Wii U & NSW
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel (TBD)
As things stand currently, we have had six re-releases/remasters versus the four brand new games that are available now and let’s be honest, it’s not like Nintendo handled all the spin-offs and remasters all by themselves. In fact, the majority of the work was taken care of by Koei Tecmo, Tantalus Media and Grezzo.
Still, here is where things get a tad interesting. Although Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel, currently it looks like the game will pick up where Breath of the Wild left off and continue this particular Zelda narrative, but just because that’s the direction the 3D games seem to be taking, what about the 2D games? Remastering Link’s Awakening was great and all and it would be cool to see other 2D Zelda games remade using the same assets, but what about a new 2D game itself?
Having released in 2015, Tri Force Heroes is the last new 2D Zelda game fans have had. By no means was it the best instalment in the series, but it was a game friends and enemies could play together and it saw Link undertaking a different kind of quest and as enjoyable Link’s Awakening on Switch is, it’s high time fans got a new 2D game to play. We’ve already seen how Nintendo can drastically change what it means to be a 3D Zelda game, so surely, hopefully, when all is done with Breath of the Wild 2, perhaps Nintendo might try their hand at evolving the 2D series of games. It’s certainly something I would love to see, how about you guys?