If you just finished exploring the forests and plateaus in The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, one might be suffering from a sort of Hyrule hangover. After all, Nintendo's expansive open world is full of some of the most unique dungeons, compelling puzzles, and challenging enemies ever created in the last decade.
And while there may not be many games as celebrated as this most recent trip through Hyrule, there are plenty of other titles with open worlds, awesome monsters, and nooks and crannies just waiting to be explored. So, let's take a tour through ten other games with massive maps, swords, and shields, explorative adventures, or all of the above. The following titles may not be Breath Of The Wild, but they will certainly scratch the same itch while the world waits for the sequel.
Updated August 14th, 2021 by Ritwik Mitra: It goes without saying that Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest games released by Nintendo. The evolution of the Zelda franchise is absolutely magical to behold firsthand, with each and every corner of this title hiding a bevy of secrets that would titillate any fan of excellent open-world action-adventure titles. Players who want to try out more titles in the same vein should definitely check out the following games like Zelda, some more than others.
20 Super Mario Odyssey
- Playable on: Nintendo Switch
Nintendo's 2017 was positively stellar. The release of a console along with two amazing titles established the company as a top-of-the-line console manufacturer and video game developer once again. The first game that was launched along with the Switch was Breath of the Wild, while the other was Super Mario Odyssey.
Just like Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey has secrets awaiting the player at every corner. It makes for an excellent platforming title where players have all the freedom in the world to accomplish challenges and unlock the wealth of content that lies within.
19 Monster Hunter Rise
- Playable on: Nintendo Switch
The Monster Hunter series has received a significant boost since the release of Monster Hunter World, a game that most people consider to be the most accessible Monster Hunter title. So, it's only a given as to why so many people were hyped for Monster Hunter Rise.
The game is another excellent entry in the Monster Hunter series. The tough combat and excellent exploration makes it the perfect candidate to be a game like Zelda.
18 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Playable on: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC
Breath of the Wild's unfettered exploration allows for players to experience some truly magical moments. This is a feeling that most gamers hadn't experienced since the release of Skyrim.
To this day, Skyrim still stands tall as one of the best open-world RPGs around. Bethesda hit a gold mine with this title that they've never stopped mining ever since.
17 Assassin's Creed Odyssey
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and PC
The Assassin's Creed series has gone through a major resurgence since the release of Syndicate. Each and every game in the series has focused more on RPG mechanics and a more fantasy-driven story, and Odyssey is no exception to this golden rule.
The game is an excellent journey through the land of ancient Greece, something that most Assassin's Creed fans had been requesting for the longest time. It might be a game that is a bit too bloated with content, but fans who look past this minor issue will find themselves enjoying one of the better Assassin's Creed games.
16 Final Fantasy XV
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC
After what felt like ages, Final Fantasy XV was finally released to the public. The game had suffered from a needlessly lengthy development period, and shades of this could still be seen in the final product.
However, underneath all these issues, there was something really special in Final Fantasy XV. The open world is beautiful and the combat feels great, regardless of how easy the game may be. It might be a stretch to call Final Fantasy XV a game like Zelda, but there are some things here that will resonate with fans of Breath of the Wild.
15 Hob: The Definitive Edition
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC
At a glance, Hob has quite a lot of similarities with Breath Of The Wild. A stylized open world in disrepair full of puzzles and baddies? Check. A quiet and mysterious beginning without much explanation? Double-check. A run-in with a carnivorous plant that eats your arm and introduces you to a mechanical appendage that comes to define most of the gameplay? Okay, maybe that part is unique to Hob.
This ten-hour adventure from Panic Button, the developers who have brought both Skyrim and Wolfenstein 2 to the Nintendo Switch, is both engaging and challenging. Sure, it may not be as long, epic, or expansive as Breath of the Wild, but it is a world of shaded art styles and puzzles that may just help fill the Link-shaped void. If you yearn for mind games while traversing the trees, why not rip off your arm and get to exploring a mystery land as a short hooded cyborg?
