reviewed
Expert Score
9.0

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

The latest Elder Scrolls title is Bethesda’s finest work, and the best game of 2011.

November 11, 2011
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Introduction

The Elder Scrolls series has always been defined by ambition. As one of the strongest pillars of western RPG design, each of the numbered titles share a common commitment to open-world gameplay, allowing players to explore and experience the environment however they see fit. This is videogame "role-playing" in the truest sense, and it's a style that scant few other developers have mastered.

Easily the most widely anticipated game of 2011, the series' fifth main sequence game also has much to live up to from fans. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was a let-down for some, and developer Bethesda Game Studios then took their talent in a different direction with the excellent Fallout 3. So it's been over nine and a half years since the last truly excellent installment in this storied series of games.

Yet here we are, a decade older, and ready to experience The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Bethesda has lost none of their ambition. This time we're traveling to the titular northern region of Tamriel, rimmed by grand snow capped mountains and home to the hardy Nord people. The desolation and emptiness that characterized Fallout 3 is nowhere to be found in Skyrim. Despite the frozen wilderness setting, this is a rich, vibrant nation with plenty to see and more to do.

This review is based on over 205 hours of gameplay, including an exhaustive 190-hour playthrough at the default difficulty level, and 15 hours at the most challenging. All impressions are from the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Page
  2. Gameplay
  3. Storytelling
  4. Graphics & Atmosphere
  5. Conclusion
  6. Photo Gallery
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What's Your Take?

All Comments