The Hyrule Warriors games are great, but they’re definitely not the standard Zelda formula fans love. And with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity fresh off the presses, you may be craving a more traditional Zelda experience. Fortunately, there are loads of great titles from other developers that take inspiration from the Zelda series.
The Mana series were revolutionary titles when they were first released, boasting impressive visuals and unique action-oriented RPG combat. And now you can play the whole series through the Collection of Mana on Switch. While the first game, Final Fantasy Adventure, is a bit dated, having originally been released on Gameboy, it’s still a solid game. And the other two games hold up excellently compared to modern top-down RPGs, so regardless of whether you’ve played these games before or not, this collection is a great pickup.
If you don’t own a Switch, then the Trails of Mana remake (the third and final game in the series) is available on PC, PS4, and Switch. It changes things up dramatically from the original title, turning the top-down adventure into a third-person 3D one, but the heart and soul of the game are still there and as great as ever.
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea (PC/Switch/PS4/Xbox/Android/iOS)
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea doesn’t do much to convince you it’s not a Zelda knockoff. Everything from the level design, perspective, and even the main character’s design make that pretty clear. Despite that, Oceanhorn still manages to be a game worth playing due to how effectively it recreates the Zelda formula. For fans of the series, this is a great title to play if you want to feel at home.
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea is available on PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox, Android, and iOS.
Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Sea does have a sequel in Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm which focuses on third-person action and, on the whole, brings more fresh ideas to the table. However, it’s only available on Switch and iOS devices.