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, and PC
Have you ever wanted to work as a shopkeeper by day, then spend your nights as a vigilante treasure hunter who scours dungeons with nothing but your sword and courageous spirit? Well, that's exactly what you've signed up for when you start this old school dungeon crawler from Digital Sun.
Sure, this game is more akin to the 2-D Zelda games of old than Breath Of The Wild, but it's hard not to obsess over the plucky protagonist Will and his quest to find true adventure. This title is hard, creative, and tells a heartwarming story about wholehearted ambition. There may not be prophecies or princesses involved, but the swordplay and story should help with Breath of the Wild withdrawals.
13 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC
While it's far grittier and has some much darker aspects, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt offers a great open-world RPG experience. Additionally, now is the perfect time for players to try it out if they haven't already, as it will get them in the mood for the next season of Netflix's The Witcher, which is due to release next year.
For anyone who is a fan of Breath of the Wild's expansive world, fantasy creatures, and intriguing storyline, The Witcher 3 is a great game to play.
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC
In this 3D action-adventure platformer from Inverge Studios, players take control of Galad, a hybrid between Zeus, Link, and Captain America. He has been cursed with old age by a witch with entitlement issues and must set out on an adventure to clean some gems and get his hotter, younger body back into circulation.
This journey is actually quite fun, and it entails quite a lot of platform jumping, shield bashing, and boss outsmarting. The puzzles may be in short supply, and nothing about this experience is groundbreaking, but it is a lighthearted adventure with no shortage of fun (or unique level design). And hey, Galad wears green and has a shield.
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 2, Nintendo Switch, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PC
There's never been a better time to hop into the shoes (or paws) of the Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu and "brush up" on some 3D action-adventure. This Nintendo Switch port of Capcom's 2006 classic is definitively the best version of the game, and the pairing of the white wolf and black brush has never been more fun.
At first glance, this game may feel like it can be beaten surprisingly fast. But it soon becomes very clear that this is a long and epic adventure with both a winding narrative and a surprisingly expansive world. Playing as a divine wolf painting her way through a caricatured Japan may not seem like a solid comparison to a Zelda game, but once fans start playing it, it's hard to find anything to complain about.
10 Horizon Zero Dawn
- Playable on: PlayStation 4 and PC
Horizon Zero Dawn takes players and drops them into a post-apocalyptic Earth where humans seemed to have forgotten to save their progress at about 500 a.d. The flora and fauna apparently missed the memo, however, as humans must face off against giant mechanical beasts that are just out and about, and the world bears more than a few scars from humanity's fall from dominance.
Guerilla Games' open-world action RPG is also known for several other things, mainly: a fleshed-out heroine, difficulty, and robot dinosaurs. It's massive, aggressive, unforgiving, and ultra compelling, and while this take on the distant future doesn't feel at all like Hyrule, the addicting gameplay and profound story definitely do.
9 Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
- Playable on: Nintendo Switch and PC
Another title that feels a lot more like Link's Awakening than Link awakening at the beginning of Breath of the Wild, this game asks "what if" Zelda quits waiting around for Link and decides to do the darn thing herself. Indeed, Castle Pixel's 2017 tale is brimming with girl power, as it tells the story of a King that has been cursed into a deep sleep by his evil brother and a newly adorned knight named Lily who takes up arms to save the kingdom.
This game is a classic RPG in feeling, sound, and 8-bit pixel glory, but it is much more modern in its expansive open world and cheeky nods to recent games. It's a fresh new take on a familiar vibe and may cause players to stop counting the days until Breath of the Wild 2 while they enjoy a nostalgic blast of retro sounds and simple sword slashing.
8 Darksiders II
- Playable on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC
The first and main reason to play this game is the genius pun in the title. It's just glorious. Another reason is the game's unique blend of RPG elements, massive world, and incredibly fun boss fights. Those are also glorious. But if all this glory wasn't enough, the reincarnation of death's journey also packs in an incredible amount of DLC to expand upon the already epic journey from 2012.
