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11 Games Like Zelda - Popular Action Adventure Games
11 Games Like Zelda - Action Adventures
Are you a fan of the Zelda franchise and looking for a game like Zelda? Unlike when the franchise was first launched there are now many great action adventures with similar mechanics across a wide selection of modern platforms (including PC, Xbox, PlayStation and mobile devices).
Zelda is an iconic series with the first title being released in 1986, capturing the hearts of countless young gamers. Since that time many developers have attempted to re-create the Zelda style of gameplay but few have succeeded to match the polish and mechanics.
My love for the Zelda series dates back to my first adventure on my GameBoy (not even the Game Boy colour).
Since then I've been on the hunt for new adventures with similar gameplay and have slowly built up a list of some of my favourites. Let me know in the comment section which of my selections is your favourite or share any games like Zelda that I've missed.
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All images on this page have been provided by publisher media departments for the purpose of critique.
11 Games Like Zelda
Great Action Adventure Titles
1 - Okami
One Of The Most Popular Games Like Zelda
Okami is a great Zelda like adventure that is available on the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3.
On the surface Okami may seem like a strange selection with its Japanese style and setting but the game is highly praised amongst fans (including myself). Okami offers a very familiar playstyle and control system that will quickly have you reminiscing about the Zelda series.
Okami is set in classical Japan and features many Japanese legends and myths as the basis of its story. The player controls Amaterasu in a mixture of action, platform and puzzle gaming. Players explore the world through a mostly linear fashion but there is plenty of side quests and optional activities which allow you to advance at your own pace. Completing these additional extras rewards the player with Praise which can be spent to upgrade stats.
A unique feature to Okami is the inclusion of the 'Celestial Brush' which allows players to pause the game and draw shapes onto the screen (using the stick or Wii remote). This feature was definitely designed with the Wii in mind and is my suggested platform if you have the option.
Buy Okami For Nintendo Wii or PS2
Okami plays very much like Zelda and is my number one pick on this list. The developers themselves have even admitted to drawing large amounts of inspiration from the Zelda series.
Okami is a giant adventure filled with exciting combat, a Japanese inspired world and interesting puzzles. It took me around 35 hours of pure mesmerising gameplay to finish it and this can be extended easily to 50 hours if you take the time to explore the various side dungeons.
While I usually don't play on the Nintendo Wii Okami makes perfect use of the control scheme as you glide across the unique world and use your magical paint brush. For those that don't own a Wii, PS2 or PS3 there is a sequel called Okamiden for the Nintendo DS.
Okami HD Trailer
2 - 3D Dot Game Heroes
A Cool Retro Style Adventure
3D Dot Game Heroes is a fun retro style action adventure released in 2009 (Japan) and 2010 (America/Europe) for the PlayStation 3. The game offers a unique art style with Zelda elements in addition to a number of Nintendo gaming references to create a nostalgic gameplay experience.
Players will explore dungeons, fight monsters, collect equipment and solve numerous puzzles. The weapon of choice in the game is the sword which can be customised with different effects (magic, extra length/width) but players also have access to bows, boomerangs and other weapons throughout their adventure.
One of the more notable features is the inclusion of a 3D sprite editor which allows players to customise their 8-bit character look. With its unique design 3D Dot Game Heroes is undoubtedly a great PlayStation alternative to Zelda.
3D Dot Game Heroes
3D Dot Game Heroes will send you on a nostalgic trip, drawing heavily from the Zelda franchise.
Create your own hero in the 3D sprite generator and traverse countless dungeons in this PlayStation 3 adventure. The pixel explosions of jars, chests and enemies never got old for me, not only is the design impressive but also keeps it age appropriate.
Without a doubt my favourite aspect is the customised sword mechanics that let you build a sword that suits your playstyle. Personally I prefer to make a large sweeping sword which while it might be slower to attack it has great mob control (and environment destruction).
