Metascore
71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 64
  2. Negative: 1 out of 64
  1. 90
    A few bugs and balance issues aside, it genuinely feels like its single-player predecessors rather than a cookie cutter MMO, and that in itself is enough to draw back in the weary crowd yearning for something fresh from the genre.
  2. Apr 4, 2014
    90
    Enough defining design elements of the Elder Scrolls single-player RPGs have been successfully grafted onto the traditional MMO template to make The Elder Scrolls Online feel like what an Elder Scrolls massively multiplayer online game ought to be.
  3. Apr 4, 2014
    90
    If you wanted TESO to be a Skyrim sequel, you're going to be disappointed. If you wanted it to be another World of Warcraft clone, then stick to Lord of the Rings Online. If you are looking for something fresh in a familiar setting then you are in for a feast.
  4. Apr 11, 2014
    87
    A perfectly executed game that manages to merge some of the best aspects of TES and MMOs, resulting in a very remarkable game. Great progression, tons of options, fun combat, insane amount of content and a very promising PVP are some of its virtues.
  5. Apr 27, 2014
    86
    When I look at The Elder Scrolls Online I don’t see an MMO that is finished. I see an MMO that has a solid foundation built for it with a vibrant, adventurous future ahead of it. The notion of expansion into the worlds we love and know from the non-MMO games is an exciting one. ESO brings together a solid amount of single-player experience that we know and love from previous Elder Scrolls titles and mixes it in with intriguing and grounded MMO elements. That mixture sometimes doesn’t work, but there’s plenty of room for adjustment.
  6. Apr 19, 2014
    86
    The Elder Scrolls Online carries on the tradition of gaming we know and love with a twist of adding in MMO.
  7. Apr 15, 2014
    85
    The Elder Scrolls Online is a suprisingly fresh take on the MMORPG-genre, but when you are searching for a cooperative version of Skyrim, you came to the wrong place. If you are searching for a new MMO, however, you should really consider trying this one out. The level system removes the grinding and the first person perspective gives you a fresh take on the genre.
  8. May 9, 2014
    84
    Despite its problems ESO is a game that's fun for more than 100 hours and if Zenimax listens to the players, it can even become a great game.
  9. Apr 17, 2014
    83
    Zenimax had a steep mountain to climb: They had to cater to both the expectations of fans of Offline-Tamriel as well as demands of online-mechanics. And even though the result is far from perfect and seems to lose focus here or there, I don’t regret any of the rather large amount of time I’ve spent with TESO.
  10. The legend has entered the MMORPG arena with all of its glory. Although its coming was celebrated with a classic Bethesda Bugfest, it still holds onto the series' roots firmly and despite all its errors, it is still a lot fun to wander and explore through Tamriel's lands.
  11. May 5, 2014
    82
    From story to scale, The Elder Scrolls Online does its single player predecessors justice while at some parts struggling to find its own identity.
  12. May 23, 2014
    80
    The Elder Scrolls Online is a solid massively multiplayer online experience.
  13. Apr 22, 2014
    80
    Nevertheless the quests are fun, the world still good to explore, the combat great, the community wonderful (apart from those damn spambots) and the Alliance War a wildly ambitious and impressive experiment. Elder Scrolls Online is, by the skin of its teeth and a lot of hard work from Zenimax, a success.
  14. Apr 21, 2014
    80
    The essence of the franchise is always present, and TESO, although not as immersive as previous games like Skyrim, is far superior to the one you can find in other MMORPGs. You should have, though, a group of friends playing it, or else the subscription price won't be worth it.
  15. Apr 18, 2014
    80
    ZeniMax and Bethesda did a great job turning the Elder Scrolls into in an MMORPG. The amount of players doesn’t always match with what TESO’s trying to do, but when it works, it works really well. With its mountain of content it’ll be long before you’ll get bored with it.
  16. Apr 17, 2014
    80
    The Elder Scrolls Online is a ton of fun in an outside-the-box sort of way. It can't seem to decide whether it wants to be single player or MMO, so be prepared for some in-between weirdness, but nothing that really detracts much from the experience. Between Guilds, crafting, PvP, and dungeons, it has all of the makings of a solid MMO.
