Was Morrowind really the best?

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Full disclosure, I have never played Morrowind. I have watched many lets-plays & read deep into the lore through wikis but I have never personally played the game.

Now assuming you still give a crap about my opinion:

Since the release of Skyrim many years ago, I have heard people say that they prefer Morrowind and that it was the best the series ever got. However, I notice that everyone who makes this claim 1)played Morrowind when they were younger and 2)heavily modded it or have since used mods during replays. I've never met someone who played Skyrim first, then played Morrowind (vanilla) for the first time and concluded that Morrowind was better.

I'm not saying that Morrowind wasn't a good game; just was there's a giant, pulsating asterisk next to it.

I agree. Personally I think modded Skyrim is better than modded Morrowind. Morrowind has the better map, but Skyrim has the better graphics, combat, and story telling tools. I think the stories in each are of equal quality. Morrowind has great things in its corner like magic but magic in both games is easily broken in favor of the player. As well, Morrowind makes you have to look for landmarks with its exploration system and not giving you a quest arrow. I love it for that feature alone. I know some hate it and it can get frustrating but its problem solving, which would be part of an adventure. That's how I see it.

Skyrim (vanilla) and Morrowind (vanilla) I see as equals. One shines where the other fails. Morrowind can make you want to look behind that rock, Skyrim can offer you a comfy sandbox to play in and ignore the rocks. Morrowind's combat, NPCs, and attributes systems can be annoying for me. I played Morrowind in like 07-09. I sometimes boot it up but I almost always prefer Skyrim. It can have a feel of RDR's environment. Morrowind looks more like console Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance in aesthetics. I don't care for it, but it'll do.

EDIT: I have always got along with Morrowind fans in discussion of pitting it against Skyrim as the best. They disagree, but we can both agree its damn close. But Skyrim is different in a whole other way. Which is scary to Morrowind fans as they have been left behind so far. Namely quest arrows and fast travel systems I would bet. It don't count to say you can turn em off. The quest log itself has always sucked though.

Elberik:
I'm not saying that Morrowind wasn't a good game; just was there's a giant, pulsating asterisk next to it.

I still love Morrowind. And I played it vanilla at first, but then fell deeper in love with it when I found about the modding scene. For the record, I could play through vanilla Skyrim but it won't really be that interesting to me. And I can't play vanilla Oblivion because it's just boring.

Let's make a breakdown:

- Morrowind - played unmodded and can still do it, but I don't see the point.
- Oblivion - can't play vanilla, heavy modding needed to get it to a stage when it's playable similar to vanilla (e.g., without total overhauls of stuff or letting you play as a cyborg werewolf and so on). And even then, it's better to get one of the other mods that switch stuff around a lot more.
- Skyrim - played unmodded but it's annoying and a bit bland. I don't see the point of doing so here as well.

So overall, Skyrim and Morrowind are sort of equal for me but Morrowind I find a lot more appealing with or without mods.

I think so, yes.

They've made improvements to the graphics and combat over time but they've took out some of the best features that were present in Morrowind. I actually didn't like Morrowind that much when it came out but I've warmed up to it recently, it's just a lot better. Look past the awful animations and presentation and it's a much better roleplaying game.

-No leveled loot. The game isn't afraid of giving you an OP item as a reward for exploring somewhere dangerous.
-Spellmaking (and you can do some crazy game breaking stuff if your heart desires, it's fantastic)
-They've made it so that Skyrim is actually impossible to play without the waypoints. It simply doesn't give you the information you need to find these locations without them. Morrowind didn't have waypoints either but the journal system was very robust. It would generally mark where a new city was on your map but didn't tell you how to get there or what the exact point you need to go to is. You actually have to think about it and potentially ask around.
-No voiced dialogue means there's more dialogue in the game. Oblivion wasn't too bad about the dialogue, but in Skyrim the NPCs have maybe two or three bulletpoints they can talk about most of the time because it's constrained by the need for voice-acting.
-Fast travel should be limited to in-universe forms of travel. Roleplaying games should not be about convenience, in my opinion. They could easily handwave it with some new thing in the lore, but it's purely a game mechanic. Which might work for any other game, but it's exactly the kind of stuff that puts a barrier between an RPG and the player. I know you can just not use it but it still annoys me.
-Better and longer guild quests. There's actually prerequisites you have to meet for ranking up.
-There's so many more clothing and armor slots. Oblivion wasn't bad but Skyrim takes it to a ridiculous point where any armor matching might as well be gone. There's like four slots.

