Universal acclaim - based on 90 Critics

Critic 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
    A staggeringly ambitious game that successfully unites some of the best elements of RPG, adventure and action games and fuses them into a relentlessly immersive and intoxicating whole.
  3. 100
    Here we have a game that is intelligent and uncompromising yet wonderfully easy to get involved with and enjoy.
  4. Cyrodiil looks absolutely stunning. Everything is bright and wonderful in the sunshine, birds singing, pigeons flocking, butterflies dodging about in the shadows, and then environments look damp, cold and miserable when rain rolls into town. The level of detail is quite breathtaking.
  5. Like Homer, once you've begun to consume what this eternity has to offer, you'll have no desire to stop. The fourth Elder Scrolls entry is utterly brilliant and should not be missed by any adventure-spirited gamer.
  6. One of the ultimate RPG’s of our lifetime. It is an experience you won’t soon forget and possibly one that might never end.
  7. I’ve been playing Oblivion for the past 5 days straight and I am about 30 hours into the plot and from what I can gather it is only beginning...It literally does have a hold on me.
  8. The bottom line is Oblivion is probably the only game besides Halo that gamers will still have in their drives a year from now, an after running around the world for 50hrs I can see why.
  9. Simply put, Oblivion is a game where the story never ends. The story of your exploits in any other game would have natural gaps, but here you can just keep telling it, with every yarn feeding logically into the next.
  10. Once past the first level, my character continued to skill up in those things she used most, in the most incredibly seamless and incredibly deep role-playing mechanic I've ever seen in a console game.
  11. The painstaking attention to detail, outstanding worldcrafting, and inspired AI make it a huge improvement; and there wasn't all that much wrong with "Morrowind" to begin with. Oblivion is a stunning game -- don't miss it.
  12. 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.
  13. An epic, not only because the immaculate world you inhabit is so immense, but also because the gameplay is fantastically intense.
  14. The most captivating first-person role-playing game yet. This is essential gaming.
  15. It’s just so damned big. That’s what you’ll say after playing Oblivion for more than an hour. Or, for that matter, 50 hours.
  16. Worth playing for the sense of discovery—each environment looks different from the last and requires a nuanced reaction—makes the action addictive.
  17. The music is superbly scored and goes a long way to set a mood. I ca not imagine playing this game without the soundtrack and any attempt to do so only managed to break the mood.
  18. Oblivion is a blast to play, and it's a considerable achievement in the annals of electronic role-playing games.
  19. I already can‘t wait to see what the series has in store next.
  20. It’s one of those rare games that is more of an experience than just a game and you’ll love being long for the ride.
  21. The graphics are nothing short of incredible. All of the environments, whether they be woodlands, cities or a version of Hell, are highly imaginative and distinct. I didn't detect any reuse of textures. Everything appears to have been created fresh, from scratch.
  22. Replay in this game is HUGE, even when I first started to play this game I couldn’t wait until I beat it so I could create a new character and try playing it a different way.
  23. 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.
  24. The main quest, side quests, townspeople, graphics, open-endedness, etc combine to make one of the best videogames available on any console.
  25. It is quite possible to blow through the game in 30 hours, but it is equally possible to play for 400 and still not have done everything there is to do in Cyrodiil.
  26. Many MMORPGs promise to create a world that once you enter, you may want to leave the real world behind; Oblivion brilliantly succeeds in such a promise, and it’s not even an online game.
  27. 98
    If Morrowind defines the non-linear RPG genre, Oblivion adds clarity to that definition.
  28. As great as "Morrowind" was (and it was difficult to imagine better), Oblivion is a game that does everything ten times better. It also makes playing any other game out there seem trivial.
  29. You can spend hours upon hours leveling up your character, doing various quests, customizing your character to however you want before you even get on the main quest.
  30. Oblivion is so deep it is hard to escape its grasp. Few things keep it down, such as loading times, and a few problems with visuals and sound, but the gameplay, the most important piece is dead-on.
  31. This game is overwhelming and overachieving in so many ways that Bethesda needs to take a bow.
  32. It all comes down to the freedom to play the game any way you want, and that is something that Oblivion does amazingly well.
  33. "Morrowind" earned recognition for being one of the best role-playing games in years, but the immersive and long-lasting experience it provided wasn't for everyone. Oblivion is hands-down better, so much so that even those who'd normally have no interest in a role-playing game should find it hard to resist getting swept up in this big, beautiful, meticulously crafted world.
  34. Oblivion took our expectations for the game and sent them ... well ... into oblivion.
  35. Its gameplay, graphics, and auditory value are all off the chain. In addition, its replayability will provide hundreds of hours of wholesome fun. My only personal complaint is this: due to the immense worlds, obscene amounts of terrain, and overall hugeness of this software, I found myself becoming nauseated and oftentimes lightheaded and dizzy. You’ve been warned.
