Universal acclaim - based on 90 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 951 Ratings

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  • Summary: Oblivion is a single-player game that takes place in Tamriel's capital province, Cyrodiil. You are given the task of finding the hidden heir to a throne that sits empty, the previous emperor having been killed by an unknown assassin. With no true Emperor, the gates to Oblivion (the equivalent of hell in the world of Tamriel) open, and demons begin to invade Cyrodiil and attack its people and towns. It's up to you to find the lost heir to the throne and unravel the sinister plot that threatens to destroy all of Tamriel. In keeping with the Elder Scrolls tradition, players have the option to experience the main quest at their own pace, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the vast world and make your own way. Numerous factions can be joined, such as the thieves or mages guilds, and each contains its own complete storyline and the chance to rise to the head of the faction and reap further rewards. Oblivion features a groundbreaking new AI system, called Radiant AI, which gives non-player characters (NPCs) the ability to make their own choices based on the world around them. They decide where to eat or who to talk to and what they say. They sleep, go to church, and even steal items, all based on their individual characteristics. Full facial animations and lip-synching, combined with full speech for all dialog, allows NPCs to come to life like never before. [Bethesda] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 90
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 90
  3. Negative: 0 out of 90
  1. 100
    Due to the diversity and individuality presented to the player in the game, it's not possible to adequately explain just how involving and rewarding the experience of Oblivion is, or put over the immense scope of the living, breathing world on offer. Bethesda richly deserves incredible success in producing something so captivating.
  2. 100
    For those used to linear, Japanese-style role-playing games, Oblivion will seem like a revelation. All the games in this series have been known for their sheer vastness and freedom of choice, but the Elder Scrolls IV takes that concept and runs with it.
  3. Oblivion not only raises the bar in the visual and audio modules but also in the gameplay and presentation department, making it easily one of the most recommendable titles to anyone who has ever enjoyed the thought of truly doing whatever they want in a video game, in a world where actions actually mean something.
  4. There is so much you can do on this game that will keep any player coming back for more even after you have completed the main quest.
  5. Keeping with the tradition of earlier Elder Scrolls games, there are quite literally miles of terrain to explore. Thankfully Oblivion has a built in teleport option which allows you to instantly travel to any area you’ve uncovered.
  6. It's heavily steeped in RPG tradition, however, its appeal stretches far beyond the hardcore RPG demographic thanks to its ease of play, boundless ambition and focused attention to detail. [May 2006, p.112]
  7. There are sections of the game where you hit invisible walls -- presumably to make way for more expansion packs, although at the time of writing the only expansion available for Xbox 360 owners is some rather expensive downloadable horse armor -- and some wacky bugs that'll sometimes see you floating on air when you dismount a horse.

See all 90 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 327
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    Oblivion is easily one of the best games I have ever played. The attention to detail is amazing, I was speechless after I left the first dungeon and began to explore the world. Expand
  2. Nov 9, 2011
    This game absorbed countless hours of my life. I put more time trying to complete everything that there was in this game. The scale of this ame is incredible, yet somehow it was never enough to fully keep me from wanting more. The amount of detail in each city, each guild and each person are impossible to overstate. For any little bug that someone could point to in this game, there are countless things that easily outweigh that in my mind. This game was what really made me follow the works of Bethesda. Their games always have a scope that is simply unparalleled in any other game out there.I HIGHLY recommend this game to all gamers out there. The main story is only the tip of the ice burg for this one. Expand
  3. May 27, 2013
    I haven't played this game in a few years but I am going back and retroactivly scoring them. While it is not as beautiful as Skyrim is today. For it's time it was an amazing game. It felt like a living breathing word which you happened upon. The fighting and magic were well done. Most of the quests were entertaining. My only complaing was that 3rd person looked atrocious, but since the game is meant to be played in first person, I'll let it slide. Expand
  4. Oct 9, 2010
    well when you compare it to Morrowind its better in some ways and worse then others. the better would be its WAAAAAY less buggy and gltchy . the combat system has been improved to make it more fun . the graphics look great. fast travel makes getting around alot easier . nav points make doing quests alot easier . it has a diffucult setting for newer gamers to the series. the not as good would be ... robbing people houeses isnt near as fun no loot ever worth steeling . less magic spells and they took out the ability to fly!!! WHY!? enimys and new gear lvl up with you which i didnt like . i liked the feel of never knowing what i was walking into when exploring in morrowind. made more of a fun challange and making me wonder what i was gona find for loot. .now i know all the enimys will be my lvl and the loot will always be near what my lvl is... sucks. not as much to do as in morrowin eather although im not complaining i still spent 160+ hours doing just about every thing to do in this game which is way longer then just about 99.9% of games out there but morrowing was 400+ hours. regaurdless of all that bethesda still made a great game and i am very happy with it . Expand
  5. Dec 24, 2013
    Only it's successor Skyrim boasts a better Fantasy RPG experience.

    At the time it came out, simply one of the greatest games to ever hit
    the shelves and while it does have some flaws, especially related to certain combat mechanics, to this day it rivals most RPGs for quality. Expand
  6. Apr 2, 2012
    A brilliant rpg with a massive amount to do. Looting is phenomenal, as is exploration and character customization. There are some flaws that people all too often point out, but overall the scale and freedom and fun of this game is absolutely amazing. I tried this game once, didn't like it, put it back. I watched some lets plays and decided to give it another try: best gaming decision I have ever made. This game opened me up to The Elder Scrolls, and after 220 hours and a satisfying playthrough (before the expansion), I can safely say this game is soul-suckingly addicting and absorbs your existence right out of your eyes. 9 / 10 Expand
  7. Nov 26, 2011
    Undoubtedly, this game is the worst excuse for a piece of electronic data. I had the game for one a matter of hours before deciding to return it the next day. It is worse than all the other washed-up shooters, redundant role-playing-games, and stupid strategy games. It is so very bland, boring, redundant, purpose-defeating, sad, and foreboding in story. I will never buy such an atrocity and leave such a statement for others to view and heed. Expand

See all 327 User Reviews