And so on and so on. They made some great improvements with Skyrim, but they went totally overboard with the streamlining. To the point where they take out features that anybody should like, like creating your own spells or putting a unique combination of badass-looking armor on your character, finding some awesome loot instead of the same leveled crap you've been finding for the last five hours. Did they think these things would overcomplicate the game? Because I'm pretty sure anybody would find those things totally awesome. I don't get it. It's so close to being such a great game and they cut it short.

I'd imagine it's much more about "which one did you play first" than it is about quality. Those that were with the series starting with (or even before) Morrowind will say that's the best one because that's what they were introduced with. Personally I think Oblivion is better than both Skyrim and Morrowind, but that's because it was the first TES that I played.

That, and Shivering Isles is perhaps the greatest expansion for any game I've every played, and Sheogorath will forever be one of my favorite game characters of all time. =3

I like all the TES games I have played for different reasons. Unmodded, Morrowind has the best atmosphere, setting and lore, which are the things I value most in my TES games. Sure, the combat is a trainwreck, even with mods, but combat has never been a strength of the series by any stretch.

The setting alone gives it a "yes" from me. While Oblivion was just a generic, forgettable medieval fantasy setting and Skyrim had far too much of what has been done and seen elsewhere, Morrowind felt unique and alive, it's own place which wasn't like any other.

It had the smallest map of the 3 games, yet it manages to feel like its the largest the elder scrolls ever had. When its finished, I'm planning on getting the full conversion of the came to Oblivion's engine, then Skyrim's when that one is finished (yes, there is a full conversion, with audio to the dialogue to boot, of Morrowind to Oblivion's game engine, and it's not even done with work started on a conversion to Skyrim's engine).

It had a lot more depth in its mechanics and the world was more unique. That's not a subjective view; there's a measurable reduction in complexity from Morrowind to Skyrim plus the situation surrounding Morrowind's creation and the situation of its developers which, in part, lead to its bizarre and unique atmosphere. The thing about people who played it when it was new being more likely to say its the best probably has more to do with how difficult it is for a person accustomed to more contemporary games to go back and play older games than simple nostalgia. It's clunky and looks like crap compared to Skyrim, but it allows you a lot more freedom and satisfaction if you get over its antiquated feel.

seaweed:

Basically, what he said. However, these are only the points to make regarding game mechanics.

The most impotrant aspect, to me, is the atmosphere Morrowind. It's not a "standard" fantasy RPG setting (lots of forests and mountains, plus castles and dragons) but one with ash deserts, nomad cultists etc. Skyrim felt a bit more bland to me, less original (though not as bad as Oblivion in this respect). Morrowind made me feel more like I am taking part in a unique and autonomous world, whereas Skyrim made me feel more like I'm taking part in the game world that it is. There is also the story that I prefer in Morrowind.

This is possibly a bit incomprehensible -- it's late and night and I'm tired. Should I remember and get back to it, I will try and elaborate on this post.

(Note: I've enjoyed both Oblivion and Skyrim a lot, too.)

Elberik:
I'm not saying that Morrowind wasn't a good game; just was there's a giant, pulsating asterisk next to it.

Yeah, one that says "that game came out in 2002, 12 bleedin' years ago". Incidentally, I also played Half Life 2 a few years ago and wasn't blown away. If someone started up KOTOR today, they'd be so annoyed by the ridiculously outdated combat system, they likely wouldn't even enjoy the game. And so on...

Of course Morrowind nowadays is harder to swallow. All games are, unless you're completely immune to a game aging. I for one am not, which is why I can't bring myself to play Morrowind today, despite it being my favourite game of all time. The graphics are too old and some of the systems were overhauled so well in the meantime. Voice acting also spoiled me a lot, so reading every quest isn't something that comes as naturally to me now as it did back then, especially after 5 years of WoW where I just spammed the ok button on 95% of the quests.

