There’s a couple of reasons why The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is considered the best video game ever made.
Don’t get me wrong, nostalgia is a good thing. Many kids got a new N64 on Christmas of 1998, and with it was shipped Ocarina of Time. I know one of my first gaming experiences was playing that game, and for a good number of other kids, it was also their best gaming experience at the time.
The music is good enough to make any sentimental gamer shed a manly tear of nostalgia, the story is easy enough to follow, the world is exciting, scary, big, and amazing, and even Navi was good.
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina was released during a time when fully 3D games were still a bit iffy [Look at games like Resident Evil (pre-rendered backgrounds, undetailed character models), Final Fantasy 7 (pre-rendered backgrounds, insane character models, questionable CGI cutscenes), and Tomb Raider (short draw distance)].
Zelda managed to create a smooth experience with very impressive and tight controls, and a fully explorable 3D world that was colorful and inviting.
There were almost no pre-rendered backgrounds, lighting, particle effects and some shadows are present and accounted for, character models looked good, and the draw distance really set the standard for a while. For the time, Ocarina just looked like a good game.
- As already mentioned, the controls are wicked tight, for an n64 game. Player agency isn’t limited by tackiness or floatiness, platforming is quite decent, there’s first-person and third-person aiming, the lock-on is a godsend, and relegating world interactivity exclusively to the A button (talking to people), while the B button is exclusively used for your sword, and the 3 C buttons allow you to carry on your person 3 items at all times, is ingenious and wicked easy for a kid to remember. I realize other video games did such controls before Ocarina, but Ocarina is just much easier for kids.
- There’s no shortage of things to do, lots of side activities, and people to talk to. The world of Hyrule is just a fun place to be.
Spider hunting, weapon upgrading, secret finding, request answering, storytelling, dungeon solving, horse riding, ghost slaying, big sword fetching, fishing, fortune finding, and a couple of other side jobs ensure you’ll feel like you got your money worth!
Ocarina of Time was basically Red Dead Redemption 2 of 1998.
That’s it. Oot is a great game for 1998, and it still holds up today as a solid experience.
What do you think? Does The Legend of Zelda Ocarina still hold up in your opinion?