10. The Legend of Zelda

Ocarina of Time

Game at a Glance

Why It Makes This List

For all of its faults (...using cartridges instead of the less expensive compact disc, weak third party developer support...), the Nintendo 64 saw some seminal videogames.

Ocarina of Time was arguably the most impactful polygonal 3d game of the N64-PS1 console generation.

Following on the heels of the very popular and successful A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo, nobody knew if Nintendo could take the overhead-world gameplay of the Zelda series and bring it into the third dimension.

Nintendo answered that question beyond any shadow of a doubt, with a title that some journos called the "game of the century."

Ocarina introduced the world to "Z-targeting," so named because players use the Z button on the N64 controller to center the camera behind Link, and more importantly, to lock on to the enemy character in front of them.

This had never been done in a 3d polygonal game before, and it quickly became a staple of modern three dimensional gameplay.

Ocarina also created a fully realized, vibrant and colorful world, full of charm and nuance. Time is not stagnant in the land of Hyrule. The sun rises and sets, resulting in context-sensitive events, and enemies which only appear at a certain time of day. This was another first for the Zelda series (and yet another oft-imitated element of this game).

I spent many a day losing myself in the land of Hyrule, never wanting the adventure to end.

Ocarina is a timeless classic whose influence continues to be felt in gaming today, and its popularity has not faded in the ten-plus years since its release.