When it came out, Morrowind was brilliant. I don't know of a world of that size done in a similar manner back then. The depth of systems, the various things you could do and everything being laid out at your fingertips, provided you don't rage-quit after missing a rat 16 times at the beginning. It wasn't perfect, but for that time, for a gamer picking up the game for the first time, it might as well have been.

Not on first glance mind you. I remember a local gaming magazine fiasco at the time. When Morrowind came out, they reviewed the game and gave it just awful scores, complaining about the beginning of the game. Later that year, when I was well into one of my playthroughs that lasted months, I grabbed a copy of the magazine with Morrowind holding the GOTY award and being praised out of every orifice.

The story was also pretty awesome and back then, the amnesia thing wasn't so played out. It was more or less a novelty to be starting out with a character who has no idea who or what they are, being completely yours to mold into whatever kind of character you wanted them to be. Moving from there and discovering that world... I haven't had a feeling like that in games ever and I'm a really passionate gamer.

seaweed:
I think so, yes.

They've made improvements to the graphics and combat over time but they've took out some of the best features that were present in Morrowind. I actually didn't like Morrowind that much when it came out but I've warmed up to it recently, it's just a lot better. Look past the awful animations and presentation and it's a much better roleplaying game.

-No leveled loot. The game isn't afraid of giving you an OP item as a reward for exploring somewhere dangerous.
-Spellmaking (and you can do some crazy game breaking stuff if your heart desires, it's fantastic)
-They've made it so that Skyrim is actually impossible to play without the waypoints. It simply doesn't give you the information you need to find these locations without them. Morrowind didn't have waypoints either but the journal system was very robust. It would generally mark where a new city was on your map but didn't tell you how to get there or what the exact point you need to go to is. You actually have to think about it and potentially ask around.
-No voiced dialogue means there's more dialogue in the game. Oblivion wasn't too bad about the dialogue, but in Skyrim the NPCs have maybe two or three bulletpoints they can talk about most of the time because it's constrained by the need for voice-acting.
-Fast travel should be limited to in-universe forms of travel. Roleplaying games should not be about convenience, in my opinion. They could easily handwave it with some new thing in the lore, but it's purely a game mechanic. Which might work for any other game, but it's exactly the kind of stuff that puts a barrier between an RPG and the player. I know you can just not use it but it still annoys me.
-Better and longer guild quests. There's actually prerequisites you have to meet for ranking up.
-There's so many more clothing and armor slots. Oblivion wasn't bad but Skyrim takes it to a ridiculous point where any armor matching might as well be gone. There's like four slots.

And so on and so on. They made some great improvements with Skyrim, but they went totally overboard with the streamlining. To the point where they take out features that anybody should like, like creating your own spells or putting a unique combination of badass-looking armor on your character, finding some awesome loot instead of the same leveled crap you've been finding for the last five hours. Did they think these things would overcomplicate the game? Because I'm pretty sure anybody would find those things totally awesome. I don't get it. It's so close to being such a great game and they cut it short.

This guy nailed it, and I haven't even played Morrowind. I'm personally waiting for Skywind to be completed first, because that sounds like it has the potential be the best of both worlds.

seaweed:
-Spellmaking (and you can do some crazy game breaking stuff if your heart desires, it's fantastic)

If you haven't tried the 1-2 second custom built Jump spell for an obscene amount of mana, you haven't LIVED! Seriously though, hopping over half of Vivec in a single jump is hilariously fun :P

Also, your whole goddamn post, I agree with it 100%. But I feel I'd be spamming if I didn't snip it a bit. /InternetHighFive

Nope.

Arena was the pioneer. Daggerfall was the technical marvel. Oblivion was the one that tweaked things to be more user-friendly. Skyrim is the best one to mod.

Morrowind is just the one that introduced the most people to the series.

I'm not saying that it's bad by any means, just that it's probably the least notable in terms of what it brought to the series. I'd put it in third place, after Daggerfall and Skyrim.

seaweed:
I think so, yes.

They've made improvements to the graphics and combat over time but they've took out some of the best features that were present in Morrowind. I actually didn't like Morrowind that much when it came out but I've warmed up to it recently, it's just a lot better. Look past the awful animations and presentation and it's a much better roleplaying game.