3D Dot Game Heroes - Video Review
3 - Darksiders (Series)
A Darker Action Adventure With Zelda Elements
Darksiders is a series of action adventures that are similar to Zelda but with a darker theme. The franchise is available on PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii-U.
Darksiders has the player take control of one of the Four Horseman with gameplay elements including engaging combat, puzzles and dungeon exploration. Bother Darksiders and Darksiders II are jammed full of content and feature massive worlds divided into separate areas which are slowly unlocked.
Combat involves various weapons and includes combos, blocks and counters to create a deep combat system beyond that of most in the genre. Along with the wonderful graphic style combat is always entertaining and one of my favourite elements of the series.
The series is best described as a combination of The Devil May Cry, God of War and the Zelda franchise.
Darksiders II Review
The Zelda Chronology - Summary of the Franchise By Story Arc
Legend of Zelda
The Decline of Hyrule
The Twilight Realm
A New World
A Link to the Past
The Wind Waker
The Minish Cap
Oracle of Seasons & Ages
Four Swords Adventures
Ocarina of Time
A Link Between Worlds
The Legend of Zelda
The Adventure of Link
4 - The Binding of Isaac
A Very Different and Unique Story
The Binding of Isaac is very unique but also incredibly fun, relying on randomly generated maps and items this action-adventure RPG indie title follows the journey of Isaac as he tries to escape his mother. Isaac decides to hide in the basement but that is when things really start to get weird as he encounters all kinds of weird and monstrous creatures.
The Binding of Isaac features randomly generated dungeons allowing for great replay potential, over 100 unique items that give Isaac unique powers, over 70 enemy types (including bosses), 3 different classes and even multiple endings. This is definitely not the sort of experience that you can get away playing only once and why it is one of my absolute favourites that I keep going back to again and again.
The gameplay and interface of the Binding of Isaac is very similar to The Legend of Zelda and for the cheap price you can't go wrong with the amount of content you get.
The Binding of Isaac - Gameplay Trailer
5 - Kameo: Elements of Power
A Xbox 360 Zelda Like Adventure
Kameo: Elements of Power is an action adventure game like Zelda exclusively for the Xbox 360. I found it to offer fun and inventive gameplay along with its amazing orchestral soundtrack with the only negatives being its relatively easy difficulty (and as such it may not be as appealing to hardcore gamers, but perfect for casual or younger gamers).
Players control an Elf who has the ability to transform into different characters (which are element related). These elemental characters are used in combat and puzzle solving, with the ability to eventually to combine them together for devastating combos.
The game also features limited amounts of the campaign in a co-operative mode that allows you to team up with a friend to complete some story sections.
Kameo: Elements of Power
Kameo offers deep and intense combat with a massive open world to explore.
As you progress you will gain the ability to change into a wide variety of spirit creatures allowing you to solve more puzzles and battle with a larger variety of tactics.
This aspect makes Kameo more strategic than other options I've featured on this page and is another one of my personal favourites in the genre. This unique mechanic also means there are multiple ways to approach the combat.
Because of Kameo's colourful design I also consider it one of the most age appropriate games on this list and is still to this day one of my youngest cousins favourites.
Kameo: Elements of Power - Review
6 - Beyond Good and Evil
A Popular Story For Multiple Platforms
Beyond Good and Evil is a classic Zelda alternative with availability across many platforms (GameCube, Windows, PS2, PS3, Xbox and Xbox360). Beyond Good and Evil is also one of the older games listed on this page but will definitely not disappoint despite this. For those buying for PC I recommend using GOG.com (Good Old Games) which removes compatibility issues.
Players play as Jade, an investigative reporter who attempts to reveal a planet wide alien conspiracy. The main gameplay involves puzzle solving, fighting and obtaining incriminating photographs of alien deeds. Gameplay also includes racing, stealth and Zelda like dungeons to explore.
The art direction and story are also key features and both vital to the adventure. An appreciation for art style and writing will help propel this game onto your favourites list.
