Majora’s Mask is my favourite Zelda by far, its world building, theme and tone and wildly distinct even to this day, there’s just so much you can talk about in regards to Majora’s Mask, whether it be the way it nails a truly oppressive, hopeless atmosphere, how it demonstrates privilege through mechanics in a way more effectively than most games that want to “talk” about discrimination, or just some of the genius bits of game design, like for example situating Clock Tower in the centre of Termina Field as a way to more effectively utilize the space of its overworld to minimize the distance spent travelling to distinct ‘parts’ of it. Majora’s Mask wastes so little space and crams so much into it - contrast this with Ocarina in which Hyrule Field is dull as all heck, or Wind Waker’s Great Sea which is a super novel idea let down by the sheer size, lack of content to support it and atrociously slow navigation (Remedied somewhat in the HD version) and Twilight Princess… Twilight Princess has like Hyrule Field times four and although all of these overworlds fit their respective games themeatically, they suffer a lot when actually being played (Although TP oddly despite being the biggest, is easily the most palatable) and it makes me worry BotW is really going to run hard into the “ever expanding overworlds without enough interesting stuff to do” connundrum.
Anyway rather than wax poetic about why Majora’s Mask is still one of the most interesting games ever made, I like pretty much every Zelda besides the very first two which I’ve just never been able to enjoy, but controversially I think A Link to the Past and Ocarina aren’t really top 5 material, in fact I’d say their “Zelda formula” is kinda weak, solid foundation but both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess built on it better although for me the standout Zelda games for the 3D and 2D worlds respectively (Majora nonwithstanding) are Skyward Sword and Minish Cap. Although I think the most interesting Zelda games besides MM are the DS games by far.
Like people love to shit on the DS games, and it’s such a shame! They have problems (And frankly, so do the sacred cows of the franchise) but they also do a lot of really interesting and genuinely novel things with their puzzle design and actually make good use of the features the DS has to do so, and unlike the other controversial entries nobody will acknowledge it - you’ll get people who hate Majora or Skyward but will at least praise the things they do well, but the DS games just get dismissed out of hand which is a tragedy when there’s so much really cool stuff in them.
Also Ōkami is great and everybody should play it, it’s a dang travesty the HD version never got a Wii U adaptation with the ability to use the gamepad screen + stylus for the brush, would’ve been perfect.