1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
Yeah. For the second year running I've chosen the utterly predictable option of Ocarina of Time for my number 1, but it deserves to be there. This game is simply a masterpiece, and it remains Nintendo's finest hour. I know of several gamers who missed this for whatever reason at the time of its release, and who would have loved it just as much as I and many others do, only to eventually play it years later and not feel the same impact as they might have done. I have nothing but pity for those gamers for missing out.
There are so many aspects of this game that make it memorable, but the moment that I'll always remember that cements the brilliance of this game is that moment early in the game when you leave Kokiri Forest to head to Hyrule Castle, and Hyrule Field opens up for the first time in front of you and you realise how much more there is to explore. The feeling that moment gave me will always stick with me. There's also the fact that here and now, 13 years after the games initial release, I will still find myself humming the odd Ocarina tune, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who does that.
Ultimately, Ocarina of Time reminds me what gaming should be about. The thrill of adventure, the joy of exploration, and the chance to play the hero and save the world. So many other games try to do this, but none do it like Ocarina of Time.