With the magnificent Breath of the Wild and the release of the lavishly remade Link's Awakening around the corner, Switch is fast becoming a terrific home for Zelda fans. Perhaps more so than ever, Nintendo's latest console is playing host to a number of epic and enjoyable Zelda games and titles like them; each with distinct characteristics.
Indeed, there are a variety of franchises - from little known indies to major releases - that capture the essence and majesty of BotW and the beloved series it belongs to while doing their own thing. These games range in style but adhere to the Zelda formula on some level, be it the NES and SNES classics or the more epic, modern adventures.
So let's embark on a journey as we look at 10 great Switch games to satiate your Zelda: Breath of the Wild craving.
10 Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
One of the Wii U's surprise hits has made its way to the Switch, and in finer form than ever. It would seem to be a no-brainer that this Zelda spin-off should be given a look for fans of Breath of the Wild. While the world-building, of course, contains similarities to the main series' fantastical Hyrule and its colorful monsters, the actual gameplay is more akin to Dynasty Warriors.
Indeed, this game is like Zelda amped up to 11, taking the number of baddies on-screen to absurd and insanely fun levels. Hyrule Warriors is a super satisfying hack 'n' slash which is especially suited for Switch's handheld pick-up-and-play sensibilities.
9 Collection Of Mana
Dating back to the early GameBoy days, SquareEnix's handheld offshoot of Final Fantasy eventually blossomed into an admirable action-RPG in its own right.
This trio of RPGs stands as a superb collection consisting of 3 very Zelda-esque adventure titles, complete with even deep customization, gripping stories, cool magic systems, and majestic environments. In particular, Secret of Mana, as well as its sequel - which is being localized for the first time - both feel like Zelda games of the 16-bit era that never were.
8 Lttle Dew 2 +
This surprisingly enduring little indie manages to capture the charming simplicity and colorful visuals of older Zelda games while providing an open-world that allows dungeons to be tackled in any order.
This adventure title is essentially a Zelda clone to the point of injecting some humorous self-aware gags, yet it's still a terrific experience in its own right. Its neat hand-drawn cartoon art style and a couple of innovative gameplay concepts allow Lttle Dew 2 + to feel both familiar and unique. The game encourages exploration and provides a smattering of clever puzzles while injecting tons of satisfying combat that is easy to grasp and engaging.
7 Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Of all the titles from Square Enix's epic and iconic RPG franchise, it may seem a bit odd to feature the lesser-known "black sheep" of the Final Fantasy family as a suitable BotW alternative. Yet, as a whole, FFXII's gameplay formula tends to adhere closest to these sensibilities, from the more action-oriented combat to the fantasy environments of the semi-open worlds.
FFXII stands as one of the more underrated entries in the series, being sandwiched between the beloved FFX and the hype of XIII. Furthermore, the remastered Switch version is the game at its very best. It looks and feels fantastic, while the unique Gambit system, along with a number of gameplay tweaks, makes for a fun and intuitive battle system. This is a gripping adventure that shouldn't be overlooked if you're a Zelda fan, especially given its relatively cheap price.
6 Cadence Of Hyrule: Crypt Of The NecroDancer Featuring The Legend Of Zelda
This announcement came out of nowhere during a Nintendo Direct showcase earlier this year, much to the delight of old-school Zelda fans. Sure, Cadence of Hyrule is mainly a rhythmic-based experience dressed with Zelda themes. Yet, whether you're a fan of heart-pumping rhythm games or not, Cadence of Hyrule shines through as one of the most interesting, innovative indies this year.
This amusing collaboration between Nintendo and Brace Yourself Games makes for a satisfying musical adventure that's tough to put down. The game combines thrilling action with subtle strategy, as you must time your moves correctly while anticipating the moves of enemies.
5 Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Marking its first-ever appearance on a console, Blossom Tales runs with a charmingly simple overhead 16-bit visual that is somewhere between NES-era Zelda and A Link To The Past. The game is something of a truncated Zelda adventure, but it still captivates with its appealing retro aesthetic, interesting dungeons, and some exciting boss battles throughout.
This sleeper hit stresses the action-laced elements of early Zelda too, with some intense and enjoyable combat, and a range of distinctive baddies to fend off during your 6-7 hour romp.
4 OKAMI HD
A surprise hit from the now-defunct Clover Studio, OKAMI shines as both an artistic and gameplay marvel that has aged like a fine wine. This surreal adventure is somewhat a reinterpretation of Twilight Princess (especially Link's wolf form), in much the same way that some of our previous entries are homages to early Zelda games.
The gorgeous watercolor style and cool Japanese mythology make OKMAI feel like an interactive work of art as much as an action-adventure game. It features some imaginative puzzles, unique dungeons, and enjoyable combat that BotW fans should both recognize and appreciate.
3 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Widely regarded as the pinnacle of epic Western RPGs, Skyrim is absolutely dripping with content, along with rich, immersive locations, endless dungeons, intimidating foes, and satisfying spells. Much like Zelda, this in-depth role-playing adventure takes the fantasy sensibilities of Dungeons & Dragons and fleshes everything out with its vast open worlds that beckon you to explore it.
Given Skyrim's clear influence on the sandbox nature and free-flowing gameplay in Nintendo's latest mainline Zelda, this one's a no brainer for BotW fans to dive into. You can even equip yourself with Link's trademark outfit and Master Sword in the Switch version! All it needs is Princess Zelda, Gannon, and the Triforce, and this would feel akin to a Westernized version of Nintendo's flagship title.
2 Minecraft: Switch Edition
It's tough to deny the superiority of the PC version of this huge indie sandbox odyssey. Yet, the Switch version may just be the best way to play on a handheld; thanks to the addition of the Nintendo flair, premade maps, and impressive world sizes.
As liberating as Breath of the Wild's open-world of Hyrule can feel, Minecraft is perhaps the one game that can even make that experience feel somewhat limiting. Going full-blown "survival mode" and slaying tons of baddies, building elaborate structures, or engaging in a bit of deep mining and dungeon crawling; players can do just about anything. Minecraft is like a totally open-ended, blocky version of a Zelda-style journey.
1 Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Standing tall as one of the richest and longest campaigns in the Switch library, Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives BotW a run for its money when it comes to dynamic gameplay, a gripping narrative, and rewarding progression.
As Fire Emblem fans are aware, this tactical series is more similar to the likes of Ogre Battle or Final Fantasy Tactics on the gameplay front. Yet, in terms of its imaginative fantasy world-building, heroic archetypes, and the breadth of customization/upgrades, this journey proves equally captivating. BotW fans seeking a similarily memorable, magical romp should look no further than this well-crafted strategy game.