Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6573 Ratings

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  • Summary: The next chapter in the Elder Scrolls saga arrives from the Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose. Play any type of character you can imagine, and do whatever you want; the legendary freedom of choice, storytelling, and adventure of The Elder Scrolls is realized like never before. Skyrim's new game engine brings to life a complete virtual world with rolling clouds, rugged mountains, bustling cities, lush fields, and ancient dungeons. Choose from hundreds of weapons, spells, and abilities. The new character system allows you to play any way you want and define yourself through your actions. Battle ancient dragons like you've never seen. As Dragonborn, learn their secrets and harness their power for yourself. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Feb 14, 2012
    100
    Skyrim is definitely one of the best games of 2011, but if the DLC holds out, it might just be one of the best games of 2012 as well.
  2. Nov 17, 2011
    100
    In its worst moments Skyrim stumbles over its confused artificial intelligence, shutting itself down and its half-done inventory system. In its best ones Skyrim is the king of the new age of the genre.
  3. Nov 26, 2011
    97
    Let me clear things up by assuring you that none of the quest bugs, graphical issues, gameplay glitches, or unexplained crashes I've encountered can change the fact that I played this amazing RPG for well over 100 hours in the past couple weeks and absolutely loved it.
  4. Nov 17, 2011
    95
    Skyrim is like a music album that has a few tracks that you aren't particularly fond of, but rest of the music is pure aural blliss that you can't help but think of the album as close to perfection as possible.
  5. 90
    Skyrim is the best open world RPG you can get. A true evolution of genre is not flawless but still it is the game you love to live in. [Christmas 2011]
  6. Nov 23, 2011
    78
    You will have to spend dozens of hours to fully explore Skyrim. Like any other Bethesda game, it has its share of imperfections and broken promises, but it's exciting and fascinating nevertheless. Wait for a couple of patches to come out, download the best mods, tighten the screws in the SkyrimPrefs.ini file, and you're good to go for a virtual Christmas vacation.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    Subtract everything you hate about past elder scrolls games, add everything you love, add a better engine that does not crash on you every 10 minutes and is not a steaming pile of bugs, pretty up everything, make the faces cooler and make just about everything better and you have skyrim. This game is a masterpiece, its the game that we have been waiting for in 2011, (Most titles this year have been bad to say the least) This game would deserve a perfect 10 if not for the super lame secondary main quest which is the civil war, you can kill the final boss in one hit, I understand that level scaling is bad in most cases, but in some cases things have to be level scaled. The annoying part is, the civil war is about the length of the dragon questline! this game would get a 9.7 in my book now, thanks to that one little detail, but since metacritic forces me to round up my score, 10 it is!
    Also, if you really want to complain about the crappy interface of how you painfully select everything and how its built for a controller, do one of the two following things : get a mod, or use a controller, we all have USB ports!
    Expand
  2. Nov 25, 2011
    10
    Exceptionally well put together game. Breath-taking visuals, fantastic audio and music score. Probably the best Elder Scrolls, and the absolute best Bethesda game, to date. Expand
  3. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    People should understand that this is not a game you can critic by complaining "outdated" graphical elements, minor glitches or what ever you can find in other games of the genre. This is an Elder Scrolls game and a Bethesda product. For many people this is a title which promises hundreds of hours game play, exploring, fighting even if you never touch the main story at all. In 99.5% of other games you even cannot think about it. This is a game you just climb on top of a hill just to watch the sun rise which you know something made of CGI. This is a game with some flaws (some minor some serious) which sometimes makes you crash your head into your monitor. But every single person familiar with this title, played previous Elder Scrolls games will not care about those. Because they know bugs will be patched, graphics will be heavily modded and lots of other fun elements will be added in time. This has been in the past and this will be in the future. After all we will have a game, a real game which has a sole purpose of making gamers feel like you are walking in the shoes of a mighty wizard, powerful warrior or even a sneaky assasin. If this is not what you want then you can get back to your "modern" games which are nothing but the graphic makeup. Hope you have fun. Meantime we will be playing and enjoying for what we have paid for... Expand
  4. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    Perfectly polished and done. Hasn't been dumbed down- has been made fun, and this is coming from someone who doesn't like fantasy. The game lacks its own personality, but makes up for that with so much content and hidden secrets that after 200 hours I keep finding new things. Expand
  5. Nov 15, 2011
    9
    Graphics: While some of the up close textures may be a tad blurry, and you might get some pop in; this game looks absolutely wonderful with a decent PC rig with all the settings on ultra. For a game with environments this vast you are going to see some hiccups, but overall the level of detail is remarkable.

