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To this day, a lot of people consider Morrowind, the third entry in Bethesda's open world The Elder Scrolls series, to be the best among those games. And seeing how it's now been 20 years since Morrowind's original launch, we can check out this retrospective from The Escapist Magazine that highlights the game's unique brand of weirdness.
A couple of sample paragraphs:
It’s difficult to forget stepping out of Seyda Neen, only to have an elf fall from the sky to his death immediately in front of you. His journal reveals that he crafted a spell that granted the power of flight. In reality, it’s a huge buff to jump, which allows the caster to leap across most of the game map but can only be used safely when countered with another spell for slow fall.
It might have looked absurd for characters to levitate by effectively walking through the air or to run so fast they triggered loading screens every couple of seconds – presumably one reason spellcrafting was simplified for Oblivion and left out of Skyrim. But spellcrafting in Morrowind trusted the player with a degree of freedom and experimentation rarely seen in open-world games since. In effect, Morrowind freely handed players the means to try to break it – a design approach usually associated more with immersive sims than with RPGs.