Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
Buy On
  1. 100
    If you had any question about getting this enormous expansion, my suggestion is do it. You shouldn't need any other reason, in fact, you should not even bother with reading reviews on it.
  2. AceGamez
    Shivering Isles not only lives up to but actually surpasses Oblivion in many respects. It has everything that made the original so fantastic and then some. Depending on how you play, you'll be in the Isles for a good thirty hours and I recommend milking that for all you can.
  3. Game Informer
    With that said, it should come as no surprise to hear Shivering Isles is a bonafide masterpiece and the best the Elder Scrolls series has to offer. [Apr 2007, p.94]
  4. With this much new content, I don’t see why anyone would want to blaze through it. There’s so much to see and do in this oddly wonderful world.
  5. You're definitely in for a good 30 hours of questing here, which is significantly more than most games at full retail can claim. In actual fact, The Shivering Isles is so beautifully executed that you'll fall in love with the game all over again, and that's gotta be priceless.
  6. Each game and each expansion is always just better than their last mind-blowing accomplishment, and here, the camera work and scene integration is the new star.
  7. While this expansion doesn’t really offer much in the way of new gameplay, it features some memorable quests and characters.
  8. Shivering Isles is an excellent addition to the Oblivion world, and it isn't just a small set of quests or a building that you can use during your travels. It is a fully realized realm for you to adventure in, with a story all of its own.
  9. Games Master UK
    Got Oblivion? You'd be as mad as a mouse with a rucksack-ful of catnip not to get this. [May 2007, p.74]
  10. Shivering Isles is like Oblivion unleashed and on some kind of psychedelic steroid. While the gameplay remains the same, the artists and level designers kicked things up quite a few notches.
  11. It’s definitely a worthwhile Live Arcade download for Oblivion fans, rejuvenating it and giving your character some wonderful new tricks. Frankly, you’d have to be mad to miss it.
  12. With expansive lands and quests, the Shivering Isles brings forth a landscape that adds further dimension to the already impressive world of Oblivion. Players can find much sadistic joy in going mad.
  13. Luckily, its captivating characters are far from the only things that SI offers.
  14. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    Fans of the base game will discover plenty of new features and surprises in an experience that tops some of the best moments from the original. [Issue 24, p.58]
  15. This 15-30 hours of gameplay is a must-play for anyone, even if you didn't finish the main game.
  16. 90
    Although Oblivion's playability hasn't been improved, Shivering Isles storytelling and artistry simply soar beyond anything else the Elder Scrolls team has done.
  17. 90
    It delivers more of what made Oblivion great: creative quests, a huge land to explore, and tons of things to do there, making this expansion is a solid purchase for anyone who was a fan of the core game.
  18. Stepping through that portal near Bravil will reignite your passion of Oblivion, and remind you why you’ve loved the game originally.
  19. The perfect expansion; it gives you the chance to be good and become Sheogorath's Champion but also lets you be periodically evil, killing and torturing, you can even be the Oblivion version of Frankenstein and create you own monster.
  20. An entirely new land to explore AND some of the most original environments in an Elder Scrolls game? Yes, please.
  21. While it is pricey, the new world you get to explore adds more RPG gaming goodness and enough quests to make this yet another juicy chapter in this already lengthy epic.
  22. While the 2400 MS point price is a bit on the high side, the content manages to provide more swashbuckling, looting and questing for those who couldn’t get enough from the retail release.
  23. Undoubtedly the expansion is better value on the PC, and you don’t have to worry about logging into Xbox Live in order just to play it, but both packages still represent good value at a solid 20-40 hours of additional gameplay.
  24. Shivering Isles adds more than enough new and interesting content to give you a great reason to dive back into the world of Oblivion.
  25. Anyone feverishly clawing at their 360 for more Oblivion will venture forth through this new dimension with a smile on their face, but once you do the math, Shivering Isles is just as overpriced as Knights of the Nine and the downloads that came before it.
  26. 85
    As an expansion pack, Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles never feels like it’s going out of the way to impress, and that’s because it’s not. Still, because the underlying formula behind the Elder Scrolls series is so irresistibly fun, we can’t help but love the game.
  27. Official Xbox Magazine
    It feeds the hunger of Oblivion veterans for more RPG goodness, and new players will eat up the kooky detour it offers as they explore one of 2006's finest games. [May 2007, p.72]
  28. 85
    There needn’t be any hesitation to burn those points if you're still yearning for some more medieval madness, because the Shivering Isles adds even more incredible gameplay to an already stunning RPG formula.
