The Legend of Zelda hasn’t tackled that many genres. On a whole, the series could be described as an open-world action-adventure with some light RPG elements. Link and other characters have been guest stars in other genres though like fighting with Super Smash Bros. and racing in Mario Kart 8.
With the release of Cadence of Hyrule putting the franchise into not only a roguelike, but also a rhythm game, well, it had us pondering where else this series could go.
10 A True RPG
While some may label these games as action RPGs, they couldn’t be further from that truth. What we desire is a true Zelda RPG. We don’t care if it adds a leveling system to the current action combat, or if something truly new is made. A turn-based or tactical game would be pretty awesome. What if Links throughout time had to band together in order to stop an evil force? Sounds like a good RPG to us.
9 Telltale Adventure
By Telltale adventure, we basically mean an adventure game or an interactive story. This genre became popular with Telltale’s series of titles including The Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands. This can also include games like Detroit: Become Human, or the recently released The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan. Being able to go through the life of a random character in Hyrule would be pretty cool. Their decisions could help, or hinder the new Link in their quest. Tingle would be a great choice.
Strategy could be considered a tactical RPG, but we are thinking broader. Imagine a game where Zelda has been appointed the head of Hyrule. In order to make her kingdom thrive, she has to send out soldiers into neighboring territories to make peace.
We think the 4X model of Civilization would work wonders with this idea. It could also become an RTS like StarCraft. Defend the Kingdom from Ganon’s unstoppable army! Either one of these could be great in the right hands.
7 Survival Horror
The closest this series has come to horror is Major’s Mask. Link basically goes to a limbo world after presumably dying although that is just a theory. Whether that is true, or not the subject matter of the story is eerie not to mention the creepy moon. This proves that the series has what it takes to enter into the world of horror. Imagine a game that comes out without being advertised as a Zelda game and then the twist ending somehow reveals itself to be. Getting into the Lost Woods and being chased out into Hyrule Field would be a good example.
6 Massive Multiplayer
Nintendo has played around with multiplayer in the Zelda world before. The most recent example was TriForce Heroes on 3DS, which supported three players. The max they have tried is only four with Four Sword Adventures. While a Battle Royale would be too cliché to mention, it’s not impossible to make-work. Drop into Hyrule Field, grab a weapon, and fight for survival. Since there are no guns, only arrows, it might create a more tense competition. A MOBA might also work although if that happened we would want it to be Nintendo themed as a whole.
This could actually count as another strategy entry, but instead of waging war, we want to populate Hyrule Kingdom peacefully. A Sims type game could work well for those wanting to chill out in the Zelda world without having to do much. That is to say, there is more to games then just action. Maybe Nintendo should just put some guest characters into the next Animal Crossing and call it a day.
If we want to get very technical there actually has been a Zelda-themed shooter before: Link’s Crossbow Training. Since that was just a pack-in with the Wii Zapper as an extended mini-game, we aren’t going to count it. We also don’t want to advocate Link getting a pistol or something like that. Splatoon and Super Mario Sunshine have shown us that a shooter does not have to be bloody violent so there is a way this could work. Linkle would actually be a great choice since she dual-wields two mini crossbows in Hyrule Warriors.
The main games are already hack and slash adventures, but we would like that boiled down to an even finer concoction of beat ‘em glory. Imagine The Legend of Zelda crossed with a weapon heavy brawler like Castle Crashers, or Full Metal Furies.
This would also fit into the multiplayer category, but on a smaller scale. Technically Hyrule Warriors is a brawler, but we want something smaller like classic 2D games in the genre like Golden Axe.
The series has dabbled with stealth segments before like sneaking past the guards at Hyrule Castle in Ocarina of Time, or storming the prison in Wind Waker. Because stealth was an afterthought, these portions were bad, but a game based on sneaking missions would be quite the opposite. Why would Link sneak around? He wouldn’t. That’s why a game about Sheik aka Zelda having to sneak around and assassinate targets would be a better idea. Ubisoft is already pretty close with Nintendo so they must have discussed Assassin’s Creed in pitch meetings at some point, right?
If Nintendo is unwilling to make a new 2D Metroid then they should let some other team handle it. And if they are worried about sales, since Metroid rarely sells that much, they should make a Zelda Metroidvania instead since that series tends to sell more. Phantom Hourglass on the DS had a good concept of having Link return to a central dungeon every now and again. What if he was always stuck in one giant dungeon and had to maneuver around like in Castlevania? This stuff writes itself! Unfortunately, it doesn’t program itself.