Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 89 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 89
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 89
  3. Negative: 0 out of 89
  1. Feb 6, 2012
    100
    This epic role-playing game might be Bethesda's best game yet, and offers an unique and spectacular world filled with fun. The freedom ensures a great experience for both the casual and hardcore gamer, as you're free to play the game how you like.
  2. Dec 14, 2011
    100
    A magnificent hive of creativity and technical clout, and holds a world so open it frequently threatens to overwhelm. Skyrim is forever charming and consistently engaging, and will carve a completely different adventure for every player put under its dazzling spell.
  3. 100
    A masterpiece of free-form gaming; one of the most ambitious games of this generation.
  4. Dec 2, 2011
    100
    If you're looking for just one RPG to pass the time with this year (and probably next), Skyrim is definitely it.
  5. Dec 1, 2011
    100
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is so immense and chock-full of content that we could conceivably rant about it for pages, but to do so would only detract from the time you should spend physically playing it.
  6. Nov 28, 2011
    100
    Skyrim is the game that I would highly recommend to damn near anyone. It's not too hard to figure out and it's got such an enormous amount of stuff to do that anyone would be able to see what is so special about the game.
  7. Nov 28, 2011
    100
    Simply put, this is a beautiful game. The scenery on display here is almost unparalleled in the genre. From scenic viewpoints atop snowy mountains to the rushing streams and waterfalls I found myself often just stopping and admiring for a while.
  8. Nov 17, 2011
    100
    Skyrim, an absolute masterpiece, the more you invest in the game, the more you get out of it. A truly epic game that deserves all of the plaudits. It is more than a just game, it is an experience.
  9. Nov 14, 2011
    100
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a remarkable achievement that despite from a few niggling bugs is an undertaking unlike any other. This could quite easily be the only game you purchase for the next several months and still provide you with a complete sense of satisfaction. There are few titles that offer such an incredible level of value without resorting to multiplayer and for that I applaud Bethesda. Skyrim is a role-playing masterpiece.
  10. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Skyrim lets these rough edges show, because the element of chaos lets players feel like the game is happening to them, and they are alive in it-not just cogs in a pre-fab Game Experience. That's what sets Skyrim apart from some of its contemporaries. Where many games with lavish production values seek to direct players' imaginations, Skyrim seeks to ignite them.
  11. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    The greatest thing about Skyrim is that Bethesda has created a world where our imagination does not have to fill in the blanks: you just have to explore them and live them.
  12. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Skyrim is completely and utterly addictive in every aspect and quite possibly, I'll say it, the greatest RPG of all time. It affords you the luxury of playing it your way and doesn't try to constrain you. It wants you to get lost in a winter wonderland and believe me, you will. Kiss the rest of your life goodbye.
  13. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    After a trajectory of excellency with Oblivion and Fallout 3, Bethesda reaches a new level this generation, showing they have reached maturity in their unique way of making worlds. Thanks to their generosity, will and ambition, single players fans looking for huge worlds of high adventure can still keep dreaming. Skyrim is an absolute triumph.
  14. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    If a deep combat system, an engaging plot, a wonderful cast of characters and a stunning, open-ended game world sounds like something you might be interested in, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim should be at the top of your list.
  15. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    The game's greatest accomplishment is that it is a paradise of escapism, a lavish love letter to immersion. Diving into Skyrim's world feels both thrilling and comforting, like riding a rollercoaster or swimming in the ocean. There is very little padding. There are very few scripted quests that aren't worth experiencing.
  16. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    An absolutely first-rate roleplaying game that combines an abundance of content with an abundance of quality. The outdated design elements are unfortunate but not so distracting that it ruins the depth of the story, the openness of the setting, or the visceral joys of combat.
  17. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    A testament to the strength and importance of games that create living, breathing worlds, while affirming the value of long-term commitment over instant gratification. The absence of companion control, though a glaring flaw, ultimately does not spoil its purposeful, refined, and genre-defining design. Endlessly replayable and a phenomenal landmark in gaming, Skyrim deserves a place in every true gamer's collection.
  18. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    Like every other game in the series, Skyrim is going to eat hundreds of hours of my gaming time over the next few years. It has that sense of wonder that makes he Elder Scrolls games so great, and with the changes to skills, the Shouts, and dual-wielding, I think any gamer is going to have a lot of fun with Skyrim (and its eventual expansions) as well.
