Although The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim was released nearly 10 years ago, the game still has a big presence in the eyes of series fans. Many find themselves returning to Skyrim years after bigger, more ambitious games have released. It’s clear that, even compared to its larger successor,The Elder Scrolls Online, Skyrim has surprising longevity. But why is this the case?
The Elder Scrolls Online features more locations across Tamriel than any other game in the series.It’s also received substantial expansions since its initial release, allowing players to explore new questlines and areas. This is a significant advantage over Skyrim‘s one region, and ESO‘s interconnected, ever-evolving nature should give players many reasons to return regularly.
Despite all this, some fan find ESO‘s replayability worse than Skyrim‘s – a single-player game that got only a few updates after its 2011 launch. To many, it’s not the number of questlines or locations that keeps Skyrim relevant; it’s the things that make it distinctly not like ESO.
Why Skyrim Still Lives On In 2021, Despite Elder Scrolls Online
Skyrim‘s single-player gameplay actually helps it feel more evergreen than a live-service game like ESO. A significant amount of the enjoyment of an MMO comes from interacting with other players. Fans more interested in exploring Tamriel solo may find ESO difficult to play without being interrupted or feeling like they’re missing out on the full experience. This also makes ESO dependent on the health of its player base; if the number of players drops significantly or if developer support is withdrawn, the ESO experience will be dampened or cut short. Skyrim‘s world can continue to be engaging, regardless of outside factors.
More than the base game itself, though, Skyrim‘s modding community is the heart of what makes it so replayable. The relative ease of modding Skyrim, coupled with official mod support from Bethesda, makes it easily customizable, and Skyrim modders are notoriously prolific and creative. Thanks to their work, players can fill the game with everything from slight cosmetic changes or new weapons to complete overhauls of locations, textures, or questlines. The updates that make The Elder Scrolls Online feel fresh will likely end eventually, but unless its still-active modding community dies out, Skyrim effectively never has to be the same twice.