Customer Reviews: The Elder Scrolls Anthology
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on September 10, 2013
My first Elder Scrolls game started with Oblivion as I never had a system to run the previous ones, but it was pretty easy to get into the previous three and explore the first worlds and lore that has been set for the Elder Scrolls universe. The Anthology does a great job combining all five games with all the expansions in one package, along with the maps and an Elder Scrolls Online sticker.

Still, I miss physical manuals. Oblivion's manual is one of my favorites for any game, and I don't think paying $80 should include a piece of paper that tells me to go online to find them. This is nitpicking, and doesn't warrant removing a star.

So, what comes in the box?

DVDs for:
Elder Scrolls: Arena and a DOS emulator (this game came out in 1994)
Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, also with a DOS emulator (1996)
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind with Bloodmoon and Tribunal expansions (2002)
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine and other minor expansions
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with Hearthfire, Dragonborn, and Dawnguard expansions

Also included, 5 maps for the different areas of each game, but no Shivering Isles map:
Skyrim (Skyrim)
Cyrodil (Oblivion)
Vardenfell (Morrowind)
Hammerfell (Arena and Daggerfall)
Tamriel (all games)

A Steam account is required to activate Skyrim, even if installing from the DVD; this is not required for the other 4 games. If you've never used Steam, it does NOT require a 100% always-on Internet connection, only an initial one to create an account, then activate and download the game. A Steam Key is included, and will also add Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim to your Steam account, but you can install all the games (excluding Skyrim) without Steam if desired.

Since Arena and Daggerfall are available for download for free from the official Elder Scrolls website, you're only paying for Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and all the associated expansions. On Steam (as of 9/10/2013), Elder Scrolls 3-5 costs $104 with all the expansions included, so $80 is a nice deal for anyone looking to jump right into the series. If you already have Skyrim with all the DLC, then the Anthology isn't worth the money unless you like nice looking boxes on your shelf and all your games in disc form.

The overall quality is good. The box feels solid and has that Elder Scrolls look. The maps are glossy photo-type paper, but are also folded which means they come with creases. It might be asinine to expect them to ship the maps in a tube instead of finding a way of putting them into the game box itself, but it would still be nice to be able to put them on the wall without having a tic-tac-toe box on them.

You also get a few glamour shots and a short synopsis of each game printed on the disk "booklet" that contains all the DVDs. This is good for knowing what you're getting into, and reminding you what the particular game is all about.

Overall, would I suggest the Elder Scrolls Anthology to someone? The answer is yes, but only if you're a die-hard fan or don't own any (or at least most) of the games. It has solid quality, nice maps, and a cheaper price, so it's a great combination and as time goes on will be an even better deal than it is today. However, if you already own Skyrim with all its expansions, it's probably cheaper to buy the GOTY editions of Morrowind/Oblivion and find the different maps online.
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on September 12, 2013
I collect Collectors Editions. I don't hide them away in their original packaging I display them all over my house, I open them and I read everything in them and play with the figurines and everything. This Anthology is amazing in my opinion. First let me start with who I think this is for.
1. A Collector of Elder Scrolls Games. I say collector because if you started with Oblivion or just picked up Skyrim or even started with Morrowind and want to play the first two they are free on Bethesda's site, go download and play them and buy an expansion to Skyrim if you want to support them.
2. Someone who wants to have all of the discs and not hunt down all of the editions and hope the used copy on sale is good enough.
3. Crazy people like me who buy every edition of every game they love.

Onto the review of the product. As stated in the description you get every Elder Scrolls PC game ever made. Starting with Elder Scrolls Arena. There are instructions on how to install with old DOS / 95 machines or how to configure DOSBox an emulator to play the original game. There is a disc just for Arena in its own slot on the first page of the binder than is covered in fake leather. There are some awesome screen shots of the game along the fold out page that holds the disc and the famous starting quest line quote as the game description. This is what you will find for all of the games. I will not go into detail for each as they are all setup the same and in the back is an ESO decal and maps of the World of ESO.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and well worth the money just for Skyrim alone, not to mention the entirety of one of the most awarded and praised game series of all time. This game series holds its own with Final Fantasy, Zelda, and Diablo. A true experience that should not be missed by any gamer. Good job Bethesda on offering this amazing product.
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on September 11, 2013
Worth the $79.99, possibly, the plastic container it comes in is cheap, however the internal leather box set is excellent in quality. For a huge fan of the series with well over 1000 hours in the TES line so far, worth ever cent, the maps as another reviewer are of cheaper "photo paper" quality, for this price, wishing that there was a better option. Also be aware that this box set is the size of a DVD season box set, which I consider small, again for the price point.

