Bethesda has remastered the wrong game

Before I kick off into an article which I’m sure will ruffle a few feathers, let me start off by saying that I love Skyrim. In fact, Skyrim is one of my faovirte games, like, ever. It’s in the top five, for sure. So I am incredibly excited for Bethesda’s remaster, which I’m sure will be every bit as epic as the original.

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All of that being said, it’s not my favorite Bethesda game – no sir. For all of its sprawling forrests, icy tundras, snowy mountains, fearsome dragons and Fus Ro Dah’rn good action – Skyrim still wasn’t as good as Oblivion.

*gasp*

I know! A game that won countless awards, destroyed the competition and cemented itself as one of the best games on the last generation of consoles, still isn’t my favorite game. And, despite how well polished it was, still is and will be, Oblivion offered a more rounded experience. Below are my five reasons for feeling that Oblivion was the better gaming experience and, thus, deserves to be remastered over its younger sibling.

5) The Arena

What’s not to love?! The opportunity to fight your opponents to the death in a colloseum type arena? The glory of a Gladiator when you defeat your opponent? The accolades that are thrown upon you when you become the ultimate fighter? The fact that a small child will worship you like a God once you’ve completed all of the fights? I’m not seeing any negatives here… other than the potential safeguarding issues that come with a child blindly following you around a strange city. In all, the Arena was one of my favorite parts of Oblivion. It was completely different to the rest of the game, but added a new dimension to both how you played it, and how the NPCs reacted to you around the world. I was no longer just the “Champion of Cyrodiil” but had also become “Dragonheart”, the title I picked for myself after defeating the Grand Champion in the Arena, and would thus be greeted as by NPCs across Cyrodiil. As far as I can remember, or have discovered, Skyrim didn’t really have anything like that – and I longed for a similar experience.

4) The story

A lot of people have panned Oblivion for its story – but I thought it was fantastic. Who doesn’t want to become the right hand-wo/man of a future Emperor, voiced by the ever wonderful Sean Bean, in his quest to restore the empire and close the gates of Oblivion? It’s got everything – reluctant heroes, demonic beasts, portals to alternate dimensions… Sean Bean AND Sir Patrick Stewart. I mean, what did Skyrim have? Dragons? Well, yeah, that was pretty cool. Still, I felt that the gates of Oblivion were a far greater threat, one worthy of a hero’s time – not that becoming the Dragonborn and defeating the greater evil wasn’t a noble quest, of course.

3) The DLC

Yes, Skyrim’s DLC was good. But Oblivion’s DLC was great. The Knights of the Nine and the Shivering Isles were absolute masterpieces. Plus, the Shivering Isles introduced one of my favorite characters to ever grace a video-game – Sheogorath, the Deadric God of Madness. And he was well and truly mad. Not only that, but he gives you Wabbjack – a staff that can turn enemies into random creatures, from chickens to Deadric monsters.

2) The plains of Oblivion

The Oblivion gates, and the relentless quest to close them, was probably one of my favorite parts of the game (other than the Arena, of course). I loved being transported to that barren, hostile world – and it made you feel like a real hero, stepping into the unknown whilst most stood back and watched. But, the great thing about the plains of Oblivion was that there were different items to collect, creatures to kill and plants to harvest. It truly was a separate world within the game.

1) The guilds and their quests

The guilds of Cyrodiil felt fresh, and exciting (for me at least). But they felt a little shallow in Skyrim. Oblivion was the last Elder Scrolls title to use the ‘conventional’ guilds – Thieves, Mages, Fighters and The Dark Brotherhood. These do make an appearance in Skyrim, in some shape or description, but the way that you progress through them is entirely different. Oblivion was characterised by hierarchies, and as you progressed through the missions, you progressed through those hierarchies – that’s the same for the Thieves Guild all the way through to the Arena. I liked that. In Skyrim, though, everything was less clear-cut. You progressed, but weren’t necessarily awarded new titles to show for it, and I missed the sense of achievement that you got as you worked your way to the top. Not only that, but I felt that the stories behind the guild quests in Oblivion were far stronger – particularly the Thieve Guild’s, based around The Gray Fox.

So there you have it. My five reasons for feeling that Oblivion would have been the best game to remaster. Now, I know that practically, Skyrim would be far easier to remaster. It’s newer, it’s probably more popular, and it’ll have far less that needs to be done in the back end. But does a game being more polished mean that it’s better? I don’t think so, but maybe you do (or maybe you feel that Morrowind is a better candidate!). Let me know in the comments below.

  • Веталка Сап.

    gtfo with that shit

  • Веталка Сап.

    gtfo with that shit

  • Glitterhoof

    I think Morrowind was the best one. But that’s the great thing about The Elder Scrolls. Every generation of gamers remembers their first TES game as the most epic one. They define those generations.

    • JC

      …but real talk, Morrowind was ACTUALLY the best in the series

      • Fribble, just fribble.

        Right on!

  • Glitterhoof

    I think Morrowind was the best one. But that’s the great thing about The Elder Scrolls. Every generation of gamers remembers their first TES game as the most epic one. They define those generations.

    • JC

      …but real talk, Morrowind was ACTUALLY the best in the series

      • Fribble, just fribble.

        Right on!

  • Eagles83

    They did Skyrim instead as it was more recent and they did their testing on it while working on Fallout 4. It would have been more work to do Oblivion. If it were as simple as just picking one I would have preferred a Morrowind since it is the one I never got to play. I honestly found Oblivion kind of boring. The main part was fine but every time you went through the portal is all looked the same and got old fast.

