Best of 2012! Top 20 Games of 1996-2000

What were the best games from the N64 and Game Boy Color?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 12/25/2012 14:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

Predictable, perhaps, but no less deserving. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a stunning tour de force when it was released back in 1998, an epic the likes of which had never been seen before. Just as Mario before him, Link was able to not only survive the transition to three-dimensions, but thrive because of it, setting the benchmark by which all future games would be judged. Hyrule became even more majestic thanks to the Nintendo 64’s graphical capabilities, and the stunning soundtrack, which introduced many of the themes that would become synonymous with the series, helped imbue the title with a sense of wonder and grandeur.

We can go on and on about the challenging dungeons or how Z-targetting revolutionized combat in a 3D space, but the truth is, it’s the little things that made Ocarina of Time such a momentous experience. Seeing the drawbridge to Castle Town close as night began to creep in, watching the sun sink into the horizon as you rode across the expansive Hyrule Field, or cutting a sign in half and watching the debris float in a nearby pool of water– all of these little touches, as insignificant as they may seem compared to the vast landscapes or the grand storyline, brought a sense of life to the adventure that made it feel that much more immersive. It’s no wonder that Ocarina of Time is still considered the best Zelda game ever made.

Why Eileen Cullen loves The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Prior to the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I had enjoyed other games in the series. But it was this game that solidified me as a fan of the franchise. While all of the games up to this point had great gameplay, I wasn’t captivated by their stories. When I was playing Ocarina of Time for the first time, I genuinely wanted to know what the fate of Hyrule was going to be. The characters were more complex than they had previously been and they drove my interest in the story. I even loved Navi, who was, despite being annoying at times, very endearing. Yes, I spent several frustrating hours in the Water Temple and I was kind of scared by the Shadow Temple when I was younger. But these troubles made victory that much sweeter, and it was with a tear in my eye that I watched Navi fly out of the Temple of Time.

Why Mel Turnquist loves The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

This was the first game that I could actually call mine. As a kid, I had to share everything and always got the hand me downs. I was the Player 3 in a 2-Player world. I only got a turn once someone let me use it. Even with the Nintendo 64, I ended up having to wait my turn due to not having enough controllers. However, when this game came out, I bought it with my birthday money (yeah, I got it like 4 months after it came out…I got Pokémon Blue for Christmas) and fell in love with the game. Everything about this game that made me love it: the detail, the storyline, the adventures, the memorable characters. Plus, the Z-Targeting was a thing of genius. That was a huge turning point in pretty much all of gaming. Now instead of having to slash wildly, hoping to hit something, you had something that could lock you onto them like a sniper and go in for the kill. At last, you can finally cut down those signs without harming any Cuccos…because it’s fairly common knowledge that 80% of Zelda deaths are the result of Cucco abuse.

Why Joseph Nelson loves The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

A Link to the Past may have been the first Zelda game I played, but this was the gamechangerOcarina of Time turned my mild intrigue into a full-blown love affair. N64 may have made Link’s head all triangular, and Zelda’s face a little creepy, but my imagination– unbound by this game and turned into something magical– filled in the shortcomings. A tale of epic proportions (classical epic, not internet epic), there is nothing quite as wonderful as watching those ending credits, knowing you have banished evil and saved a kingdom and literally turned back time to do it. It sounds cheesy, but this game taught me an important lesson– a good deed is its own reward– so I can say that this game has made me a better person. I’m not sure I can say that about any other game.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

One Response to “Best of 2012! Top 20 Games of 1996-2000”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!