So Is It True? Is Breath of the Wild the Best Game Ever?

With 40 perfect review scores, the newest Legend of Zelda title is looking like it will beat its predecessor for the top spot as the best game ever.

The time has finally come upon us. Three years after its announcement, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild graces the world with its presence. Launching along Nintendo’s brand new innovative system, the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild has already taken the gaming world by storm with its expansive open world, its new survival mechanics, and its complete revamp of the traditional LoZ formula. The reception from gaming outlets has also been overwhelmingly positive, so it’s guaranteed to push the system all by itself -- regardless of the Switch's relatively small launch lineup.

Game reviewers receive tons of criticism for giving out high scores to games that don’t deserve them, but this generation of games received some of the roughest scores out of any other generation. Other than Grand Theft Auto V, which itself is a port of a last-gen game, the only games that even came close to getting the same Metacritic ranking as Breath of the Wild were Uncharted 4, The Witcher 3, and Metal Gear Solid V. 

Of course, all of these titles are spectacular works of art, but none of them has come close to receiving the same amount of praise as
Breath of the Wild. GTA V is only one point below Breath of the Wild on Metacritic, and it’s one of the best selling games of all time. The other mentioned titles all fall at 95 or below.

Breath of the Wild still hasn’t received a single score under a 9. Even our own critical editor David Fisher gave the game a 9/10, stating that “Should Nintendo decide to patch out the framerate issues, and possibly fix the UI a bit more, I could see Breath of the Wild earning a solid 10/10 without any issue at all.” Regardless of performance, the game received perfect score after perfect score after perfect score. 

This is the first time any game, even a Zelda game, was referenced as being even better than the legendary LoZ title, Ocarina of Time.

Metacritic scores themselves aren’t even the best representation of how well received a game actually is. Ocarina of Time sits firmly at first place on the charts with an average of 99/100. However, due to its age, there are only 22 official reviews charted on Metacritic. The three other games that share Breath of the Wild’s second place spot at 98/100 are Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, Soul Calibur, and Grand Theft Auto IV.

Two of those games were released nearly two decades ago and also have a much smaller number of reviews. Grand Theft Auto IV, while critically appraised, was criticized after the hype died down for the number of flaws. Even The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was a title that received stellar reception before launch, but is consistently referenced as one of the weaker 3D titles by fans after its release.

Looking at other aggregate review sites like Open Critic shows how loved Breath of the Wild is, as it’s the number one rated game on the website. There is no such thing as a perfect game, and there probably never will be, but critics around the world are putting Breath of the Wild as the closest thing to perfect.

After the hype dies down, people may start to nitpick Breath of the Wild for its framerate performance, user interface, and more. With any major release, from The Last of Us to GTA V, gamers down the line always find flaws and things that could be done better in games and will express themselves furiously on forums and on Reddit.

Nonetheless, what Breath of the Wild brings to the table is a whole new experience that can’t be found anywhere other than a Zelda game. It’s the only title to even come close to surpassing Ocarina of Time, and to many, it’s the one game that is good enough to take the crown. While it may not be a perfect game, Breath of the Wild is the best-reviewed game of all time, and to many, including myself, the best game we’ve ever played.

Published Mar. 4th 2017

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