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10. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Bethesda Softworks | Bethesda Softworks | 2002
A free-roaming fantasy epic that enables players to become an avenging messiah or to just dick around in its gigantic open world
What made it so great?
Take the go-anywhere, do-anything aesthetic of Grand Theft Auto and stick it into a fully-realized fantasy world, and you've got the best first-person RPG ever made (at least until the next-gen sequel, Oblivion, came along). Will you follow the epic main quest to become a prophesied hero and free the land from demonic oppression? Or will you wander from town to town, stealing wooden spoons and murdering elves for their hats? It's up to you.
Aside from giving you free rein to explore every inch of its massive island, Morrowind is a ridiculously deep, addictive RPG that delivered most of what Fable (see #15) promised, and did it two years earlier. Like Oblivion, Morrowind features countless plotlines and battles that you can tackle any way you see fit. Whether it's with intense first-person sword-fighting, magic, sneaking or - in rare cases - actually talking your way through a bad situation, there's a solution that'll fit your style of play. If you're looking for a way to wring a few more solid months of playtime out of the old Xbox, then you need Morrowind.
Get ready to play
There's really no wrong way to play through this one. It's your playground - explore it however you like. There are a few caveats, though: be careful not to disturb things that are tougher than you, don't kill anyone who might give you a quest and watch out for the pain-in-the-ass Cliff Racer pterodactyls. You can find a used copy of Morrowind pretty easy, but make sure you spring for the Game of the Year edition - it's only a few bucks more, and it packs in two full expansions in addition to the original game.
Been there, done that?
Morrowind may be the Xbox's ultimate solo RPG, but if you like a bit more musk with your questing, give the mutant-powered, multiplayer X-Men Legends II a look.