Zelda Games Not On Switch
Image: Nintendo Life

Thanks to the wonders of the Nintendo Switch Online retro games libraries (and some pretty top-notch remasters along the way), the Switch is now home to a whopping 16 different Zelda titles by our count, covering everything from Link's first outing to his latest adventures, plus remakes, remasters and spin-offs.

Most recently, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons were added to the Switch's ever-growing Game Boy library, giving many a fan the chance to play the oft-overlooked GBC titles for the first time.

Of course, this is brilliant. The more classic games that come to modern consoles, the better. But we Zelda fans are a hungry bunch, and it wouldn't be a celebration of everything that the Switch has to offer without a mention of those Wind Waker / Twilight Princess ports that are definitely 100% probably happening.

Zelda: Four Swords
Image: Gavin Lane / Nintendo Life

And so, we thought that we would run down every Zelda game that is not currently available on Switch to see what the console is still missing out on.

We have decided to add Nintendo's spin-off titles into the following proceedings, too, though we have excluded those that are limited only to an optional game mode — so nope, no Navi Trackers (the extra option on Japanese and Korean releases of Four Swords Adventures on GameCube) to be found here. We have also excluded certain remakes where at least one version of the game is available on Switch. There's an argument that Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask 3D make enough changes to stand as entries of their own, but the originals' appearances on the N64 NSO library exclude them from this list.

Without further ado, let's get into those missing Links and discuss how likely they are to come to Switch...

Mainline Zelda Games

Four Swords (2002/03, Game Boy Advance)

Zelda Four Swords Game Boy Advance
Image: Nintendo

The Switch does have A Link to the Past, this is true, but it is missing out on the multiplayer add-on that came with the game's GBA port, Four Swords. Like many of the other multiplayer-focused titles on this list (and there are a fair few) this bonus game all came down to having a group of willing Zelda fans to play it with. The limited-time DS re-release brought with it a new single-player mode, removing the link cable-induced issues of the original and showing the fun to be had with multiple Links.

This has been a tough one to get hold of in the past, so seeing it on the Switch sure would be a treat. Besides, the GBA library is already there (hint hint, Nintendo)...

Chances that it will come to Switch: Possible

The Wind Waker (2002/03, GameCube)

Zelda Wind Waker
Image: Nintendo

Despite enough rumours to fill the Hyrule Compendium three times over, we still don't have any way to play The Wind Waker on Switch. The 2013 HD remaster is one of the few Wii U titles to have not made the jump over to Nintendo's latest console, but it seems like a no-brainer, right? Either sell this on its own or bundle it together with a certain other missing GameCube title that we will get to in a minute and people would be splashing those Rupees in a heartbeat. At least, we would...

Our fingers have been crossed for an announcement of this in the run-up to every Direct for the past year now. Come on, Nintendo, we've waited long enough.

Chances that it will come to Switch: Likely

Four Swords Adventures (2004/05, GameCube)

Zelda Four Swords Adventures
Image: Nintendo

Four Swords Adventures mightn't top anyone's list of the best Zelda games on GameCube, but it is a mighty fun time if you have the friends (and GBA/GC link cables) to play it with. The fact that this multiplayer-based game required each player to have a separate Game Boy Advance and link cable might have been its biggest downfall, but you know what could override this issue? Online co-op.

Nintendo has added online play to a number of titles for their NSO debut, and we could see a similar thing happening if we were ever to get this GameCube game added to the mix — though that would, of course, require a whole new GC library to be added as well...

Chances that it will come to Switch: Possibly, if a GameCube NSO library came along

Twilight Princess (2006, GameCube / Wii)

Zelda Twilight Princess
Image: Nintendo

Yes, this was the other title that we suggested could make a good bundle with Wind Waker — which may be the case, if the rumours are to be believed. Twilight Princess is available on the GameCube, Wii and Wii U, so it stands to reason that it would make the leap over to Switch too, right?

As with Wind Waker, we have been anticipating this one for a while, with our predictions leaning that way in our predictions prior to every Nintendo Direct. Whether the rumours are actually true remains to be seen, but we are still living in hope — even if the thought of seeing those ugly character sprites on an OLED screen is enough to send a shiver down the spine.

Chances that it will come to Switch: Likely — If Wind Waker does, this surely will

Phantom Hourglass (2007, DS)

Zelda Phantom Hourglass
Image: Nintendo

With its mildly confusing touchscreen controls and visuals that would need a touch-up on Switch, the DS' Phantom Hourglass hardly leaps to the top of the list of Zelda games we'd like to see on Switch. We are still in the early days of the NSO Game Boy libraries, so the addition of a DS section seems a long way off (and highly unlikely) at the moment.