-No leveled loot. The game isn't afraid of giving you an OP item as a reward for exploring somewhere dangerous.
-Spellmaking (and you can do some crazy game breaking stuff if your heart desires, it's fantastic)
-They've made it so that Skyrim is actually impossible to play without the waypoints. It simply doesn't give you the information you need to find these locations without them. Morrowind didn't have waypoints either but the journal system was very robust. It would generally mark where a new city was on your map but didn't tell you how to get there or what the exact point you need to go to is. You actually have to think about it and potentially ask around.
-No voiced dialogue means there's more dialogue in the game. Oblivion wasn't too bad about the dialogue, but in Skyrim the NPCs have maybe two or three bulletpoints they can talk about most of the time because it's constrained by the need for voice-acting.
-Fast travel should be limited to in-universe forms of travel. Roleplaying games should not be about convenience, in my opinion. They could easily handwave it with some new thing in the lore, but it's purely a game mechanic. Which might work for any other game, but it's exactly the kind of stuff that puts a barrier between an RPG and the player. I know you can just not use it but it still annoys me.
-Better and longer guild quests. There's actually prerequisites you have to meet for ranking up.
-There's so many more clothing and armor slots. Oblivion wasn't bad but Skyrim takes it to a ridiculous point where any armor matching might as well be gone. There's like four slots.

And so on and so on. They made some great improvements with Skyrim, but they went totally overboard with the streamlining. To the point where they take out features that anybody should like, like creating your own spells or putting a unique combination of badass-looking armor on your character, finding some awesome loot instead of the same leveled crap you've been finding for the last five hours. Did they think these things would overcomplicate the game? Because I'm pretty sure anybody would find those things totally awesome. I don't get it. It's so close to being such a great game and they cut it short.

This, pretty much. Alongside with the atmosphere. Oblivion and Skyrim are bland ventures into euro-medieval settings that go around ticking all the crosses, but Morrowind was eerie and looked alien. I mean, giant ticks with stilts for legs?

Not to mention the architecture, which not only kept the alienness of it all (I mean, Vivec alone could take days to navigate) but were also a strong indicative generally of how hard the resistance inside would be, as well as potential loot. A cave would be, by rule of thumb less dangerous and less likely to fid that special axe than a Dunmer stronghold, and you took the hint visually. I remember playing and feeling intimidated by the sheer look of those dungeons, something which never happened to the same degree on Skyrim. You'd stumble on a few specific dungeons that were harder than the rest, but it all felt a tad more samey up in Skyrim.

Morrowind, as a setting, was both familiar and alien.
The locals had their own idioms. And in places the disparity between the locals and their conquerors was subtle but noticeable. (compare the Hlaalu-Imperial Balmora to the Telvanni towers. The attitude and design are completely different.)

On top of that, the amount of hand-holding was minimal (often to a fault, admittedly). But things like having to book fast travel between the guilds and striders established not only a sense of the passage of time, but gave locations value beyond "there is randomly generated loot here".

Others have commented on Morrowind's "alien" nature in better detail than me, so I won't bother.
It's not without its weaknesses, especially story and character development, but given that Oblivion has the same weaknesses (and from what I've heard, Skyrim too) that's not a favorable comparison to make.
I'd argue there is no favorable comparison to make outside of graphics, and only if you can tolerate Bloom lighting (I hate it; it's just obnoxious).

RJ 17:

That, and Shivering Isles is perhaps the greatest expansion for any game I've every played, and Sheogorath will forever be one of my favorite game characters of all time. =3

Shivering Isles was the only part of Oblivion I really remembered and thoroughly enjoyed. It had structure, creativity and something interesting going on that wasn't completely limited by the god awful Gamebryo Engine.

Basically, it was the antithesis of Oblivion somehow within the same game.

Well, apart from its tendency to crash every 30 minutes.

The atmosphere, lore and layout of Morrowind was way better than Skyrim (I'm not even going to mention Oblivion, that was just trash). Naturally a game 10 years older than Skyrim has a lot of disadvantages in the comparison. Morrowind was largely text based an far less structured, it was up to the player to create their own story, some people will like that, others won't. I don't think I would actually have the patience to play Morrowind today, but when comparing my experience with both games Morrowind feels far superior. (The fact that I'm older may have impacted my feelings though).