  19. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    Skyrim is sprawling, generous, gorgeous and ambitious. It does what few games can: thoroughly follow through on its ambitions. It could be possible to play only this game for the next year and still not discover all of its mysteries.
  20. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    If you can only buy one game this holiday season and want your absolute money's worth, there's no looking past what is arguable the industry benchmark for sandbox and emergent gameplay with player-choice at its helm, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. A work of sheer genius.
  21. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    Take what you loved in Morrowind, cut out what you hated in Oblivion, multiply by 10, mix well, and there you go: you get Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. With its deep background, enticing prophecy, new gameplay mechanisms, Skyrim mesmerizes us into diving in its world completely and forgetting about the usual shortcomings of the series (except the poor animations - they really are too bad to be overlooked). If you like the series, but don't love it, get this game. If you love the series, you better get yourself a pair of fresh undies, and fast.
  22. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    Skyrim is one of the most gargantuan undertakings gamers will experience all year. The sheer size of the adventure, both in terms of its environment and in the amount of activities available to the player, is mind-blowing.
  23. 100
    It is not often I get lost in a game like I did with Skyrim. Everything about this game screams quality and adventure. While Bethesda hasn't exactly got a track record for delivering bug-free games at launch, this has been a pleasant, polished and amazing experience so far. A much improved third-person view, amazing music, a living breathing world, a menu-system that's amazing and a game filled with interesting stuff to do. Truly a masterpiece.
  24. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    Skyrim is bigger, better, deeper than it's already excellent predecessor and a true masterpiece. This is not only a contender to be the game of the year, but maybe even the best role-playing game ever.
  25. 100
    Skyrim is the kind of game you can completely lose yourself in for at least a hundred hours, even if you somehow manage to complete the main quest in fewer than twenty. If you aren't normally drawn to role-playing games, get over it - to miss out on this extraordinary gaming experience would be positively criminal.
  26. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is breathtaking, engrossing and deep. With gameplay and visual improvements, Bethesda set a new standard in The Elder Scrolls series with Skyrim, and with the action/RPG genre. This most certainly should be the game of the year.
  27. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim may not deliver on every hope, wish or fervent demand you've been formulating ever since you realized how many flaws Oblivion was carefully hiding with its immense charm, but it most certainly lives up to the name Elder Scrolls and will easily qualify for millions of gamers' best-of-the-year lists.
  28. 100
    Skyrim may frustrate you at times, but it will work its way inside your skin and replace the marrow of your bones. It never gives you an opportunity to neatly stop playing. Even if you manage to tear yourself away, the locations and the people will rattle around in your head. It'll give you stories to tell your friends, (although you should remember that many people simply won't be interested), and it'll give you an entire region to bend, beautifully slowly, to your will.
  29. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    No other game I know of operates with this many moving parts to create such an immense world filled with this much choice in how you engage its excellent, endless fiction. It's one thing when a game offers dozens of hours of gameplay; it's quite another when that gameplay is good enough you'll want to live in its world for that long.
  30. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    This is the deepest, lovliest world ever created for a single player to explore, and one that no one should deny themselves. This is a game about following Emerson's advice, leaving the trail and finding that the most powerful force on Earth or Tamriel isn't fire or sword, but the ever-insistent desire to know what lies beyond.
  31. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    In weaving together the extraordinary craftsmanship evident in the music, storytelling, adventure and world design of Skyrim, Bethesda has created a very special game indeed - one that's likely to remain in the affections of gamers for many years to come.
  32. Nov 10, 2011
    100
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is every single reason to love a Western role-playing game, condensed into a single comprehensive experience with nothing lost in the conversion process.
  33. 99
    While a few bugs are evident, Skyrim is the most solid effort Bethesda has launched and it's an even more impressive feat given the scale and scope of the world on offer. A captivating land, filled with captivating people, does more than enough to keep us as gamers and fantasy-enthusiasts to keep us coming back for more.
  34. 99
    Simply put, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has raised the bar in the RPG genre, offering a plethora of engaging and unique content in one of the most immersive and beautiful game worlds ever created. Plus, any game that uses the word "lollygagging" deserves eternal praise.
