Zelda Games for the Nintendo Switch

For today, we will be covering all of the Zelda games for the Nintendo Switch. Whether you are a newcomer to Nintendo’s epic adventure series, or you are a veteran fan looking to add to your growing collection, there are quite a number of games out there.

Here, you will find an extensive list of each and every Zelda game that can be played on the hybrid console. Some are physical games, others are digital, and some are only available through the Nintendo Switch Online service. These games are not in any particular order, because they are all, in my humble opinion, the best!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

Let’s start the list with the launch title for the Switch! In this game, Link awakens 100 years after Ganon has ravaged the lands of Hyrule. Armed with nothing, he must gear up and find out what became of Hyrule, while getting ready for the ultimate showdown! 

This game is awesome, and in my opinion, possibly one of the greatest Zelda games made so far. Unlike past Zelda games where you typically explore dungeons, obtain pieces of gear, and collect plot-important items in a linear fashion, Breath of the Wild takes the series into an open world, where there is no set in place order for you to complete the game’s quests and locations. There is so much to explore and discover, and there is literally nothing stopping you from getting where you want to go.

Breath of the Wild almost feels like playing the original NES Zelda game; a wide open map to explore, no idea of what to do and where to go, and for the first few hours of the game, it is quite difficult. But the more you play and overcome those challenges, the better you will get at playing.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (2023)

It’s really hard to believe that another sequel actually ended up getting developed for a Zelda game! This is usually a rarity in the Zelda series. This game was first announced about 3 years ago, and I have to say that I am glad that they took their time with this one.

Tears of the Kingdom did to BOTW what Assassin’s Creed II did for the first Assassin’s Creed game; it took some of the more annoying and frustrating moments of the game, fixed them in the sequel, and added even more content and features to make exploring Hyrule even more fun and enjoyment!

When Breath of the Wild was being developed, the folks at Nintendo had so many ideas that they wouldn’t have enough room to fit it all on one game cartridge, and so a lot of stuff was cut out of Breath of the Wild. And so, they made a new game with a new story that includes all of that extra content!

As for the story? Well, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I would highly recommend you check this one out if you loved the first game.

I have to admit that I haven’t fully finished playing the original Game Boy version. Back when it first came out, I didn’t own a Game Boy of my own, and so I had to play on my friends’ cartridges instead.

But to tell you the truth, I really liked that Nintendo went ahead and remade this unique Zelda game. It’s a unique story that pulls you in with a cute art style and plays like a traditional top-down Zelda game. In short, it gives you some classic retro gaming that is a lot of fun to play.

As I mentioned earlier, the story is unique, in that it does not take place in Hyrule. In this game, Link is caught in a storm while out at sea. He washes up on a mysterious island, and after being nursed back to health by the locals, he sets out on a  quest to find a way off the island.

The only complaint I have with the game is that it is short and lacks a lot of content. Mind you, this game was adapted from an old Game Boy game, so it makes sense why it lacks the depth of newer games like Breath of the Wild.

Read More: Mario Games for Nintendo Switch

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt Of The Necrodancer (2019)

I have to admit that I haven’t played Crypt of the NecroDancer, which originally came out in 2015, but I was able to try out the demo for Cadence of Hyrule, which is actually a sequel. If you’re a fan of the original game and the Zelda series, then you’ll feel right at home with this unique crossover.

In this rhythm/roguelike action game, you move and attack to the beat of the music while exploring randomly generated levels and dungeons.

The story is a little different from your usual Zelda plot, mostly because Link and Zelda are imprisoned (at first), In this game, a court musician manages to take over Hyrule with the power of music, taking control over monsters and putting Link and Zelda into a long sleep not unlike what happens in The Adventure of Link. But before all is lost, the magical Triforce summons Cadence into the world of Hyrule, who has all the skills to take on this musical threat.

With all that said, it probably goes without saying that if you aren’t a fan of music or rhythm-based games, you might not enjoy this one as much as your usual Zelda games. But if you’re interested in a unique take on the Zelda series, then this one may be up your alley!

