‘Skyrim’ is a game that is both profoundly beautiful, and awkward, all at the same time. It can suck you in with its majestic views and fantastical situations, while the next moment you could hear a guard exclaim – for the hundredth time – about that arrow that ended their adventuring days. There’s so many positives, and almost as many negatives. I will list those off in quick succession, starting with the negatives:
- Lots of bugs. Many are patched, but many also still roam free in the game.
- Stories and dialogue can sometimes feel lackluster. Not always, but sometimes.
- Dragons are fun at first, but eventually become little more than annoyances hunted for their item-drops and souls.
- Controls and animations haven’t aged well, almost a decade later.
- The AI can be idiots at times.
- There’s a LOT of content. You’ll get your money’s worth.
- DLC comes packed in with recent editions of the game (Legendary, Special, etc.)
- Immense customization in how you play and the character you build.
- Visuals are great for the time.
- Epic music.
- Landscape variety is top-tier.
- Has several great quests.
- MODS (though this can’t be seen as an inherent strength of the game).
Expanding on the last point, the best way to play ‘Skyrim’ is with mods. Combine well-chosen and well-supported mods with the best version of the game – ‘Skyrim Special Edition’ for PC – and you have something that can end up being twice as good as vanilla ‘Skyrim’, if you mod it right. The special edition has so much more detail and runs so much more smoothly; and as such, it’s the best version, especially for mod stability. Regarding modding, there’s no true best way to mod it. I personally use around fifty or so mods for things such as graphics, bugfixing, stability improvements, heightening immersion, adding in armors and weapons, adding in quests and better followers, etc. Below, I will give you the ten mods I always use during a playthrough as a place to start:
- Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
- Static Mesh Improvement Mod – SMIM
- Dear Diary – Paper SkyUI Menus Replacer SE
- Noble Skyrim Mod HD-2K
- Immersive Armors
- Realistic Water Two
- A Quality World Map
- Sofia – The Funny Fully Voiced Follower
Skyrim is a mixed bag that manages to come out having many more positives than negatives. The special edition for PC, especially when modded, really enhances the game as well. Though, it would be nice if those guards would stop complaining about their darn knees… it always gets on my… oh wait… silly me, there’s a mod for that… 😉