The Hyrule Warriors games are great, but they are certainly not the standard Zelda formula fans love. And with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity fresh off the press, you may be craving a more traditional one Zelda experience. Fortunately, there are tons of great titles from other developers who draw inspiration from the Zelda series.
RiME (PC / Switch / PS4 / Xbox)
Rhyme is a peaceful title about exploring an ancient island full of ruins and secrets to discover. Enjoy the beautiful world while interacting with the local wildlife and solving puzzles. All the while, you’ll learn about the backstory of the unnamed boy you play through the various collectibles you’ll find throughout your playthrough.
Rhyme is available on PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox.
Pine (pc / switch)
On the basis of Breath of the Wild, Pine drop the player into a huge open world where humans are at the bottom of the food chain. You will explore a wide variety of biomes and structures, while interacting with the other civilizations that inhabit the island. There are plenty of items to collect and craft and secrets to discover, and the story plays out in an interesting way while making sure you take an active part in it.
Pine is available on pc and switch.
Hyper Light Drifter (PC / Switch / PS4 / Xbox)
In this beautifully pixelated story, you play a mysterious drifter who explores a diverse world full of intrigue. Storytelling is cryptic and is only told through the environment and the Zelda inspiration becomes clear when you see the gameplay. The combat is fast-paced and based on quick sword attacks and smart dodging. All of this comes together to deliver a satisfying gameplay with some of the best pixel art in gaming.
Hyper Light Drifter is available on PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox.
Hob (PC / Switch / PS4)
Cooker follows the Zelda formula quite faithful, but it has enough unique flair to set itself apart. The cartoon-like 3D visuals give the world a lot of character and also open the door to more vertical movement than most top-down games. In this game you explore, solve puzzles and fight enemies – what more could there be Zelda than that?
Cooker is available on PC, Switch and PS4.
Darksiders II (PC / Switch / PS4 / Xbox)
While the Darksiders series certainly has a different tone than Zelda, it still takes a lot of clues from the series – most notably the dungeon-based progression system you see throughout the game. There are also some excellent hack-n-slash combat and loot systems to keep you engaged throughout the game.
Darksiders II is available on PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (PC / Switch)
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is instantly recognizable as one Zelda inspired title, featuring everything from the animations to how combat works as a tribute to the series. But this is not a cheap copycat-Blossom Stories was praised for taking the classic Zelda formula and included lots of new ideas along with some great dungeon designs.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is available on pc and switch.
Ittle Dew 2+ (PC / Switch / PS4)
As a follow-up to the already acclaimed Ittle Dew, that’s no surprise Ittle Dew 2 is another faithful reinterpretation of the Zelda formula. With new items, cute art style and excellent level design, this game will delight fans of the Zelda series, both new and old. There’s a lot of content in the game, with seven dungeons you can tackle in any order, plus multiple unlockable dungeons that increase the difficulty.
Ittle Dew 2+ is available on PC, Switch and PS4.
Moonlighter (PC / Switch / PS4 / Xbox)
Beunhaas is a beautifully detailed adventure with lots of things to accomplish – it even throws in some roguelite mechanics for good measure. You manage a small shop and sell loot from the procedurally generated dungeons you explore every night. There are a wide variety of weapons and items you can obtain, either from the locals or from treasure chests. Even into the stock system Beunhaas manages to be unique, with an interesting puzzle element where you have to be careful about how items are stacked.
Beunhaas is available on PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox.
Collection of Mana (Switch)
The True series were revolutionary titles when they were first released, with impressive visuals and unique action-oriented RPG combat. And now you can play the entire series via the Collection of Mana on Switch. While the first game, Final Fantasy Adventure, is a bit dated, originally released on Gameboy, it’s still a solid game. And the other two games do a great job when compared to modern top-down RPGs, so regardless of whether you’ve played these games before or not, this collection is a great pick.
If you don’t have a Switch, the Paths of Mana remake (the third and final game in the series) is available on PC, PS4 and Switch. It changes things drastically from the original title, turning the top-down adventure into a third-person 3D adventure, but the heart and soul of the game is still there and as amazing as ever.
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea (PC / Switch / PS4 / Xbox / Android / iOS)
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea doesn’t do much to convince you it’s none Zelda knock-off. Everything from the level design, perspective, and even the main character’s design makes that pretty clear. Despite, Oceanhorn still manages to be a game worth playing for how effective it is Zelda formula. For fans of the series, this is a great title to play if you want to feel at home.
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea is available on PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox, Android and iOS.
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea has a sequel in Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm which focuses on third person action and, in general, brings more fresh ideas to the table. However, it is only available on Switch and iOS devices.