Whether you're curious to check out Hyrule for the first time or you've been a fan of Link for years, there are so many wonderful Zelda Switch games for you to play on the hybrid console including the latest hits as well as retro classics. Each one can take dozens of hours to complete, so you'll be entertained for long stretches as you play through them all.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
A direct sequel to Breath of the Wild called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is releasing for Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023. It seems to be a bit darker than the first game and has already introduced an evil power that we assume will be the main villain.
From teasers, we've seen that the Master Sword has been damaged in some way and we've also seen Link wearing different clothing and falling through the clouds. It looks like new powers and places to explore are on the horizon.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
In Breath of the Wild, Link awakens to discover he's been asleep for 100 years after suffering a near-death defeat from Calamity Ganon. Hyrule has been ravaged, and it's up to him to become strong enough that he can back Princess Zelda in her fight against her ultimate nemesis. It's an open-world adventure filled with so many things to do and see. You could even go straight to the final boss if you'd like, but there are so many interesting things that you'll willing run off to the distant horizon to explore.
It's definitely the best Zelda Switch game out there. Players can even scan Zelda amiibo to unlock cool extras like weapons and the Legendary horse Epona. Check the game out and see why this is not only one of the best Nintendo Switch games, but also one of the best video games of all time.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass
Now, this technically isn't another game. Still, it does expand upon Breath of the Wild, bringing new clothing items, collectibles, and challenges for Link to face, including the Master Trials, a hard mode, and a new fast travel feature. If you haven't played it yet, it can tide you over until the Breath of the Wild sequel comes out. You must have the base Breath of the Wild game in order to play it, though.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
This quirky remake takes place on Koholint Island. In Link's Awakening, Link gets washed ashore after a storm at sea destroys his raft. Now it's up to him to dive into various dungeons and acquire powerful weapons so he can unravel the mystery of the Wind Fish Egg and return safely to sea. Get ready for one of the weirdest and most charming Zelda games in the franchise.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
Skyward Sword is the earliest game in the Zelda timeline. It explains the origins of the Master Sword and provides more information about the Goddess Hylia and a horrible force bent on destruction. Link lives at the Knights Academy on the floating island of Skyloft and must fly down to the world below in order to delve into dungeons. This new version updates many of the old Wii mechanics and makes motion controls optional.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer
While this isn't a core Zelda game, Nintendo and developer Brace Yourself Games did team up to create a new adventure where players control Zelda and Link with rhythmic combat. You'll need to move to iconic Zelda music to execute powerful attacks and make your way through dungeons. Take down Lynels, Bokoblins, and more as you move to the beat.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
This hack and slash adventure doesn't include intense puzzles like a core Zelda game; however, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition allows you to play as a host of different Zelda characters from the franchise. Cut your way through enemy hordes playing as Zelda, Midna, Princess Ruto, Sheik, and much more.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
After the tremendous success of the Breath of the Wild, it wasn't too surprising to learn that Koei Tecmo's next Dynasty Warriors-style game would serve as a prequel. Age of Calamity explores what happened between Zelda, Link, and the Champions before Link was wounded and fell asleep for 100 years. It's a hack and slash adventure complete with voice acting and new enemies.
Nintendo Switch Online Zelda games
Obviously, Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) isn't a game, but we'd be remiss not to mention all of the classic NES and SNES games that come from being a member of this service. This includes three retro Zelda titles: The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II - The Adventure of Link, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. If you love classic 2D Zelda or want to experience it for the first time, you'll want an NSO subscription. Prices vary depending on if you choose the Individual Membership or the Family Membership.
Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
If players spring for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, they get access to several N64 games, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Ocarina of Time is not only one of the best Zelda games ever, but is often listed as one of the best video games of all time. If you haven't experienced it yourself, you really ought to check it out. Prices vary depending on if you're purchasing a Family subscription or an Individual membership.
Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
Enjoy Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask on Nintendo Switch when you have the Expansion Pack subscription. These classic N64 games helped lead into current day Zelda games.
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All Zelda Switch games
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If you're only going to play one Zelda game on the Nintendo Switch, it really ought to be Breath of the Wild. This open-world adventure rewrote the Zelda playbook and has influenced countless other games since it was released. You can go straight to the final boss shortly after starting the game if you want to, but there are so many magical places to explore you'll willingly dive into the rest of Hyrule. After all, you've got to figure out what happened to make Link fall asleep for 100 years. Plus, if you're a collector, there are a bunch of cool Zelda amiibo that unlock special items and characters for the game including Epona the horse of legend or Wolf Link who will fight alongside you.
I don't know about you, but I'm desperate for Tears of the Kingdom (previously known as Breath of the Wild 2) to come out. If you feel the same, you should definitely check out Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. It's a hack and slash rather than your traditional puzzle adventure. However, it allows players to see interactions between Breath of the Wild characters. You even get to play as Mipha, Urbosa, Zelda, Revali, and Daruk. Not to mention baby Prince Sidon also makes an appearance.
Another choice to consider is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. It fixes many things people didn't like about the original Wii game for a better playing experience. Motion controls are now optional, you can skip cutscenes, and many other parts of the game have been streamlined to help you get to gameplay faster. Play to learn about the origins of the Master Sword along with what started the eternal struggle that connects Zelda, Link, and Ganon to each other. There's also some debate as to whether or not this first story in the Zelda timeline is going to be a major part of the Breath of the Wild sequel since the upcoming game also takes place in the sky and includes a damaged Master Sword.
Anyone looking for a classical Zelda game will absolutely love The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. It's a remake of one of the franchise's quirkiest and most playful Zelda games. Plus, that top-down view combined with the cartoony art style does such a good job of paying homage to the original. You'll find yourself diving from one dungeon to another, eagerly figuring out puzzles and uncovering the mystery of the Wind Fish Egg.
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.