Most Legend of Zelda fans would agree that there’s never quite anything that can substitute for an actual Zelda title. But other fantastic games emulate the Zelda experience and are enjoyable in their own right. Even the revolutionary shift in approach that came with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a competitor or two out there that tries to replicate the overall experience.
Playstation and Xbox console owners who don’t have any Nintendo systems may feel especially left out. Fortunately, even for Nintendo’s competitors, several games appeal to the same sensibilities and feel a whole lot like playing a Zelda game. Even on older consoles, there are still some Zelda-like games to enjoy.
10 3D Dot Game Heroes Did Blocky Visuals Before They Were Cool
Two years before Minecraft came around, there was a blocky Zelda-like game for the Playstation 3 called 3D Dot Game Heroes. From a gameplay perspective, it most closely resembles the first The Legend of Zelda game on the original NES. Rather than playing from a top-down 2D perspective, however, 3D Dot Game Heroes takes place in a 3D environment.
Players can freely move the camera as they go about the world, transitioning from screen to screen just like in the original Zelda. Players get to battle enemies and explore dungeons, solving puzzles and collecting items along the way. The player character’s appearance can even be customized using the built-in 3D sprite editor.
9 Ittle Dew 2 Is Like Zelda With A Sense Of Humor, But The Game Ran Into Some Difficulties In 2019
Ittle Dew 2 was available on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One digital storefronts for 3 years, from late 2016 until 2019. A breakdown in relations between the publisher and developer saw the game removed from most platforms. Nowadays, it can only be purchased digitally on PC via Steam, and both in physical and digital versions on Nintendo Switch consoles.
Ittle Dew 2 and its predecessor both take the classic 2D Zelda formula and inject humor into the mix. It’s a solid choice for anyone who has ever wanted to play a Zelda-style game that doesn’t take itself quite so seriously. But unless readers already own it, or know someone who does, playing on Playstation 4 or Xbox One is a tall order at this point.
8 Darksiders Is A Mix Of Zelda, God Of War, And Devil May Cry
The Darksiders trilogy all evoke Zelda-style gameplay to varying degrees, but the first game especially emulates the traditional 3D Zelda formula. It’s got a darker edge to it than Zelda games though. Players may recognize influence from the earlier God of War titles, and even some stylish aspects of the Devil May Cry series.
Darksiders games are available on a variety of platforms. For Xbox fans, both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One have them. Similarly, on the Sony side, the games are available on both the Playstation 3 and the Playstation 4. In the second and third entries of the series, Darksiders takes more of a departure from the Zelda formula. They still retain some similarities, while at the same time finding their own identity.
7 Alundra Was The Original Playstation’s Answer To 2D Zelda Games
Way back on the original Playstation, before The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Sony got a fantastic Zelda-inspired game. Alundra plays most similarly to the Super Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and is a fantastic visual upgrade by comparison. It is also a much more challenging game to finish.
Just like with most Zelda titles, Alundra has dungeons, puzzles, boss battles, and items for players to discover. The story in Alundra is more downtrodden than the typical Zelda offering but still imaginative in its own right. Players who have the original Alundra disc can enjoy it on Playstation, Playstation 2, or Playstation 3 consoles. Alundra can also be purchased digitally on the Playstation Store for Playstation 3 and PS Vita systems.
6 Kamiko Is A Short But Sweet Zelda-Style Indie Darling
For players who are looking for a shorter Zelda-like experience, Kamiko may be a worthwhile consideration. What helps set Kamiko apart from others is how the game plays. There’s a persistent sense of fluid movement to the game, and it feels great in motion.
Its focus lies more on action-based gameplay. It’s also got some appeal for fans of speed-running through games. Despite its shorter length, with multiple characters that play distinctly different, there is replay value to the experience. Kamiko is available on the Playstation 4, but also Steam for PC and the Nintendo Switch as well.
5 Genshin Impact Is Likely The Closest Thing To Breath Of The Wild Until Its Sequel Arrives
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play game available on Android, iOS, PC, Playstation 4, and Playstation 5, with a Nintendo Switch version planned for a future release. It wears its inspiration plainly on its sleeve, as it unabashedly copies many of the standout features of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While some players dislike the game because of this, others find it a welcome alternative to the revolutionary Zelda title.
There’s an old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in this case, Genshin Impact has a lot of flattery towards Zelda. Just like in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, puzzles, special abilities, fireside cooking, collectible recipes, a large open-world, stamina features, and even parkour elements have been replicated in Genshin Impact.
4 Dark Cloud Combined Zelda Dungeon Exploration With City Building Elements
Dark Cloud was originally released on the Playstation 2. Its combat system is often compared to the early 3D Zelda games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It has action-RPG style gameplay with dungeons to explore and items and upgrades to find, just like players would come to expect from Zelda games.
Dark Cloud’s inclusion of city-building elements stands out. Towns are initially a blank slate, and players discover townsfolk and buildings while exploring dungeons. Elements can be placed in settlements as players see fit, and NPCs gradually inhabit each area. A modernized port was made available digitally on the Playstation Store for Playstation 4, and it is also compatible with Playstation 5.
3 Beyond Good And Evil Is A Game Like Zelda That Went Under The Radar
The original release of Beyond Good & Evil enjoyed cult classic status on the Nintendo Gamecube, the first Xbox, and the Playstation 2. Those who played it back then enjoyed the Zelda-inspired adventure with a sci-fi theme. In later years, a remastered version, Beyond Good & Evil HD was released on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. It was eventually made available on the Xbox One console and PCs as well.
The HD release brought the game into the modern era, with improved visuals and features. Those who are unfamiliar with this game may wish to give it a try. It’s an excellent experience that many players simply overlooked.
2 Hyper Light Drifter Is A Challenging Indie Love Letter To Zelda Fans
Take the traditional 2D Zelda formula, and downplay the puzzle aspect, and you’ve got Hyper Light Drifter. Its world is an interesting mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements, and the challenge level of the game is nothing to sneeze at. Just like many Zelda-inspired adventures, players can expect items, dungeons, bosses, and plenty of secrets.
It’s available to play on many modern platforms. In addition to the PC, iOS, and Switch releases, Hyper Light Drifter is also available for the Xbox One and the Playstation 4.
1 Okami Is Heavily Inspired By Zelda, And Will Especially Please Fans Of Wolf Link From Twilight Princess
For anyone who loved the sequences in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess where players get to control Wolf Link, Okami offers more of that sort of feeling. Even Zelda fans who aren’t partial to that particular entry though can find something to enjoy, as Okami is very much a Zelda-inspired title throughout.
Okami’s visuals are striking, but there’s a great game experience to be had here too. The original version was released back on the Playstation 2 and the Wii, but a modernized HD remaster made it to a wide variety of platforms. Players can enjoy Okami HD on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PCs as well.