12 Best Zelda Games On Nintendo Switch [All Tested]

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Ever wondered which the best Zelda games on Nintendo Switch are? Luckily for you, I’ve played them all more times than I should probably admit to, so I can give you a measured (and highly biased opinion on the greatest series of all time!

Link has always been my favourite Nintendo character. There’s a reason that the Switch dropped with a brand new Zelda game too; everyone else clearly thinks these games are the best too.

Still, with such a massive back catalogue, it was always inevitable that more titles, old and new, would be appearing on the Switch before long.

And, thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online platform, greats like Number 4 and Number 2 below can now be played on the loo, in the zoo, or while causing a general hullabaloo!

I thoroughly enjoyed writing that list line.

So, without further ado, let’s crack on and check out the best Zelda games on Nintendo Switch, kicking off with a hack and slash title of epic proportions!

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (2017)

The legend of Zelda  Breath of the Wild game case cover art

I think we all knew that this was coming – Breath of the Wild is officially the best Zelda game on Nintendo Switch.

Yes, the game that brought a whole new format and gameplay style to the canon is the greatest Zelda game alive. An open world epic with a new weapons system, enemies, and boss style to boot.

From wielding the Sheikah Slate to cooking up items, collecting missed arrows and beating a Hinox for the Hylian Shield, this game has everything a Zelda fan could ever want.

Link fighting a Bokoblin in Breath of the Wild
Credit: Nintendo

The heart system has completely been revamped, with players cooking food to earn back lost health. Collect orbs to turn into heart pieces or stamina, ride horses, glide around, wear different outfits with different properties.

It’s a work of art!

The puzzles in the shrines are second to none too. If you thought the block pushing challenges in Ocarina were tricky, then wait till you’re using Stasis to manipulate pieces of a working machine in order to get from A to B.

It’s madness!

Yes, Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda game on Nintendo Switch, but has Tears of the Kingdom also made the cut?

2. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (1996)

The legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time on Seb's Nintendo Switch OLED

If you had told six-year-old me that I would be placing The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time second in a list of the best Zelda games on Nintendo Switch, I would have said what is a Nintendo Switch, and that there would never be a better game than Ocarina.

Still, here we are!

Playing Ocarina on the Switch is a dream come true for me. It might have slipped behind a certain Zelda game that brings a ‘breath of the wild’ fresh air feeling to the series, but it’s still one of the most nostalgic parts of my childhood.

Ocarina of Time Gameplay - Link fighting Ganondorf
Credit: Nintendo

This game is what got me into gaming, and I use it as a benchmark for every title I play. It looks amazing on the TV instead of playing on the 3DS.

And perhaps this is just me being nostalgic, but it doesn’t look ‘mega old’ for a game that came out 26 years ago. Everything plays perfectly on the Switch, with the buttons being mapped nicely on the new controller set up.

Battle Twinrova, collect the Lens of Truth from the creepy man under the well – the gameplay is timeless, as is the storyline.

3. Tears Of The Kingdom (2023)

Tears of the Kingdom game case cover art Switch

Tears of the Kingdom has been the go-to game at Retro Dodo Towers recently, and there were some real tears when our News Writer Anthony finally completed it.

‘Life feels empty without it’ were his actual words!

We get it though; the rest of us who haven’t yet completed it felt the same when we had finished Breath of the Wild. Both games are amazing, with Tears of the Kingdom adding a lot more depth (and height) to the world of Hyrule.

Link fighting a Frost Gleeok
Screenshot Credit: Retro Dodo. Gameplay Credit: Nintendo

The world of Hyrule is still the same from BotW, but now players can explore the entire map underground in ‘The Depths’ and can also experience life up in the Sky too.

The 3 areas of exploration make this the biggest Zelda game and indeed one of the largest games of all time! Plus the enemies are insanely difficult now too – just check out the Frost Gleeok above!

There’s a new building mechanic to this game which fans everything from LEGO to Minecraft will love. Some people aren’t wholly on board with it, but it’s an interesting addition to a Zelda game that really makes anything and everything possible.

Check out our official review of Tears of the Kingdom!

4. The Legend Of Zelda (1986)

The Legend of Zelda NES on Seb's Nintendo Switch OLED with Bilbo the Dog next to the handheld

Still, the fact that you also get to play the original The Legend of Zelda game as part of that subscription and many more besides makes it even better value for money!