  35. Nov 11, 2011
    99
    If you are sitting on the fence about whether or not to get Skyrim, get it. It is worth it a million times over. The amount of time you could spend in this game is practically endless. The only potentially bad thing is that you could lose sleep because you won't want to stop playing.
  36. Nov 10, 2011
    99
    Bethesda has refined the RPG genre, crafting what is quite possibly the best RPG ever made.
  37. Dec 13, 2011
    98
    Staggering detail collides with unprecedented scale. The game doesn't stop giving. Essential. [Jan 2012, p.57]
  38. Nov 10, 2011
    98
    A colossal and unique roleplaying game, incredibly generous in content, full of amazing details that we think only Bethesda can surpass in the future. One of the best games in history.
  39. Nov 10, 2011
    98
    So back to the big question at hand: is Skyrim too much like Oblivion to the point where it loses credibility? In a word, no. If Skyrim had the exact same game engine and mechanics of Oblivion it would most likely be a contender for game of the year. But by addressing every issue from the last game and improving everything else, Skyrim leaves little room for error for the next game in the series.
  40. Nov 10, 2011
    98
    This is easily one of the best RPGs to come out in this generation of consoles. You must own this game.
  41. Dec 16, 2011
    97
    Skyrim is the largest, and most compelling work that I've had the opportunity to play this year. It's engaging, engrossing, and will take over your gaming life for many months to come. Not only is Skyrim among the best that 2011 has to offer, but for me, this is, without hesitation, the Game of the Year.
  42. Nov 10, 2011
    97
    This is the best Bethesda could afford with The Elder Scrolls series and if you're a real RPG player, you simply can't miss Skyrim.
  43. Nov 10, 2011
    97
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim does not only equal its legendary predecessor Oblivion; it surpasses it. The immense and atmospheric world and insane amount of content will have gamers captivated for months, while the more dynamic level structure and improved fighting possibilities won't allow for a single boring moment. Plus, Skyrim has dragons. Epic!
  44. Nov 10, 2011
    97
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is, undobtedly, Bethesda's masterwork: a deep, pure and vast RPG capable of satisfying both fans and newcomers to the genre thanks to great gameplay and an involving story. A strong contender to the title of best game of the year and of the entire generation.
  45. Nov 10, 2011
    97
    Every aspect of Skyrim is done to pinpoint perfection and has the makings of a game that will be played and enjoyed by millions for years to come.
  46. Nov 10, 2011
    97
    Whether you're wondering around the wilderness, enjoying the melodies from a bard in an inn, casually strutting about town, or going head to head with a dragon; the music and sound effects add to the immersion in the same way they do in a Lord of the Rings or Star Wars film.
  47. Nov 10, 2011
    96
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a role-playing fans paradise.
  48. Nov 10, 2011
    96
    The defining element of Skyrim is the choices that are given to players in every conceivable way. Weapon upgrades, character development, storyline progress, solving quests, exploration, NPC interaction, are all impressively crafted elements that almost feel like separate games molded into one unforgettable adventure.
  49. Nov 10, 2011
    96
    Skyrim is one of the most captivating role-playing games of this generation. Each setting looks amazingly special and the artistic side of the game is just brilliant. This game is deeper and bigger than anything we have seen this year.
  50. Nov 10, 2011
    96
    One of the best action RPGs to date. Crazy depth, lots of quest and dragons: Skyrim is everything the RPG fans are looking for.
  51. Nov 30, 2011
    95
    Improved from Oblivion in almost every way, Skyrim delivers an adventure beyond everything we've seen till now in the genre.
  52. Nov 23, 2011
    95
    Just about the finest example of core, yet accessible, Western RPG and open-ended gameplay. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda have realised the game they wanted to make since the inception of HD gaming.
  53. Nov 18, 2011
    95
    Skyrim is Bethesda's magnum opus. The game combines the best elements from Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3 and makes it an outstanding adventure. The quality and quantity on offer here is incredible.
  54. Nov 18, 2011
    95
    Even with these issues there is only one way to describe Skyrim and that is epic. There is so much to see, do and experience that it's exceedingly easy to get lost in the fantasy. It's not a remarkable or radical departure from Oblivion, so if that game left you cold, Skyrim will too. For those who embraced that lifestyle, you will find Skyrim is Oblivion+++.