  36. The standard has been set, and it’s been set ridiculously high. Whether it’s the fantastic production values or its nearly flawless gameplay mechanics, we couldn’t be happier with Oblivion.
  37. Likely the best game released in the last decade.
  38. The detail on the buildings, armor and other characters is just mind blowing. Again, if there was every any question about the $60 price tag, it will be gone within the first 5 minutes of playing.
  39. With a world that is this big, the amount of choices and the sheer number of items to interact with, we can live with some slowdown here and there. So, as the biggest release of 2006 thus far, is it a potential game of the year candidate? Absolutely.
  40. The bar for the next generarion of RPG's has been set. [May 2006, p.92]
  41. Take heed when staring at Oblivion on a store shelf: Your $60 will go father than it ever has, but prepare to get hooked for the long haul. [Apr 2006, p.69]
  42. An y game that can sweep you away like this deserves out utmost reverence. [May 2006, p.51]
  43. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion takes everything that was great about its predecessors and improves upon it while delivering its own brand of RPG style and substance on a new console with all the power and beauty you would expect.
  44. 95
    Arguably the best 360 game out there and the most addicting RPG experience outside of an MMO.
  45. If there was ever a game that could be described as having the ultimate longevity then this would perhaps be it, although I must say a little self control is possibly required.
  46. 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.
  47. A monster of an RPG that raises the bar for all future console epics; ‘Live another life, in another world’ says it all.
  48. The scale, beauty and immersion of the game’s open-ended world is unprecedented, the character creation and progression systems are deep and involving and the gameplay that backs it all up is solid and insatiably addictive.
  49. Rather than a reiteration of the customs, concepts and capabilities we’ve become familiar with in RPGs, Oblivion is something wholly new and entertaining that advances what freedom can feel like in a video game.
  50. 95
    With its enormous amount of quests, the beautifully expansive environment, and a degree of subtlety that most games don’t even dream of, Bethesda has created a gaming masterpiece that will be hard to knock off come Game of the Year voting.
  51. In the end when it was all said and done, out came a game that caters to the RPG hardcore crowd with the games longevity, and yet it provides an interesting and great experience for the non-RPG playing crowd.
  52. The sheer size of the game results in so many different options and things to do that I couldn’t possibly cover them all here.
  53. A refreshing, immersive, massive, satisfying and hugely impressive game.
  54. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion finally has what the other Elder Scrolls games have striven for: a fascinating and believable fantasy world with tons of things to do and enjoy. The story and missions are crafted a lot better than before and you can easily lose yourself in the game watching the incredible graphics while the sun slowly sets in the horizon. Truly, an experience. [May 2006]
  55. If you can overcome the occasional performance hiccups, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most engaging and visceral role-playing games ever created.
  56. 93
    The best single-player role-playing experience to come along in years.
  57. 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.
  58. 93
    The game is just too big to elaborate on in its entirety, and this is a game that really has to be experienced, not just read about. Want to know what to expect? You can expect a massive game that is very open.
  59. 93
    Oblivion excels in almost every department but emerges as absolutely more than the sum of its parts. When viewed as a complete creation, the RPG genre can offer little else to compare; the console market has never known such deeply involving and open-ended imagination; and there's certainly nothing on the Xbox 360 that better deserves the 'killer app' motif to-date.
  60. A game so vast and varied that it would probably take hundreds of hours of play to see and experience everything, if that is possible at all.
  61. Many of you will absolutely detest (like, controller-smash detest) Oblivion. This mega-titanium-diamond-hardcore game punishes even the passionate...Oblivion makes you do hard time--and you love it. That's amazing.
  62. Oblivion has the audio to match the graphics. Outside of the orchestral score Bethesda Softworks went all out with the voice over talent bringing Patrick Stewart, Sean Bean, and Terrance Stamp to give voices to their characters.
  63. As much as this review has so far been my picking apart Oblivion’s flaws, I’m compelled to get across to you the point that I do love this game and enjoy every minute I’m playing it.
  64. And astoundingly, everyone speaks. Though the voices occasionally repeat, it's pretty impressive that they managed to cram so much voiced dialogue in here, and most of it is high-quality work.
  65. The game will provide you with more content than you can possibly handle, and is one of the few games on the market today that’s actually worth the full $60 price tag.
  66. What really makes it different is the level of immersion that is offered. It was so easy to start playing and only come up out of the game when the body’s demand to expel waste and take on more fluids became an urgent scream.
  67. When started, you’ll rarely look at another game for weeks if not months (thanks to the downloadable content) to come and beyond. Oblivion is without question a strong contender for the best game of 2006.
