Players fell in love with Skyrim’s vast landscapes almost ten years ago and many never left—there’s just so much to do and see. It’s also a great introduction to the series and open-world RPGs in general.
While the game’s main quest is good—you’ll slay dragons, travel to the lands of the dead, and get caught up in a brutal civil war—you’re free to play in whatever way you want. There’s just so much to do in this massive open-world RPG: unique landmarks to discover, countless side quests to take on, and ancient artifacts to acquire.
Players create their own unique characters then slowly specialize their abilities as they progress. You can be a lithe Wood Elf assassin, a magic-wielding humanoid cat, or even a nordic cheese collector. You can strike out into the cold mountains in search of vampires, build your own home and virtual family, join the ranks of prestigious guilds, and so much more. That might sound like too much freedom for inexperienced gamers, but don’t let Skyrim’s openness scare you away; it’s actually quite forgiving.
While some old-school RPG fans look askance at Skyrim’s streamlined gameplay systems, they’re perfect for new players: Skills, equipment, and other menus are snappy and easy to use; a quest log tracks your progress; and an onscreen compass highlights objectives and points of interest. There’s also a combat difficulty slider that lets you fine-tune the challenge level and options for playing in first- or third-person perspective.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam, Microsoft Store), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S. (Original version also available on Xbox 360 and PS3)