Which are the most worthwhile zelda games to play? Which ones connect to each other?

I grew up on zelda and I love the series, arguably more than any other game franchise. However, as I have yet to sit down and play every single one, I ended up skipping over a lot of the older/handheld games as I grew up. Also, there's a good few I haven't gotten the chance to replay since I was a kid, so... show more I grew up on zelda and I love the series, arguably more than any other game franchise. However, as I have yet to sit down and play every single one, I ended up skipping over a lot of the older/handheld games as I grew up. Also, there's a good few I haven't gotten the chance to replay since I was a kid, so my memory of them is very blurry. I plan on going through the entire series, but I want to start with the most iconic ones in case I run out of time/money. I also want to make sure I play any games that interconnect right next to each other, in the right order. Which ones connect, and which games do you feel I need to make a priority?
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