  17. Apr 15, 2014
    80
    The Elder Scrolls Online is a remarkable MMORPG that keeps the essence of the original series. The game could have been more original in the design of its missions, but its PvP mode and the high quality of its contents are very good.
  18. Apr 14, 2014
    80
    While the £8.99 monthly subscription charge is hard to justify for any game, this one does a fine job of combining everything we love about the single player experience in a multiplayer environment.
  19. Apr 11, 2014
    80
    Elder Scrolls Online is neither a true Skyrim sequel nor another World of Warcraft clone, but developer ZeniMax Online has constructed a halfway house that will satisfy fans of both franchises.
  20. Apr 9, 2014
    80
    That the development team has been able to retain the mechanisms of play together with the depth of the content in the face of a breed of gamer whose capacity to consume is unrivalled, is perhaps the game’s biggest achievement. Now all Bethesda has to do is keep up the pace.
  21. Apr 4, 2014
    80
    With its wide array of diverse locations, nice visuals, engaging quests and interesting PvP, The Elder Scrolls Online has a lot to offer despite its lack of freedom and exploration; with an absurd amount content, you’ll be occupied for a long time.
  22. Apr 4, 2014
    80
    If you can stick through the starting areas to around Level 10, find several friends to group with, and stomach the litany of technical flaws, The Elder Scrolls Online will more than grow on you. Whether it remains that way will be determined when I review the endgame content more thoroughly several weeks from now.
  23. May 2, 2014
    79
    Elder Scrolls Online may not be for everyone. But I’m happy and proud to say it’s a game I can stand behind and support with my wallet. It strives to be different from the usual theme-park MMORPG, and it also faithfully represents the Elder Scrolls universe through lore and gameplay. ESO is an excellent MMORPG, with a lot to offer fans of The Elder Scrolls. It does need a few key refinements, but I will be subscribing for a good time to come, and I can’t wait to see how the game improves over time. If you’re on the fence, give it a go, or at least be ready and willing when the inevitable free trial system shows up. You just might be glad you didn’t listen to the critics.
  24. May 15, 2014
    78
    Its strong character progression and combat systems better suit the offline Elder Scrolls games than in most MMOs, but it’s very much a game about adventuring with other players.
  25. Apr 23, 2014
    76
    Yes Bethesda pulled out all the stops and got professional talent to voice the NPCs. It has a huge impact on the gameplay.
  26. May 6, 2014
    75
    I think the framework is there, but there are some painful missteps that are holding it back. MMOs are a constantly evolving ecospace, so it’s possible we’ll get there, but for now I’ll cautiously say…maybe.
  27. Apr 9, 2014
    75
    A solid, meaty title. It has hours of gameplay, satisfying character trees, and a wealth of online role playing experiences to churn through. It’s safe and secure. It serves up the classic habitual MMORPG experience, albeit with a “Tamriel Twist”. And for many gamers, this will be fine. But Bethesda have created an example - not an evolution - of the genre.
  28. May 9, 2014
    73
    The Elder Scrolls Online has great potential, but wastes it on failed group gameplay and general bugginess of the game. Subscription fee and the stuff left exclusively to Imperial Edition feel a bit questionable too. [May 2014]
  29. May 4, 2014
    72
    Great at telling stories, with a gargantuan world to feast upon, but its MMO failings let it down. [June 2014, p.60]
  30. Jun 3, 2014
    70
    If you’re an Elder Scrolls fan who has always wanted to play one of these games in co-op, this is the next best thing, at least for the time being. However, if you’re looking for Skyrim: The MMO, this will likely disappoint.
  31. May 27, 2014
    70
    The Elder Scrolls Online is offering time-proven game mechanics that are functioning and frequently entertaining, while following tasks dipped in narrative gravy create the impression of a living virtual world. At the same time, however, TESO does not bring anything exceptional that would let you stared open-mouthed.
  32. May 19, 2014
    70
    The Elder Scrolls Online is a good MMO, but it is not the masterpiece it could have been if ZeniMax dared more, and if they did not hurry to release it.
