One of the highest rated and well revered games of all time. Originally an N64 game, but was remade for the 3ds a few years ago. I originally picked it up with intentions to play immediately, but it took quite a while for one reason or another before I did so.
For one, it's still great. The combat is tight, the artistic style, especially spruced up, looks nice and the progression is still satisfying.
I remember playing playing Skyward sword back in late 2011. I ended up finishing the game and came out positive on it. Although, the overall opinion was that it was a poor man's Ocarina of time. While I disagree with that pejorative mentality, and actually prefer the former I still think Ocarina comes out on top. The game's progression certainly feels tighter and taken with when it came out on what hardware it did, it seems way more impressive. I honestly had very few gripes with the game and came out of the credits with the biggest grin I could muster.
One of the biggest factors of that for me was the music. I’d become very familiar with the game’s soundtrack far before playing the game. It’s something I keep on my IPod at all times. Gerudo valley and Saria’s song are notable arrangements in that respect.
Not only is the soundtrack fantastic and a part of the game that transcends it to be a classic, it’s also integral part to the story and mechanics. It essentially becomes a central piece of the overall fiction and allows you to warp to different parts of Hyrule and solve various puzzles. Even transporting you through time at one point, which should be obvious given the titular title.
Now as far as the game world. The pseudo "open world" creates the illusion that Hyrule is massive and to some extent it is. This being especially impressive given it was made in a period where I assume that hadn't really appeared before. Taking epona and galloping along the plains of Hyrule with the main theme playing instills a sense of wonder that transcends the game itself. You really feels a grand sense of adventure.
I remember the flying in Skyward sword felt very similar and actually kind of delivered more little Easter eggs in the map. Which is one of the negatives I hold toward Ocarina. There never were any proper side quests. I mean, you could go fishing at a lake cabin, gather up some chickens in pin or collect lots of golden spiders for prizes, but story lines never branched into a side adventure. You were always on the main quest, but had simple deterrences along the way.
Opposed to that there were multiple side "quests" in Skyward sword. It encouraged you to explore the various sky islands and extend your time in the world. I won't take the game to task too much though, given when and what it came out on. In hindsight it really is impressive what they were able to do.
Overall, I'd say the game still completely holds up. Except the water temple. I can't imagine playing the N64 version without the second screen to switch between items on the fly. Even with the improvements they made it was still a small nightmare.
Anyways, I enjoyed my time with the game and definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get into zelda series.