9. It gave us two Links, two Hyrules
Ocarina of Time is notable for being the first 3D Zelda game, but it took the series into the fourth dimension, too. As the Hero of Time, Link’s spirit was able to travel between two time periods: that of his child self and that of his adult self. As child Link, Hyrule is a relatively peaceful place, but as adult Link, you discover that the world has fallen under Ganondorf’s control; Hyrule Castle Town is in shambles and is populated by zombie-like Redeads, Zora’s Domain has frozen and become uninhabitable, Hyrule Castle has been replaced by Ganondorf’s personal citadel, and the entire world is permeated by a pervasive fear.
Aside from providing powerful storytelling, the time-travel hook allowed for unique puzzles and solutions. The two versions of Link brought some nice diversity, too; though they played mostly the same, each Link had access to distinct items, such as the slingshot for young Link and the bow for adult Link.