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Change YoY: -3   My Rating: 9.1 / 10

For many the de facto best game of all time, Breath of the Wild was in many ways something of a revelation upon release back in 2017. Very few games before or since have created such an impeccable feeling of freedom and sense of discovery than this game did, and it did so by essentially returning to the series roots, albeit with modern design sensibilities and decades of accumulated knowledge sanding off the rough edges to make the experience even better.  Whether it's the inspired gameplay design, wonderful setting and world, the sheer volume of things to do and secrets to find, or as I mentioned before, the magnificent sense of freedom the player is afforded to decide how to play the game from beginning to end, Breath of the Wild is simply a wonderful experience.

As I said at the start there, Breath of the Wild has become almost a go-to answer for some people when discussing the best games of all time, but I don't quite see it as the near-flawless masterpiece that many others obviously do. It's still an excellent game, it wouldn't be on my list otherwise, but there are a number of flaws and annoyances that ultimately hold it back just that little bit to keep it from the higher spots on my list. These range from the minor ones like the stamina meter being far too small in the early game, making some of the things you need to do needlessly annoying, Link as a character still being a blank slate with little to no distinguishing traits while other characters like Zelda were fleshed out much more this time around, and the soundtrack, while definitely fitting for the game and its setting, being fairly forgettable. The more significant issues are the weapon durability system that only managed to discourage me from engaging with the otherwise pretty fun combat system for most of the game for fear of losing the weapons I had collected, and much of the rewards for exploration being somewhat uninteresting things like arrows. Yet, just like with Okami, which I talked about in a previous post, the positive aspects of Breath of the Wild far outweigh any and all issues I have with it. It's still a fantastic game, issues and all.