This M-rated adventure was also one of the first 3D games to warrant the description of "Zelda-like," it features a God Of War-esque slash and stomp combat system, and there is quite a lot of ground to be explored. If you've finished Breath Of The Wild but not Darksiders II, then you've found a stalwart way to keep the open-world buzz alive.
7 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and PC
There are a number of Assassin's Creed titles that would fit the bill for a player looking for an open-world full of intrigue, sidequests, puzzles, a compelling storyline, and more, but it's likely the last few released titles that fill this role the best as they took on a number of more RPG-like elements.
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the most recent release in the franchise and throws players into the world of Vikings. The stunning open-world and intricately woven storyline and characters are a must for any RPG fan.
6 Oceanhorn: Monster Of Uncharted Seas
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, and PC
Cornfox & Bros.' 2013 adventure may look oddly familiar. This is mainly because it is a surreal love child between Breath Of The Wild and The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker. The similarities are in fact so numerous that this game is considered by some to be a direct Zelda knockoff. But hey, if players are looking to fill the void left by a Zelda game, then that may be just what they wanted to hear.
Oceanhorn features sea-faring, sword-swinging, grass cutting, vase throwing, island exploring, messy hair having, and ancient monster slaying. It's a fun indie adventure with a lot of bang for your buck, and it's a worthwhile experience regardless of the fact that it is pretty much a shameless Zelda rip-off.
5 Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC
Of all the games set in Middle-Earth, Shadow of Mordor is probably the most unique. This is because it is less of a fantasy action RPG, like all of the other The Lord Of The Rings fare, and more of a simulation of how to be a master insurgent. Players reap ridiculous amounts of chaos, violence, and all sorts of morally dubious mayhem on Orcish society, all while swinging one of gaming's most brutal iterations of a sword.
This game is much bloodier, grittier, and more adult in theme than any Zelda title, but it is a compelling action game with monsters just begging to be slain. Just don't torture or enslave too many Uruks, or you may not be able to look at yourself in the mirror ever again.
4 Hyper Light Drifter
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, and PC
Heart Machine's stylish, old-school action game is chock full of awesome art, addicting combat, and moody inferred storytelling. This journey through a broken and decaying world pits players against fearsome mechs, all sorts of projectiles, and an abstract story that challenges the player to think.
Combat requires skill, the story requires reflection, and enjoyment of the world requires nothing at all. If atmosphere, mystique, and amazing combat mechanics were things you liked about Breath Of The Wild, then this title should be first on your to-play list.
3 Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
- Playable on: Nintendo Switch
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity recently released for the Nintendo Switch as a follow-up to Hyrule Warriors. To be clear, the gameplay is very different from Breath of the Wild, as the Hyrule Warriors games take on the hack and slash format of the Dynasty Warriors franchise.
However, the reason that it's a great recommendation is that Age of Calamity is a prequel that is set 100 years prior to the events of the Breath of the Wild, depicting the Great Calamity. This makes it a must for anyone who is a fan of the Breath of the Wild storyline and wants to know more of the backstory.
2 Immortals Fenyx Rising
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and Series S, Google Stadia, and PC
Ubisoft recently released Immortals Fenyx Rising, created by the same team that made Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. As well as having many similarities to Odyssey, Fenyx Rising is also a great choice for anyone looking to fill the Breath of the Wild-shaped hole in their life.
The game is suitable for a wider age range than Odyssey, so younger players can enjoy it as well as adults. The world might not be as large as that in Breath of the Wild, but the area is very dense and filled with secrets and awesome Greek mythos.
1 Genshin Impact
- Playable on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Mobile, and PC
Labeled a "Breath of the Wild clone", Genshin Impact surprised many when it released as it wasn't the cheap knockoff that most expected it to be. Calling it a "clone" is doing the game a disservice as it offers so many unique gameplay features and experiences, that it is rightly its own game that stands apart from the rest.
That's not to say that it doesn't feature a lot of similarities with Breath of the Wild and so naturally, any fans of the Zelda title will be sure to enjoy this free-to-play title newcomer.