Today, we will discuss the best Zelda games for Nintendo Switch, and why they should be in your growing game collection. Nintendo has been the king of the gaming industry for decades, thanks to its iconic franchises such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and of course, The Legend of Zelda! The latter, in particular, has become a staple in the gaming world, capturing the hearts of gamers worldwide with its epic adventures, captivating stories, unique gameplay mechanics, and memorable characters.
The Switch has quickly become one of the most popular consoles on the market, and with its portability, it’s the perfect way to experience the adventures of Link and the world of Hyrule on the go.
From the open-world masterpiece that is Breath of the Wild to the rhythm-based adventure of Cadence of Hyrule, the Switch has a wide range of Zelda games to choose from. We’ll delve into the criteria for selection, the best games available, and how they compare across gameplay mechanics, graphics and visuals, storyline and plot, replay value, and player feedback and ratings.
So, without further ado, grab your Master Sword and let’s dive into the world of Zelda on Nintendo Switch.
How do we rank our games?
To determine the best Zelda games for the Nintendo Switch, several criteria were considered. These include gameplay mechanics, graphics and visuals, storyline and plot, replay value, and player feedback and ratings.
Gameplay – The gameplay mechanics of each game were evaluated based on their innovation, accessibility, and overall enjoyability. This includes factors such as combat, puzzles, exploration, and progression.
Graphics and visuals – The graphics and visuals of each game were assessed based on their overall quality, art style, and level of detail. This includes factors such as character and environmental design, animation, and visual effects.
Story – The storyline and plot of each game were evaluated based on their depth, complexity, and overall engagement. This includes factors such as character development, narrative structure, and overall world-building.
Replay Value – The replay value of each game was assessed based on the level of content available after the main storyline is completed. This includes factors such as side quests, collectibles, and additional modes.
Player Feedback and Ratings – The player feedback and ratings of each game were considered to get a sense of how well-received each game was by the gaming community.
The Best Zelda Games for Nintendo Switch
After considering the above criteria, the following five games were selected as the best Zelda games for the Nintendo Switch:
Considered by many to be one of the best Zelda games ever made, Breath of the Wild features a vast open-world with a multitude of secrets to discover. The gameplay mechanics are innovative and offer players a sense of freedom and creativity. The graphics and visuals are stunning, and the storyline and plot are engaging and emotional. The replay value is high, with numerous side quests, collectibles, and DLC available. The game has received universal praise and has won numerous awards, including Game of the Year in 2017.
A remake of the classic Game Boy game, Link’s Awakening features updated graphics and visuals, while maintaining the same charming gameplay mechanics and storyline. The gameplay mechanics are accessible and fun, and the graphics and visuals are adorable and nostalgic. The storyline and plot are engaging and emotional, with a surprising twist at the end. The replay value is moderate, with a few side quests and collectibles to discover.
A hack-and-slash game that takes place in the same universe as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game offers a unique perspective on the events leading up to Breath of the Wild, focusing on the war against Calamity Ganon.
The gameplay mechanics of Age of Calamity are fast-paced and satisfying, with players able to switch between multiple characters on the fly. The graphics and visuals are impressive, with a mix of 3D models and cel-shaded animation. The storyline and plot are engaging, offering a deeper insight into the characters and events of Breath of the Wild.
The replay value of Age of Calamity is high, with multiple characters to unlock and upgrade, and additional challenges to complete. The game has received generally positive reviews, with players praising the combat mechanics and story.
Cadence of Hyrule is a rhythm-based game that combines elements of the Zelda franchise with the gameplay mechanics of Crypt of the NecroDancer, a popular indie game. The game features an original storyline and soundtrack, with players taking on the role of either Link or Zelda.
The gameplay mechanics of Cadence of Hyrule require players to move and attack to the beat of the music, with enemies and obstacles also moving to the rhythm. The graphics and visuals are colorful and charming, with a pixelated art style reminiscent of classic Zelda games. The storyline and plot are engaging, with a focus on the power of music and the bonds between characters.
The replay value of Cadence of Hyrule is high, with procedurally generated levels and multiple playable characters to unlock. The game has received positive reviews, with players praising the innovative gameplay mechanics and catchy soundtrack.
Originally released on the Nintendo Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has been remastered for the Nintendo Switch. The game features updated graphics and visuals, as well as improved controls thanks to the use of the Joy-Con controllers.
The gameplay mechanics of Skyward Sword focus heavily on motion controls, with players using the Joy-Con controllers to swing Link’s sword and aim his weapons. The graphics and visuals are colorful and vibrant, with a distinct art style inspired by impressionist paintings. The storyline and plot are engaging, with a focus on the origins of the Master Sword and the relationship between Link and Zelda.
The replay value of Skyward Sword HD is moderate, with a few side quests and collectibles to discover. The game has received generally positive reviews, with players praising the improved controls and updated visuals.