  55. Nov 10, 2011
    95
    Where Oblivion may have caused many to sit on the fence when faced with any new Elder Scrolls release, Skyrim stands tall in redemption. It is, without any shadow of doubt, the best RPG experience available right now.
  56. Nov 10, 2011
    95
    This is a title that deserves a spot in your gaming library. The environments are stunning, the level of control you have over your own experience is amazing and, simply put, Skyrim is an epic experience.
  57. Nov 10, 2011
    95
    Sometimes I feel like role-playing games have forgotten about the whole "roleplaying" part of the genre. So it's refreshing to play a game like Skyrim that imbues so much effort into immersing you in its world. Quit your job. Divorce your spouse. Give your children up for adoption. Do whatever you need to do to find the time to play Skyrim.
  58. Nov 10, 2011
    95
    Glitches aside, Skyrim is a big, beautiful game, that will overwhelm with its physical and emotional depths. And after thirty-five hours of playing I feel like I've only experienced a hint of what the Skyrim world has to offer. I love the way it manages to combine sandbox-style gameplay without sacrificing story progression or big political moments that lend credence to the experience of a real culture.
  59. Nov 10, 2011
    95
    Featuring the same kind of thrilling freedom of choice The Elder Scrolls series is known for along with beautiful visuals and a stirring soundtrack, playing Skyrim is a rare kind of intensely personal, deeply rewarding experience, and one of the best role-playing games yet produced.
  60. Nov 10, 2011
    95
    But, assuming you're fine with that, then Skyrim is, in a word, amazing. Sure, it has its problems, it's oddities, and again some of these are just down to how the game is made and others just need some extra patching or work done to it. There is always a danger with games like these that you'll get bored, or you'll lose your drive - Bethesda have done a wonderful job of staving off that feeling in this game.
  61. Nov 10, 2011
    95
    It's one of the biggest, most content rich games I've ever had the pleasure of playing.
  62. 95
    If you're an Elder Scrolls veteran, you'll already know what you're in for. This is not the next evolutionary stage of the series: rather a loving refinement of what made Oblivion and the now-aged PC title Morrowind so special. It's those games with better voice acting, a slicker interface, a richer world and an improved story. It's also the most polished and user friendly games in the series, with smarter character progression and a gentler learning curve.
  63. Nov 11, 2011
    94
    Skyrim delivers a mind blowing level of content wrapped in a package that would be worth the experience at twice the price.
  64. Nov 10, 2011
    94
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim might not be perfect, but it is by far the best RPG experience of the year. The huge and wonderful province of Skyrim serves as a great setting for an even greater story evolving around a mystical hero.
  65. Nov 21, 2011
    93
    The folks at Bethesda have built themselves quite a world, and while not perfect it is a joy to inhabit for a couple of hundred hours.
  66. Nov 10, 2011
    93
    For those who crave ultimate RPG immersion to sink into for weeks of world exploration and questing Skyrim is a must-have.
  67. Nov 10, 2011
    93
    The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is extremely ambitious, and at its core, extremely successful. While overreaches in certain areas, it has much to offer in terms of freedom and volume of content. When you look back on the experience, it's not the rough spots that'll stand out, but the broad, heroic feeling of being the powerful and change-affecting center of a richly constructed world.
  68. Nov 15, 2011
    92
    The best Elder Scrolls game released so far. The atmosphere is just amazing and the fights against the dragons cause goosebumps every single time. There are still some stupid leftovers from Oblivion, but most of the errors from the previous game have been fixed. [Nov 2011]
  69. Nov 10, 2011
    91
    There is a substantial amount of content in Skyrim and while it's easy to nitpick on all the flaws present, Bethesda has still delivered a product that even a jaded gamer like myself can still be awestruck by.
  70. Nov 10, 2011
    91
    I've dabbled in Elder Scrolls games before, but they always seemed to be the wrong combination of intimidatingly huge and mechanically clunky (not to mention kind of ugly). Skyrim is the chapter that's finally pulled me in, and suddenly I find myself smitten with the series. Not just the games, but the lore, and the insane level of thought that's been invested in the world of Tamriel.
  71. Dec 16, 2011
    90
    Quotation forthcoming.
