The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the definitive open-world games of the past decade. Players were let loose on the vast and beautiful titular land, exploring every nook and cranny to find the secrets and treasures hidden away. Skyrim also introduced us to dragons for the first time in and Elder Scrolls game, as these intimidating beasts could appear at any time, in any place.
Alongside the dragons came the game's signature new mechanic: dragon shouts. These granted players the ability to use their character's own voice as a weapon. The effects of these shouts were incredibly varied and ranged from summoning a dangerous thunderstorm to forcing enemies to flee. Let's now take a look at the 10 best shouts from Skyrim.
10 Storm Call
While there are numerous options for dealing with enemies in Skyrim, the power to bring the fury of the heavens down upon them is hard to beat. The Storm Call shout lets players create their own localized thunderstorm, which will cause lightning to strike the area around them. These lightning bolts can deal great damage, and the shout is just visually satisfying on top of that.
However, nature isn't exactly picky about who it hurts. If you're traveling with any allies or companions, the lightning will strike them as well, potentially killing them. On top of that, using the shout in a populated area will lead to civilian deaths, which can earn you a bounty. It may be an impressive shout, but the fact that it can be so tricky to use is why it isn't higher on our list.
9 Fire Breath
If there's one thing that dragons are known for, it's breathing fire. In a game about using the powers of dragons against them, it's only natural that players would be able to game this ability for themselves. The Fire Breath shout lets you do exactly what it says: spit a wave of flames directly at your enemies—just like the mighty dragons.
However, it doesn't deal an incredible amount of damage, especially when compared to the other tools you have available. On top of that, there are some enemies that are naturally resistant to fire, making it a circumstantial power. Fire Breath might not be the strongest shout in the game, but it's still fun to use.
The Dismay shout has a few uses that aren't necessarily apparent just from the wording of the shout itself. Its stated effect is to make enemies so terrified that they run away, which is particularly useful when facing a large group. This becomes less effective when facing higher leveled foes, however, who will be resistant to the effects.
However, Dismay can also be used on dragons. The first word of the shout will stagger a dragon, allowing you to get a few extra hits in before it recovers. While not the best shout in the game, it has its uses, and can be a valuable part of your toolkit.
While it might be a little unfair to bring a sword to a fistfight, that is exactly what this next shout lets you do. Disarm, true to its name, causes enemies to drop their weapons, leaving them largely defenseless to your attacks. They can either try to retrieve their lost arms or fight you head-on with nothing but their fists, but, either way, it will turn the battle in your favor.
However, this shout does only work on foes with weapons to drop. Any animals or automatons or dragons, none of which carry weapons, won't really be affected by this shout. It's definitely useful in specific situations, but not for every encounter.
6 Marked For Death
Say there's a bandit you want to kill, or perhaps you've run into a particularly tough bear in the forest, or maybe a dragon is giving you trouble. The Marked for Death shout will weaken that foe tremendously and drain their health at the same time.
Marked for Death will lower an opponent's armor, opening them up to attack. This, plus the fact that they'll be losing a bit of health every second for as long as the shout's effects last, means that this can be a very effective power to deal with resilient enemies.
Something that dragons have and humans don't is the power of flight, and, while there's nothing in the Skyrim that grants you wings—not counting expansions or mods—you can bring the dragons down to size. Dragonrend is a shout you obtain during the course of the game's story, and it lets you force any dragons to land for a while.
This can be very useful, as dragons do tend to fly around and hover in places, sending powerful attacks at you before they eventually land and can be hacked at with melee weapons. Obviously, this shout can't be used against any other enemy in the game, but it remains an incredibly handy power to have on hand when looking to take down a dragon.
4 Unrelenting Force
The signature shout from Skyrim and likely the first one that players will obtain, Unrelenting Force is, quite literally a force to be reckoned with. At its fully upgraded level, it sends forth an overwhelming burst of power that knocks back anything and everything in its wake, from enemies to physics objects.
There's also just something inherently fun about hearing your character speak the iconic "Fus Roh Dah!" line and seeing things exploded out in front of you. Combine that with the damage it does, the knockback effect, and the hilarious ragdoll physics, and you have a great dragon shout.
3 Ice Form
While there is a Frost Breath shout in Skyrim, it operates more akin to the ordinary frost mechanics, damaging enemy health and stamina and not too much else. However, the Ice Form shout works a little differently. This power instantly freezes anyone in front of the player in a block of ice, completely immobilizing them.
Any number of foes can be paralyzed this way, from the humble roaming bandits of the roads to the giants themselves. From there, you can get in close and attack them while they're down. Even once the ice wears off, they still need to stand up before they can do anything, making Ice Form an incredible shout.
2 Call Dragon
With all the hostile dragons roaming the wilds, it can feel pretty challenging to take them all on as just a human—well, Dragonborn, but still. So the power to summon your own dragon to the fight is incredibly appealing. The Call Dragon shout is obtained by following the story and lets you bring forth a scaly ally of your own.
The dragon you summon is invincible and can't be killed, only downed temporarily. He'll do all the standard dragon things from flying around to breathing fire to swiping at your enemies with his sharp claws. When the fight is over, he'll leave until you decide to call on him again, which will probably be soon, given how awesome it is to have an entire dragon fighting for you!
1 Slow Time
Finally, our last entry and what we think is the best shout in all of Skyrim is Slow Time. This shout is exactly what it says on the box; a power that makes everything move in slow motion for a while. Enemies move slower, projectiles hover in the air, and you can unleash a flurry of attacks that no one is prepared for.
The player is somewhat slowed by the shout, but not to the same degree that everything else is. This can be combined with all manner of other strategies, whether it's used to extend the effective duration of potions, deal a huge number of attacks in a short period of time, or charge up spells to blast everything away. No matter your play style, Slow Time is a must-have shout and the best one available in the game.