Rolaoi:
It had a lot more depth in its mechanics and the world was more unique. That's not a subjective view; there's a measurable reduction in complexity from Morrowind to Skyrim plus the situation surrounding Morrowind's creation and the situation of its developers which, in part, lead to its bizarre and unique atmosphere. The thing about people who played it when it was new being more likely to say its the best probably has more to do with how difficult it is for a person accustomed to more contemporary games to go back and play older games than simple nostalgia. It's clunky and looks like crap compared to Skyrim, but it allows you a lot more freedom and satisfaction if you get over its antiquated feel.

It's debatable that the mechanics had more depth. Practically every mechanic was fatally flawed if not outright broken. Being able to levitate was great. Except that the vast majority of enemies had no ranged attack and were too stupid to even run away when they were unable to attack you, so levitating a few feet above someone and being perfectly safe while using ranged attacks on them would win you most battles. Morrowind did a lot of things really well, but the things it did poorly it utterly failed on.

Personal favourite is Morrowind, though I did play that one first - never modded an Elder Scrolls game though. Still, I feel it has got justifiable advantages over the other games, with the best quests, world design, story and exploration elements of the series.

lacktheknack:
Nope.

Arena was the pioneer. Daggerfall was the technical marvel. Oblivion was the one that tweaked things to be more user-friendly. Skyrim is the best one to mod.

Morrowind is just the one that introduced the most people to the series.

I'm not saying that it's bad by any means, just that it's probably the least notable in terms of what it brought to the series. I'd put it in third place, after Daggerfall and Skyrim.

You're generalising quite a bit there. Morrowind is the advent of what people think of as The Elder Scrolls today, ditching the procedural generation found in Arena and Daggerfall in favour of a fully realised world, with each quest involving unique objectives, and a general focus on exploring the overworld rather than just fast travelling everywhere and exploring the dungeons. That's not to say the procedural generation didn't have its advantages - Daggerfall is easily my favourite game in the series in terms of the pure dungeon-crawling experience - but stating that Morrowind didn't bring anything notable to the series is disingenuous at best.

The setting, themes, culture, and feel of Morrowind are about ten times better than that of Skyrim, for me. That said, the engine it's built on is terrible, it looks kinda bad, and the lack of fast travel is a real pain. You really do have to mod it to make it palatable, for me, but once you do it gets pretty amazing, even with all its problems. Skyrim has a much, MUCH better engine, and a pretty awesome world, but it's just not as amazing as Morrowind. Honestly, I imagine it would come down to personal preference as to which one's truly better, or whether Morrowind is "the best." I'd say it's the "best" in some arenas, but not in others. All I can say for sure is that I can't wait for Skywind to be completed!

SirBryghtside:
Personal favourite is Morrowind, though I did play that one first - never modded an Elder Scrolls game though. Still, I feel it has got justifiable advantages over the other games, with the best quests, world design, story and exploration elements of the series.

lacktheknack:
Nope.

Arena was the pioneer. Daggerfall was the technical marvel. Oblivion was the one that tweaked things to be more user-friendly. Skyrim is the best one to mod.

Morrowind is just the one that introduced the most people to the series.

I'm not saying that it's bad by any means, just that it's probably the least notable in terms of what it brought to the series. I'd put it in third place, after Daggerfall and Skyrim.

You're generalising quite a bit there. Morrowind is the advent of what people think of as The Elder Scrolls today, ditching the procedural generation found in Arena and Daggerfall in favour of a fully realised world, with each quest involving unique objectives, and a general focus on exploring the overworld rather than just fast travelling everywhere and exploring the dungeons. That's not to say the procedural generation didn't have its advantages - Daggerfall is easily my favourite game in the series in terms of the pure dungeon-crawling experience - but stating that Morrowind didn't bring anything notable to the series is disingenuous at best.

That's fair.

Of course, it doesn't really help that a "fully realized world" isn't really something that impresses me. They mostly feel very easy to break. I'm way more impressed by big worlds that run on good procedural generation and reaction (which are sadly quite rare), so Morrowind really didn't impress me as much as people say it should.