As for activating the Skyrim DLC, there is a keycode that unlocks "Elder Scrolls Retail" which gives you access to Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim, once Skyrim was installed the Steam installer did download ALL DLC.
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on November 30, 2013
This by far is one of the best collections of games ever. I see now that Amazon has it for the same price Best Buy had it for as well. I bought it for $29.99 and to me that is an AWESOME deal. Just to get Skyrim Legendary Edition and all Expansions alone was a great deal, but to get the other four games in the series was just icing on the cake! I would recommend this to anyone that was really into Elder Scrolls style games. Playing the first Elder Scrolls game was like playing Doom! lmao.

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on April 22, 2014
The Elder Scrolls series is one of my all-time favorite role-playing games. I remember being first introduced to Elder Scrolls - Daggerfalls (or ES II) back in my college days. I hadn't heard of the series, nor did I know anything about Bethesda. After watching my friend play for about 30 minutes, I immediately decided to pick up ES II and have been playing this series ever since. The programmers at Bethesda outdo themselves each time they release a new game. Keeping some of the best from the previous version and adding in new features, better graphics, and always improving the soundtrack and story with each go. What's not to like about a company that takes this much pride in their work.

This particular box-set comes with all five games (ES I and ES II are pre-windows, so require the use of the included DosBox software to make them work; ES III, IV, V are installed via Steam) and the expansions for the later part of the series. Not a bad deal for the $25 I paid to pick this up. Even for the normal market price (which seems to be hovering around $50), it is still a great deal if you don't have any of the series already and love RPGs.

The one issue that most people may have is the requirement to register the games with Steam to play/install. I get it that many people are not fans of the online/non physical gaming systems out there and love having copies of their software on hand, so they can install it whenever they want. Steam, however, has made this experience as painless as possible - while offering some really unique features (like player created content for free download) that you can't get with a standalone disc. Inside the box you will find a Steam code, which you simply type into your Steam account (free, by the way) and it will activate ES III Game of the Year edition, ES IV GOTY, and ES V with all three expansions. It's that simple. I was able to install the 4GB+ ES V game in what seemed like eternity, but actually was only about 20 minutes without any issue. The game stays patched inside Steam and as previously stated - tons of user created free content that you can install to augment your gaming experience.

The entire package is fairly well done - from the construction of the book-like disc holders with graphics, maps, and Steam key located inside, to the box that holds this disc holder so that it stays in good shape for many years to come. The maps, as pointed out on countless other reviews, are simply printed on regular paper instead of the old "designer" stuff, but hey - this is a great deal, so I'm not too worried about how the map is printed. There are no manuals included, but you do get access to them online - which may turn some people off - but less thing to keep track of and once online, it will likely always be online, as people make backups of backups on the internet.

