It has been eight years ever since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim graced us with the opportunity to slay dragons then collect their souls as if they were sweet rolls to be stolen. Yet, Skyrim is still as popular as ever and now even more so with the new details emerging regarding its successor, The Elder Scrolls VI. Apparently, it promises gameplay longevity to last us a decade until The Elder Scrolls VII. Judging by how long Skyrim kept us preoccupied, that's not too far-fetched.
Still, great as it is, we're running out of material and stuff to do-- storywise, that is. After all, Skyrim's replay value is not forever and the land of the Nords is getting tiring after the Nth time you killed those bandits or cleared those caves of Necromancer cults. An adventurer can only take so many arrows to the knee before finally wanting to move on to greener pastures-- and there are none in the grey land of Skyrim. There are many, however, in other games which you should have no problem liking if you love Skyrim. Here are 10 of them.
10 KINGDOMS OF AMALUR: RECKONING
This hidden gem right here was made with the help of Todd Mcfarlane, author and artist of the hit comic book Spawn. He made some of the monster designs and you can easily see McFarlane's influence on them despite the World of Warcraft-ish art style. Anyway, it was made in a time where the most popular roleplaying games (RPG) involved open-world maps and a staggering freedom of choice for players.
Hence, Kingdoms of Amalur lets you pick from its plethora of choices from your character's race, class, appearance, and even builds. It also allows you to pick your own reply to non-player characters (NPC) in a basic yet functional conversation system that serves as exposition more than anything else. If you can stand the generic plot and world-building, then give this one a try-- the gameplay certainly makes up for that.
9 DIVINITY II
Not to be confused with Divinity: Original Sin 2, Divinity II was made by the same creators and is even set in the same game world. The difference lies in gameplay, however. Divinity II's is a third-person action RPG which was made and released two years before Skyrim. In fact, it introduced dragon-riding before Skyrim did and it's even smoother and less clunky.
Well, technically, it's not dragon riding since your character actually turns into a dragon but it's essentially the same gameplay element. Divinity II's plot is the standard fare: your mighty warrior character gets amnesia and has to start all over again. You eventually find out that you're more than just a warrior; you're sort of a dragon and you have to take revenge on those who have made dragons nearly extinct. It's a nice break from slaying dragons in Skyrim.
8 THE ELDER SCROLLS IV: OBLIVION
Before Skyrim took the open-world RPG throne in 2011, it was Oblivion which was the go-to for Elder Scrolls fans. It's an old game, of course; Oblivion was released back in 2006 and is already dated but for some reason, some of its mechanics and gameplay choices are arguably better than Skyrim's such as the Alchemy, Schools of Magic, character origins and progression, the cities, and the guilds-- heck, it even has Sean Bean!
A lot of players actually consider Oblivion as the top Elder Scrolls game even when Skyrim came about. Morrowind is a tad more immersive and atmospheric but it's a little rough around the edges. With mods, however, Skyrim is miles better. However, there are some things in Oblivion (like the ones we mentioned above) that are more fun than Skyrim. Definitely try it out even just for comparison.
7 ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE
Why settle for just one province of Tamriel when you could have an adventure on all of them? That's what Elder Scrolls Online offers its players. You can even visit some of the already featured provinces and locales in the previous singleplayer Elder Scrolls games in this massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG). The game is among the top MMORPG's at the moment and it will probably stay that way for a while.
One thing that might put you off, however, is the fact that it requires a monthly subscription. Nevertheless, it might be worth it since you are allowed the same freedom as in singleplayer Elder Scrolls games to a certain degree but you can also play with others on a massive scale. Yes, nothing's stopping you from being a kleptomaniac who steals every ring, amulet, and spare Septims you can find in an NPC's pocket-- just don't get caught, criminal scum or the guards will make you pay with your blood.
6 LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD
Skyrim or any other Elder Scrolls game for that matter are all famous for letting the players do absolutely anything-- well, anything the game engine allows, anyway. If that's what you're after in an RPG, then Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will drown you in stuff you can do in-game. It might even be worth purchasing a Nintendo Switch alone for Breath of the Wild.
