14 – The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Initial Release Date: March 20, 2006
Why it’s one of the best RPGs: Before we had Skyrim, Oblivion was the top dog of the Elder Scrolls series. You’ll spend hours upon hours in Oblivion leveling your character (one of multiple races), choosing from the 21 skills on your tree, and collecting new gear to dress up your customizable character in. Everything starts with a prison break (sound familiar?), but you’ll quickly be caught up in a world-spanning plot involving a Daedric invasion and gateways to a terrifying new plane of existence.
Oblivion is the next step for Bethesda on the stairway the leads to the heights of Skyrim. It united the best of action combat, RPG systems, a fantasy universe, character customization, and storytelling. It wasn’t without bugs, but in a time where open world RPGs were still getting their sea legs, the problems Oblivion presented were relatively minor when compared to its excellence. Smooth menuing and a user-friendly experience also added to the positive experiences its many fans had with the game. With a title like Oblivion, it’s no surprise that Bethesda only kept moving forward from there.
Next: 13 - Final Fantasy VII