We’re listing the ten Games of the Decade. These are the ten PlayStation titles released over the past ten years that we believe have left a historic mark on the industry. Whether it’s Destiny's impact on the Games as a Service space or Journey’s innovative approach to online connectivity, these are the releases that the industry will be referencing well into 2020 and beyond.
Yes, we all know that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was a mess when it first released back on the PlayStation 3, but it's impossible to deny the influence that Bethesda's open world role-playing title has had on gaming since it launched more than eight years ago.
At over 30 million copies sold, Skyrim remains Bethesda's greatest commercial success, and once you begin to break it down, it's easy to see why. At its core, Skyrim offers an addictive gameplay loop that greatly encourages adventure. It's certainly not the most in-depth RPG of the decade, but that's perhaps its greatest strength. For many, Skyrim has been a gateway to the genre -- its streamlined mechanics and systems making it a perfect entry point for those who have never branched out beyond their casual approach to gaming.
Skyrim is almost in the same league as Pokémon when it comes to pushing RPGs into the hands of people who would otherwise have zero interest. Like Grand Theft Auto or Minecraft, it's become a household name -- most who use it probably don't even know that it's part of a long running series. Heck, they're probably waiting on Skyrim 2, as opposed to The Elder Scrolls VI.
But Skyrim isn't a Game of the Decade just because of its ability to ensnare mainstream-minded gamers. In many ways, it helped evolve another genre entirely -- a genre now so commonplace that we rarely even consider its legacy. We are, of course, taking about open world games. Obviously Skyrim didn't invent or popularise the concept, but it did play an important role in defining open world structure as we know it.
Skyrim is subtle in the way that it guides you from one location to the next. Quests that send you to the far reaches of the map purposefully push you past points of interest that pique your curiosity. Before you know it, you feel like you're forging your own entirely unique adventure, and it's this sense of wonder and, perhaps, destiny, that open world games are still trying to capture here in 2019.
There's a timelessness to Skyrim that's difficult to ignore. There's a distinct cohesion to its world -- the way that its art direction and soundtrack combine to create such a tangible atmosphere is impressive to this day. On a technical level it may be lacking, and as an RPG it may struggle to satisfy enthusiasts, but there was and still is a certain magic to Skyrim that's somehow kept it relevant for almost a decade. Its modding community remains one of the most active in gaming, it still rakes in the views on YouTube, and it's still so easy to lose hours of your time exploring its towns, roads, caves, ruins, and mountains.
By this time next year, we'll have gone a whole console generation without the release of a new mainline Elder Scrolls game. Bethesda struck gold with Skyrim, and for better or worse, we're still feeling the effects.
What are your thoughts on Skyrim? Do you think it's a timeless classic? How many hours have you sunk into it over the last decade? Shout in the comments section below.
Weird way of spelling Knack.
Skyrim definitely deserves a spot in the Games of the Decade list. It was a buggy mess but I loved every minute played.
It’s a catastrophe of bugs, glitches, horrible dialogue and a terrible main plot. I love it.
The same as the above two comments. Except I think it's only alright. Oblivion was better aside from the silly levelling system
It ran like trash on PS3 and I still put 150 hours in...
It was a insult on the PS3 how broken was released for me it was a overrated game. Horizon Zero Dawn does everything better plays better and looks better.
Skyrim was so special to me when it came out , putting over 300 hours into my Khajiit character. I remember getting anxiety because I didn't know what to do first. Great memories with Skyrim , too bad Bethesda sucks now 🙂
@Flaming_Kaiser Yeah, but Horizon probably wouldn’t exist as we know it without Skyrim.
Played 1600+ hours of Skyrim between the PS3 and PS4 editions. This says a lot considering I spent 600 in the Witcher 3 and 700 on Dragon Warrior IX on the DS. Loved playing as a Khajiit, Argonian and an Orc. With mods, Skyrim has near unlimited replayability.
I agree with this review
I put hundreds of hours into Skyrim, even though it was a buggy mess, and the DLC debacle was, well, a debacle, and it worked on me in exactly the way you have described. Shame that they haven't followed it up in all these years.
I played on PS3 and, like any other Bethesda game on PS3, the game runs horrible when your save files reach the 12MB size.
I intend to play on PC at some point in the future, as I've been doing to Fallout New Vegas.
Skyrim was the 2nd game I ever bought for my PS3 back then. It really showed me how far gaming had come and made me a fan of western RPGs. While it wasn't very good at launch on PS3, it is still one of my favorite RPGs having put hundreds of hours into it.
Never did finish Skyrim, was always getting side tracked and I disliked the crafting which I thought was an utter chore to do. Much preferred Oblivion which also had the better DLC. Shivering Isles was awesome sauce.
I never did get poor Ysolda that mammoth tusk.
@Flaming_Kaiser C'mon that's a strange comparison. I love HZD but Skyrim is well Skyrim - it's a big BIG game.
@ApostateMage and that's credit I keep giving to Bethesda's games. No matter how many side quests you do in Skyrim or Fallout 4, you still feel there's a lot of quests you missed.
Still my favourite RPG of all time
@Flaming_Kaiser Horizon is a great game, however, it doesn’t do half of what Skyrim does and has almost no freedom in comparison with Skyrim’s different skills, guilds, talking to people, and crime.
No farming other than Blacksmithing i put 600 hrs into a Khagiit named Breschau. There were individual Dwarven ruins that could have almost passes for dlc alone lol. One of few games i completely detached from reality for a while
Man... Only 8 years ago Bethesda Softworks used to make good games.
