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Elder Scrolls Games in Order: By Release Date and Timeline

ELDER SCROLLS is a series of action RPG games developed primarily by Maryland-based studio Bethesda.

But when was each game released and does a linear narrative timeline run through them?

Elder Scrolls games release order

Since its title debut in 1994, the series has spawned five main games, in addition to a number of spin-offs.

Each game takes place on the fictional continent of Tamriel and features real-life elements such as the Roman Empire combined with fantasy themes.

So, without further ado, here are all five major games so far in order of release.

The Elder Scrolls: Arena – 1994

MS-DOS

The first game in the series saw players trying to uncover a plot against King Uriel Septim VII.

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The Elder Scrolls series has produced what many consider to be some of the best games everCredit: Worksheet

The game features features like a day and night cycle and a spell crafting system that are particularly impressive considering the age of the game.

It was praised by critics and won numerous awards, including the “Role Playing Game of the Year” gong from Computer Gaming World.

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall – 1996

MS-DOS

The follow-up action had players hunting down the ghost of King Lysander to free him, at the behest of the Emperor.

Players could only travel between two provinces: High Rock and Hammerfell, but the game features 15,000 areas to explore.

It also offered players more options when it comes to customization. It was also critically praised.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind – 2002

PC and Xbox

The main story of the third game took place on Vvardenfell, an island on the continent of Tamriel.

The main quest centers on Dagoth Ur and his attempt to free Morrowind from Imperial control.

Two expansion packs followed: Tribunal and Bloodmoon.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – 2006

PC and Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Like previous games, Oblivion allowed players to freely explore the map and complete missions at their leisure.

The game had a stronger focus on plot than previous games and benefited from an improved physics engine as well as an AI system that allowed non-playable characters to make decisions and have more complex behaviors.

The game has been praised for the quality of the game world and graphics and, like its predecessor, is considered one of the best video games ever.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 2011

PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

The latest main title takes place two centuries after the end of Oblivion.

Set in Skyrim, the northern province of Tamriel, the story shows us facing off against a dragon named Alduin the World-Eater who was prophesied to destroy the world.

The game was originally released on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, but was later ported and remastered for next-generation consoles.

Elder Timeline order

Not all games have a continuous story that follows chronologically from game to game.

For example, Tomb Raider goes backwards and forwards in time and is divided into reboots and trilogies.

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On the other hand, Elder Scrolls has a pretty clear historical timeline like Call of Duty and Hitman.

Here are the main games in their chronological order:

  • The Elder Scrolls Arena – 1994
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall – 1996
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind – 2002
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – 2006
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 2011

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