Winner: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Some gamers poured over a thousand hours into The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. They explored every square inch of the game’s expansive world, finished every quest, and became completely immersed in Cyrodiil. Yet the development team at Bethesda has succeed in building a follow-up, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, that is even better and even more consuming.
Skyrim is absolutely everything fans wanted from a sequel to Oblivion. The world is still massive and chock full of interesting things to do. Wander in any direction and you’ll be tripping over days of content, with a fascinating narrative that absolutely wraps around the you. You don’t experience a story in Skyrim, you write it with every slash of a sword, and every cast of a spell. You’ll meet intriguing people, engage in amazing battles and encounter powerful dragons flying through the sky, dynamically spawning to create randomized and unique experiences. You’ll find them, shoot them down and eat their soul.
And once you hit a wall, you can just turn, face another direction and continue walking, discovering new content with every step. Bethesda has surpassed all expectations with Skyrim, and crafted a remarkable experience that will bring gamers together for years as they recount their own stories of conquest (and, of course, plenty of dragon-slaying).
Runner-up: Saints Row: The Third
Is Saints Row: The Third filled with absurd madness? Yes, but it’s more than that – it’s a stripped down hot rod of a game that sacrifices all the unnecessary chaff of the typical sandbox game and hones itself into a being of pure fun. The excellent campaign is complemented by an insanely detailed customization mode, plenty of side missions and enough hidden jokes and content to keep you entertained long after you’ve beaten it for the first time. Besides, what other game lets you play as a base-jumping toilet dual wielding Tron sub-machine guns?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim review
Returning with all the power and grace of its star mythical creatures
Saints Row: The Third review
The pinnacle of the series and one of the finest sandbox games ever made
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim beginner's guide
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