Overall, I'm very happy with this purchase and this box-set. While I already owned ES II - IV, this box-set has given me a great way to organize all my games into one area and again - the $25 I spent for the entire Anthology is still cheaper than what I would have cost me to get the "Platinum" version of ES V - Skyrim. Now to immerse myself in the game...hopefully remembering to eat and drink on occasion.
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on February 12, 2015
Great game anthology. Great price, good quality product and gaming, arrived in decent time, and is a great value.
Skyrim alone costs around $20 usually. So this is a great deal for all 5 games in physical disc format in a box set with maps. Very nice quality container/box/book. Nice texture with gold inlayed words and design.
Skyrim requires Steam program to run/play. Steam is free. When you insert Skyrim in your PC to install, it will first install Steam. However it kept messing up every time it tried to install Steam saying error at that time. So I cancelled and went to the Steam website and installed through the site. Then I inserted Skyrim again and it worked perfect.
When I entered my product key (found on the paper inside the book) Morrowind and Oblivion also showed up in my Steam game library, along with Skyrim. Since it's a bundled product. I don't think they require Steam to play hower ever. But I haven't tried them yet.
I first played Morrowind on Xbox. Which is how I fell in love with the games. I am used to playing with a controller so I use a Wireless Windows Xbox 360 controller. Note to controller users who play: Turn Steam on Big Picture mode. This way you can change the settings for the controller with Steam. This is the only way you can take screenshots that you can post to your Steam. You can change which buttons you use to screenshot on Big Picture mode as well. It's basically for controller users I think.
Steam allows players to connect with others who play the same games. You can purchase games on steam. They offer tons of games. You have a profile with your games library, screenshots, your artwork, badges, etc. Join and/make groups. Find workshops that give you MODS you can subscribe to. Which will install into your specified game. I've gotten lots of add ons for Skyrim including Harry Potter spells! Add and chat with friends. And much much more.
Note for Steam use: Some Steam features will not be available to you. Unless you have already used Steam and purchased through them or been gifted a game/etc. You need to either make a purchase or get a gift and add it to your games. My friend sent me a game on sale for 0.14 and I accepted it and added it to my library. Then my Steam account had full access to everything. Such as: I have beta turned on and I wanted to broadcast my gameplay so friends could watch me play live. This wasn't available with my account due to restrictions. Restrictions that couldn't be removed until I had purchased a game etc. To gain full access. It's something to do with security and etc etc I forget exactly. Anyways, other than that little bit, it's been awesome and fun! I love Steam and connecting and sharing with people there. And I love these games! Been playing Skyrim and I love it (yes sometimes I use cheats lol) I really recommend this!!
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on July 6, 2015
This is one of those reviews that I'm almost embarrassed to publish. Let me say I've been an RPG gamer for as long as I can remember. I still remember putting The Legend of Zelda on NES in layaway back in 1986. My dad wouldn't let me pay over twenty dollars for a video game back then and if I remember right, it was fifty. I was only eleven or twelve. I paid on it every other week until I had it in my hands and spent the entire summer playing it. A second major game came along in summer of 1990. Final Fantasy on the NES. I spent that summer playing it. So much in fact, I even loaded up the NES, the game, the maps and took them on vacation with us.

The Elder Scrolls replaced both of those for me. Even as an overworked dad and husband, I've developed what I consider a healthy obsession with the Elder Scrolls and Fallout too. The Elder Scrolls games let me get away from the stress of daily life. I recently made the switch from console gamer to PC gamer and bought this set while Amazon had it on sale for twenty dollars. I figured I wouldn't use it since I do like Steam, but wanted this set anyway. I now own these versions of the Elder Scrolls games:
Skyrim: (Xbox 360) Vanilla and Legendary, (PS3) Legendary, (PC) Steam Legendary
Oblivion: (Xbox 360) Game of the Year with all downloaded add-ons like Vile Lair, (PC) Steam Deluxe Game of the Year Edition and this physical copy.
Morrowind: (Xbox) Game of the Year played on Xbox 360

For me, these three games become completely "new" on PC. This is the order of my favorites of these three and it's important to the review.
Skyrim - On console it has been the best of the three for me. I don't care for the leveling up system in it, but the combination of graphics, realistic gore, story and atmosphere makes it my favorite.
Morrowind - A game I had trouble liking at first on the console. It feels a little clunky, everything you "see" is outdated, but the leveling up is very fun, the atmosphere is good despite the lower-end graphics and the story is good.
Oblivion - To me it's the most overrated on consoles. Skyrim's setting is near perfect. It's icy, it's cold, there are animals you would expect to see in cold areas. Morrowind is dark and moody which fits it well. Oblivion is set in Cyrodill and it's similar to North America in climate with the southern region being marshy, lots of water, the central region being green and flat, both coasts have water all along them and the northern parts get into mountainous, snowy conditions, but that's it. It's as if they created this beautiful lush continent for Oblivion, but forgot to add much to the outside parts of the game. You can run across half of Oblivion's map without being attacked once. There are wolves, the occasional Minotaur, but most of the outside area seems wasted.

Having said that, Oblivion on the PC has the most potential since the modding community has added thousands of mods for it. More wildlife, even lusher graphics, it's kind of like taking Skyrim's outdoor adventures and adding it to Oblivion. I've already played the modded PC version for 114 hours. I barely had that much on the console version and I'm nowhere near finished with the PC version.

Morrowind has the great graphics overhaul mod. Though I agree with other Elder Scrolls players who say you should play Morrowind without it at least for one playthrough. The mod makes it prettier, it takes away some of the dark atmosphere, but it makes it much nicer to look at it and easier on your eyes. There's also weapon and armor mods that improve those.

