Top 10 Elder Scrolls Games



Top 10 Elder Scrolls Games

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
The Elder Scrolls video game series has been going strong since 1994, full of great adventure and fantastic lore. Our list includes, Elder Scrolls 3, Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion and Skyrim! So join us as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Elder Scrolls games, ranking them from the worst to the best. What was your favorite Elder Scrolls game? Let us know in the comments!.
Ranking The Elder Scrolls Games

“The Elder Scrolls” has been going strong since 1994, and the quality has ranged significantly. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are ranking “The Elder Scrolls” games.

For this list, we’ll be ranking all the major entries in “The Elder Scrolls” series from worst to best based on a combination of personal opinion and general reception. Legends won’t be included though, because that’s a card game. Not a mainline Adventure RPG like the rest of these entries.

#10: “The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey” (2004)

Do you all remember “Shadowkey?” No, of course you don’t. Pete Hines doesn’t even remember “Shadowkey!” And that’s for good reason. “Shadowkey” was the third installment in the portable “Elder Scrolls Travels” series after the equally forgettable “Dawnstar” & “Stormhold” on early cell phones, “Shadowkey” however, was released for the Nokia N-Gage, remember that thing? But even though it was arguably the best of those 3 games, it still wasn’t very good. Few people played it, and those that did reported a host of technological shortcomings that did a disservice to the rich and detailed “Elder Scrolls” series. But then again, it was on the N-Gage. We shouldn’t have expected much.

#9: “The Elder Scrolls: Blades” (2020)

It may be the best dedicated handheld “Elder Scrolls” game you can get, but that’s still not saying much. This is a free-to-play mobile game that takes place between “Oblivion” and “Skyrim.” It is primarily focused on combat, and the world design is linear due to the limitations of mobile devices. Other “Elder Scrolls” staples have also been excluded, and the game places a large emphasis on grinding and wait timers. “Blades” is still in early access, and currently has some technical issues. Let’s hope that the finished product will be a better, smoother experience. It can’t be any worse than that other Bethesda disaster … right?

#8: “The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard” (1998)

“Redguard” was certainly something different for the “Elder Scrolls” series. For this release, Bethesda eschewed the traditional ES gameplay in favor of a more action-oriented game in the vein of “Tomb Raider” and “Prince of Persia.” It could only be played in the third person, the levels were limited and linear, and the protagonist was scripted and non-customizable. Despite the massive deviation, “Redguard” did a few things brilliantly. The script was wonderful, it told an intriguing story, and it richly expanded on the lore of the series. But the gameplay was utter trash, and “Redguard” flopped hard. Its legacy is still felt in some ways, but it has long since faded into history and obscurity.

#7: “An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire” (1997)

“Battlespire” came just one year after “Daggerfall,” and it was originally designed as an expansion pack to the game, but ended up being its own standalone title. Like “Redguard” (which was being developed at the same time), “Battlespire” is a little different from the traditional “Elder Scrolls” experience. It contains more straightforward action gameplay and there are no merchants, as it was designed to take advantage of “Daggerfall’s” dungeon crawling mechanics. As such, your mileage may vary. Some people enjoy the more straightforward experience and the lore. Others hate the repetitive level design, artificial difficulty, and lack of traditional “Elder Scrolls” features. It’s certainly not a bad game, but it’s not one of the better ones, either.

#6: “The Elder Scrolls: Arena” (1994)

It’s hard to recommend “Arena” to modern players. This game was obviously very influential, and it was a technological marvel in 1994. The procedurally designed open world was breathtaking and unimaginably expansive, the combat mechanics felt fluid and natural, and the unique day-night cycle was a novel feature. But like we said, the game was a technological marvel…in 1994. Your enjoyment of “Arena” depends solely on your ability to enjoy older games. It seems borderline archaic now, and what was once fresh and inventive has long since become antiquated. But we can’t deny the influence of the game itself. It not only kickstarted the “Elder Scrolls” series, but it helped change the way CRPGs were made.

#5: “The Elder Scrolls Online” (2014)

Appropriately set in the middle of the list is what is easily the most divisive entry. We’re sure many Elder Scrolls fans who played this game after “Skyrim” were left bitterly disappointed. “Online” is nothing like “Skyrim,” let alone anything else in the “Elder Scrolls” series since it’s an MMORPG. If you go in expecting “Elder Scrolls VI” you won’t find much to love. On the other hand, if you go in with the right expectations, you’ll have a blast. It plays well, it features many well-written quests, and it contains a lot of interesting locations and bits of lore. If you absolutely need more “Elder Scrolls” in your life and want to experience more time in Tamriel, then playing “Online” is a must.

#4: “The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall” (1996)

“Daggerfall” was an incredible improvement on “Arena,” and despite some issues with the game’s bugs, at the time; critics hailed it as one of the best RPGs ever. It’s certainly not without its flaws. The aforementioned bugs can get annoying, the gameplay is dated, and the world is almost too big. It can certainly collapse under the weight of its own ambition. But it’s this very ambition that makes “Daggerfall” such a classic. Even if it’s easy to spot the flaws, you have to commend Bethesda for what they attempted to do. “Daggerfall” is a sprawling and incredibly dense experience, and that works to both its benefit and its detriment.

#3: “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” (2006)

“Oblivion” took the “Elder Scrolls” series in a far more technologically impressive direction. Bethesda really went all out for this one, increasing artificial intelligence of the NPCs, improving the lighting and physics engine, and utilizing voice acting for the first time. But despite all that prowess, “Oblivion” still has its detractors. People couldn’t help but compare it to “Morrowind,” and when you do that, it obviously falls a little short. Things like the levelling system and the setting of Cyrodiil also proved a little controversial with long-time players. Others adore the game and call it their favorite of the series. How much you enjoy “Oblivion” depends entirely on what you want out of an “Elder Scrolls” game.

#2: “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011)

“Skyrim” is perhaps one of the most important video games of all time. First of all, it is by far the most popular “Elder Scrolls” game, selling upwards of thirty million copies. It also continues to be relevant thanks to persistent upgrades like the remastered version in 2016, a Switch port, and even its recent move into virtual reality. It’s clear that “Skyrim” is a gaming phenomenon, which is in large part due to its incredible and imaginative world. And the memes. There are some detractors, particularly those who point at the simplified gameplay mechanics, the persistent bugs, and the weightless melee combat. But those squabbles aside, “Skyrim” is a masterclass in game design and world building, and we can rightly call it a classic.

#1: “The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind” (2002)

There’s a reason so many “Elder Scrolls” fans place “Morrowind” on a pedestal. It’s not only the greatest game in the series, but arguably one of the greatest fantasy RPG’s ever made. This game was a major leap from the ambitious but generally flawed “Daggerfall,” and is arguably the first “Elder Scrolls” game to truly marry its vision with its mechanics. The world was expansive yet fluid, and it creatively fused traditional Medieval fantasy with Eastern cultural elements and styles. It also nailed the essence of creative freedom, allowing the user to learn the lore and interact with the world on their own terms. It didn’t hold your hand, and it didn’t need to. We simply got lost in the magic.

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