Visually and combatwise i think Skyrim is better. However as an rpg and for story i think morrowind is better. I've played all three-Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim- and while i've played skyrim the most i think i enjoyed morrowind the most. I'm really excited that there is a group of people working on bringing Morrowind up the the visual level of Skyrim.

Edit: Thinking about it, Morrowind was a lot harder then Skyrim is, which, in my opinion, makes it better. I remember dying so many times, and the real danger of dying gave the game a real adventure feel. That was lost in Skyrim, as long as you weren't beserker reckless you wouldn't really die.

Childe:
Visually and combatwise i think Skyrim is better. However as an rpg and for story i think morrowind is better. I've played all three-Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim- and while i've played skyrim the most i think i enjoyed morrowind the most. I'm really excited that there is a group of people working on bringing Morrowind up the the visual level of Skyrim.

Edit: Thinking about it, Morrowind was a lot harder then Skyrim is, which, in my opinion, makes it better. I remember dying so many times, and the real danger of dying gave the game a real adventure feel. That was lost in Skyrim, as long as you weren't beserker reckless you wouldn't really die.

Morrowind was a lot more rigid then Skyrim. It seems harder when you are a low level character stumbling into areas and quests that are beyond you, but once you get to a high level nothing can challenge you. And you can only avoid finding a massively OP trick through serious effort.

Skyrim has the best balance of any Elder Scrolls game i have played (the big 3, Morrowind Oblivion and Skyrim). Which is really saying something, because Skyrim is very very far from being well balanced.

AntiChri5:

Childe:
Visually and combatwise i think Skyrim is better. However as an rpg and for story i think morrowind is better. I've played all three-Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim- and while i've played skyrim the most i think i enjoyed morrowind the most. I'm really excited that there is a group of people working on bringing Morrowind up the the visual level of Skyrim.

Edit: Thinking about it, Morrowind was a lot harder then Skyrim is, which, in my opinion, makes it better. I remember dying so many times, and the real danger of dying gave the game a real adventure feel. That was lost in Skyrim, as long as you weren't beserker reckless you wouldn't really die.

Morrowind was a lot more rigid then Skyrim. It seems harder when you are a low level character stumbling into areas and quests that are beyond you, but once you get to a high level nothing can challenge you. And you can only avoid finding a massively OP trick through serious effort.

Skyrim has the best balance of any Elder Scrolls game i have played (the big 3, Morrowind Oblivion and Skyrim). Which is really saying something, because Skyrim is very very far from being well balanced.

That to me is another bonus for Morrowind. As the adventurer gets more experience, he learns more and better ways to cope withe enemies and circumstances (i.e. silver weapons for werewolves, variety of spells etc.). That's why the novice adventure has a difficult time whereas the experienced adventurer has an easier time. While Skyrim's enemy scaling does allow for continued playing of one character, it just doesn't feel like an adventure game. And even with the level scaling you still can blow away enemies once you hit a certain point.

I think it's just a matter of timing. Morrowind was great for its time, though I never got to the end of it, and I had to buy three copies over a period of time (that is, three different PCs) just to get it to work. By the time Skyrim came around we were expecting a lot more bang for our buck. That doesn't mean Skyrim was bad, only that we were expecting much more of it, both by promotion of Skyrim itself and other titles around at the time. It's more like Morrowind was ahead of its time, but Skyrim wasn't, but was good nevertheless.

Morrowind is pretty much the definition of "It was great, dot dot dot".

Played it before Oblivion, before Skyrim and honestly I didn't like it. Its world is fantastic even with the dated graphics, but the combat is just bad and needs mods to make it playable. Now one can say that the combat in TES doesn't matter much which would be true, but at least in Oblivion and Skyrim it was (mostly) easy to get through what you need to do.

Still miles ahead of Skyrim though, imo.

I still play vanilla morrowind, and i still think its better than Skyrim and Oblivion. Granted it has its problems but none of them are that big a deal. I can look past all those to the great and varied game world within. Still got the original copy from the XBox - which was the game that made me buy that console. :-)

I don't think so personally, but I have some pretty high powered nostalgia goggles for Oblivion. I'll agree that morrowind has the most and best content of the series and the most unique world design. But it isn't friendly at all to people who started at Oblivion. Ulgly graphics, text based dialogue, no fast travel, and no map markers really turn away newer fans. Since Oblivion made the series much more user friendly I think it is the best.