Quick Question: As someone who tried but failed to get into Skyrim, why is this game so highly praised even today? (outside of mods)
I got the platinum of this on the PS3, I've played about 80 hours on the PS4 remaster, I bought it again for the Switch, but the absolute best way to play this game is in VR. This game in VR with two Move controllers is amazing. The bow and arrow is so satisfying to use. I'm close to the platinum as well.
@Constable_What and then they took an arrow to the knee.
Well deserved. I played it and was instantly hooked. I couldn’t put it down. I literally burned out my Xbox 360 because I would get up like three hours before the school bus came just to play Skyrim. Once my Xbox 360 could no longer be used I re-purchased the special edition for the PS4, PC, and Switch. It’s definitely one of my favorite games of all time. I have combined over 500 hours across all platforms. I hope Elder Scrolls 6 isn’t buggy and is more fun than Skyrim.
My best moment was using the ritual stone to raise all the dead mammoths and trolls around me, and then taking my reanimated crew to destroy a bandit camp. Chaos on ps3 with all those things running around, but genius fun.
@cashflowx wow 1600 hrs, thats dedication. It is a great game though. My wife played the crap outta Skyrim and shes not really a gamer at all.
There are good games, then there are games that have such a profound impact on your experience as a gamer they reserve a special place in history. 'ES V: Skyrim' is one of those games. It's the type of game you finish, and realize it was so good you will never be as fulfilled until another game of its caliber comes along. I hadn't felt so hooked on a game since Final Fantasy VII. Bugs and all, I enjoyed and still enjoy every minute of Skyrim.
@Jaz007 And still i was done with Skyrim in 30 hours and played Horizon Zero Dawn for 100 plus excluding the DLC. And the combat is so much better then the combat from Skyrim. But that my opinion. I dont have too like a because it has more stuff too i want the stuff i do roo be more fun too. I always play the good guy/girl anyway. 😉
@TheArt Its not a terrible game besides the state it was released in on PS3.
But with HZD i had a blast with the gameplay put 30 hours in the starting area and the bosses where awsome. I really like the story and Aloy is one of my favorite characters. Would love too see HZD 2 where i can hopefully have a flying mount.
With Skyrim yeah i had fun but after 30 hours i was done. Nothing personal against the but the game but the game was a trainwreck on PS3. The gameplay was ok but nothing special i agree on the freedom and there was a lot too do.
But i had so much fun playing HZD i loved the story and finding out about the reality through collectables that game will stay in my favorite memories while Skyrim yeah not so much.
But again thats just me.
What. A. Game.
Played it on the 360 (don't kill me!) and had an amazing time with it. So many hundreds of hours, so many memories, so much still left undone and unexplored.
It easily belongs on this list.
@get2sammyb You got me there i thank Skyrim for HZD cant say more. 😋
Probably one of my most played games ever. Started on 360, then PC, then PS4 and THEN the special editions ! Put the 'Live Another Life' mod on, then literally 100s of other mods and you've got an endless game. I also think it's one of those rare RPGs where you can properly role play - wanna just be a hunter ? Here you go. Want to just be a farmer ? Here you go. Definitely in my top 5 games ever
I still never finished this game...
I concur that it did influence other games to go down the open world route. But I think it needs to be said that wasn't a good thing for all games, I'm looking at you Bioware games.
@FullMetalWesker Trust me I couldn't get into it either the first time. But I kept trying and trying, finally the gates were opened and I got into it. This and Fallout 4, I think it's the total freedom, the looting of detailed objects, all kinds of weapons among other things is what gets you hooked. I'm a big GTA fan yet I hated GTA3 and Vice City at first and never understood the hype, I got into them and beat them countless times. Just keep trying you'll get it.
@Jaz007 but not broken and needed to be fixed by a mod community
@Flaming_Kaiser I’m not saying you need to like Skyrim more, I’m just saying Horizon does everything better like it’s Skyrim but better makes no sense. Horizon is much more focused and not super comparable to Skyrim.
@WedWildWendy Again, that doesn’t change that Horizon isn’t exactly a better Skyrim is at all. It’s very different. They’re both RPGs with an open-world. That’s about it.
@Flaming_Kaiser 😆 Like I said it's a strange comparison. You're comparing a 2011 game to a 2017 game. Plus Horizon is a different type of open world and its size and content is nowhere near Skyrim/Fallout 4.
HZD is a 40 hrs+ game, For many Skyrim is a 1000 Hrs + game what has still not stopped being expended on through community development.
I agree the combat is awful in Skyrim and ESO is even worse. I loved the combat and exploration elements of Horizon... easily one of my favorite open world games ever.
@TheArt If you give Bethesda another decade the combat will still be horrible. 😉
One thing is the Bosses that made it great fun and the hunting alone can be quite brilliant the story how it unfolds with the collectables. I dont even mind running around the map without a mount. Using the photomode. Yes its a younger game but its their first 3rd person game. And they beat Bethesda so hard. 😃
@TooBarFoo Somehow i played it for 100+ hours without the DLC. And i had fun every little part of the game. Its not the quantity for me.
You see so many games that would be so much better if they cut away half the game.
Ill be honest i just didnt like it. The combat was a big dealbreaker and the polish with the insane amount of gamebreaking bugs i just cant reward that.
One thing i can say Sammy was right without them we probably wouldnt have had Horizon Zero Dawn thats what im greatfull not much else.
@cashflowx Thank you i rather play a game for 30 hours then a game 100 hours that i dont like. And i had so much fun in Horizon Zero Dawn and i need too find some unlockables. And then ill go for the DLC.
@Splat Witcher 3 ran like trash in nintendo.
@nessisonett Witcher is trouble with Bugs also.
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