1. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Developed by Bethesda Game Studios. Published by Bethesda Softworks. Released on November 11, 2011. Available on PC, PS3 and XB360.
Greg Tito says: Skyrim is all about possibility. As a limitless role-playing game, the fifth Elder Scrolls game from Bethesda holds the distinction of being the greatest video game that no one ever played all the way through. Well, that's not precisely true, but, anecdotally, nearly all the people I speak to confess to ignoring the main story quests in Skyrim and instead find joy in just exploring the frosty wilderness of the huge open world. There's adventure to be had around every hillock and dell, and the feeling of immersion is just greater there than in any other game.
Graphically, the wonders of Skyrim hold up extremely well since its release 3 years ago - especially on the PC where mods and tweaks can improve the visuals immensely. The sound design and vocal performances were exemplary and the complaints of hearing the same phrases repeat was only due to the huge amount of time players spent in the world. According to Steam data, Skyrim is consistently in the top ten list of games played - amazing considering it came out so long ago.
What made Skyrim special wasn't the combat - it was all you could do with the combat system. It wasn't the story or the races you could choose - it was the infinite combination of choices and role-playing you could exhibit. Skyrim was the greatest blend of mechanics, customization, and freedom found in any role-playing game. And that might go beyond the five year scope of this list.
Schuyler says: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or just Skyrim to its friends, came out in 2011 and it is still being played in houses around the world. The game on its own is pure genius, a world so huge that it will take hundreds of hours to master it.
Add players and mods into the mix and the game takes on a new life, no two people play the game the same way, which makes it one of the most versatile games to ever have been released. Skyrim can be a stealth game to one person, it can be a much quicker brawler to another, and yet a third person will get immersed in all the little details. Bethesda is the master of the small things, in their games they offer you a plethora of places to explore, people to meet, and very dangerous enemies that just want to hug you with their massive claws.
Skyrim is a game that really takes after Fallout 3 in the sense that you're going to want to pick it up again in a few years and play even more. That's what happens when you create a truly immersive sandbox, you get a game you don't want to stop playing. Bethesda made a sprawling epic of a game that will really stand the test of time, expect to still be playing this off and on for years to come.