Yea, I know I'm not the best at titles, but this is how I honestly feel about this game. Ocarina of Time to me was just an amazing game. I have yet to see a Zelda game match this one in terms of an epic adventure, content, emotion, and a satisfying conclusion.
I know this game hasn't gotten quite a bit of flack over the years for being "overrated" and such, maybe even has aged poorly. Again, it was on the N64. What did you expect? OF COURSE it hasn't aged well. You show me one N64 game that has aged well. Go play the 3DS version if you're that bothered by it. I personally don't find it an issue.
Anyway, here are my reasons why I find this the best Zelda game of all time.
#1: The music
Yea, I know quite a few other Zelda games have fantastic music too, but to me, no game has matched this one. Even games like Majora's mask and Twilight Princess, for as great as their soundtracks are, this one still surpasses them. If you need an example why, just try to condense the list to 10 or 20 tracks and not leave any out good ones. Guess what? It's not going to happen. Nearly the entire soundtrack is that good. I could only think of a few I didn't care for. I couldn't say the same for Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess. There's alot more tracks in those games I didn't like or didn't care for in comparison.
#2: The only game to have two different play styles when it came to Link.
Honestly, to this day, I can't help but love how both Young and Adult Link handle differently when it came to the world you interacted with. Heck, you can't even use all the weapons for both too, which makes sense when you think about it since some are probably too big or small for either Link to use. It's a shame no Zelda game hasn't attempted this since. You either play as Young Link or Adult Link, which isn't bad, but still, I love the fact this game made it so you got to play as two different Links, one as a boy innocent, naive, and trying to find his way. The other one as an adult, now battle hardened by Ganon's reign of terror on the world that you must fix and put an end to his reign of terror.
In some regards, it's a brilliant contrast. Which leads me to my next point.
#3: The story
Again, I fully agree Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess had really good and engaging stories for a Zelda game, but this one still is better, especially after watching someone give their thoughts about it. When they explained it how Link saw two sides of the same world, one brighter and kind as a child, and the other desolate, cruel and depraved as an adult, it really goes to show you how brilliant this story is. It's as Link is experiencing what people go through in life. When we're kids, we're innocent, naive and believe there is good in the world. When we're adults? We finally see the world for what it truly is: A dark and cruel place that take what you care about most in life at any time, just like Link experienced. What makes it worse is that Link gets to return to his childhood, but guess what? He'll never get to truly enjoy it because now he's seen the horrors of what Ganon has put him through and it'll always be there in the back of his mind, no matter how hard he tries to forget it.
Dang... if that's not deep, I don't know what is. Yea, I know people say Majora's Mask story was dark and depressing, but this is not that far behind as far as I'm concerned. Ocarina of Time's story too had it moments of being just as sad.
#4: The Biggoron sword.
Yea, I'm going to give it its own place because as far as I'm concerned, it's the best sword in the game, if not the best sword in Zelda history. Seriously, I have yet to see one sword top this monster in a Zelda game. It is THAT good. The only sword that comes close to matching it is the Fierce Deity Sword, but that one can only be used on bosses, so while awesome, it's limited. Some might even argue the Great Fairy sword is great too, and while it is, that one is also awkwardly placed on your C-buttons, which kinda makes it harder to use. Not to mention you can't get that sword unless you uses cheats until near the end of the game. Not so with the Biggoron sword. You can get that one right after you become Adult Link. All you have to do is just get the Hookshot, one Blue fire, and you're good to go to unlock and use on the final 5 dungeons. To get the Fairy Sword, you have to find all 15 fairies in the Stone Tower. Wow, really? That's asking alot, don't you think?
Sure, you have to race against the clock to get the Biggoron's sword, but that's peanuts compared to what hoops you have to go through to get the Fairy Sword. Plus, the Fairy Sword is kinda pointless once you have the Fierce Deity mask because you'll be using that on bosses more than anything. True, you could use it on enemies, but let's be honest, we get the best sword in the game to destroy the bosses more effectively than anything.
My only gripe is that you can't use the Biggoron's sword to defeat Ganon. You have to use the Master Sword for that, which is... eh, I get it, but still, it would have been nice to have been given the option of using this one to cut Ganon down too. Oh well...
#5: The final climax.
Oh yea, I wasn't about to not mention this. Of all the Zelda games, THIS ONE has the best climax you could ever ask for in a Zelda game. Dramatic music, a fierce battle at the top of the tower, a race against the clock when the tower is collapsing around you. And to top it off, a final showdown with Ganon surrounded by fire and lightning flashing in the background, where the two of you decide the fate of Hyrule, right here, right now. What's not to love?
Yea, the final boss is way too easy, but the atmosphere is just amazing. I mean, how can you want to rush through the battle? You want to enjoy it because this is it. It all comes down to this. The only one that was even half as good as the Twilight Princess final battle, but the problem with that one it is reduced more times than not to a quick time event of you mashing the A button. Seriously, how is that climatic? Ok, sure, you targeting Ganon's face with arrows to stun him or somersaulting underneath his legs to slash his tail could have been better, but I prefer that over a lame quick time event where it's way too easy to counter Ganon's sword. Seriously, could Nintendo not have made that harder to make you feel you earned that counter?
All and all, Ocarina of Time deserves most of the praise it gets. Does it have flaws and issues? Of course, what game doesn't? People can whine all they want about how bad the Water Temple is or how the Gerudo challenge is pointless and so on, but seriously, for all its faults, Ocarina of Time does more right than wrong, and honestly, that's what a great game comes down to. How much better did it do right than wrong? In Ocarina of Time's case, it easily did 7-8 things right out of 2-3 wrong ones.
It's why I give it a 9 out of 10. It to me is the only Zelda game that captured my attention better than any other. I may do a Majora's Mask review later, but for now, all I'll say about that game is it still falls short of Ocarina of Time's greatness. Sure, it is arguably the most creative and darkest of the Zelda franchise in terms of content and story, but there's alot more to making a great game than that.