Missing Hyrule? Don’t worry; here’s the 10 best games like Zelda that you can play to get your open-world fix before BotW 2 drops!
I’ve searched for these answers a lot since completing Link’s first Switch adventure, and have since gone on to play all of these in my quest to fill the Ganon-shaped hole in my heart.
From games that are such direct copies that I’m surprised they’ve been allowed to be published to beautifully created tales that promote complete player freedom and boast more mystery than Pandora’s Box, this list of the best games like Zelda will both excite and delight in equal measure.
i’m going to leave the waffle there; you came here to game and not to listen to me ramble on.
Let’s kickstart with Number 10… shall we?
10. Windbound (2020)
Windbound kickstarts our best games like Zelda article, and seen as though it’s a total rip off of Breath of the Wild twinned with Wind Waker, then I guess it’s a perfect one to start with!
The main premise of Windbound is to survive. Hunt animals to cook food for when your hunger drops. Search for beacons to open up the exit to the next level, all the while crafting new elements to make your boat stronger, faster and more gnarly.
The crafting elements in this game that require players to store individual ingredients and items is very similar to Zelda, as is the hunting with a bow and arrow and upgrading elements of your armour.
Oh, and you can craft a glider just like Link’s to glide down from high places.
Use bows with different properties way cooler than the bomb arrows to take down massive monsters. Food goes off so cook it and eat it wisely!
9. Immortals Fenyx Rising (2020)
Immortals Fenyx Rising is so much like Breath of the Wild that all of the weapons look like the ancient weapon range Link obtains from beating Guardian Scouts or through visiting the Ancient Tech Lab in Akkala.
The land looks so much like Hyrule too that it’s unreal. There’s even a training plateau kind of area shrine-like puzzles to play through.
Honestly, I don’t know how Ubisoft got away with making this game!
One of the best bits about this game is that it’s steeped in Greek Mythology. Battle Medusa and listen to comedic quips between Zeus and Prometheus.
Build your powers as you move through the game, slowly tackling bigger and meaner enemies and bosses. Reckon you could go up against a Titan?
Self-guided arrows are a nice touch that Link could do with, and Fenyx uses them to hit targets and enemies through seven perfectly-designed worlds.
8. Raji: An Ancient Epic (2020)
I know most people think that Beyond Oasis is the direct product of a mix between Prince and Persia and The Legend of Zelda, but it’s actually Raji: An Ancient Epic.
Gods fighting demons, battles ensuing left, right, and centre, and a chosen child who must save the world.
Sure sounds like an epic quest alright!
Raji is on a quest of great importance to destroy Mahabalasura, the evil ruler that controls the demon world.
It would also be a good way of getting rid of those pesky vowels in Scrabble if you were allowed to use names too!
Like another title further down this list, Raji uses a very specific art style that makes it hard to take your eyes off. This is one of the best indie games for Switch that looks like it should come from a major publisher.
Using Indian Pahari hand drawn art that has later been 3D rendered to create stunning levels, this tale of divine war in Ancient India is one that you won’t forget in a hurry.
7. Hob (2017)
Hob is one of those games that, while not exactly the same style as BotW, has a very similar feel. It’s open world and rife with exciting puzzles to complete, plus you get straight into the action without any convoluted opening sequences.
I guess Hob looks as though he could be a bit of a mechanical Sheikah cross Skull Kid too, which is a combo that i reckon we’d all like to be!
One area that Hob differs from Zelda is that it only lasts about 10 hours. It’s like a small slice of Zelda, almost like a demo that someone’s made a ROM hack out of.
I guess when you know that the people behind bringing Skyrim to the Switch are involved with the game, then everything will slot perfectly into place.
Sitting somewhere between the artistic styles of Number 4 in our list below and everyone’s new favourite Zelda epic, this little mechanical-armed cape-wearing dude certainly holds his own amongst every other game in this compendium.
6. Ghost Of A Tale (2020)
Ghost of a Tale is undoubtedly one of the best games like Zelda. It also happens to be one of my favourite Switch games of all time too.
Ok, so I know Link isn’t a mouse. I also know that Tilo can’t carry a Kokiri sword and doesn’t have a hookshot. Still, it’s the puzzle and collecting elements that are so similar to Zelda.
Sneak through dungeons, flummox guards with cool disguises, and complete quests from NPCs that help to keep the narrative flowing and interesting at all times.
Tilo is the game’s protagonist, and he’s on a mission to save his wife. Delve into every nook and cranny of Dwindling Heights as you make allegiances, uncover deceitful plots, and steal keys to open up new areas.