Ok, so there’s not much different to this game than there was in the NES days. It’s not had a remaster or the Link’s Awakening treatment, and there isn’t much to change to enhance in the first place.

Still, the original Legend of Zelda on your TV without the best NES HDMI cables, with clear graphics and all the same gameplay that captures the hearts and minds gamers the world over.

Now that’s something special alright!

The Legend Of Zelda NES gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

This is the very first time that we discovered Link, Zelda, The Triforce and Ganon.

Did you know that Ganon used to live in Death Mountain in the very beginning, before the Gorons took up refuge there?

Collect the pieces of The Triforce and rescue Zelda from Ganon’s Grasp! I’ve spoken about how great it is to play old games in handheld mode so much so far, but to be honest that is one of the Switch’s main selling points!

5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past (1991)

A Link To The Past gameplay on Seb's Nintendo Switch OLED

This wouldn’t be a list of the best Zelda games on Nintendo Switch without talking about one of the best SNES games of all time now, would it?

Sunday mornings are made for this game. Kicking back in bed playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past in bed, listening to those nostalgic tunes while looking at updated graphics.

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of!

A Link to the Past gameplay
Credit: nintendo

If you’ve never played A Link To The Past, then you’re in for a real treat. This title from the alternate reality in which the Hero of Time doesn’t succeed sees Ganondorf holding all the triforce pieces in the Sacred Realm.

Your job is to save the Sacred Realm and stop it from being the Dark Realm. Save the descendants of the Ocarina of Time Sages, and save the world,

Tough job, right?

This game is a classic and looks superb on the Switch. The controls are smooth, Link is much more defined, and it’s worth the Nintendo Online Subscription for this game alone.

6. The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000)

The opening scene to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask on Seb's Nintendo Switch OLED

The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is one of the more ‘fiddly’ Zelda games thanks to the need to move back and forth through time continuously. There’s no denying that it’s also one of the best Zelda games on Nintendo Switch now thanks to Nintendo Switch Online, however.

I haven’t played Majora’s Mask with the new N64 switch controller yet, but I’ve really enjoyed swapping between Zelda Switch cartridge games and this N64 classic on the fly.

And let’s face it, I much prefer playing with the Pro Controller than the N64 days too… finally, no claw hand!

If anything, I enjoy the Switch version more than the 3DS offering too. It’s sharper, on a bigger screen, and I don’t have the urge to try and burn my eyes with the 3D mode every 15 seconds.

Link in Clock Town
Credit: Nintendo

I still think playing as a Goron is on of the best features in any Zelda game. And as a guitarist, the Zora with his fish-bone guitar will never stop being cool

There are tonnes of masks to collect in this game, not just Majora’s Mask, and you’ll need them all if you want to get the Fierce Deity mask!

I’ve spent more time going around talking to people wearing the different masks this time, and so many NPCs have different responses when you wear different ones. It’s all very cleverly done!

7. The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2005)

The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap on Seb's Nintendo Switch OLED

The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap rightfully takes the 6th spot in this best Zelda games article on Switch, and we’ve been playing it like mad ever since it dropped on the Nintendo Switch online platform!

Newbies to this GBA title might not know that Capcom actually took charge or making this game. It’s the only Zelda game to not be made by Nintendo, but don’t let that stop you. It’s a cracking title from start to finish and features possibly my favourite of all Link’s companions.

Enter Ezlo, the talking hat that was on the scene way longer then Cappy was in Mario Odyssey!

The Legend of Zelda The Minish Cap Gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Ezlo is one snappy cap, grumpily complaining to Link throughout the game. He’s funny rather than annoying too and comes with the bonus of being able to turn Link super small.

And you’ll need that if you want to converse with the tiny Picori people and remake the Picori Blade of legend!

8. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019)

links awakening nintendo switch game case

I’m probably going to make some enemies by saying this, but I prefer the Nintendo Switch version of this game to the Gameboy game. It just gave the game a whole new lease of life, new textures, the Color Dungeon used in the DX version, and much more.

They could have left our Dampe’s level builder though, that’s just a bit pointless in my opinion…

It’s easier to spot all the weird crossovers from Mario titles and other Nintendo games too. Goombas, Shy Guys, Chain Chomps… even Kirby makes an appearance!

