The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim? More like, This Game Needs to Die-Rim.

At least, that’s how I felt a while ago. Bethesda has been milking The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for more than ten years at this point. It’s becoming expected that every new console release will see a fresh launch of this decade-old game. It’s become a meme at this point.

When Skyrim‘s reveal trailer was shown at the 2010 VGAs — displaying the memorable release date of 11/11/11 — I had just landed my first full-time job in mainstream games journalism. I was just a wee lad, still wet behind the ears, as they say. That feels like a lifetime ago.

To put it in perspective, do you know what else came out in 2011? Uncharted 3 came out in 2011. Dark Souls came out in 2011. Batman: Arkham City came out in 2011. Minecraft came out of beta in 2011. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out in 2011. That’s right, when Skyrim came out, the Wii was still a thing. 2011 was a hell of a year for video games, but it was also a really, really long time ago.

When The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was met with adoration from fans and critics alike in 2015, I thought that maybe the world would finally move on. The Witcher 3 is better than Skyrim in just about every way. It’s far more impressive visually. The map is way bigger than Skyrim‘s. The story is better. The characters are so much better developed. And Geralt of Rivia is one sexy MFer.

The Witcher 3 - Geralt in a Tub

But that wasn’t enough. Bethesda would release Skyrim on Nintendo Switch in October of 2016. And, I hate to say it, but I bought it.

I made a joke this year that the greatest thing about Elden Ring is that people will finally stop talking about Skyrim. But I was wrong again. And here I am, once again talking about Skyrim.

Bernie Sanders Talking About Skyrim

And yeah, before you throw shade at me for using such an old meme, I want to point out that the Bernie Sanders meme originated in February of 2020. Skyrim was more than eight years old at that point.

So after spending all this time just trying to drive home just how freaking old this game is, I also have a confession to make: I kind of want to play it again. I can’t help myself; there’s just something permanently compelling about that specific chunk of Tamriel.

Maybe it’s because it’s getting close to Thanksgiving, and I picked up my most recent copy of Skyrim (my third copy, I believe) in a Black Friday sale. So Skyrim and Thanksgiving (or Black Friday, at least) feel linked in my mind. Or maybe it’s because there’s snow on the ground as I’m writing this, and this Minnesota winter reminds me of the northern parts of Skyrim. Or maybe it’s because there’s a moderate update available on current-gen consoles, which even add a few extra features (fishing, mainly). Or maybe it’s just because the recent Frozen Flame got me talking about encumbrance in video games, and that always brings me back to thinking about Skyrim.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I can’t say for certain that I’m going to give into the temptation this time around, but I can’t deny the fact that this temptation is very much a thing right now. I kind of hate myself for having to say this, but I kind of miss The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and I might even install it on my PS5 and poke around for a while.

Or maybe not. Who can say?

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