If you see that a game didn’t make the list, don’t fret. As much as I love Zelda games, there’s typically a reason it didn’t make the cut. Feel free to keep reading for details
Surprised to see this game on the list? You probably might be. Everyone on the internet is going on about this being the greatest game of all time, and you’d think I’d be sticking this game on the top list. But the truth is, I’m still in the middle of trying it out, and until I finish the game, I won’t be making any assumptions. I’ll pass judgement when I’ve fully and properly played the game.
This game is a bit of an interesting crossover combining the hack-and-slash action of the Dynasty Warriors series with the heroes and villians of the Zelda series. Not gonna lie, the game is action packed with a killer musical theme to make everything sounds awesome. But the story feels a little bit of an excuse plot to justify everyone from across the series getting together. I just can’t take the game’s story
The story in Age of Calamity is definitely much better in my opinion. Still, for what it’s worth, if you like Zelda, and you like games that have you slaying hundreds of monsters, then this game might be right up your alley!
Comparing the Best Zelda Games
When it comes to comparing the best Zelda games available on the Nintendo Switch, several factors come into play. As I had mentioned earlier, these include things like gameplay mechanics, graphics and the like, along with, replay value and player feedback and ratings.
One of the standout aspects of the Zelda franchise is its diverse and innovative gameplay mechanics. When it comes to the Nintendo Switch, there are several games that showcase these mechanics to varying degrees.
Breath of the Wild offers a truly open-world experience, allowing players to explore and interact with the environment in new and exciting ways. The game features a vast array of weapons, tools, and abilities, allowing players to approach challenges and puzzles in their own unique ways.
Age of Calamity offers fast-paced and satisfying hack-and-slash gameplay, with players able to switch between multiple characters on the fly. Cadence of Hyrule offers a unique rhythm-based gameplay mechanic, requiring players to move and attack to the beat of the music.
Link’s Awakening and Skyward Sword HD offer more traditional Zelda gameplay mechanics, with a focus on puzzle-solving, exploration, and combat. They also add quality of life improvements to the game.
Graphics and Visuals
The Zelda franchise has always been known for its impressive graphics and visuals, and the Nintendo Switch games are no exception. Breath of the Wild, Age of Calamity, and Skyward Sword HD offer some of the most impressive and immersive visual experiences on the console, with a mix of 3D models, cel-shaded animation, and impressionist-inspired art styles.
Link’s Awakening and Cadence of Hyrule offer more nostalgic and charming pixelated art styles, harkening back to the classic Zelda games of the past.
Storyline and Plot
Another aspect of the Zelda franchise that has always stood out is its engaging and emotional storylines and plots. Breath of the Wild and Age of Calamity offer some of the most in-depth and emotional storylines in the franchise, with a focus on the battle against Calamity Ganon and the characters involved in the war.
Skyward Sword HD offers a unique origin story for the Master Sword and the relationship between Link and Zelda. Link’s Awakening and Cadence of Hyrule offer more light-hearted and charming storylines, with a focus on the power of music and the bonds between characters.
Replay value is another important factor to consider when comparing the best Zelda games on the Nintendo Switch. Breath of the Wild and Age of Calamity offer the most replay value, with multiple characters to unlock and upgrade, additional challenges to complete, and a vast open world to explore.
Cadence of Hyrule offers procedurally generated levels and multiple playable characters to unlock, while Link’s Awakening and Skyward Sword HD offer a few side quests and collectibles to discover.
Player Feedback and Ratings
Finally, it’s important to consider player feedback and ratings when comparing the best Zelda games on the Nintendo Switch. As much as I like to go on about how great the games are, it really pays to see what other people have to say about the games. The last thing we need is another CD-i game!
Breath of the Wild and Age of Calamity have received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with players praising the innovative gameplay mechanics, impressive visuals, and engaging storylines.
Cadence of Hyrule and Skyward Sword HD have also received positive reviews, with players praising the unique gameplay mechanics and updated visuals, respectively. Link’s Awakening has received mixed reviews, with some players praising the charming art style and nostalgic gameplay, while others criticize the game’s length and lack of innovation. Mind you, it was a remaster of a Game Boy game, so that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
Overall, the best Zelda games for the Nintendo Switch offer a diverse and engaging range of gameplay mechanics, graphics and visuals, storyline and plot, replay value, and player feedback and ratings. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the franchise or a newcomer to the world of Hyrule, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the Switch.
The Bottom Line
The Legend of Zelda franchise has continued to be one of the most beloved in the gaming world, and the Nintendo Switch has a fantastic lineup of Zelda games to offer. From the expansive world of Breath of the Wild to the rhythm-based adventure of Cadence of Hyrule, there’s something for everyone on this console.
Each game offers unique gameplay mechanics, breathtaking graphics, and memorable storylines, providing players with hours upon hours of entertainment. Whether you’re a die-hard Zelda fan or a newcomer to the franchise, these games are sure to captivate you and leave you wanting more.
So, if you’re looking for a new adventure to embark on, consider adding one of these Zelda games to your collection. Whether you’re exploring the vast world of Hyrule or fighting your way through hordes of enemies, the Legend of Zelda games for Nintendo Switch are sure to provide an unforgettable gaming experience.
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