Link's Awakening Nintendo Switch gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Collect musical instruments, search for seashells, and pick up epic items as you explore Koholint Island.

Yep, this game was never meant to be a true Zelda series game originally, so it’s not set in Hyrule.

Like the Zelda games of old, Link’s Awakening follows the good-old-fashioned ‘enter dungeon, et weapon, kill boss, find new area, repeat’ method of storyline. It’s a classic and sure kept me occupied for 3 weeks while I was stranded in Italy, my favourite country of all time.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!

9. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (2020)

Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity game case

Nothing says button-mash-fever like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity!

What did you do while you were waiting for Breath of the Wild 2? Sit around moping? Get upset and collect tears like in Skyward Sword?

We destroyed beasts and enemies from Breath of the Wild in a Champion-tastic frenzy on the Nintendo Switch!

Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity Gameplay - Link blowing up enemies

Age of Calamity takes place in a time where all of the Champions are still alive. Playing as everyone from Daruk to Hestu (yes, Hestu!) feels amazing, and don’t get me started on the graphics.

Playing this on the OLED Switch in handheld mode feels like stepping right into the game. The explosions are huge, the enemies relentless, and the action non-stop.

Seriously, if you want the ultimate way to wind down, get this game in your life. So you might end up being a little more angry before you wind down, but stick with it!

10. The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (2021)

legend of zelda skyward sword game case

The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD takes the 9th spot in our best Zelda Games on Nintendo Switch article.

Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of the game on the Wii. The controls were a little lame, and swimming with the Wiimote was a nightmare. Still, using the nunchuck as a shield and holding the controls like Link’s weapons did have merit, and now the Switch has perfected the formula.

Slice Bokoblins, douse for people and items, and experience the world of Skyloft in this first ever story in the Zelda timeline.

Lord Ghirahim holding Link's Sword in Skyward Sword

That being said, I still prefer to play this game in handheld mode or using the Pro Controller than with the motion controls. It’s a cool gimmick, but I love having more control over Link, especially when trying to douse for stuff.

If you’ve read Hyrule Historia, one of our best retro gaming books, then you’ll have studied lots about Ghirahim, Impa, and the Loftwings.

Falling from the sky into the unknown lands below feels fantastic, but the tear collecting parts of this game prevent it from scoring any higher.

Thank goodness it has a cracking plotline and many of the features that went on to feature in BotW!

11. Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt Of The Necrodancer (2019)

Cadence of Hyrule - Crypt of the Necrodancer on Seb's Nintendo Switch OLED

I loved Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat as a kid, playing to a rhythm and keeping time while adventuring just has a nice feel to it. That’s why Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt Of The Necrodancer is do damn addictive to play!

Would you think that a game that looks and feels like the original Links Awakening but that utilises rhythm based action could be this good?

This mash up between the Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the NecroDancer sees players moving through randomly-generated levels, bopping and grooving to classic LoZ tunes along the way.

Cadence of Hyrule gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

If you don’t have a sense of rhtyhm, then you’re going to find this game incredibly tough. Every action from dodging enemies to casting spells is done to the beat.

I’ve played in bands for most of my life, so I find it pretty easy to tune into the groove of this game. You’ve almost got to stay ahead of the beat, anticipate what’s coming next to make sure you don’t succumb to the funky pressure.

I guess you could say I’m a musical Jedi Ninja.

Teaming up with a friend is good if you have one (I just team up with Brandon), with player 2 taking on the guise of one of the many characters you meet along the way.

12. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (2018)

Hyrule Warriors definitive edition on Seb's Nintendo Switch OLED

Remember the excitement the first time you played Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U? Hacking and slashing never felt so good, with tonnes of Moblins rushing at you in a never-ending frenzy.

Well, the game has had a refresh on the switch, with all the characters, content, maps, and mayhem from the Wii U and 3DS including all of the downloadable content.

Link charging his sword for an attack in Hyrule Warriors
Credit: Nintendo

This new version of the game lets players dress Link in the Champion’s Tunic, as well as taking charge of 29 other characters from the series. Link’s my go to character (obviously), but the Skull Kid packs a punch too!

The graphics on the Switch version look cleaner and crisper than the Wii U. If anything, being able to kick back and cull waves of animated enemies from the sofa could be one of the greatest stress relieving activites of all time.

Spolier alert – that’s why Hyrule Warriors features twice in this list…

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