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Best 2 Games Like the Legend of Zelda with And Without Puzzles

We love the unique and classic feeling hybrids of RPG and adventure experience can deliver. We thought of these elements when searching for other games like Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda has 19 canon games since its 1986 debut. The franchise follows a formula, anesthetic, and storytelling across its many years.

Selecting Games Like the Legend of Zelda

We already recommended games like Breath of the Wild, which reinvented the series with a free-roam open world. For this time around, we’re focusing on the classic Link adventures.

So, we think fans like you would like games with a mix or a twist of classic Zelda elements:

Genre: These are action-adventure / JRPG games. Across its titles, there’re elements of platforming, puzzle, exploration, and action-RPG as well.

Setting: You play in a medieval fantasy land, Hyrule. Unlike most other myths, it has unique creatures, magic, and lore.

Map design: The classic formula has these area types: the semi-open map that connects all areas; hubs to interact with NPCs; and dungeons.

Plot: Each title is a stand-alone entry. You’re an incarnation of Link, a man who saves Hyrule and helps or saves Princess Zelda.

Silent character: Link doesn’t speak in any game; he just listens, acts, and makes noises during combat.
Storytelling: The story comes through dialogue with other characters and cinematic cuts. The saga is heavy on plot, lore, and events.

Tone: The general style is often charming and quirky, with a dash of severity. Children and adults can enjoy and understand its heroic stories.

Character progression: You can’t level up, but you can unlock more HP combat moves and stamina or find tools and gear.

Items and gear: Another natural progression is finding new items and tools. These include magical swords, bows, slingshots, shields, and magical devices.

Combat: Combat varies across the games. However, it focuses on a hack-and-slash style where you block, swing, and use ranged and melee abilities.
Bosses: Boss fights are memorable because of their mechanics, design, music, and challenge. Moreover, you have to identify how to defeat them.

Metroidvania: Sometimes, you need to find items or learn abilities to unlock areas and puzzles in the overworld.

Temples: Most gameplay happens in temples, dungeon-like areas full of puzzles. You’ll often need to find a special tool to complete its challenges.

Puzzles: Zelda games are full of puzzles that don’t include many pointers. You mix using tools, jumping, and special abilities to solve them.

Exploration: Zelda games have minimal side quests and map markers. However, exploring rewards with extra items, abilities, HP, and gear.

Quality: Lastly, each Zelda game seems ahead of its time. You’d see it in its gameplay, music, story, and smooth performance.

We think the saga is a hybrid between action-adventure and RPGs with puzzles. Other games like The Legend of Zelda should keep these core qualities, plus other aspects from the list above.

Games Like the Legend of Zelda

Ori and the Will of Wisps

Ori And The Will Of Wisps is not the clearest title. Yet, Zelda fan, I guarantee you’ll love the second part of Ori’s journey. It’s a puzzle-platformer and action-adventure RPG with combat inspired by Zelda games.

The title has a 2D semi-open-world map that connects all areas. The other regions are hub-like places where you interact with NPCs and labyrinth-like dungeons and caves where you’ll defeat a boss to find a key plot element.

The combat is hack&slash, where character progression is learning moves and finding items. You fight in 2D with a series of evolving combat, ranged, magical, and traversal moves. In particular, boss fights are especially memorable because of their unique mechanics and puzzle-solving requirements.

Then, abilities you learn as you progress the story serve to unlock map areas and dungeons and complete quests. It’s the “Metroidvania” feature it has as part of its DNA. Moreover, you can help develop a hub town by finding resources and assisting the NPCs. This unlocks items, skills, and lore information.

As for plot and presentation, Ori sets a high standard. You play as a silent spirit on a journey of bravery and self-discovery to heal the forest. The experience goes along with a stellar OST, and if you play it on the Xbox Series X, it plays with enhanced 4K graphics and frame rate.