I've only ever played Vanilla Morrowind, I didn't get very far though, and I don't actually have my original disk anymore (physical release Morrowind had this dumb-ass DRM that meant you had to have the disk in your drive to actually play the damn thing, regardless of whether it was installed or not), so I'm pretty under-qualified to talk about it at length.

However I have played a significant amount of Skyrim, and a comparable amount of Oblivion, and I think Skyrim trounces all over Oblivion in practically every respect.
Oblivion is a game of which I am not a fan, infact I think it's not just the weakest in the TES series, but one of the most overrated games of the last generation (Oblivion was my "game I hate that everyone else loves" before Bioshock Infinite came along).

Oblivion's combat is a mess, the loot scaling is arcane and creates situations where standard enemies are wearing Daedric armor for no damned reason, the dungeons all look the same, the aesthetic is bland and uninteresting (it forewent the weird and unique setting of Morrowind in favor of a generic fantasy world), and I just generally do not like playing that game vanilla. Modding DOES help matters, but no amount of caramel can make an apple taste good if it's rotten at the core.

Skyrim on the other hand I like quite a bit, most of my major problems with Oblivion were either addressed or reworked to make them atlest tolerable, the leveling happened much faster and the combat was greatly improved. Yeah the quests were a bit "follow the arrow-y" but no more-so then Oblivion, and the vastly more visually interesting world made up for it somewhat. Plus I never liked the class system, It just arbitrarily limits what I can do with a character before I even have a chance to play around with each class' mechanics to decide which ones I like using the best. Doing away with the class system was a great decision as far as I see it, atleast in my opinion.

So as of right now, I'd probably say the Skyrim is the best for ME, but mind you I havn't played enough of Morrowind to have what I'd consider a well formulated opinion on it. I think it depends largely on what your personal preferences are and just how much age in a game's mechanics you're willing to put up with, as well as your personal level of affinity for mods.

Childe:

AntiChri5:

Childe:
Visually and combatwise i think Skyrim is better. However as an rpg and for story i think morrowind is better. I've played all three-Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim- and while i've played skyrim the most i think i enjoyed morrowind the most. I'm really excited that there is a group of people working on bringing Morrowind up the the visual level of Skyrim.

Edit: Thinking about it, Morrowind was a lot harder then Skyrim is, which, in my opinion, makes it better. I remember dying so many times, and the real danger of dying gave the game a real adventure feel. That was lost in Skyrim, as long as you weren't beserker reckless you wouldn't really die.

Morrowind was a lot more rigid then Skyrim. It seems harder when you are a low level character stumbling into areas and quests that are beyond you, but once you get to a high level nothing can challenge you. And you can only avoid finding a massively OP trick through serious effort.

Skyrim has the best balance of any Elder Scrolls game i have played (the big 3, Morrowind Oblivion and Skyrim). Which is really saying something, because Skyrim is very very far from being well balanced.

That to me is another bonus for Morrowind. As the adventurer gets more experience, he learns more and better ways to cope withe enemies and circumstances (i.e. silver weapons for werewolves, variety of spells etc.). That's why the novice adventure has a difficult time whereas the experienced adventurer has an easier time. While Skyrim's enemy scaling does allow for continued playing of one character, it just doesn't feel like an adventure game. And even with the level scaling you still can blow away enemies once you hit a certain point.

It makes sense, sure, but it also makes for a fucking boring game.

For me, Skyrim's level scaling makes it feel more like an adventure. Constantly encountering new challenges, overcoming them and growing by doing so, even returning to a previously cleared area to find it filled with more powerful enemies. I know it's a games mechanic, and a pretty silly one when viewed from most angles, but i think it is for the best. I don't know of any system that is better at keeping enemies relevant while not punishing the player needlessly for exploration.

And yeah you still get OP in Skyrim. It's as unavoidable as in Morrowind. But it takes longer and feels more worthwhile.

I would have loved Skyrim so much more if they didn't have that goddamned quest marker every damn place.

Also, bring back hand-to-hand.