  68. 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]
  69. Go ahead, look up the word 'Epic' in a dictionary; you should come across the following entry - 'Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size'. This simple explanation describes The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion perfectly.
  70. Oblivion is literally riddled with ye-olde RPG tradition, yet its accessibly, truly freeform approach will appeal to old hands and those yet to experience the unbridled joy of carving a new life alike.
  71. Bethesda fulfills the hopes of fans with this truly epic RPG, laced with genuinely jaw-dropping next-gen visuals and the customary deep and satisfying gameplay.
  72. Oblivion will consume you. It'll consume your life, your performance at work will suffer and you might not see friends in weeks. With hundreds of hours of gameplay, and an unprecedented amount of quests to be completed, I couldn't possibly recommend Oblivion enough.
  73. An absolute triumph that shows how ambition and verve combined with next-gen technology can create an absolute monster of a game. The one game every Xbox 360 owner must try. [Issue#5, p.76]
  74. 90
    The game is an absolute masterpiece from Bethesda. It delivers what an RPG is supposed to deliver: a hugely immersive world with quality gameplay and supposedly 200 hours of fantastic story to wade through.
  75. It manages to raise the normally stagnant RPG genre into the upper echelons of gaming and it's unlikely we'll lay something as staggering, open-ended and entertaining as this in a long time. [Issue #8]
  76. Oblivion is a game that defines freedom within a videogame, one that accepts whatever role players choose and allowing them to play the game as they see fit; for this reason alone, Oblivion is a game with very few rivals - a flawed masterpiece.
  77. Oblivion is a game people will still be calling a classic a decade from now—and in the fickle world of gaming, that's high praise indeed.
  78. 90
    Oblivion is easily the finest open-ended RPG to date. It lacks the out-of-the-box crippling technical issues of every other Elder Scrolls game, looks great, and delivers on every promise Bethesda made during its development.
  79. A truly wonderful and immersive experience.
  80. 90
    Rise of Legends does evolve the series and the genre. The gameplay is perfectly balanced between all three factions and the graphics stunning. Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends features the best balance I’ve seen in an RTS – ever. If you are a fan of the genre, don’t go past this title!!
  81. Everything on offer here – from picking locks to becoming a vampire via setting off Indiana Jones-style traps in a dungeon whilst nicking treasure – is an absolute joy brilliantly realised.
  82. 90
    It's not a perfect game (but I've yet to see a game that is), but if this is the direction next generation RPGs are headed in, then fans of the genre should rejoice.
  83. 90
    A wonderfully crafted world with plenty of things to see, do, achieve and kill. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has absolutely everything. An essential purchase.
  84. Everything that was great about Morrowind is here in spades, but with smoother gameplay mechanics, snazzier visuals and a faster-moving storyline.
  85. Next generation graphics, huge improvements on all fronts from its predecessors, a 40 hour main storyline, and 100s of hours of side quests make this an RPG gamer’s dream come true.
  86. 90
    Oblivion's more than just a game -- it's an entire world for the taking, the only single-player RPG that could possibly give a game like "World of Warcraft" a real run for its money.
  87. Bethesda's "Morrowind" is a great videogame, but its successor, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, does exactly what every sequel should do, which is taking its predecessor, beat the hell out of it, and leave it for dead. This absolutely marvelous videogame is not only the premier visual show piece for the Xbox 360 hardware, but it's also tremendously enjoyable to play.
  88. It’s debatable whether Oblivion is a great adventure, but it’s certainly one of the broadest around and one that’s a willing canvas for a variety of approaches from its players. [May 2006, p.84]
  89. 80
    It's got plenty to recommend it, but apart from its unprecedented visual achievements this is not a life-changing, essential or fully "next-gen" experience. It's a good, solid RPG that doesn't break the mold but instead makes one that's bigger and shinier.
  90. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1002 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 333
  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 firstOblivion 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. Full Review »
  2. HughM.
    Oct 7, 2009
    This is the best game I have ever played.
  3. DerekM.
    Sep 25, 2009
    Now, I've seen some pretty harsh reviews. Not to criticize anyone in particular, but some people weren't skilled enough to look at Now, I've seen some pretty harsh reviews. Not to criticize anyone in particular, but some people weren't skilled enough to look at their chart to see that they had vampirism so they gave it a zero. grow up. the graphics were beautiful for the time of release. the compelling story pushes the player to do every quest and collect all the deadric items. I love the game mechanics more than morrowind, as the combat system doesnt make your sword slash pass through an enemy as if you weren't holding anything at all, but morrowind had an overall better main quest. The contrast from the beautiful rolling hills and meadows to the bleak, fiery hell of oblivion keeps the player from getting too tired of the scenery. all in all, this is just one of the better games to come out. Now quit whining and get into the game before you give it a 0. Full Review »