  72. 90
    Easily in line for a game of the year nod and one of the finest adventures this generation has seen. [Issue#79, p.64]
  73. Dec 1, 2011
    90
    A picture-perfect playground designed to engender pure love in those willing to lose themselves within it. [Christmas 2011, p.90]
  74. Nov 11, 2011
    90
    Skyrim is epic in every sense, there is no other word for it. It is one of the biggest and best RPG ever made.
  75. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Skyrim's pretty damn awesome.
  76. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Easily Bethesda's best game yet, with an impossibly detailed and beautiful game world and a new gold standard for Western style role-playing.
  77. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Skyrim is huge, beautiful and absorbing, filled with secrets, quests and adventure. Even though the story has its flaws and quests offer little freedom of choice, Skyrim still stands out as one of the best open world RPGs to date.
  78. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    With 300 hours of gameplay, some mechanics refinement and a complete new world, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the perfect "sequel" to Oblivion. An epic game that RPG fans should not miss.
  79. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Surely the greatest console RPG of the year and maybe one of the best chapters in the Elder Scrolls series. Skyrim is definitely one of the best gaming experiences of this generation.
  80. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the snow-capped peaks of the Nords relentlessly beckon me back to pry loose one more artifact, dungeon or secret. Skyrim's lavish world is tailor-made for adventurers who are eager to satisfy their curiosity of what is beyond the next bend in the road, not those who want to know which attribute scores play into which skill. There's little question that this is a gorgeous epic, but it's also a stark reminder of what it leaves behind.
  81. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    The bottom line is that, most of the time, Skyrim is a genuinely amazing game.
  82. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Skyrim is one of the finest embodiments of an open world RPG, as there is never a dearth of places to go or quests to complete. What Skyrim lacks in tough role-playing choices, it more than compensates for with interesting things to do.
  83. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Whether you're slashing a dragon's wings, raising the dead back to life, or experimenting at the alchemy table, Skyrim performs the most spectacular of enchantments: the one that causes huge chunks of time to vanish before you know it.
  84. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    These moments are why you play Skyrim, because in the instance of breathless excitement, triumph or discovery, you invest completely in its world.
  85. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    In the end, Skyrim will be hailed as both the best and worst title of the year depending on whom you ask. RPG gamers who look for subtle storytelling and endless replay value are going to love every minute. But gamers that have even a slight problem with impatience will quickly become frustrated. However, even the most devoted naysayer has to admit that Skyrim is at the top of its genre, and that's no small feat.
  86. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Skyrim is easily one of the strongest and best examples of the Western RPG, and it further establishes Bethesda's reputation as one of the most talented and creative forces in the gaming industry. Moreover, it offers players a world so vast they could easily become lost in it, and so beautiful they may never wish to return from it.
  87. Nov 10, 2011
    88
    The latest Elder Scrolls has such confidence in the allure of its open-world structure that it shirks the need to compete. And, it largely succeeds in being better than the sum of its parts.
  88. Nov 11, 2011
    80
    Quests are better structured, the dramatic moments abound, and the atmosphere of the northern title is incredibly immersive. There are also, inevitably, small bugs, pathfinding problems, inconsistencies, repeated load times and other annoying issues which punctuate the experience bit by bit.
  89. Nov 27, 2011
    75
    Oblivion is good, but it's a flawed good. It's a different experience in many ways to previous Elder Scrolls games, but, at the same time, it's still the familiar world Elder Scrolls fans know and love. It has the usual kickass story, but the difficulty curve is a bit wobbly, to say the least, and, in general, it's a story of give and take.
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 3108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 11, 2011
    10
    A masterpiece, is one of those games that make you think that video games can be considered an art, like painting, music or movies. It's a fantastic virtual experience, deep history, superb gameplay, beautiful graphics, majestic music, in short, an incredible journey for all people who love video games Full Review »
  2. Nov 11, 2011
    10
    Just overall the best game I've ever played, they've truly outdone themselves on this game. It is art and will always be known as one of the greatest rpgs ever created during this era of games. I can see my self easily putting 200-300 hours in Skyrim over the next few years until TES 6 is released. Full Review »
  3. Nov 11, 2011
    10
    This game is seriously amazing! i dont understand what type of person would rate this game negatively?? The sound, graphics, gameplay - its all pure beauty. Best money i have ever spent!! Full Review »