Why is Skyrim Still So Popular?

4 min readNov 19, 2020

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim recently turned 9 years old, yet despite that the RPG is still an extremely popular game among fans of the long running series. Just on Steam it still has thousands of regular players and is one of their 100 most played games of all time. Quite an achievement for a game that came out in 2011. So needless to say it still holds a place in quite a few gamers hearts. But why? Normally we would just place something like this to nostalgia and move on but I’m not so sure. For one thing it’s not old enough. This isn’t a game that had a glut of gamers play it when it first came out, followed by a lull then a resurgence 10 years later as those original players rediscovered it. This game has been consistently played regularly for 9 years even despite its many bugs and in a lot of cases lackluster questlines. So what explains this?

The Setting

A view of Lake Illinalta

Skyrim is an Open-World RPG meaning you can be who you want to be and play how you want to play. You want to be an elf-slaying human tank? You can. You want to be a holy warrior with a passionate hatred of all things undead? Go ahead. You want to be a sneaky thief that steals everyone’s sweet rolls? Have at it. The possibilities are endless. This coupled with the open and endlessly fascinating worldspace and you’re in for a winner right from the off. Skyrim lore is amazingly deep, to the point where it sometimes feels like it really happened. Move over Middle Earth, Tamriel has you beat. (But not really, I love Tolkien’s work, Please don’t hate me.)

The Characters

A Kahjiit, A Vampire, An Argonian

Ok let’s face it, sometimes (ok a lot of times) the locals of Skyrim can feel a little 2 dimensional. The constantly repeating lines combined with the lack of genuine reaction to anything that has happened to them leaves them coming off a little flat. You could genuinely murder someones wife in front of them and next time you see them they are prefectly friendly with you as if it never happened. Despite that the majority of the characters are…




A lover of learning in all it's varieties. History, science, technology and beyond