There are no character options; you only get to play as Link. However, you soon won't mind after the sandbox nature of the RPG lets you do countless things you didn't even know were possible in video games. Breath of the Wild is all about satiating your curiosity in a vast landscape. There's always something to do here as long as you like exploring mountains or experimenting with the contents of your inventory. It really should have been higher on this list but seeing as it's a Switch exclusive, not all gamers can have it.
5 KINGDOM COME: DELIVERANCE
Despite Kingdom Come: Deliverance's insistence on being a period game which is supposedly historically faithful up to the combat, we still can't help but compare it to games like Skyrim. It may not have dragons or annoying Daedric princes, but it will surely satiate your craving for an open-world RPG that gives you immense freedom. You can be anything you want in this game.
Blacksmith, knight, bandit, monk, drunkard, or if you just want to "hire" as many bath-maids as possible and channel your inner Robert Baratheon, then go for it. You're an able-bodied young man in the feudal era, not much can stop you apart from other people with swords or plagues. Of course, there's more to that: your character's somewhat of a Bruce Wayne; some insolent tyrant of a lord slaughtered your parents-- so you have to end his bloodline while enjoying the kingdom of Bohemia along the way.
4 FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS
The modern Fallout games (starting with Fallout 3) have a lot in common with Elder Scrolls games (they even share the same game engine). Many people even regard them as Elder Scrolls but with guns and radioactive mutants. Nevertheless, you can't go wrong with any of the three modern Fallout games: Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4. Of the three, New Vegas is arguably the best.
It has the most factions, the best story, and also some of the best RPG elements. New Vegas is actually made by a different team of developers who were also certified RPG storytellers, Obsidian Entertainment. For that reason, you might find New Vegas' plot and game world more interesting than the usual morally black and white people of the two other modern Fallout or Elder Scrolls games. It may even be the closest to the original Fallout experience.
3 DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
One of the best things about the Elder Scrolls games' is the liberty you're allowed in character creation, you can select any race you prefer and simply imagine their backstory. Dragon Age: Origins also lets you do this but in a more elaborate manner especially with your character background. You can pick from a race of dwarfs, elves, and humans to start the game.
The third game, Dragon Age: Inquisition might have been more generous with the races, but apart from their appearance, they don't have much variation. Besides, the story of Dragon Age: Origins is arguably better. Regardless, the replayability in Origins can even rival that of Skyrim's, each playthrough can last 30-40 hours if rushed and reaching one ending is only half the experience.
2 DRAGON'S DOGMA: DARK ARISEN
The Japanese sure know how to make their own awesome RPGs, some of which are even better than their Western counterparts. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is a prime example of this (along with other titles like Dark Souls, etc.). Dragon's Dogma's story is convoluted and puzzling but what you're really after in this game is the combat; it's miles ahead of Skyrim's, especially the dragon fights.
Dragon's Dogma has you mounting the monsters and grabbing hold of their manes or scales for dear life as you jab your dagger or swords into their flesh. This makes huge monster fights more believable especially compared to Skyrim's embarrassingly awkward dragon battles. Beyond that, Dragon's Dogma also has a robust character progression system and darkly atmospheric locales.
1 THE WITCHER 3
Picturesque graphics, engaging conversation system, monsters, and a vast expanse of land to explore that's meatier than any in this list-- The Witcher 3 has everything. It may not allow for deep character choice or customization, but you will find that that design choice suits the story and narrative better and allows for a more cohesive experience. The Witcher 3 is a game done right in every aspect.
The game world here is bigger than Skyrim's or most other RPGs and that's pretty impressive for something with this caliber of graphics. If you see a mountain or forest in The Witcher 3, chances are, you can climb and go there while slaying some monsters or bandits along the way. It's no Elder Scrolls, but we assure you, The Witcher 3 along with other games in this list is enough to keep you occupied until The Elder Scrolls VI arrives by the time we start colonizing Mars (hopefully much sooner).