The best games like Zelda to play instead of Tears of the Kingdom

Feeling the lack of Link in your life? These games like Zelda are the next best thing.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is reportedly so good that it is, befitting the name, causing people to cry. Namely those who can’t play it. Maybe you never bought a Switch; perhaps you sold yours to pick up a PS5. Whatever the reason, not all of us have access to Link’s latest open-world adventure. 

Dry those tears, our Hylian-hungry friend! There are plenty of games like Zelda out there which capture the spirit of the series of recreate different aspects of Tears of the Kingdom’s open-world playground. Can’t play Zelda? Here’s what you should be enjoying instead.

The best games like Zelda

Okami HD

Best games like zelda tears of the kingdom okami a white wolf runs along a path in front of windmills and a few buildings
 
© Capcom

Available on: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch

Spawned from the mind of Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya, Okami is probably the closest another team has ever come to nailing the core essence of 3D Zelda titles (pre Breath of the Wild, of course). Originally released in 2006, the story has you playing as the sun goddess Amaterasu. In the form of a white wolf, she must save a land of Japanese folklore and mythology. 

The entire experience is very Zelda, right down to the dungeon structure and story tone. But thanks to a stunning setting and creative use of calligraphy-based powers, it shapes up into an experience wholly it own. And more than 15 years after the original release, cell-shaded visuals paired with an HD re-release mean Okami still holds up impressively well.

Tunic

Available on: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch

Explicitly inspired by the 2D Zeldas of old, Tunic takes commitment to hidden secrets and retro gaming homage to new heights. Littered throughout the game’s world are pages of a manual, which teaches you little gameplay hints and mechanics that you always had access to but never thought to try. It’s also written in a completely coherent invented language, which Fez fans will delight in deciphering.

That’s all alongside the usual overworld map, simple but satisfying combat, weapon and tool acquisition, powering up and delightfully cute main character which also share DNA with Link’s earlier adventures – specifically the handheld console ones. There’s a lot more to discover but that’s half the fun, so we’ll leave the rest up to you.

Sable

Best games like Zelda Sable - a character on a hoverbike float on the left of the image above orange sands. Rock pillars and a few buildings appear in the background
 
© Shedworks

Available on: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

Of all the games like Zelda on this list, Sable understands the understated beauty of Zelda: TotK and BotW. Those moments of quiet exploration, broken only by sparse injections of gentle piano and the appearance of an intriguing landmark.

Following a young girl embarking on a pilgrimage, Sable takes place in a visually striking sci-fi world. A ruined yet beautiful place of sparse, sloping sand dunes and ancient architecture. You’ll explore it atop a hoverbike, with curiosity alone the driving force behind most stops at the puzzle-filled archaeological locations which emerge as you crest each hill.

Sable’s journeys are accompanied by a soothing soundtrack by indie artist Japanese Breakfast. United with the gorgeous visual style, it generates a serene experience discovery. If nu-Zelda’s rejection of map-smothering collectables is what you’re missing, Sable will simply ask you to learn what lies over the horizon.

Tchia

Available on: PC, PlayStation

Tchia clearly decided that for players to properly explore its tropical archipelago, Breath of the Wild’s glider just wasn’t good enough. It’s in the game, sure, but why stop there? Holding entertainment at the heart of exploration, Tchia creates a free-climbing, free-jumping, physics-based playground in which you can swing off trees to catapult yourself into the air, over rivers, and across chasms.

And then there’s Soul Jumping. Tchia’s young protagonist can dive into the body of any animal or object in the world, complete with unique (and often comically ungainly) movement mechanics. Tchia values the joy of navigating the world above all else, a point emphasized by the lack of a player marker on the in-game map. If you want to know where you are in the world, don’t stare at quest markers – look around you to find out!

Genshin Impact

the best games like zelda tears of the kingdom genshin impact - an image showing the male player standing on a cliff edge before a large green valley and town in the distance
 
© miHoYo

Available on: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Android, iOS

At launch, Genshin Impact was derided for outright copying the core skeleton of Breath of the Wild. From the look of the world to the circular stamina bar which pops up when you start climbing, the similarities are hard to miss. But that design influence carries over in far more nuanced and impressive ways too. Much like Breath of the Wild and its sequel, Genshin Impact features a vast, handcrafted world built explicitly to encourage exploration. A landscape that continues to expand thanks to steady updates adding new regions, characters, cuisines, and more to discover.

Best of all, Genshin is free to download and play. Yes, this is a gacha game which wants you to spend money on the chance to win and upgrade characters, but you don’t have to. Resist the urge and you can dive into a seriously significant amount without dropping a dime. If you’ve only got time for an hour or two of open-world wanderings each night, Genshin Impact’s colorful anime landscape will keep you dazzled for months without putting pressure on your bank balance.

Death’s Door

Available on: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch

Death’s Door is the result of Zelda and Dark Souls cozying up for an unlikely tryst during the colder months of the year. The influence of isometric Zelda games on this avian-led adventure is unmistakable, but there’s also a daring splash of the Souls games’ challenge and world design in the DNA mix. 

In it, you play a corvid reaper tasked with collecting the souls of beings long past their due date. Cue an adventure that sees you traveling to various themed regions to solve puzzles, gain new items, and take down the big boss lurking at the rear. Molded upon that Zelda-like foundation are unexpectedly interlinking environments filled with shortcuts to unlock and secrets to discover. 

The game is tough, too. Even regular enemies demand you learn attack patterns and hone your reflexes. But even with that Soulslike influence, Death’s Door has no interest in making you miserable. Numerous comically macabre characters – both friend and foe – will put a smile on your face throughout, even in the face of your own imminent demise.


Know of any other games like Zelda which those lacking Tears of the Kingdom could enjoy? Share them with us to help alleviate that FOMO for a time! And whichever world you choose to spend your Link-less time in, get the most out of it by picking up a HyperX gaming headset to enhance your audio experience.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry@moonrock.biz, or catch him on Twitter.

Keyboards

Shop Now

Storage

Shop Now