Beyond Good and Evil - Video Review
7 - Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
The King of Zelda Like Experiences
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is one of the newest games to be considered Zelda inspired. Taking the tried and proven formula, Oceanhorn adds a lot of it's unique ideas and packages it into an impressive option for both PC and iOS platforms.
Players find their father missing with no clues on his whereabouts other than an old notebook and necklace. This lays the foundation for a captivating story that takes you across a number of islands within the world to find your father and battle anything that stops you from achieving that goal.
Similar to the Zelda franchise players will explore the world for treasure while fighting off monsters, learning new magic spells and with a bit of luck unlocking some of the hidden treasures that the world has to offer to boost your power to a whole new level.
With an adventure that goes well into the double digits of gameplay, attractive visuals and strong mechanics this is one no action adventure fan should be skipping.
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas Trailer (GOG)
8 - Alundra
One Of The Oldest Games Like Zelda (Available On PSN)
Alundra is one of the oldest on this page, originally released on PlayStation the game is now available on the PlayStation Network (PSN) for PS3 and PSP devices.
Alundra plays very much like the early Zelda titles and will appeal to older fans who are interested in a nostalgic tip. The game is often considered to be a sequel (spiritual) to Landstalker, which many gaming veterans will remember fondly.
Alundra is played in a top-down style with a focus on puzzle solving (some are even quite difficult). The game encourages players to explore the game world and has been praised for its music, dark storyline and difficult puzzles.
If you are after a game like Zelda with a bit of challenge then Alundra will not disappoint, particularly if you like brain teasing puzzles.
9 - Legacy of Kain (Series)
A Series Of Games Like Zelda
The Legacy of Kain (Series) offers a handful of adventures across a number of platforms. The franchise has enjoyed strong critical success with praise focusing on its gameplay, storylines, voice acting and graphics.
While the series features similar characters and locations the games were released in a non-linear fashion, meaning playing previous titles is not required. Legacy of Kain focuses on realistic and mature storylines that will appeal to older gamers and RPG veterans but is best skipped by younger players.
Recurring themes in the series include time travel, fate and destiny, focusing on paradoxes and the altering of times lines.
If this series sounds like an interesting option and you are looking to play on Windows I recommend going through Good Old Games (GOG.com) to ensure system compatibility.
The Legacy of Kain series includes:
- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (PlayStation, Windows, PlayStation Network)
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (PlayStation, Windows, PlayStation Network)
- Soul Reaver 2 (PlayStation 2, Windows)
- Blood Omen 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows, GameCube)
- Legacy of Kain: Defiance (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows)
Legacy Of Kain Defiance - Gameplay
10 - Across Age
A Great Adventure Game For Your iOS Device
Across Age is a fantasy action style role-playing title that is available on your iOS devices (iPhone/iPad etc). At first glance it seems like your run of the mill action RPG iOS app but quickly introduces character swapping to add a depth of gameplay to puzzle solving.
All the elements feel very Zelda-esque from the puzzle designs to the story and even the combat but has enough of its own unique content to be more than just a mere mobile clone.
With nearly 20 hours of gameplay, powerful HD graphics, a sleek interface and an interesting story Across Age is definitely a great RPG option for your iOS device. The price ($5) can put a few people off but the gameplay to justify the price tag is definitely there.
Across Age Gameplay
11 - GraalOnline
A Popular Collection Of Titles
GraalOnline is a social focused adventure game that you can play on your iOS device, through Facebook or through a downloadable client (all are separate from each other).
There are in fact a number of GraalOnline games available from the GraalOnline website but GraalOnline Classic (Facebook & iOS) and Graal Kingdoms (Download) are the two that Zelda fans should take a look at as both these offer a great RPG experience.
Regardless of your selection the Graal collection allows you to explore a massive game world, collect treasure, battle monsters and meet new people. If you are looking for a game like the original Zelda games that is easy to get started then GraalOnline has you covered, especially for gamers who prefer an adventure with social elements.