I bought the gold cartridge edition of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time at its original 1998 UK launch. I remember the day well: heading to my local indie store to pick it up, briskly walking home, and sitting down to play the game I'd been anticipating for months. Back then I was a complete N64 fanboy, too, so the release of Ocarina of Time was a very big deal.
For all this hype, though, I only ever finished the game once (and that was actually through a friend playing the final few hours on his game save instead of mine) and haven't touched it again over the last 13 years. While I did play what many consider to be the best game of all time, then, I came to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D with little emotional baggage and less inherent love than commonly expected.
What's obvious after just a few minutes is that Ocarina of Time still feels unique. Modern games tend to firmly hold the player's hand, mollycoddle them in the right direction, and in many cases put up great big signposts so that no-one can get stuck or lost. Nintendo didn't take this approach back in 1998. Ocarina of Time is an adventure game in which you really have to explore and find things out for yourself. You need to speak to NPCs and go with what they say, wander about and try things out, and generally 'waste' a lot of time. There's no breadcrumb trail in sight (hints and tips videos have been added, but are completely unobtrusive), and Ocarina of Time is all the better without it.
Ambling about trying to discover what to do next in order to advance your quest is what makes Zelda games and Ocarina of Time such a joy. The sense of place is far greater here than in almost any RPG or adventure title I've played in two generations of consoles. You're not just a video game character in Ocarina of Time.
You are Link. A boy who really doesn't know what he's doing, despite being given the unenviable task of saving Hyrule from the evil Ganondorf and rescuing Princess Zelda in the process. Each village in the game is full of characters with something to say and problems to dump on the young adventurer, yet you're expected to absorb it and get on with the daunting job at hand.