In 1992, there was a game where you were alone in a world full of nastiness and physics. You had to obtain herbs and mushrooms on the ground, or anything, to help you survive. Your weapons would break (if my memory serves). It also featured a map where you could edit and mark on. You could look up and down in a real 3d environment, walls could be at different angles, and there was the massive, massive world and rich lore to immerse one in.
Ultima Underworld, made by Blue Sky by former Origin and MIT workers and students.
If you like the idea of surviving and finding weapons that eventually break (I cannot remember this), finding food like mushrooms and such, then you can see how the BOTW does tap into that Ultima itch at least for the overworld. I feel like BOTW is two games. There is the overworld, which everyone is raving about, and then there are, isolated and in instances, the puzzle dungeons and puzzle shrines. I cannot find people on the street who like these ‘puzzles’ at all. One father told me he just lets his kid play those parts as he hates them. BOTW would be more fun with traditional type dungeons that you couldn’t transport out of but had to survive with what you carried in. How deep could you go? Aonuma: “No! Puzzles!” Bah.