Is Skyrim Worth Playing in 2020?

With the Elder Scrolls VI looming around the corner, many players are considering either returning to Skyrim or playing it for the first time. Skyrim isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is widely regarded as one of the best open-world fantasy games of all time.

Here are are the main reasons to play Skyrim in 2020:

  • The world is massive
  • Game engine aged but the fun hasn’t
  • Mods make it a different game
  • It doesn’t cost a lot of money
  • You can play however you want
  • It doesn’t require crazy specs
  • You can get it on the Switch
  • It doesn’t require crazy specs
  • There are tons of items
  • Replayability is endless
  • The community is huge
  • It makes you feel accomplished

Related: Dark Souls vs. Skyrim: Which Game is Better for You?

The world is massive

When I say massive, I’m not talking about a huge but empty world like The Crew. There are a bunch of large cities, well over 100 dungeons, DLC maps, and countless enemies to defeat. In fact, it takes about 35 minutes to run across the entire world.

While the main story won’t take you very long to complete, there are a ton of other quest lines to complete. Thanks to Skyrim’s Radiant Quest system, side quests can be generated infinitely. People online claim they have played for over 1,000 hours and still haven’t completed every quest in the game.

Even if you don’t enjoy the story at all, exploring the open world is worth the price of admission. Most people choose to travel the terrain on foot rather than a horse. This is because there is so much to see and do just walking around.

For me it is nearly impossible to go anywhere in Skyrim without getting sidetracked. Every single time I walk somewhere I get stopped by a flying dragon or attacked by a monster.

Sometimes I just like to stop and admire the view. The graphics might not be the best, but the view definitely is pretty to look at.

Game engine aged but the fun hasn’t

There’s no denying that the game engine in Skyrim is outdated and clunky. The Special Edition improved the graphics a little, but they are still lacking by today’s standards.

The graphics are nowhere near the level of a game like The Witcher 3, but it doesn’t rely on graphics to provide a great experience. Sure, you can mod this game until it takes a NASA supercomputer to run it, but it’s really not fun when you can barely get more than 20 FPS.

Game engine bugs also abound in Skyrim. Dragons randomly die in mid air, and your character gets shot into outer space when a giant clubs you (which the developers intentionally left in the game), but that’s part of the charm of this game.

For the people who think the old engine makes the game terrible, you’ve missed the point. In the end, it’s not about realism. It’s about immersing yourself in the digital fantasy world and having fun.

Remember the feeling of excitement and exploration you had the first time you played an open-world game? This game brings back that sense of excitement.

Once you get over the quirks of an old game engine, you will begin to understand why this game has such an avid fan base.

Mods make it a different game

If for some reason you decide that you don’t like any aspect of the game, you can change it with mods. Some people even spend more time modding the game then they do playing it.

The modding community is versatile and very much alive. Modders have even made it possible for the Nintendo Switch version of Skyrim to have mods.

Whether it is new storylines, maps, abilities, weapons, NPCs, textures, graphics, or enemies, Skyrim mods will provide you with pretty much everything you can ask for.

It doesn’t cost a lot of money

With the exception of the Nintendo Switch version, Skyrim is usually pretty cheap. I personally think the Switch edition of Skyrim is well worth the money because it’s awesome taking Skyrim everywhere you do.

Nearly every steam sale there is you’ll see Skyrim sitting there at a reduced price. Now the full price of the game would be worth it for most people, but you can get it for much cheaper if you wait for a sale. You could also check other third party sites such as Humble Bundle for some great deals on this game.

Check out the current prices on Amazon:

You can play however you want

If you want to be a bandit robbing houses and attacking unsuspecting citizens, go for it. You can be an ultra-strong, hammer-wielding orc and smash your way through Skyrim, or a mage who turns fallen foes into zombies.

Many people enjoy playing the same type of character every time, like an archer who sneaks around and one-shots every enemy. Whatever your preference may be, there’s probably something for you.

It is very fun experimenting with the abilities your character has and would take playing the game dozens of times to experience everything the game has to offer. Even the skill trees in this game are insane.

It doesn’t require crazy specs

Part of the reason so many people play Skyrim is that it’s just an easy game for their PC to run. Usually, games of this caliber will make your PC look like a slideshow, but somehow Skyrim runs really well.

Every person I know with a low spec PC owns Skyrim. Some of them are complete Skyrim fanatics (one of which bought me a copy). With a slower system, there aren’t many great titles available to play. Fortunately, Skyrim is a great game both high end and low-end gamers enjoy.

Unless you are planning on modding this game like crazy, your old gaming laptop should run this game just fine.

You can get it on the Switch

Now you can even play it on the go with a Nintendo Switch. To be honest, the first time I ever played Skyrim was the Switch edition.

Being able to play such a great game anywhere you are is awesome! And when you get home you can connect it to the dock and play on your PC.

I thought it would be the best introduction to the game, and it definitely was a great experience. Since then I have played for many hours on the PC version, and I’ve loved every second.

There are tons of items

There is an excessive amount of items in Skyrim. Most players can relate to slow running to the shop while being massively overburdened with items.

The huge amount of items strewn around the world almost forces you to keep Lydia or another companion around as your personal pack mule. Some players just fill their house with these items like virtual hoarders.

Replayability is endless

While in the middle of your playthrough, you may decide that you completely hate the character and stats you’ve chosen. No problem, just restart.

Once you get past the boring intro to the game (which I have played over a dozen times), the game can play out differently than your last playthrough. Maybe you’ll walk in a different direction than last time, and see a new cave you never saw.

Maybe you’ll find a super-powerful weapon you never had before and base your entire character around that. It doesn’t really matter what you do, because every time you play it’ll be different.

The story quests will get old, but the exploring is always worth turning to. Every once in a while I’ll come back to the game after a brief hiatus, only to be completely engrossed in the world again.

If things start to become stale to you, take a break for a couple of weeks and come back. Things will once again seem exciting and new.

The community is huge

At the time of writing, the combined steam players between the normal version and the Special Edition were a little over 20,000 currently playing. For a 2011 game, that’s a lot.

On top of the current players, people are still making mods for this game. There will probably be Skyrim modders well after The Elder Scrolls VI comes out.

The Skyrim subreddit is always active, as well as lots of other Skyrim forums. If you’re looking to talk to other people who love this game, you don’t have to look very far.

It makes you feel accomplished

Maybe not beating the main story of the game, but definitely after finding a rare item you’ve been searching for. Taking out a whole horde of enemies with only a few health potions will make you feel invincible.

There are always enemies who challenge you in your journeys. When you finally defeat them, you feel very accomplished and satisfied.

Conclusion

If you are still on the fence about playing Skyrim, just get it on sale. Before I played Skyrim I was very uninterested in it because it looked old to me.

Once I got through the boring game intro, I finally realized why the game was so highly praised. Don’t take the game too seriously, and just have fun exploring the amazing world of Skyrim.

Jay Simmons

I love writing about games and sharing helpful info with others. Whether it be exploring a vast open world or uncovering lore, I always enjoy learning about my favorite games.

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