Ocarina of Time has been heralded as the greatest Zelda game of all time by gaming gurus and fans alike, including myself. It revolutionized Zelda and thrust it into the 3D era. With the release of Breath of the Wild this upcoming year, there is one thing I, as a huge fan of Ocarina of Time, am certain of after my time with the game at E3 2016: Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time as the best Zelda game, and possibly the greatest game of all time.

Why Breath of the Wild Will Top Ocarina of Time

Ocarina of Time has the best balance of gameplay and story in gaming, period. The story is simplistic, but it’s a classic tale that truly resonates with people. The use of music and the ocarina as a gameplay mechanic was, at the time, unheard of and genius. The game’s transition to 3D brought about unique and challenging puzzles that gamers were not accustomed to. The game changed the way people looked at the gaming medium. Although we don’t know that much about Breath of the Wild yet, much in the way that Ocarina of Time changed the way people looked at games, Breath of the Wild very well may do the same thing and seems to emulate this ability to balance both gameplay and an enriching story. While this isn’t the only reason Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time, the ability to balance these two aspects is one of the reason why it has the opportunity to do so, among other things.

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While Ocarina of Time was rife with exploration, it was limited by the technology of the time. Technology though has developed exponentially and thanks to that, a world the size of Breath of the Wild’s is now possible. Breath of the Wild is fully open world (or open air according to Miyamoto) and gives the player true freedom, which even Ocarina of Time didn’t do. In fact, it is possible to forego everything in the game and confront the final boss from the get-go, although one could imagine this will be an incredibly difficult task. This freedom is just one of the reasons why Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time. Fans have yearned for it this since the original Zelda came out. Nintendo heard their pleas, although exploration isn’t the only aspect of Breath of the Wild which will make it the greatest Zelda game of all time.

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For those hoping for a carbon copy of the original Legend of Zelda with no narrative and pure exploration, they may be disappointed, although much of the story can be skipped. Every great Zelda since A Link to the Past has an excellent narrative, and from what I have seen personally of the opening of Breath of the Wild, this game will be no exception. The narrative is excellent in both presentation and content as far as we have seen. Voice work will be used, possibly sparingly, something never done in a Zelda game. It will give it a superior presentation to any other installment in the series, including Ocarina, which is why Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time; the technology is rife for it and Nintendo is improving the presentation of the title drastically.

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The entire premise of the story of Breath of the Wild is incredibly enticing. Link awakens from a 100 year slumber (not a seven year nap!) and finds that the Kingdom of Hyrule is in complete ruin. There are all kinds of mysteries, but what was so interesting to me was the callbacks to previous games. You first obtain the paraglider, but there is no doubt in my mind that at some point you will obtain the Sailcloth from Skyward Sword. Exploring the ravaged Temple of Time was my favorite part of the story demo. It even has a decrepit version of the Goddess Statue from Skyward Sword, which all but confirms that the sacred temple is the same Sealed Temple from the last Zelda console iteration. The narrative takes something old, but also adds so much that is new, and that’s why Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time as the best Zelda game to date; it has the best elements of Ocarina’s story, but it also is its own game and isn’t trying to emulate any past titles.

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Ocarina of Time was almost a carbon copy of A Link to the Past. This isn’t a bad thing, as it was first intended to be a remake of the latter, but, from that point on almost every Zelda game emulated the same formula. Breath of the Wild is completely changing this trend. With its massive overworld and intriguing story, it has all the makings of revolutionizing the Zelda series and changing the industry’s approach to the action-adventure genre. In the mind of many gamers, Ocarina is still the greatest game of all time, but Breath of the Wild is bringing something truly new to the table while still retaining enough from previous titles. A developer once told me that any great game that hopes to be successful has to have something old for familiarity but something new in order to innovate and propel the industry forward, and for this reason Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time due to the very fact that it is building on it instead of simply emulating it. Ocarina is still a marvelous game and always will be, but it can’t hold that top spot forever. It’s been 19 years (almost) and it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of Zelda.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of VG Culture HQ. He has been writing about games for over four years and has written over 900 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture.

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