Open secret doors in sewers, collect all manner of items, and dodge scary enemies as you and your little mouse paws try to stay out of danger.
And even though Tilo doesn’t have a sword, he’s a dab-hand with a bottle. Smash those rat guards where it hurts!
5. Secret Of Mana (1993)
If you’re looking for an RPG jam-packed with old-school Zelda goodness, then look no further than Secret Of Mana.
We’re talking an RPG with hack-n-slash action all the way through. Upgrade weapon and armour abilities as you move through the game, casting magic spells.
It feels so much like one of the best Zelda ROM hacks, but it’s actually a proper game in its own right!
So, what’s the deal in Mana?
Well, Mana is imbued into the very essence of the natural world. I guess it’s only to be expected that an evil villain tried to harness that mana and cause absolute havoc, ruining the tranquil peace the the people have created.
The sad thing is that history is about to repeat itself, but a magical sword and a brace knight are about to go up against a horde of monsters to save the world.
The graphics in Secrets of Mana are bright, vibrant, and just generally pleasing to watch. It’s all very inoffensive stuff, easy to grasp, and boasts a storyline that you’ll find impossible to put down!
4. Ōkami HD (2018)
Ōkami HD takes the 4th spot in our list of the best games like Zelda article!
This title is oozing with Zelda goodness. It feels like a stylised version WindWaker, swapping the cel-shaded graphics for Sumi-e ink artwork style!
Also, it’s worth noting that Hideki Kamiya, the game’s director, cited The Legend of Zelda as a main point of inspiration for Okami back when it first came out in 2006.
If that doesn’t Ōkami’s place in this list, then I don’t know what does.
How many games can you say that it feels like you’re diving into a water colour painting? There are few games out there like Ōkami, few titles with as many textures and beautifully created features for you to gawk at longingly.
Take Amaterasu, goddess of the sun, on a mission to bring colour back to a bleak world. Using the celestial brush and transforming herself into the white wold Shiranui, she (and you) must adventure through stunning worlds and literally give the world a lick of paint to spruce it up.
3. Elden Ring
Elden Ring is one of those games that proved to be an immediate success on release. I mean, with George R. R Martin on the team, it was always bound to be a success.
Unlike the ending of a certain TV show, but we won’t talk about that now…
If you’ve managed to get hold of a PS5 and want an open-world epic that will enchant you from the very beginning, then you can’t go wrong with Elden Ring. Sure, it might not have the same textural style as BotW, but it is a mythical marvel with monsters and mystery galore.
One of the things I love about this game is that you can literally walk in any direction and be confronted with something that wants to kill you. We’re talking traps, monsters, bosses, the full works.
And with a price tag of £50/around $61, you want to get your money’s worth, right? Well, it’s a good job this is also one of the most difficult fantasy epics that I’ve ever played.
Still, like all good open games, just wandering around on your own terms away from the main story arc is what Elden Ring is all about.
Well, that using spells and upgrading all your gear and weapons, that too.
2. Pokemon Legends: Arceus (2022)
Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes the silver medal in out best games like Zelda list.
Now, this is a very specific likeness, mainly to Breath of the Wild. In terms of an open world adventure with jaw-dropping scenarios and that Nintendo-vibe, then Arceus ticks all of the boxes.
Ok, so some of the maps are a little janky and there are a few annoying features that could have been ironed out. Still, it’s an incredibly immersive title and one that we still can’t get enough of.
Out of all the Pokemon adventures, this is my favourite to date. I think like Breath of the Wild, the ability to explore at your own rate and to your hearts content is refreshing, and the fact that it’s so inherently different to the previous games makes it super exciting for Poke fans.
The Hisui region might not be as dangerous as Hyrule, but it’s nice to wander around collecting items to make your Pokeballs.
It also begins with a H too, so there’s another similarity!
1. Horizon: Forbidden West (2022)
The results are in, and we can confirm unequivocally that Horizon: Forbidden West is the best game like Zelda in 2023!
This game was always going to top this list. I mean, just look at it, it’s one of the most stunning games I’ve played in a long time and, if we’re being honest, has taken a lot of inspiration from Breath of the Wild.
That’s going to annoy some people, but the gliding mechanic and the hook shot, as well as some of the climbing elements feel very Zelda-esque.
Still, the insanely huge machines that you come up against like the T-Rex and that giant snake could probably make mincemeat of the divine beasts.
Aloy makes for a fantastic protagonist too, and there are lots of similarities between her cybernetic tech and Link’s Sheikah Slate.
If you need a hole to fill until Breath of the Wild 2 comes out, then get a bit of Forbidden West in your life!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.