    Sound: With some old ES favorites mixed into an original score, the music in this game is top notch and comes to a crescendo during high action parts, yet drops off to a soothing melody as you walk around towns. The ambient sounds are also top notch and brings another level to this world when played through a surround sound system. Gameplay: In previous ES games I always found that the combat was rather lacking and got very stale after a while, especially melee characters. While Skyrim doesn't exactly implement a brand new combat system, they have however, refined their combat system into a much more enjoyable experience. It seems Bethesda has taken a page out of the Bioshock book, because in Skyrim your character now can dual wield weapons, magic, or in the case of my character one of each. Many magic spells can be combined to create a much more powerful version of which ever spell you are dual-wielding. Melee still feels a bit flat when compared to the dual casting magic system, but with the inclusion of gruesome finishing moves and the ability to wield two one-handed weapons, as well as a more effective sword and board style, melee combat feels much better than in previous iterations of the ES series.

    Leveling up in Skyrim has also been streamlined, (i know i know many construe streamlined as being "dumbed down", and I assure you it's not) which in my opinion was a very welcome addition. It still follows the "level up by doing" formula of previous games in the ES series. but instead of trying to divide 10 points into 50+ skills, you now choose to put points into Magic, Health, or Stamina every time you gain a level. In addition to choosing a base stat to boost, you also get a perk point every level, which you can than put into a specialty area, such as destruction/restoration/illusion if you use magic or one-hand/two-hand/shield for people who like to hit things. Menus/UI: While these are serviceable for PC users who use a mouse and keyboard, it is very evident that these were designed with controllers in mind. I also don't like that the ability to bind different keys is restricted. While I can still remap certain keys I can't assign my number keys to various potions, abilities, magic, etc. which is a bit of a let down. That being said, the menus themselves have a very slick look to them, especially the skills menu where you spend your points once you level.

    Playability/Re-playability: This area is where Skyrim really shines. The amount of quests in this game is absolutely staggering, and many are in places that you might not think to look. For example I was reading random books in a random dungeon, and one of the books gave me a quest to find an ancient sword. I'm not sure if that one book is the only way you can get the quest, but it goes to show that you should leave no stone unturned when it comes to exploring. Skyrim also continues the ES tradition that ensures that no player will experience Skyrim the exact same way as another. Now the main quests are the same, but the game leaves it up to you in how and in which order you want to tackle each one. Another interesting aspect of the Skyrim quest system is that it will continue to spawn random kill/search/rescue/deliver quests that will in theory keep you going forever.

    Bugs/Glitches: For any of you familiar with the ES or (new)Fallout series you know that these games can be full of bugs from something as simple as textures not loading to something as game-breaking as a corrupted save file. Skyrim seems for the most part to be game-breaking bug free, but still has a few annoyances such as NPCs caught in a loop, or wooly mammoths being launched hundreds of feet in the air. Luckily the auto save feature in Skyrim activates each time you enter or exit a new area, so if you are unfortunate enough to experience a major bug that requires a reset, hopefully it won't set you back to far. Another issue worth mentioning is that Skyrim can crash randomly, and while I haven't experienced it first hand, my roommate has had a few.

    Overall: Skyrim is the pinnacle of the ES series, it remedies many issues of the past games, and presents you with an open world experience unparallelled in the RPG realm. The quests are fun and engaging, the world feels alive as npc's walk around and do their day to day chores, the combat has been tightened up and feels much better, especially as a melee character. If you have never played an ES game before and are looking for an open world rpg than this game is for you, and if you are familiar with and enjoyed previous games in the ES series Skyrim will blow you away.
    Expand
  6. Jul 23, 2012
    7
    It's ok, until the next TES game comes out. Then it will be forgotten (I like to call it the "need for speed effect") by everyone. Shallow story and characters, nothing really interesting apart from the graphics. Expand
  7. Jun 21, 2013
    0
    The game has this horribly persistent "Failed to initialize renderer" problem that keeps it from starting. No one really knows how to solve it. So much for actually playing it. It might actually be good. Expand

See all 1850 User Reviews

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