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (2018)

This was a crossover I never knew I wanted, but certainly needed. The best thing is, you don’t need to be familiar with the Dynasty Warriors franchise to get a lot of enjoyment out of this game.

Hyrule Warriors follows the same simple formula: you pick your favorite character, choose a level and fight waves of monsters using button combos and special attacks to rack up your KO count and look good doing so! All in all, this is a great game to play if you just want to throw down with the monsters of the Zelda series. It’s got great music that gets you right into the fighting!

This game originally came out on the Wii U, but this one has been remastered with better visuals and all of the DLC that were released. I don’t want to say much about the story, because the game goes into a lot of detail to explain how you are able to somehow meet heroes and villains across the many generations of Zelda games. Something about the space-time continuum, maybe?

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (2020)

Once again, the folks at Omega Force collaborated with Nintendo to bring us a Dynasty Warriors-themed Zelda game, and just like the first Hyrule Warriors, it is an awesome game for the hack-and-slash action that defines the series. However, the big thing that sets this one different from others is its sole focus on the story told in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Age of Calamity is a prequel/sequel that gives you a look into the past 100 years before Calamity Ganon ravaged the world of Hyrule. How did Link become a knight sworn to protect Zelda? How did the Champions earn their titles? All shall be revealed.

It is for those reasons, that I humbly suggest you play Breath of the Wild before even touching this game. As great as this game is at letting you slash and smash armies of Bokoblins and Moblins, the heavy story-driven parts of this game will leave you feeling lost if you skipped BOTW. Playing Age of Calamity beforehand would be like watching Avengers: Endgame without watching any of the previous Marvel movies. Sure, you’ll see some epic battles, but you’ll miss out on the emotional impact that drives each swing of that Master Sword.

The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (2021)

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Zelda series, Nintendo has decided to remaster the game that originally came out on the 25th anniversary. I see what you did there, Nintendo, and I hope on the 40th anniversary, you’ll remaster the 20th anniversary game (that’s Twilight Princess, in case you weren’t keeping track)!

Joking aside, Skyward Sword is actually a game that I missed out on, on the original Wii. While I did have the console, I arrived too late to get the unique Wii remote controllers that made heavy use of motion controls that featured in Skyward Sword.

All in all, Skyward Sword HD does an excellent job of remapping the controls to a controller, allowing you to enjoy the game without the gimmicky motion controls that were so prevalent in the Wii version. There were a lot of quality of life changes made as well to ensure that newcomers can enjoy the game to its fullest potential.

If you are big on the story of the Zelda series, then you’ll be happy to know that this is the very first entry in the entire saga. Set in a world before Hyrule or Ganon ever existed, this game will show you exactly how the series got its name, and how a young man clad in green will use his own courage to help forge that Legend.

The Legend of Zelda (1986)

The first game in the series, and the one that started it all. The Legend of Zelda was famous for being the very first video game to have a save feature. Back in the day, you had to write down passwords to track your progress. The game cartridge itself was colored gold instead of the usual drab gray that NES cartridges.

As the first game in the series, the story was … well, not all that epic considering what later titles would bring. According to the game’s intro, the evil “Prince Darkness Gannon” had stolen the Triforce of Power and kidnapped Princess Zelda. But before she was captured, she split the Triforce of Wisdom into 8 pieces and hidden them across Hyrule. Link has to explore Hyrule and collect the Triforce pieces before doing battle with “Gannon” and saving Zelda… No mention of the Triforce of Courage anywhere in this game!

Weird storytelling aside, the game was great for pushing the boundaries of what can be done on a NES game cartridge, which is probably why the game became an inspiration for Breath of the Wild’s design. The Legend of Zelda lets you go anywhere in the game, gives you no real directions, and the more you play, the better you get.

The second game in the franchise, and also a sequel, Zelda II is a rather unique game. It combines RPG elements with a mixture of both top-down gameplay and side-scrolling action to give you an adventure game that, when compared to later Zelda titles, stands out like the black sheep of the family (unless you consider Majora’s Mask to be the odd one out).

Still, this game brought many new things to the series. For starters, the idea of traveling the world of Hyrule and discovering towns and NPCs. It certainly made the game feel more like an adventure. Another thing introduced is magic; for some reason, Link is now able to cast spells alongside his trusty sword and shield.