That being said, Phantom Hourglass does contain a good amount of content for the Zelda lore fans out there and might even make for a tasty one-two bundle with its successor. Getting those dual screens onto the Switch's single display, however, would possibly make this port more work than reward.

Chances that it will come to Switch: Unlikely

Spirit Tracks (2009, DS)

Zelda Spirit Tracks
Image: Nintendo

For all of the reasons that we mentioned for the former title, Spirit Tracks is not currently on Switch and the likelihood of it making the leap over feels like a pipedream. We at Nintendo Life have a certain nostalgic love for these two DS exclusives and would relish the chance to play through them again on a modern console, but it's just not all that likely that it would happen, is it?

Chances that it will come to Switch: Hmm

A Link Between Worlds (2013, 3DS)

Zelda A Link Between Worlds
Image: Nintendo

As a successor to A Link to the Past (one of the most popular games in the series) and a critically-acclaimed 3DS title, we're surprised that A Link Between Worlds is still locked to its original system. Like the aforementioned Phantom Hourglass / Spirit Tracks duo, getting two screens onto one would undoubtedly be a pain, but with this one's button controls and shiny top-down visuals, we'd say that it is crying out for a Switch port.

Would it come above the likes of Wind Waker or Twilight Princess and round out the console's life span though? Probably not.

Chances that it will come to Switch: It's a possibility, but an unlikely one

Tri Force Heroes (2015, 3DS)

Zelda Tri Force Heroes
Image: Nintendo

Much like the other multiplayer-focused titles in the series, Tri Force Heroes is a game that benefits from having the pals to play it with. Many who have played through the single-player mode consider it to not be up to scratch, but the online play was a good laugh (albeit one that we couldn't go back to as often as we hoped).

The success of the Switch would likely mean that Tri Force Heroes could have a larger online fan base if the game was to ever come to the console, but the original's mixed reviews probably mean that this one is better left in the past.

Chances that it will come to Switch: Very unlikely

Spin-Off Zelda Games

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland (2006/07, DS)

Zelda Tingle's Rosy Rupee Land
Image: Nintendo

The fact that Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland received an English-language release (in Europe, at least) in the first place was something of a surprise to us, so to see it still locked on the DS is no wonder, let alone its 2009 Japan-only sequel.

It's one of those weird experiments that, if the DS ever was to get its own NSO library, we would like to see it added so that everyone could take it for a 10-minute spin. However, that seems about as likely as Tingle getting another game of his own, so don't get your fingers crossed for this one on Switch.

Chances that it will come to Switch: Very unlikely

Tingle's Balloon Fight DS (2007, DS)

Zelda Tingle's Balloon Fight
Image: Nintendo

If Rosy Rupeeland was a surprise, seeing Tingle star in a remake of an NES classic was even more of a shock. Tingle's Balloon Fight was released through Club Nintendo in Japan only and that is where it has stayed ever since.

Yes, the NES version of Balloon Fight is available to play via the NSO collection, but nobody is really asking for the Tingle version to float up to modern platforms too, are they? [Perhaps they should be! - Ed.]

Chances that it will come to Switch: Extremely unlikely

Link's Crossbow Training (2007, Wii)

Zelda Link's Crossbow Training
Image: Nintendo

Initially coming bundled with the Wii Zapper peripheral, Link's Crossbow Training is one of those titles that seems wholly at home on its target console. A first-person Zelda game seems very much like a one-and-done deal in the modern landscape of open-world gameplay and 150+ hour runtimes, but the motion controls on this one still bring us a hearty dose of nostalgia — it's a shame that the Switch's lacking accuracy in this department would make a port a nightmare to play.

Chances that it will come to Switch: Very unlikely

My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016, 3DS)

Zelda Picross
Image: Nintendo

We love a bit of Picross and the My Nintendo DS-exclusive is no exception. Zooming in on a puzzle only to eventually see the bigger picture revealed as a piece of Twilight Princess imagery was some of Picross at its best — and the fact that it only put you back 600 Platinum Points was obviously a bonus too.

Despite the success of the Picross series on Switch, however, this Zelda edition seems to be a thing of the past. Series developer Jupiter recently stated that it was "more difficult than ever" to collaborate with Nintendo on a project, so perhaps don't go expecting this one on Switch any time soon. The fact that it was a My Nintendo exclusive makes this one all the rarer now that the 3DS eShop has closed too — keep it safe, folks!

Chances that it will come to Switch: Very unlikely

Well, there you have it, every Zelda title that you can't currently play on Switch. Which game would you most like to see come to Nintendo's latest console? Make your choice in the following poll.

Which Zelda game would you most like to see on Switch?

Which game did you vote for? Are there any that you definitely don't want to see come to Switch? Let us know in the comments.