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5 Best Elder Scrolls Games of All Time, Ranked

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For the past three decades, Elder Scrolls Games have dominated role-playing games in the industry. In this game, Players explore the Elder Scrolls universe. They have the option to go anywhere and do anything within the game. Currently, there are a total of five main games, with the last three featuring several spin-offs and expansions. 

While it is easy to rank the latest editions as the best games, that may not always be the case, mainly because most games incorporate different characters and storylines. In each entry, gamers are bound to have some favorites. Most fans and newcomers alike may have, at the very least, heard of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game gained so much popularity, thus skyrocketing the iconic Bethesda franchises. However, some fans argue that previous releases of Morrowind and Oblivion were superior to the 2011 release.

The logic used in ranking these games is the consensus and ratings for all the releases in the franchise. Other factors we are considering is the general popularity and the quality of the content. Therefore, in this article, we are highlighting a definitive list of the five best Elder Scrolls games of all time, based on our opinion. 

5. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - Gameplay

Though there isn’t much ranking by critics to go by, this edition was received quite well by fans. The game was launched in 1996, two years after the first Elder Scrolls II: Arena edition by Bethesda Softworks. Arguably, the game may not offer the same in-depth exploration in today’s games. For the most part, the record-breaking 62,000 square miles of open-world was nothing but wilderness. Furthermore, the walk through the empty fields was in real-time. 

However, we commend the foundation this game set for future releases. It stood out in the world of open games for its time. Randomly generated cities were no more. You could join guilds, buy your own house, customize characters, settle cases in court and find books to read, among other sports. It is fair to say that this game’s freedom was unparalleled. In fact, some fans claim to enjoy the impersonal aura of the game. That way, players do not always feel like the game’s heroes. To others, the release date is wanting with the possibility of finding bugs relatively high. Still, we recommend its attempt at a free world for curious fans of some earlier releases.

4. The Elder Scrolls: Arena

The Elder Scrolls: Arena in 2021!

The first-ever release by Bethesda was the Elder Scrolls: Arena. In 1992, this game introduced the world to open-world games. At the time, its popularity grew through word of mouth. Its ambitious idea to give players an open adventure also came at a cost. Often, Bethesda Softworks would have to patch all sorts of bugs. However, fans commend this game for setting the foundation for the future of Tamriel. 

Much like its sequel, Daggerfall, the Arena spans out into the wilderness. Here, gamers explored several hundred dungeons, towns, and spells. Implementing a realistic open-world game also meant that monsters came out at night and the shops closed at sunset. Critics highly commend the advancements it made in role-playing games. The only addition to it, they say, was a more robust storyline to make it one of the iconic role-playing games of all time.

3. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind Trailer

Released in 2002, The Elder Scrolls III:Morrowind marked Bethesda’s third game in the series. It resembled a turnover for open-ended gameplay because it employed a different location with a completely new aesthetic. Set 200 years before Skyrim, Morrowind’s main story took players to a richly detailed world. At first sight, the combat is new and awkward. Since the game has lower levels, it can be pretty hard to master the combat system. However, gamers soon learn about the island’s culture and acquire new skills. 

In time, the unique atmosphere and lore of the setting kick in. The game simulates an almost alien world. Everything from the creatures, to the politics, to the cities, to the landscapes is unique. Its locations were, in fact, quite different from anything Bethesda had ever done before its release. 

You can choose to be whoever you want to be at the start. Whether a thief, assassin, or mage, you will explore a well-written story and quests to choose to replay constantly. You will also enjoy a distinct culture with conflicting perspectives on the society. Based on its release time, this edition outdid itself in its attempt to evolve open-world games.

2. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006) - PC Gameplay / Win 10

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is set approximately six years from Morrowind. Bethesda focused on accessibility for this release, and it paid off with fans. At its release in 2006, it introduced a map system and improved on Morrowind’s faults. 

First, it’s the first game that impacts the history of Nirn and has non-linear gameplay where players can choose to ignore the main story altogether. There are ten races to pick from and the option to change the character’s age, eye color and appearance. While the glitches are fewer than in Skyrim, this edition made outstanding progress in a detailed world, an epic storyline, and pure escapism for replayability.

1.The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

SKYRIM SPECIAL EDITION Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 - INTRO (SKYRIM Remastered)

Finally, the best edition from the Elder Scrolls series is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is acclaimed critically by fans and newcomers alike, and for a good reason. For one, the graphics and detailing in this open-world game is astounding. It incorporates weather patterns that mean mist-filled forests and icy mountains in the North. 

The combat in this edition is fun and exciting. This game surpasses previous releases‘ combat systems by avoiding bandits that appear challenging to allow you to acquire new gear and level up. From time to time, you may see a dragon fly through the sky to eat you, which is pretty cool. New players will enjoy this gaming in the seasoned adventures and the immersive world Skyrim portrays with high chances for replayability. 


So what do you think of these top five Elder Scrolls games of all time? Let us know in our socials here or in the comments section below.


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Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.