The Top 5 Best Zelda-like Games on Xbox Series XS

The Top 5 Best Zelda-like Games on Xbox Series X|S

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Matt Lorrigan

As you may have heard on the grapevine, the recent announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for Nintendo Switch has got the gaming population a little red in the face, with strong opinions being thrown around about which are the best (and worst) Zelda titles. But what about us Zelda-less folk on Xbox? What if you want that classic Zelda experience, but with the added benefit of achievements to unlock as well? Well, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re nostalgic for the pixelated perils of the 2D titles, or long for the open fields and intricate dungeons of Ocarina of Time, take a look at a few of the best games on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S that will scratch that Legend of Zelda itch.

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Darksiders: Warmastered Edition

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What happens when you take crunchy, God of War-esque combat, mix it together with The Legend of Zelda’s 3D dungeon design, and chuck in a stylish story of biblical proportions? You get Darksiders, one of the very best Zelda-style games of the Xbox 360 era and a fantastic game in its own right. While Darksiders 3 took the series in a more Dark Souls-inspired direction, Darksiders and Darksiders II both use that wonderful Zelda formulae for their dungeons. You know the one - enter the dungeon, discover a powerful new item, and use said item to solve puzzles and defeat a deadly boss. Darksiders pulls this off with aplomb in its various dungeons, while also bringing satisfying hack-and-slash combat to the table in a wonderfully imaginative setting, making it an absolute must-play for anyone craving a taste of 3D Zelda on Xbox.

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Minit

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Minit is a game that sounds like it shouldn’t work at all. From the moment your spritely duck-billed hero picks up a cursed sword in the game’s opening moments, you’re hit with a rather inconvenient curse - you’ve only got sixty seconds before you die, and respawn back at your house. With gameplay limited to minute-long bursts and a whole 2D-Zelda inspired overworld to explore, characters to meet, and enemies to slay, how on earth are you meant to even get started, let alone complete the game? In practice, however, Minit is absolutely ingenious. Each sixty second run gives you a chance to change something in the world, discover items, open shortcuts, or whatever you need to do to allow your character to travel further to the finish. With its retro visuals reminiscent of the Game Boy, and an overworld that’s just one big puzzle to solve, Minit is near-impossible to put down once you’ve started.

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Okami HD

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There are very few games with an art style as unique and striking as Okami, the oft-overlooked PS2 classic that has since found a cult following with HD re-releases on Xbox One and PS4. Scratch beneath the ink-washed veneer, however, and you’ll find that it’s a Zelda-like game through-and-through. Created by PlatinumGames founder Hideki Kamiya at the now-shuttered Capcom subsidiary Clover Studios, Okami was heavily modelled on the Zelda series, including its dungeon and overall world design. However, Okami also brings tons of new ideas to the table, with the game’s signature Celestial Brush allowing players to paint life back into the world, or cut down foes with a well-placed brush stroke. All of that would make it worth playing on its own, but add in the quirky cast of characters and the game’s distinct take on Japanese history and myth, and you’ll find something truly special in Okami, even if it loses its way a little in the third act.

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Immortals Fenyx Rising

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We’ll be frank here, the term ‘Zelda-like’ can mean a lot of things, especially since the Nintendo series itself has evolved and changed a lot over the years. Arguably the biggest evolution the series has seen is with its most recent entry, Breath of the Wild, which saw the series return to its open-world roots with a huge system-driven sandbox to explore. Ubisoft’s Immortals Fenyx Rising borrows heavily from Zelda’s 2017 outing, bringing with it the same open-air world design that will have you climbing mountains to find hidden treasures, diving into mini-dungeons and taking on quests in whatever order you see fit. Immortals also has an excellent sense of humour, taking the Greek mythology that serves as its setting and creating genuinely funny interactions between the Gods and heroes you’ll meet on your journey. Great puzzles, a gorgeous world, and well-balanced combat make Immortals Fenyx Rising a joy to play.

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Ittle Dew 2

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If your Zelda tastes lean more towards the classic 2D titles like Link’s Awakening or The Minish Cap, then Ittle Dew 2 might just be the title for you. Now, this one comes with a caveat - due to a conflict between the developer and publisher, the game is currently delisted on the Microsoft Store. But we’d be remiss not to include it with the hope that it will return in the near future. After all, it’s the closest you’re going to get to a 2D Zelda game outside of a Nintendo console, full of top-down dungeons with puzzles to solve, enemies to hit, keys to find and, of course, the all-important dungeon item you need to find to progress. Despite its cutesy look and often sarcastic humour, it's a robust and enjoyable Zelda-like that holds up surprisingly well. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Ittle Dew 2 will make its way back to digital storefronts soon.

Comments
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  • I would have included oceanhorn instead of minit, its probably the closest to zelda on the xbox and is very good, just isn't much story is all.
  • I'm also probably one of the few people who thought breath of the wild was boring, really looking forward to skyward sword though.
  • @IMHUW I was thinking about including Oceanhorn, but I wasn’t taken by it as much as Ittle Dew, and I think Minit is a more interesting spin on the 2D Zelda formula, but I know others enjoyed it more. I still need to try out Oceanhorn 2 at some point though!
  • @MattLorrigan there is a second one? On xbox?
  • @IMHUW I think it’s mobile and Switch exclusive right now, but would be surprised if it didn’t come to Xbox this year!
  • All good games I'm sure, but I'd still prefer zelda tp be on xbox lol
  • One that I swear not many people know of that i HIGHLY recommend is Stories of Bethem: Full Moon
  • @Cla55y ooh I’ll have to have a look at that!
  • It's not amazing, but Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is basically classic Zelda to its core.
  • Surprised not to see Shalnor Legends: Sacred Lands on this list. The game has a very unique feel of "Zelda: A Link to the Past" in it.
  • World To The West and The Count Lucanor are two that jump to mind.
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