i played ocarina of time for first time when i was 4 years old and i loved it, bus an individual game, not as a franchize. i knew i would love Zelda in general when i started playing wind waker back then in 2004.
I was a pretty big fan of Zelda with the first one....I was 7 when it came out......once I was able to play it I looked forward to the Adventures of Link....I never really cared for it......then when I saw ALTTP I actually spent my birthday money on it and bought the game before I even had the SNES.......It was already my favorite game.....then my love for it really took off with OOT
when I saw the first scene In oot for the very first time when i was about, 7 i think lol. i just knew in my little heart that this was going to last a long time and that it was going to be a continuous thing in my life lol. I knew i would never let it go ever.
When I played Spirit Tracks when I was 11, it felt amazing and then I bought Phantom Hourglass which had influenced me a little forward to play another Zelda game. I then bought Wind Waker and Twilight Princess which really got my attention. From there I got OoT ( Fine) MM ( AMAZING!) SS ( GREATEST GOTY!) FS ( Not very good) And all these Zelda games that are incomplete: ALttP ( GREAT!) AoL ( GREAT!) LoZ ( COOL!) OoA ( COOL!) Yeah, I love this and after WW and TP I knew I would love The Legend of Zelda forever.
As I played my first Zelda game, Phantom Hourglass, I was gradually becoming aware of just how awesome it was. It wasn't long after I beat it that I learned that The Legend of Zelda was a series, and soon I bought Twilight Princess. A while after that, my friend gave me his copy of Ocarina of Time. Playing Ocarina of Time was when I truly became aware of the sheer awesomeness of the series. Phantom Hourglass was where I fell in love with Zelda, but I didn't truly appreciate the series until I played Ocarina of Time.
That's a good question, and it's really hard to answer. But I would have to go with Ocarina of Time. It's the first 3D Zelda title, and with it's birth came all the Zelda titles that we love and know that are in 3D. So I think if Ocarina of Time would have been a flub, then Zelda either would be dead or definitely not where it is today.