Despite its age, Skyrim is in better shape than ever these days, and anyone looking for something to play should consider making it their next big game to dive into.
More recently than other platforms, Skyrim released for the Nintendo Switch, which means it can be picked up and played anywhere. This means Skyrim is more accessible than ever, regardless of what gaming platform someone owns, so there's never been a better time to pick it up.
One of the best things about Skyrim is that it lets its players totally define what kind of playthrough they're going to have. There are no "classes" like most RPGs have; while Skyrim does have the basic 'mage, thief, warrior' setup, it's entirely up to players how much of each class they want their character to have, and mixing and matching is very common. A full axe-swinging warrior, an all-powerful thief/mage, or some combination of all there basic styles of gameplay is feasible.
Then, when different quest lines are factored in, there's even more opportunity for players to define what kind of character they're playing. Morality isn't terribly complex in Skyrim, but it's certainly there. Players can decide if they're going to help everyone to the best of their ability, or be what the Dungeons & Dragons crowd calls a "murder hobo." It's all left up to Skyrim's players.
This is probably the biggest reason to pick up Skyrim on PC or consoles; because, with enough mods installed, Skyrim is like an entirely new game. The modding community surrounding Skyrim is robust and incredibly productive, and there are a plethora of mods to check out, from new companions with a whole lot more to say than the usual Skyrim characters to new quests and adventures and more.
Those who have never messed around with mods before should absolutely give it a try, because with them, Skyrim becomes an even more vibrant and engrossing game. Given nearly ten years, the Skyrim modding community has amassed a collection that'll give players pretty much anything they could ask for.
Skyrim is pretty big, even by today's standards, and for those who engage with more than just the main quest line (which pretty much everyone does, because it's impossible not to), the game represents a lot of potential play-time. With several long, branching quest lines, over 100 dungeons, five major cities, and countless enemies to tangle with, Skyrim has more than enough for any and all players to do. Then there's the fact that it's incredibly difficult to go basically anywhere without getting sidetracked and picking up some other minor Skyrim quest, which just means more fun.
Skyrim is not a terribly difficult game to run anymore; in fact, it runs downright easily on current-generation platforms. Whatever Skyrim used to be, it now takes up a relatively small amount of hard drive space, and it runs like a dream, even on low-spec PCs. Sure, modding Skyrim will change things; mods can easily take up a whole bunch of space and bog things down on a low-spec PC, but otherwise? Skyrim is a no-brainer based solely on how easy it is to have downloaded on both computers and consoles.
If any game has a high replayability value, it's Skyrim. Lots of players decide halfway through a (long) playthrough that they want a different Skyrim character, and that's okay, because the game can play out totally differently once players get past the intro. There are even mods that do away with the classic beginning of the game in Helgen.
Taking a different path the next time around, Stumbling across a new Skyrim location that might have been missed the last time, or making new choices within factions are all possibilities in the game. There's no end to the replayability of Skyrim, which is one of the reasons its player base is still so active after all these years. The community around Skyrim is still thriving, even beyond modders, and it's because the game still has so much to offer despite its age.
It's still fun in 2021, and isn't that really the bottom line? Skyrim has aged; there's no denying it. It's not the biggest RPG anymore, nor is does it have a particularly high quality of graphics (not counting mods, of course). But underneath at all, it's still a blast to play. Just about anyone who picks it up is bound to have a great time discovering its secrets and exploring its world. At the end of the day, Skyrim is still fun, as it will no doubt continue to be in the future.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available to play now on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.