Skyrim turns nine years old this very day

Let's celebrate one of the greatest RPGs yet released on its ninth birthday

Ahh, Skyrim. The behemoth title that’s inspired a generation of the best RPG games, open-world games, and a seemingly unending stream of memes about guards with arrows in their knees is nearly a decade old. Released before this here site was even founded, it feels like one of those PC gaming greats that’s just… always been there. But, it’s not so – Skyrim turns a whopping nine years old this very day.

Launched on November 11, 2011, Skyrim’s the fifth major game in Bethesda’s long-running Elder Scrolls series, and – as the studio’s Senior VP of global marketing and comms Pete Hines jokes on Twitter – it’s seen a fair few ports and releases since that date. The ones we’re interested in, of course, are those on our home platform, which have led to the game’s (still) thriving modding scene.

We’ve got a rundown of the 100 best Skyrim mods full of handy pointers on what to grab, but head to Nexus Mods and you can see that – as of writing – there are over 94k community creations out there across the game’s base and special editions on that site alone.

Treats released in Skyrim’s ninth year out in the wild include ones that make combat reach more like The Witcher and Dark Souls, turn your dreams of being Superman into reality, let you grow wings and fly, befriend a vengeful ghost chicken, add D&D’s disgustingly squelchy Gelatinous Cubes, uncover the ‘truth’ – that birds aren’t real, craft “choreographed violence”, turn it into Old School RuneScape, and even let your your Dovahkiin just “do the thing”. There’s even one that simply adds hugs. Aww.

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The thriving Skyrim community’s impressive in other ways, too. There’s of course Skyblivion, a major modding project aiming to bring the entirety of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion into Skyrim’s engine, as well as Beyond Skyrim which similarly looks to make other regions from around Tamriel playable in the game. Recently, a group of modders announced a TES: Valenwood mod project, which will bring the home of the Bosmer to the RPG, too. Oh, and earlier this year a fan even got the game running on a keyboard. Yes, a keyboard. 

We’re big fans of Skyrim here, as well. We might not have existed in time to review it, but in our eight years so far we’ve put together a delightful array of Skyrim-rich goodies for your perusal. For example, you can read all about Geralt the Witcher’s adventures in Skyrim, what happened when a player downloaded over 100 mods to turn it into Sekiro, whether you can go vegan in Skyrim, how to mod Skyrim and rebuild your Stardew Valley farm in Tamriel, and why I’m prepared to sacrifice almost anything for my Skyrim dog. Clue: look into Meeko’s eyes.

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With no Elder Scrolls 6 release date on the horizon, let’s just celebrate Skyrim some more on its ninth birthday. Check out our articles on the game here and take a look at our guide to the absolute best way to play Skyrim.

Or, if you really can’t face any more moaning about archery-related war wounds, why Lydia has to be your housecarl, or sweet rolls, check out our list of games like Skyrim you can try.