The Miyamoto Order

Shigeru Miyamoto, one of the main people behind all of the Zelda games, stated an order after OoT was released.

NP: Where do all the Zelda games fall into place when arranged chronologically by their stories?

M: Ocarina of Time is the first story, then the original Legend of Zelda, then Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and finally A Link to the Past. It's not very clear where Link's Awakening fits in--it could be anytime after Ocarina of Time.

He stated this order in the first part of an interview with Nintendo Power Magazine's Jason Leung. The second part of this interview was published in NP Vol.116, in a subscriber bonus. The full interview, including Miyamoto's order, was published on Nintendo.com and Zelda64.com. It can still be viewed at Zelda64.com (Web Archive) or on Nintendo.com. Miyamoto has never backed up his bare statement with anything like evidence or proof, and has never come forward to state it again. In fact, there is a high possibility that Miyamoto was mistaken in giving this order, or that he was misunderstood. So this order is considered by some to be out-of-date. Nevertheless, a fair number of fans still believe in Miyamoto's order, and there are a number of scenarios that explain how this order could work.

Late Imprisoning War Theory - This theory says that the same Link stars in OoT, LoZ, and AoL, and that all these games happened right before the real Imprisoning War. Then TWW happens centuries later. ALttP/LA happen centuries later, and then the Oracle games happen centuries after that.

Storyline Summary (not updated yet)
Time Line
Early Imprisoning War Theory - This theory says that the Imprisoning War happens during OoT. TWW happens centuries later, and LoZ/AoL happen centuries after that. The Oracle games happen centuries later, and ALttP/LA happen centuries after that.

Storyline Summary (not updated yet)
Time Line