It was the innovator. Also had the most intricate story line, or at least had more to it that people hadn't seen. Basically, it's not about raw gameplay value, it's about what leaves the bigger impact. When a sequel comes out that people are instantly familiar with, they may enjoy it, but they can't herald it above its industry-changing predecessor.
The same holds true for why Melee is more highly regarded than Brawl in popular opinion. Even though the later one added to it and generally improved on the game, they remember the first game that blew them away.
And you also see the same effect on cult movies, such as Boondock Saints or Donnie Darko, where a sequel comes out, and despite it being a good movie in its own right, no one likes it because it doesn't hold up to the same cult acclaim the first one did. Of course, another movie with all the same actors and settings can't possibly shock and awe the critics the second time around, not in the same way the first (or most inventive installment) did.
Because Dodongo's Cavern is SO DAMNED HARD.
King of the Zelda Wii U WT Board
I always thought it was the best b/c of how much stuff there was to do in the game and how interesting some if the characters were(I'm looking at you weird mask selling guy).
Also, it was the second game I'd played in the series(not excluding the portable link's awakening).
For others, it's just the first game they played and they've liked it better than any successor
Personally think only MM and TP are anywhere near as good
It had to be the plot or the game play.
Twilight Princess had a lot of Action
Windwaker had awesome Music
Majora Mask was fun
Link to the Past was super epic.
OOT goes at the bottom of my list though.
Because all you have to do is take and consider what would have made the successor titles as good as OoT if they didn't make mistakes.
WW: Triforce chart quest. It was rushed.
Twilight Princess: Some really crappy items, very easy enemies, HUGE overworld took forever to traverse
If not for that, then yeah, they could move somewhere closer to OoT's league.
Personally, what I've always thought was that it was just the perfect story of gaming.
The regular stuff was all spectacular, but since it was the first 3D Zelda, and since it did 3D gameplay so well, that's why I think it's so highly regarded.
What I think about Kinect's inital success- http://i.imgur.com/TfB1I.png
Don't see why anyone has to choose. Like what you want to like. There hasn't been any legitimately bad console Zelda in forever, and it pretty much was the start of the console Zelda's that we know today.
That is some hipster bullcrap to knock something just because it is well known.
It doesn't surpass ALttP. But it's not far behind.
Holder of the Triforce of Negativity | Official Satan of the SS Aristocracy
Crusaders of Love <3 | Interpreter