Designer Plays Zelda-likes: A Link to the Past

One of my top 10 games of all time has a handful of titles that manage to recreate *some* of the charm and game mechanisms that made the original so phenomenal. No one will top it, but please do try.

CrossCode
Recommended May 15, 2015

The best example of oldskool JRPG feels, but updated with modern sensibilities; an intriguing plot, killer controls, extensive character progression, and that Secret of Mana vibe...whoa...wut?

-20%
$19.99
$15.99
OKAMI HD / 大神 絶景版
Recommended December 12, 2017

Okami is one of the most iconic and beautifully illustrated Zelda-like games ever made. It's a zen-like journey through traditional Japanese folklore and the gameplay meshes perfectly with the theme.

-50%
$19.99
$9.99
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Recommended March 28, 2017

Probably the best Zelda-like that I have played. It is quite charming, with clever puzzles, fun challenges, and good real-time combat. If you long for Link to the Past, this is the closest thing to it

-50%
$14.99
$7.49
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Recommended November 4, 2014

Absolute must-play; so personal, so evocative, and now with graphics working as intended. 60FPS of dungeon-crawl love with 2x the content of the OG.

-34%
$14.99
$9.89
Lenna's Inception
Recommended January 18

Charming and lovingly-crafted Zelda-like that recreates the gameplay and feels of old-skool Zelda titles and adds proc-gen and daily runs. Crazy story about Cthulhu Bankers or something. Great fun!

$9.99
Sparklite
Recommended November 12, 2019

I love Sparklite; it blends the charm and real-time combat of SNES Legend of Zelda with modern day procedural generation and progression. If that doesn't excite you, I don't even know you anymore.

$24.99
Hazelnut Bastille
Recommended November 28, 2018

Hazelnut Bastille is a dream come true for fans of 16-bit action JRPGs; the loving care shown in every aspect of this game brings to mind the wonder and charm of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

UnderMine
Recommended August 23, 2019

UnderMine is like a less psychotic version of Binding of Isaac; a more wholesome Legend of Zelda vibe. It's fun and replayable, with proc-gen dungeons and Rogue Legacy progression. New update is out!

-20%
$14.99
$11.99
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
Recommended September 18, 2017

One of the best JRPGs on Steam, from the developers of the Ys series. Wonderful story, great character depth, and excellent turn-based combat. Again, a must-play for JRPG fans.

-50%
$19.99
$9.99
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Recommended July 22, 2017

Enchanting, no-threat RPG, much like Harvest Moon; resource collection, crafting, light questing, tending animals, fishing, and trade. Not challenging, but it is fun and super chill. Great for kids.

-45%
$24.99
$13.74
Songbringer
Recommended September 3, 2017

Zelda-like with procedural maps? GIVE IT!!! Real-time combat, switch puzzles, ability-based lock-and-key, all here. While it lacks the charm of Zelda, it makes up for it in replayability. Good game.

-40%
$19.99
$11.99
RiME
Recommended May 26, 2017

Playing RiME gives you a wonderful feeling of exploration and discovery; two parts Zelda, one part Ico, and a dash of Journey. Creative puzzles situated in a beautifully realized world. Recommended.

-90%
$29.99
$2.99
The Swords of Ditto: Mormo's Curse
Recommended April 25, 2018

Supercute Zelda-like with solid gameplay, funny characters, and amazing art. If you have played the Link to the Past randomizer, this is similar, but with Rogue Legacy death progression. Excellent.

-50%
$14.99
$7.49
Hyper Light Drifter
Recommended March 31, 2016

Wonderfully atmospheric and elegant adventure game with Zelda-like gameplay, Sword & Sworcery feels, and incredible music by Disasterpeace.

$19.99
Minit
Recommended April 3, 2018

Phenomenal re-imagining of the Atari 2600 game, Adventure. Minit is loaded with charm, peppered with clever puzzles, and presents a wonderful canvas for exploration and discovery. Pure, simple fun.

-50%
$9.99
$4.99
Ys SEVEN
Recommended September 20, 2017

Played thru on PSP; great port. Successfully moved the IP from 2D to 3D. Smooth framerate during party-based, real-time battle. Skills housed in weapons. Too many cut-scenes, but the game is great.

-40%
$24.99
$14.99
Mages of Mystralia
Recommended May 18, 2017

Really slick little adventure game, with writing by Ed Greenwood of Forgotten Realms fame. The roll-your-own magic system is the draw here, much like Magicka, and the overall playful Zelda vibe.

-75%
$19.99
$4.99
Anodyne
Recommended September 24, 2014

Dewd, this a love letter to Earthbound, but with a message. ;)

-75%
$9.99
$2.49
Evoland
Recommended November 4, 2017

A nostalgic return to the RPGs of yore. Graphical updating for each homage is a clever gimmick, but for me, they got less and less interesting, but ymmv. Cool idea that mostly works.

-75%
$9.99
$2.49
Evoland 2
Recommended November 4, 2017

Really expands upon the gimmick from the original, adding more breadth and diversity in gameplay styles. Has some good Zelda-like puzzles, a sorta wonky story, and a big dose of nostalgia.

-75%
$19.99
$4.99
Beyond Good and Evil™
Recommended November 4, 2017

Played the orignal console version; liked it for the action-adventure elements, decent combat, thoughtful exploration, and the diverse cast of characters, including a strong female lead.

-66%
$9.99
$3.39
Reventure
Recommended June 8, 2019

Reventure is a Groundhog Day game that plays like Minit meets Karoshi Suicide Salaryman. It also draws a bit from the side-scrolling Zelda II on NES, particularly the soundtrack, but in a good way.

-55%
$7.99
$3.59
Psychonauts
Recommended November 4, 2017

An action-adventure platformer, from the distorted mind of Mr. Tim Schafer. TBH, funny is not really my thing, but the level design and puzzle elements are quite good.

-75%
$9.99
$2.49
Elliot Quest
Recommended June 10, 2018

Eliott Quest is basically a love letter to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on the NES, with a bit of Kid Icarus thrown in for good measure, though it lacks a certain umami that made those games great.

$9.99
Hob
Recommended September 28, 2017

Outstanding Zelda-like with clever puzzle-solving, atmospheric sound, clean and playful artwork, clearly delineated enemies, and an excellent feeling of exploration. You want this adventure game.

-50%
$19.99
$9.99