  • Eagles83

    They did Skyrim instead as it was more recent and they did their testing on it while working on Fallout 4. It would have been more work to do Oblivion. If it were as simple as just picking one I would have preferred a Morrowind since it is the one I never got to play. I honestly found Oblivion kind of boring. The main part was fine but every time you went through the portal is all looked the same and got old fast.

  • jakdripr

    I agree I’d have preferred oblivion, but for different reasons. I’ve sunk somewhere around 400 hours into Skyrim, I just don’t think there’s anything left for me in that game anymore. Which makes me sad because I’d have loved to have a copy of Skyrim that I can pop in every now and then on my Ps4, but having to start from scratch again is just asking too much for me.

  • jakdripr

    I agree I’d have preferred oblivion, but for different reasons. I’ve sunk somewhere around 400 hours into Skyrim, I just don’t think there’s anything left for me in that game anymore. Which makes me sad because I’d have loved to have a copy of Skyrim that I can pop in every now and then on my Ps4, but having to start from scratch again is just asking too much for me.

  • Andre Andrade

    Remaster Skyrim is quick and simple. This is easy cash for bethesda, why not make? Consumer view point is not the factor here.

    • Deadpool Sensei

      Actually the generally consensus would say that most consumers want Skyrim over Oblivion. Especially those not on PC

      • Fribble, just fribble.

        Most of those who want Skyrim has never played any of the other TES games, or were first introduced to gaming in general with Skyrim.

    • Fribble, just fribble.

      They should be focusing on the next installment rather than trying to rip money from the players with a barely different re-release, also mods made the original Skyrim better than the re-release by a large margin. I guess the re-release was because they failed at trying to get revenue from peoples mods by taking the larger cut, the greedy bastards. I can’t believe people still like Bethesda after the paid mods fiasco besides for the usual dumbing down of the games.

  • Andre Andrade

    Remaster Skyrim is quick and simple. This is easy cash for bethesda, why not make? Consumer view point is not the factor here.

    • Deadpool Sensei

      Actually the generally consensus would say that most consumers want Skyrim over Oblivion. Especially those not on PC

      • Fribble, just fribble.

        Most of those who want Skyrim has never played any of the other TES games, or were first introduced to gaming in general with Skyrim.

    • Fribble, just fribble.

      They should be focusing on the next installment rather than trying to rip money from the players with a barely different re-release, also mods made the original Skyrim better than the re-release by a large margin. I guess the re-release was because they failed at trying to get revenue from peoples mods by taking the larger cut, the greedy bastards. I can’t believe people still like Bethesda after the paid mods fiasco besides for the usual dumbing down of the games.

  • Ryan

    I’d have preferred if they did Morrow Wind. I’m tired of games that give you “absolute freedom” telling me “We don’t care how annoying you think X character is, it is impossible to kill them without mods”

  • Ryan

    I’d have preferred if they did Morrow Wind. I’m tired of games that give you “absolute freedom” telling me “We don’t care how annoying you think X character is, it is impossible to kill them without mods”

  • Deadpool Sensei

    Sorry. The people have spoken. Your arguments are invalid. They want Skyrim. Long live Morrowind

  • Deadpool Sensei

    Sorry. The people have spoken. Your arguments are invalid. They want Skyrim. Long live Morrowind

  • Anon Anon

    Uh, Daggerfall was my first and favorite. Then Skyrim was ok because they added dragons. Daggerfall has ships, housing systems, justice systems that are region specific. It also had Tamriel in its entirety rather than a region per game. To summin daedra princes, you actually had to do research, and perform the rituals at specific times (during the year) and places with the right ingredients, so being rewarded with a daedric item actually felt rewarding. There, those are my reasons.

  • Anon Anon

    Uh, Daggerfall was my first and favorite. Then Skyrim was ok because they added dragons. Daggerfall has ships, housing systems, justice systems that are region specific. It also had Tamriel in its entirety rather than a region per game. To summin daedra princes, you actually had to do research, and perform the rituals at specific times (during the year) and places with the right ingredients, so being rewarded with a daedric item actually felt rewarding. There, those are my reasons.

  • Jeff Morse

    I agree completely. Skyrim on Ultra looks pretty good even in its vanilla state. I have it set to DSR 4X with my GTX 980 and its gorgeous. It looks better than Fallout 4 for the most part. Oblivion on the other hand – it could really use a remastered version. They learned so much that could be applied to the old Gamebryo engine. There are a lot of gamers that never played it – bringing the graphics up to date (as much as they can be with a ten year old game) would probably pay for itself with the new players… plus bringing old ones back for another go-around. Hell, I’d pay for it all over again.

  • Jeff Morse

    I agree completely. Skyrim on Ultra looks pretty good even in its vanilla state. I have it set to DSR 4X with my GTX 980 and its gorgeous. It looks better than Fallout 4 for the most part. Oblivion on the other hand – it could really use a remastered version. They learned so much that could be applied to the old Gamebryo engine. There are a lot of gamers that never played it – bringing the graphics up to date (as much as they can be with a ten year old game) would probably pay for itself with the new players… plus bringing old ones back for another go-around. Hell, I’d pay for it all over again.

  • Fribble, just fribble.

    There’s still so many more reasons you could’ve mentioned as to why Oblivion was better particularly in the gameplay and RP department. However Morrowind was the overall best TES experience there was with tons of content and unique features, and this is coming from someone who was introduced to TES with Oblivion first.

  • Fribble, just fribble.

    There’s still so many more reasons you could’ve mentioned as to why Oblivion was better particularly in the gameplay and RP department. However Morrowind was the overall best TES experience there was with tons of content and unique features, and this is coming from someone who was introduced to TES with Oblivion first.