The story is a little different, because it has 2 plots going for it. On one hand, Link has to set out on a quest to obtain the Triforce of Courage and awaken princess Zelda, who was put under a sleeping spell. The second plot involves the minions of Ganon out for Link’s blood… literally. Apparently, Ganon can be brought back to life with it.

I have to admit, this game is very different. It may not be for everyone, and in some parts it can be pretty difficult. While the gameplay is not your traditional Zelda game, it still was a stepping stone that helped make way for more epic stories down the road.

This is another Zelda classic that I sadly missed out on when it first came out. My family didn’t own a SNES back then, so the only way I got to play this one was at my friend’s house. Back in the day, when the Zelda series was first getting started and there wasn’t an official timeline made by Nintendo, this game served as a prequel to the first 2 NES games.

A Link to the Past, somewhat fitting for its name, is a prequel to the original Zelda game on the NES.One of the big things featured in this game was puzzle solving. This was also the first Zelda game to put a lot more emphasis on the story and worldbuilding. Alongside the top-down combat and exploration, this is the game that set up the standard “Zelda formula” for many later games to follow: collect a certain number of key items from some dungeons, obtain the Master Sword, and delve into X number of dungeons to collect more important items, before having a showdown with the final boss.

In order to play this classic SNES title on the Switch, you will need to have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership, which will grant you access to this game, among many other SNES classics.

The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (1996)

I have a lot of fond memories playing this classic N64 title, and it makes me really happy to know that we can continue to play these games on newer consoles. Granted, you do have to sign up for the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, but in addition to many other great games of the 90s, you’ll get to play one of the most highly acclaimed video games of all time.

This was the very first Zelda game to make the jump into 3D, and it was a very glorious jump indeed! In addition to further worldbuilding and traditional dungeon delving, this game featured “Z-Targeting”, which allowed players to lock onto enemies while fighting, making aimed attacks more accurate, and overall provided a more epic and cinematic fight.

Much like the last Zelda game before it, Ocarina of Time is yet again another prequel, this time, to A Link to the Past. In this game, the story involves a young boy who lives in a mysterious forest village inhabited by a race called the Kokiri. Each Kokiri has their own guardian fairy to watch over them… except for Link, who does not have one. But following a night of bad dreams, a fairy comes to him and soon, he is summoned by the Great Deku Tree to remove a curse plaguing the forest. It isn’t long after that his quest begins to take him from his childhood home into the world of Hyrule to help stop a mysterious man from claiming the Triforce.

I know this game has been out for decades now, but out of respect for those who still haven’t played it, that’s all I’m going to say about the story.

The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000)

Another game I remember from my childhood, Majora’s Mask is a game unlike the other Zelda titles at the time. This was an official sequel featuring the same Link from Ocarina of Time! While most other games were always a standalone story, this one follows the events in Ocarina of Time, where Link sets out on his own personal journey. But while traveling through the woods, he gets mugged. While chasing his masked mugger, he stumbles into a parallel world called Termina where the locals are planning  a carnival in 3 days.

But there is another looming issue at hand… the mysterious moon in the sky is on a collision course with Termina, and each day, it gets closer and closer. Thankfully, Link has the power to travel through time, and so he has to relive the same 3 days over and over until he figures out how to stop the moon from crashing down.

This game is very well known for its grim undertones. While everything may look colorful and vibrant when compared to the likes of Hyrule, there are some disturbing things found under the surface, and as you explore the land and learn the woes of its inhabitants, you’ll find out some hard truths of reality. 

Will There Be More Zelda Games?

So far, the list doesn’t look all that big. If Nintendo were to remake, remaster, or port their older games onto the Switch, we might see some more titles make the list. But until then, we will just have to wait and see how things pan out. Personally, I would love to see Twilight Princess and Wind Waker ported to the Switch.

Well, it looks like this is all I have for now.

If we see more Zelda games come out on the Switch, I will update this list, but for now, I hope this helps you out.

Until next time, have fun and happy gaming!

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