Thanks to its most recent console, the Switch, Nintendo became more relevant than ever before. The legendary Japanese company is responsible for iconic titles such as Super Mario World, Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda franchise, and, of course, the extremely popular Pokémon franchise.
Released worldwide in March concurrently with the critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Nintendo Switch is currently the most popular console with a promising catalog for its debut year, which include the recently released ARMS, Splatoon 2, and the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It’s only natural that every gamer wants to get their hands on this shiny new versatile toy, but not everyone has the funds for it.
In light of Steam’s summer sale, we decided to compile a short list of games currently available on PC (and a few other platforms when applicable) that might help scratch that Nintendo itch some of us have right now. Presented to you in no particular order, here are five Nintendo alternatives on PC:
FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 (50% off)
Kinda like Pokémon
As shocking as it is, the sequel to the poorly received FINAL FANTASY XIII have something in common with the popular brand Pokémon. Guardians, eternal battles, and time conflicts aside, FFXIII-2 follows only two protagonists and a support character that serves as a weapon for Serah, Lightning’s sister. Because of that, the developers made it possible for players to collect the majority of the enemies they fight with. It’s possible to give them nicknames, accessorize them, and even fuse and develop in order to create a companion with unique combat features. If you’re into collecting and fighting alongside your pets, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 is competent enough in its monster taming mechanics. It is also available for the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
Axiom Verge (50% off)
A lot like Metroid
First released in 2015, Axiom Verge is a one-man Metroidvania that truly brings back the atmosphere of old-school Metroid. As Trace, you wake up in a mysterious planet filled with fiends and deadly machinery. Your goal is to find out why you were brought there and help the lifeforms in peril. The game is set in a massive open dungeon with branching paths, secrets, and collectibles, all of which encourage exploration. It may seem linear at first, but as you get access to new equipment, previously unexplored areas offer new opportunities. It’s a great starting point to anyone not fully familiar with the Metroid franchise and it’s also available on the PlayStation 4, XBox One, Wii U, and PlayStation Vita.
Anodyne (70% off)
A lot like The Legend of Zelda
No, Anodyne is not like Breath of the Wild. Instead, it draws inspiration from classic TLoZ titles, more specifically the Game Boy and Game Boy Color eras when Link’s Awakening and the Oracle series (Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons) were all the rage. You play as Young, a man who, much like Axiom Verge‘s Trace, wakes up in a different world. Armed with a broom, you must explore this new world and its dungeons.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (75% off)
A lot like Mario Kart
Envious of your friends playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch? While SEGA’s alternative isn’t as charming, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed nails down the gameplay mechanics that make Mario Kart so much fun. With popular SEGA character on the roster, Racing Transformed presents a gameplay variety that has players riding boats and flying jets on top of racing toy-like cars. Even though it was released in 2013 on Steam, it still counts with a passionate community that often engages in online multiplayer and its several modes. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is also available in a multitude of other platforms, including the PlayStation 3, XBox 360, Android, and iOS.
Castaway Paradise (67% off)
A lot like Animal Crossing
Despite the latest update to New Leaf adding amiibo support and an overwhelming amount of new items, Animal Crossing fans clamor for a new entry to the franchise, preferably on the Nintendo Switch. Castaway Paradise is a life simulator bent on satisfying that need for those who don’t have access to a Nintendo 3DS. It lacks the charm and quirkiness of its inspiration, but it’s as close as it gets for PC gamers. The developers are also active and release free updates more often than others would. In this game, players end up stranded on an island inhabited by animals. Just like in Animal Crossing, they must live life in this confined space as they see fit, upgrading their home, furnishing it, collecting bugs, or even tending crops. It is also available for Android and iOS and it counts with a spin-off called Castaway Home Designer (yes, the poor-mans Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer).
No one can do what Nintendo does—fun, iconic, and charismatic games that only get better with the passing of time. However, they have inspired many developers to tribute their work in a way or another. There’s no shortage of Nintendo-inspired games out there, certainly not on PC.
Do you agree with our list? What other games serve as Nintendo alternates for you? Let us know in the comments below.