Nintendo / Digital Foundry

I hear you thinking, “surely there’s another console from Nintendo on the way, right?” The Switch has been out for a while, true, but as we reported on Tuesday, May 9, Nintendo has no plans for a hardware refresh or followup to the Switch in 2023.


Read More: Nintendo Says Don’t Expect A New Switch This Year Either

And no, I have no idea what a “You Zoo” is.

How long is Breath of the Wild?

Say you don’t mind holding off on the game everyone’s chatting about right now and are cool jumping into Breath of the Wild first. Can you expect to knock it out in a weekend? Well, no.

Link fights a foe while on horseback in Breath of the Wild.
Breath of the Wild is a long game, and every moment is worth it.
Image: Nintendo

According to, the main story of Breath of the Wild is around 50 hours. And if you want to do all the side-quests? You’re looking at just under 100 hours. If you’re a completionist fiend, HLtB estimates 189 hours. Our own experiences bear those numbers out.


Breath of the Wild is a game of sweeping proportions. The world is enormous and there’s so much to do. If you haven’t played it yet and Tears of the Kingdom’s release really has you interested in seeing what all this Link business is about, expect to need to set aside some time for BotW should you jump into that first.

Even if you’re not a completionist, taking in the world of Hyrule in the Switch’s first Zelda title is an experience best enjoyed at a gentle pace, and you won’t feel worse for having taken the time to let it all soak in.


So, yes, BotW is long. Which is good, since it’s a great game.

While some franchises are okay to enter at just about any point, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offers some compelling reasons to give it a shot first. The plot consists of standard fantasy concepts, but is told very memorably and in a vista-rich open world that’s a joy to explore.


But, if you do decide to jump straight into Tears of the Kingdom, a quick synopsis or two of BotW’s story beats will get you up to speed quickly. And with the gameplay differences, playing the two games in reverse order shouldn’t feel too strange.

Order aside, another question is whether you ought to play the older game at all. You may feel differently, but my personal take is that Breath of the Wild is such a genuinely wonderful experience, from the well-told story, to the satisfying gameplay, and a world that is genuinely full of life and beautiful to explore, that you owe it to yourself to play this modern classic if you haven’t, even if you’ve already logged solid hours in Tears of the Kingdom.