RPG’s, meaning role-playing games, have always been a much-loved genre within gaming. Video games have always provided a certain level of escapism, but with RPG’s that feeling is turned up to the max. These types of games are characterised by the ability to roleplay – to become a character in the game that has their own desires and backstory. Similarly, the form also allows players to roleplay themselves in the game as if they were the character, which is perhaps the more popular variant of RPG. There have been many popular RPG games since the gaming industry became more popular, most noticeably Dungeons and Dragons, a tabletop RPG. However, the date 12/12/12 saw arguably the best RPG game ever made release – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Before Skyrim was released, the Elder Scrolls series was known and loved by its fanbase, but it was intensely popular with the wider public. The launch of Skyrim saw the series propel to new heights though, becoming one of the all-time best sellers in the industry. Today, 30 million units have been sold and the game sits 19th in the bestseller list, 9 years later. Upon its release it was met with near-universal acclaim both critically and commercially – it later won many game of the year awards. The gameplay in Skyrim can often be clunky. The dialogue can often be awkward. The amounts of bugs that exist within the game are near criminal. So why is it still the best RPG ever made?
Anyone who has played Skyrim for a significant length of time will tell you that there is something special about the game. They might not be able to say what, but Skyrim is one of those games that has that unspoken quality that crafts a memorable, unique experience for all players of the game. At its time of release, the graphics were out-of-this-world and many a gamer was captivated by some of the stunning landscapes that can be experienced within the game. To accompany this, Bethesda utilised composer Jeremy Soule to create a transcendent, ethereal-like soundtrack that serves only to memorise and distort the meaning of time. The scale of the world was ambitious – if a player desired to walk from one end of the map to the other, it would cost him around 40 minutes of his life. What’s impressive about this size though is that it isn’t just empty space; there is always something to do or someone to interact within Skyrim. The sum of all of Skyrim’s parts results in a complete escape from reality that most games fail to achieve. Expertly, the game makes you want to get lost in the vast world, filled with rich lore and history.
During the pandemic, millions globally were told to stay inside and away from others. The taxing nature of this isolation meant that people took to their usual leisure activities such as online gambling using sites that can be found here but far more found better success through gaming. The escapist nature of games like Skyrim and other RPG’s were a perfect comfort tool in that landscape. However, Skyrim is the best not because it does everything better than most RPG’s, but because it delivers a memorable, unmatched experience that only Skyrim can create.
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