The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is what? 12 years old this year? And the game is still revalent to this day. While it is easy to write it off to game-changing mods (which is a large part of it) it isn’t solely the mods.
Skyrim is an what I think, a once in a life time kind of game. The world sucks you in due to how well crafted it is. There are so many quests, so many people to talk to, so many things and secrets to find and so many ways to play that you just keep going and going. While it isn’t as hardcore as older games, like Morrowind or Oblivion, it streamlined the RPG aspect of the game to something that was easy to learn and more accessible. The game is, as far as I am concerned, one of the greatest games ever made.
The fact that players can’t move on from this game (and even when they do, they come back… they always come back) speaks volumes on how much of a milestone this game is in gaming. I’d go as far as saying it is integral to the culture of gaming. Do you know how many memes this game has spawned? The fact that the “Skyrim glitch” phrase is skimming down a mountain in other games like one does in Skyrim.
This game has a lot of nostalgia to it as well. It came out over a decade ago and booting it up not only takes you to this fantastical world that you can escape to but it makes you feel young again when times were simpler. And then there are the game-changing mods. Adding different animations, upping the graphics, simple little things like your character actually going down to pick a flower or being able to remove your helmet on a key binding.
Adding a needs system or overhauling the skills and crafting. Adding modded landmasses and quests for even more adventures (a lot of these are well made and voiced).
People can’t leave this game alone and Bethesda knows this, which is why they have released the game so many times over.
I actually doubt a game like this will be made again. Skyrim came out in a different time. People weren’t expecting as much as they got when it came out and now with production of games being more expensive and players being wary of shady monetization in games… the Triple A industry is not in a good shape right now. A lot of the developers’ passion these days are curbed by budget and corporate investors who want results fast no matter the quality.
Skyrim left big boots for Bethesda to fill and everyone is itching to try their upcoming game, Starfield. But I’m curbing my enthusiasm about this game. Not that I am saying it will suck. But will it be Skyrim? Will it make me feel that same wonder and awe that I feel running around in Skyrim over and over? Despite knowing it like the back of my hand.
Then there is the issue of Elder Scrolls IV. That game will have a lot of pressure on it.
I don’t think we will ever stop playing Skyrim, even when Elder Scrolls IV comes out because you know some crazy modder will remake Skyrim within TESIV engine just like they are doing to Oblivion nad Morrowind in the Skyrim engine.
Skyrim is timeless. There is an ancient yet familiar feel to the world and to many, Skyrim is home.
It is more than just a game to many and I think that so long as there are gamers in the world, Skyrim will always be booted up.