  29. The Shivering Isles is far from a perfect expansion, but it still gives players some completely new ground to tread that’s unlike anything else in the game, which makes it a must-have for anyone who enjoyed the original game.
  30. With new weapons, enemies, spells, environments, quests, and a story that makes the Knights of the Nine seem like child's play, the Shivering Isles really delivers on the promise of a great expansion pack.
  31. 85
    The unique setting and duality of madness that Shivering Isles possesses provides an excellent backdrop for more Elder Scrolls adventuring.
  32. Bethesda Softworks wisely followed the “if it ain’t broke” axiom and left much of the core gameplay unchanged, opting instead to toss on oodles of new content and leaving no stone unturned as to how to make the game that much better.
  33. 83
    It respects a player's ability to make decisions, offers some useful armor sets and weapons, delivers up a vivid, more imaginative variation on the traditional high fantasy province of Cyrodiil, and will reinvigorate that addictive itch for exploration inspired by Oblivion.
  34. More of the same, but weird, wicked—and psychotically pretty.
  35. If there’s anything I’m not a huge fan of it’s the constant trek through the dungeons, which is akin to a first person shooter with crates, but Bethesda seems to be pretty creative with their dungeons so there’s not as much of a sense of been there done that as there is with many other RPGs.
  36. The game does ask the player to make choices, but they seem best decided by a coin toss, as there are no practical or moral reasons to choose a particular path. While a theme of duality runs through the game, it is more narrative conceit than game-play enhancement.
  37. 80
    OK, so Shivering Isles doesn't reinvent the fireball. But the impeccable design and construction of the original game breathes life into this expansion -- not, as you might assume, the other way around.
  38. 80
    Given free range to vent their most outrageous, vivid, degenerate, and depraved fantasies on an unsuspecting player, Bethesda's developers have crafted a unique world that shares the same quality of writing and attention to detail as Oblivion itself. Appropriately enough, only the most insane Oblivion addicts could refuse such an opportunity.
  39. 80
    The amount of depth and variety in the Isles, combined with how different the Isles feel from the rest of Cyrodiil make this expansion a worthy addition to Oblivion, and a worthy addition to your hard drive.
  40. The first full-fledged expansion for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion takes you on a trip to a skewed and psychotic Oz, full of odd people, new magic and killer creatures. And chances are you’ll love it there.
  41. If you played the original to near death, then forgot about it, Shivering Isles is the perfect stepping stone back into what's essentially an incredibly involving adventure game.
  42. What's really nice about The Elder Scrolls games is that thanks to the level scaling system it doesn't matter when you tackle Shivering Isles. You can take your level 30 character in or start a brand new character and do the adventure at level 1. No matter what your experience is you will have a balanced game where the enemies are neither too strong nor weak.
  43. X-ONE Magazine UK
    It's more of the same, which is both the strength and weakness of Shivering Isles. [Issue 19, p.82]
  44. games(TM)
    It’s most definitely aimed at those who were enamoured with last year’s masterpiece – there’s nothing so radically different it could alter any opinion. [June 2007, p.108]
  45. We expected to have our sanity challenged by talking dogs and barking women, not game breaking, data corrupting bugs. Still, those of you without corrupted save files might consider a trip to the land of madness – it is a strange and bemusing place, and at least it’s more Oblivion.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 98
  2. Negative: 8 out of 98
  1. Andyman
    Mar 30, 2007
    A massive, very well-crafted addition to the already outstanding Oblivion world. Its storyline is unforgettable, its characters equally so. A massive, very well-crafted addition to the already outstanding Oblivion world. Its storyline is unforgettable, its characters equally so. At $30, this expansion is a better value than half of the 360's retail library (I'm looking at you, Electronic Arts). If you like Oblivion at all, get this expansion NOW. Full Review »
  2. PaoloA.
    Mar 27, 2007
    What can I say 'cept for one of the best games ever now has one of the best expansions ever. I just love how they plop the new realm What can I say 'cept for one of the best games ever now has one of the best expansions ever. I just love how they plop the new realm right into the middle of the game via the download. If you ask me, Oblivion can be a never-ending game with non-stop expansion packs...bring it Bethesda (I dare you)! The new creatures, weapons, missions and atmosphere breathes new life into what already was a creep fest of a game, I can't wait to go home and play some more! Full Review »
  3. Jun 12, 2013
    In my opinion, this is a great large add on. The world of the shivering isles is a beautiful land, with many hours of game play. Though aIn my opinion, this is a great large add on. The world of the shivering isles is a beautiful land, with many hours of game play. Though a little bit expensive compared to other add ons, this add on is worth every penny. Full Review »