  33. May 16, 2014
    70
    Something good is being brewed here by Zenimax. The Elder Scrolls Online definitely needs a lot of work just to be able to reach other MMOs, but by playing this game you get a feeling that the online version of this franchise could become a milestone for the genre.
  34. May 9, 2014
    70
    All in all, The Elder Scrolls Online is a pretty good game. It's not outstanding, and it's not terrible.
  35. Apr 30, 2014
    70
    In the end, the feeling I have with Elder Scrolls Online is something strange, because I like it enough to want to play it, but not to the level of an MMO. I’m not compelled to make the necessary commitment.
  36. Apr 28, 2014
    70
    The Elder Scrolls Online retains most of the elements that made the series famous in a new astounding experience. The transition from offline to online is smooth and the game itself is fun. Unfortunately the monthly fee and lots of bugs partially ruin the experience.
  37. Apr 24, 2014
    70
    The Elder Scrolls Online needs a lot of work to become a competitive entry in the MMO market because right now it really does not know what to be. Is it a co-operative TES? Is it a single player game? Is it a MMO? Every time we found something good in it we had something else spoiling all the fun, such as lack of features, polishing or common sense.
  38. Apr 22, 2014
    70
    A few more months in development might have made a considerable difference. Still, this will probably make quite a splash when it arrives on consoles. On PC, though, TESO doesn't do enough to differentiate itself from the competition.
  39. Apr 21, 2014
    70
    Visually, the game is consistent, but that consistency is boring and drab. The game itself is punctuated with exciting moments, but overall it's just above average and I have a hard time recommending that in a subscription MMO. If you're a big Elder Scrolls fan, give it a try. If not, there are better choices out there.
  40. Apr 17, 2014
    70
    The main quality of The Elder Scrolls Online is the giving of a good answer to the fans asking for an MMO Elder Scrolls for years. But objectively, it's not the best MMORPG around, nor the best episode of the series. Consequently, the game has good moments but it never enters the unforgettable kind. And the subscription seems very high at the end of the day.
  41. Apr 15, 2014
    70
    Under the surface, not enough has changed to the formula that separates The Elder Scrolls Online from existing free or established properties, and I would find it genuinely hard to recommend to anyone seeking an experience outside of a cosy, well presented, box.
  42. Apr 12, 2014
    70
    Elder Scrolls Online presents an honest attempt to freshen up the MMO genre. It wants to offer fans a pure Elder Scrolls experience with a focus on story and characters, but with its fairly sloppy multiplayer mechanics the game gets a bit boring. Despite quite a few good ideas, Elder Scrolls Online sadly fails at several points. It's still a game that will really speak to a variety of players though.
  43. Apr 12, 2014
    70
    This is not the huge mess some people claim nor the masterpiece some others say. It's a good MMORPG with some issues that you can enjoy if you can forgive them.
  44. Apr 4, 2014
    70
    The Elder Scrolls Online is probably the weirdest MMO I've played in ages. It is constantly torn between its solo RPG origin and the need to provide the usual MMO package "a la WoW". In the end though, it is highly enjoyable to play, and nobody will be bored in embarking on this adventure.
  45. Apr 25, 2014
    69
    By their very nature, MMO's evovle - but as it stands right now, The Elder Scrolls online isn't a worthwhile investment. If you're an Elder Scrolls fan, you might want to give it a try but I do think you may be a teeny bit disappointed. If you're an MMORPG fan, there are some ideas here that you will certainly like.
  46. Apr 14, 2014
    68
    A few well-designed systems struggle to overcome lifeless presentation. Capable, but ultimately hard to recommend.
  47. May 12, 2014
    65
    Zenimax Online Studios was on an almost impossible task. Delivering an MMO experience on single player basis it's simply impossible, especially if you're sticking to traditional mechanics. Maybe, one day, reworked by patches and courageous changes, this will be a great MMO, but not today.
  48. May 9, 2014
    65
    I think right now, the most prudent thing to do is to wait for ZeniMax to iron out all of The Elder Scrolls Online's kinks (including how it handles post level 50 content to make it less grindy), and play the console version of the game. Not only will it arrive with all of the updates from the PC version in tow, but it'll also have full native controller support -- which feels more natural than a mouse and keyboard in this instance.
