The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 

RPG fans can free-roam the world

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda

PC, PS3, Xbox 360

After the still-highly acclaimed Morrowind and Oblivion, the long-awaited fifth Elder Scrolls installment has quite a task to perform in raising the bar for console RPGs. And so far, so good. Skyrim's immersive, free-roaming world map and seemingly countless quests and adventures are great, and I really dig the whole "how you treat people affects you later" aspect of the game.

You are thrust into dialogue sequences where you're prompted to select from different responses to communicate with folks around the map. (For the older Elder Scrolls players, there are plenty of goodies brought back from earlier installments.) But there are flaws: Like nearly all RPG titles, there's one character build that's completely overpowered and nearly ruins the game by making it too easy — and by having all your friends call you a loser. Still, The Elder Scrolls delivers yet another home run title, sure to tickle the soft spot of any action RPG connoisseur.

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