Every PC-exclusive gamer in existence knows the sheer misery of watching the rest of the world fawn over the most recent Nintendo blockbuster game. With the recent overwhelming praise for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild earlier this year, and with Super Mario Odyssey right around the corner, there’s never been a more appropriate time for PC gamers to gather for a FOMO (fear of missing out) group therapy session.

One potential avenue of healing is realizing that it could be worse. What is it that makes us desire the return to our childhood favorites?

Gameplay? Cartoon graphics? Simplicity? Take heart, PC loyalists, for there are alternatives to all of the Nintendo favorites lurking right under your nose.

'The Legend of Zelda'

Considering its success, “The Legend of Zelda” action/adventure/platforming formula is one that has yet to be fully explored on the PC. That being said, there are definitely a handful of titles that attempt to pay homage, in one way or another, to the hero in the green cap.


“Hob” is a single player 2017 release that does its best to emulate the linear puzzle platforming of Zelda titles, and many would argue that it does it well. According to its Steam store page, 88% of reviews have left positive ratings.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

Oceanhorn can be summed up as a watered down version of "The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker." It takes a great many Zelda elements and compresses them down into a tight, well-made package.

Dark Souls"

This is a bit of a stretch, but “Dark Souls” has been described by fans for awhile now as “Zelda for adults.” Compared to the majority of Zelda games, “Dark Souls” has a higher focus on RPG elements, such as item collecting and character customization. However, it draws a much closer comparison to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” which dipped into these fields more heavily.

'Super Mario'

There are hundreds and hundreds of puzzle platformers on Steam that could ultimately be said to be “inspired by Mario.” With that in mind, there are a few titles that stick a little bit closer to the classic Mario formula. As you may know, Mario games have and continue to release in both 2D and 3D forms. No matter which kind you prefer, there are PC games that can help you scratch the Mario itch.

Rayman Legends” or “Rayman Origins

These 2D platformers capture both the art style and silliness of “Super Mario.” Both games are rated exceptionally highly on Steam, and are touted for their tight controls and creative level design.

Sonic Generations

Mario’s spikier, speedier cousin has been known to make a handful of appearances on PC in recent years, giving platforming fans a lot of options. Ultimately though, “Sonic Generations” seems to be the best option for getting gamers as close to the 3D Mario platforming as possible.

'Super Smash Bros.'

Although the fighting game community has always been firmly stationed on console, the majority of the most popular fighting games usually make it to PC as well.

However, that cannot be said for the “Super Smash Bros.” series. Not to worry, though, because there is one Steam game that can certainly help fill that void.


Smooth gameplay, varied weapons and characters, lighthearted approach. “Brawlhalla” hits all of these notes, and possibly best of all, it’s free.

'Mario Kart'

Racing games in general seem to be somewhat unexplored on PC, and it’s especially difficult finding one with the charm, appeal and lovable characters of the “Mario Kart” series.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

If there were a game to fit the bill, it would once again fall into the lap of Sonic. “Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed” has received a remarkable rating of 95% positive on Steam reviews, with many comparisons drawn to Mario Kart. Although the online multiplayer community is somewhat sparse, the game boasts a content-rich single player and local multiplayer experience.