Combat mechanics were a bit funky, it had a few issues to be expected with a pioneer in the genre that sadly became what I like to call PseudoRPG but in terms of story, music, world exploration, it's kind of weird combat system, and most importantly your interactions in the game with the NPCs and their ultimate consequences makes it far better than most PseudoRPGs today, and certainly is at least worth it's hype.

One of the biggest examples I can provide is the consequences. Today it is perfectly acceptable for one character to be able to do anything. You can have a 5 foot wood elf wear full plate mail swinging the heaviest warhammer created while slinging spells and successfully somersault sneaking past all, pillaging their pockets and lives with out being detected. All of this, with one character. This, I like to call the PseudoRPG. In Morrowind Your race mattered, as did your class. You were punished, you were wrong, if you tried to make an elf barbarian or an Orc Thief. Also if you joined a faction in the game this affected the NPCs disposition towards you, some would like you, some would hate you, and joining some organizations would bar you from joining others. You see, Morrowind was the definition of a Role Playing Game, and because of the fact that your race determined which classes you could choose from, and your gear, and your actions, and the factions you joined affecting NPCs you had to role play your character, creating a far greater immersion factor than any game, including Skyrim has done. I will say Oblivion also achieved this, the landscape just wasn't as impressive as Morrowind or Skyrim it did however fix the awkward dice roll to hit system in morrowind by simply saying if you are a foot from the enemy your metal beat stick is going to hit them.

If you want to play a RPG, an actual RPG then there is no better game than Morrowind and I highly suggest you download either the Morroblivion mod, or the Skywind mod if that is done just so you can experience it on a newer game engine, and not have to deal with those god damned dice roll hit chances.

I played morrowind after oblivion, and before skyrim. It's a good game, it has a much more RPG feel to it compared to the later games, and the map is truly unique. However the gameplay is well, terrible, and I can't stomach going back to it now. Oblivion modded is much better in my opinion, and skyrim on its own is just as good.

I think it depends on what you're after.

Morrowind made me feel like I was entering an alien world.
-Even though I had played the previous games in the series.
There were times when I felt lost, because I wandered too much, but was always able to come back.
Plus the map was just so...big.
So many places to go, people to see, crabs to sell my crap to.
Even the endings to the various guilds made me feel like I'd actually ACCOMPLISHED something.
It's just a shame the combat, like most TES games, isn't that great.

Oblivion was, well, not very good except for some of the main quests.
-Though, in all honesty, I don't think it deserves the hate it gets.
See, I actually PREFERRED it's leveling system, the whole 'use it to level up' thing.
My main issue is how fucked over PS3 owners got (seriously, the '5 Year/GOTY' editions were BOTH missing vasts amount of DLC!).
Plus the game's graphical style was...off putting...to say the least.
Too much 'shinny' and the faces...oi, those faces.

Skyrim, for me, is probably the best game out of the WHOLE series...technically.
-Meaning, I still have a hell of a soft spot for TES3:M, but I can see past my rose colored glasses to and see TES5's greatness.
Skyrim's graphical style fit the world, and the story, that it was trying to tell.
It's game play was very much improved from previous entries into the series, even if 'Shouts' ended up feeling mostly worthless, magic got screwed over, and the zodiac thing wasn't very 'cool'.
I still loved the Norse themes, some of the locations are just...amazing.

Perhaps the worst part of Skyrim is, again, how the developers pretty much ABANDONED it.
The DLC/expansions packs weren't NEARLY as good as TES3 or TES4.
This is a shame, because I felt like so much more COULD have been done.

Plus the main story line sucked.
Having The Blades totally ignore you if you don't kill a dragon, and having to choose either a weak Empire or a racist Kingdom didn't sit well with me.
I wouldn't have minded a story line where you destroy them both and become ruler.
-Which is what those of dragon's blood SHOULD become!

For me, I'm sure that it was. Putting aside all its weaknesses, the game just feels more like a hand-crafted world instead of something that was manufactured to be sold to customers, which is something most games can't brag about. There is some intangible qualities in the game that you only see in games that the devs cared for as they made it.

Morrowind had what may be the absolute worst combat system in the entire history of gaming. In Skyrim you could shout people to death.
Methinks the true winner is clear.

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