  49. May 5, 2014
    65
    The Elder Scrolls Online is a big game with a lot of work put into its creation. ZeniMax Online has created a large world with many quests and a cool PvP mode. The game tries to satisfy both solo gamers and MMO lovers, but the end result is short of expectations. TESO can be recommended only to the fans of the genre, who accept its flaws: repetitiveness, not very exciting combat and lots of simplifications. This "Skyrim online" is well made, but not very original.
  50. 65
    The parts I dislike are where they’ve tried to shoehorn an MMO into the mix. The combat, level grind, grouping, and people all discourage me from wanting to play. The MMO components feel forced and generic, and the game would be more enjoyable without them. This comes from an Elder Scrolls fan though.
  51. Jul 23, 2014
    60
    Eight years of development, a team consisting of even 250 people at some points, budget reaching hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a pity that this ‘Skyrim Online’ disappoints both fans of previous Bethesda games and MMORPG veterans who expected some fresh air in the stale genre. [06/2014, p.44]
  52. 60
    A well done MMO that can lure players not familiar with the genre. But if you've played MMOs before, this one doesn't offer anything new, nor anything exciting.
  53. Jun 7, 2014
    60
    Gorgeous to look at and listen to, but rather forgettable to play. [Issue#249, p.65]
  54. May 29, 2014
    60
    Whether or not The Elder Scrolls Online is for you depends on what you are looking for. It is not a conversion of the single player series that many might have hoped for.
  55. May 20, 2014
    60
    With better MMORPGs already out there and seemingly more great ones coming, The Elder Scrolls Online is using the name to appeal to its large fan base, and I have no doubt some will enjoy, but for the rest, this game is an vacillating anomaly in a packed market.
  56. Apr 25, 2014
    60
    Elder Scrolls fans will be put off by its rigid structure and weak storytelling, while your average MMO player will tire of wading through the wan questing to get to the good stuff. Even the good stuff isn't outstanding, and the game doesn't represent good value compared to its competition.
  57. Apr 24, 2014
    60
    Hopefully, The Elder Scrolls Online will one day get out of its own way, and stop trying to stifle the very fun it's trying to provide.
  58. Apr 24, 2014
    60
    We approached Elder Scrolls Online as fans of the series and as MMO lovers, but it came up short from both perspectives. It's missing that spark of magic that enticed us to get lost in Skyrim or Morrowind for months, or that made us happy to fork over a monthly fee just to access our current favorite game. It seems like so much effort was put into forcibly translating Elder Scrolls' style into the genre's norms, but the payoff for that effort isn't there.
  59. Apr 14, 2014
    60
    The Elder Scrolls Online makes the fundamental mistake that most quests have been written as single player adventures. Other players disturb the illusion, instead of being the reason you'd want to keep playing. Good combat, very fun PvP and deep character development can't hide that ESO makes one too many compromises and estranges RPG- and MMO-lovers in the process.
  60. Apr 14, 2014
    60
    A lot of really great potential is held back by a huge amount of bugs.
  61. Jun 16, 2014
    50
    60 days was more then enough time for me to determine that I would rather spend my time elsewhere.
  62. Apr 29, 2014
    50
    Players who seek the traditional fantasy MMOG experience may find something of value in TESO, because it has evidently been built with them in mind. But it is difficult to imagine many others investing hundreds of hours in a place this bland, in a formula this familiar, and in a game this demanding of both your time and your money.
  63. Apr 18, 2014
    50
    The Elder Scrolls Online is frustrating. It has moments of sheer class, but they’re consistently tainted by bugs. I love the PvP, but it’s pointless playing when the rewards are so slim. I like the questing, but huge numbers of quests are simply broken. I love the world, and the lore, and some of the systems they have produced. But my enjoyment of them was undermined by poor design.
