I was 4 years old. My parents bought me and my brother a SNES and it came with Super Mario World, Starwing and A Link to the Past. I think I had recently seen a movieabout knights or medieval fantasy or something, anyway, I was really into swords-and-shields type stuff at the time so the game with a sword and shield on the cover was most attractive to me. ALttP was the very first video game I ever played and I have never looked back
Well I never actually owned a Zelda game up until 2007 when I got myself Phantom Hourglass....
However I used to go round to my friends house nearly all the time and play the likes of AlttP, OoT and MM, i think i must have been around the age of 8. So even though I never owned a Zelda game till 2007, as I had been brought up with the likes of the PlayStation 1&2, I have always been familiar with the series as well as a big fan but if were going off the first time we owned a Zelda game i would have been 13 years old.
I didn't start until I was about nine, and I only REALLY got into them around age twelve. It's so frustrating that most people my age had OoT as their first game, but I had TWW. XD My parents never did and still don't like video games, so it was a dream come true when I got that GC for Christmas... but I never even owned a Nintendo 64.
I officially began playing video games when I was, like, 6 or 7, when my parents got me a GameBoy Advance for Christmas. I've been exposed to the Legend of Zelda before then, because I would always watch my mom play the original one--as well as a few other games--on the NES from time-to-time when I was younger. But, since the question was what age was I when I actually began playing, it was around probably the second year of having my GBA, and it was probably near the end of my second grade year.
A Link to the Past was my gateway drug game to the series, even though I had the opportunity to start with the Legend of Zelda--which I did start playing awhile after starting my file in the former. I don't think the true attachment to the series really sparked until third grade--which was along with my love for Hamtaro, so they kind of were, like, ever-clashing until fifth-sixth grade. That would make me about 10 when Hamtaro stopped neutralizing my love for the Legend of Zelda. xD I just never took actually beating the games seriously until I was, like, that age. xDD
But yeah... I was around 7 years of age when I started playing. I kind of like the fact that... even though I'm kind of young, I got to grow up with an NES so I still consider myself an old-school gamer. <3
It was around Christmastime, and my parents decided to take my siblings and me to the store near our house. While we were there, my brother spotted a Gamecube on sale for $60. It just happened to come with the Zelda Collector's Edition thing, and he somehow managed to talk my parents into buying it for us. I didn't really get to play it until a few days later, though. Majora's Mask was the first Zelda game I ever played... I didn't really understand what I was doing, but I thought it was fun, so I kept doing it. Eventually I got into Zelda, and by time I was 8 I could actually complete a game all the way through.
I've played a lot of games since I was little, but Zelda is the only game series I keep coming back to. I really can't see that ever changing.