  64. Apr 29, 2014
    40
    Apparently existing only to serve as a strawman for future arguments against the whole genre, Elder Scrolls Online is a game of exposed weaknesses and failed potential. If you’re hankering for Scrolls, I recommend modded Skyrim. If you’re after an MMO, I recommend any other.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2105 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Apr 4, 2014
    10
    Did you ever play WoW and wished it wouldn't be so boring levelling up? Welcome to the Elder Scrolls Online. It plays very differently fromDid you ever play WoW and wished it wouldn't be so boring levelling up? Welcome to the Elder Scrolls Online. It plays very differently from traditional MMOs in the sense that there are not quest hubs. This means that it is up to you to find and explore and by doing so level up. The combat is fantastic, there are no cool down timers. It is up to you to dodge, block, interrupt, cast, heal. It's very hectic and very fun, but also true to the Elder Scrolls Combat formula. Being able to play in first person adds immersion. The graphics are fantastic. All quest texts are voiced. The list goes on and on, in short I couldn't be happier with this game. Full Review »
  2. Apr 4, 2014
    4
    Its not terrible, its just very disappointing coming from the heritage of a game series that dared to be different from the crowd and defineIts not terrible, its just very disappointing coming from the heritage of a game series that dared to be different from the crowd and define its own genre of open sandbox rpg gaming. Elderscrolls online just leaves me feeling like the makers really just wanted to make a new RvR game in the same mould as DAoC or WAR. Its so standard MMO, so been there done that, so uninspired it just hurts. Where there is an attempt to incorporate some of the elements of the single player games it feels clunky or doesn't quite work because the fundamental starting point was your bog standard MMO the like of which we've seen time and again for the last 10 years. Take questing. full voice, lots of effort put into back story you say? Well yes, but because the questing and character advancement model is essentially the same as most MMOs (That being you advance by completing quests which give you xp to spend on level ups), the world is necessarily packed with quest givers, most of whom give 5 min quests which we've all done a million of before, kill 5 bears, pick 10 flowers, blah blah blah. The end result is all the fancy voice acting and back story just wastes your time because the fundamental activity is so mindless. I could go on and on about the disappointments in ESO, but it all boils down to one thing. Its nothing new, its not in the spirit of the single player games, its just another near enough carbon copy of a gameplay model that doesn't fit with the IP that's been forced into it. Come on Devs, can't you be a bit braver than this. If Bethesda had just copied the successful model of the time then Arena would of been a scripted on rails experience like Final Fantasy. The MMORPG world is crying out for something new, something different. Enough with the era of the WoW-a-like. Full Review »
  3. Apr 11, 2014
    2
    Re-reviewing this game after a week of normal play and it is still disappointing.

    As to be expected with the release of games these days
    Re-reviewing this game after a week of normal play and it is still disappointing.

    As to be expected with the release of games these days there are a ton of bugs, some that are seriously crippling, like everything in your bank disappearing or that really cool epic armor on your head just disappearing. Quests are broken and it seems that the higher level you get the less testing seems to have been done, which makes sense as they had a limited beta.

    It doesn't even have the feel of a normal MMO because they gave it the base Elder Scrolls GUI but then cut back on its functionality. You have 7 slots attached to keyboard keys, 1-5, Q, R, 1 special R which is really lame as the power builds up while you fight and drops when you are not which means you rarely use it in PvE. The 7 slot Q is attached to a quick slot which means you can have several items on that, but can only use them one at a time and there is a cool-down timer on them. So that epic battle in Skyrim where you clicked through 30 potions, not going to happen in ESO.

    The limited key functionality and simplicity that they have is clearly been done to make the titles transition to consoles easier. The greatness of the Elder Scrolls series is the graphics and how fantastic the game looks. ESO misses this mark completely, the graphics just are not there and seem like they maybe that way for console release.

    The interesting thing about player and bank inventory space is that you can see where they could put a F2P or P2W system in place immediately without having to adjust game mechanics. It is almost like the expect this game to go F2P at some point.

    With that in mind, there is no ground breaking systems here that are just the best thing ever, there are gold farmers, bots and spammers in the chat. With nothing really holding people other than the PvP which again is not ground breaking, and the hope of future releases of new lands I do not see a financial sustainability in the 15 dollars a month plan. I suspect before the one year mark either an announcement or the actually change to a F2P model. I hope that Bethesda sees this not as a title to build off of, but as a third part release for the MMO market.
    Full Review »