Skyrim falls to the bottom on the PC since in my opinion, it was the best on console, there's some nice graphic mods for weapons and armor, but it was already near perfect for me, not counting the too easy leveling up system.

I've been very happy with this anthology. As others have noted, the Skyrim that comes with this set is a Steam code. Also should be noted, the Oblivion that comes with this set is the Game of the Year edition. I had already bought the Deluxe GotY edition on Steam which includes those small add-ons like Vile Lair, Wizard's Tower, etc...

I've read others say if you install Oblivion GotY from this set through Steam you'll get the Deluxe Edition, but I can't verify that since I already had it downloaded to my Steam account before buying this set. I also agree with the others who say you really don't "need" this anthology if you already have these games on Steam. I haven't tried Daggerfall or Arena, but will eventually. All in all, combining the console versions and PC versions, I've put in over 1,200 hours in these 3 games over the last 5-6 years. I probably still have another 1,200 hours to go with all these mods.
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on December 9, 2013
I figured this was a great deal so I ordered it. I have not played any of the Elder Scrolls series so my plan was to start with Arena and work my way up. I was unable to get Arena installed and working properly. Tech support may be able to help me, but I have not tried. Daggerfall installation was successful however. Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim are Steam downloads. I have only installed Skyrim, but I do not expect any problems with Morrowind or Oblivion. If Arena installed successfully then this would have been a five star rating. I am having a blast with Skyrim!
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on July 19, 2014
This is a long review. If you don't want to hear me ramble on about how great these games and set they come in are, just scroll right on by.

Now, The Elder Scrolls is probably my favorite video game series out there, so when I saw this set about a month ago for less than $40, it was an instant purchase for me. I even paid an arm and a leg for 2-day shipping on it. After not being able to pry myself away for a good month, I think I'm ready to review this set.

Just as a disclaimer: this review is from the point of view of a diehard fan of the series. If you're new to the Elder Scrolls and you like RPGs, I definitely recommend it. If you're not into roleplaying games, you're in the wrong place.

What you get:

Included in this set is every main series Elder Scrolls game along with every expansion and DLC.
Sadly, this set doesn't include Redguard and Battlespire, which is a bit disappointing,

Now, I'll start with the physical aspect of the set:


The game was shipped in a large envelope which protected the game nicely enough. Once opened, you can slide the plastic cover off and set the box up on display. It really does look wonderful.

The Set Itself:

The box looks wonderful. It's simplistic and really looks great on display. To access the discs, you pull the actual book of discs out of the top. Each of the games has a page all to itself (Morrowind has 2) and they fold out to reveal the disc and a few screenshots from the games themselves. In the back, there is a grey insert with some safety and warranty information, along with a link to the full game manuals and a (As in one) Steam code for Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim with all DLC from each.

However, my favorite part of this set is the maps. You get 5, one for each reigon the games are set in.
The first is a map of Tamriel, including all the main cities of each province.
The second map is of the Illiac Bay, complete with labeled areas.
The third is of Vvardenfell, and it looks gorgeous. Very well detailed.
The fourth is of Cyrodiil. It's basically the same map included in Oblivion, but without the edge borders.
The fifth is of Skyrim. Sadly, it's not made of that great parchment that was seen in the original release.

Now, let's get on with the games themselves:

1 - The Elder Scrolls Arena:

Arena was very easy to set up as it included an auto-installer. That's right, no fiddling around with DOSbox in this set.
When I first played Arena, i was very put off by the control scheme. You either use the arrow keys or click on the sides of the screen to move, and there is no mouselook. Normally, this wouldn't be so bad. However, you cannot rebind the controls ingame.

Now, once I got used to the clunky controls and the relatively harsh difficulty, (I'm too ashamed to admit how many times I died in the first dungeon) I was greeted by a massive world. This isn't your average-sized overworld, no sirree. If you want to travel to another town without using fast travel, you might want to pack a few sandwiches.

Overall: 3/5
A great game, once you can stomach the dated controls.

If you want to try the game out, it's also available for free on the Elder Scrolls website, but you will have to use DOSbox to install it.

2 - The Elder Scrolls Chapter II: Daggerfall:

Oh. Yes.
Daggerfall has to be one of my favorite Elder Scrolls games. While it may not be anywhere near as detailed as later games, the scope of the game and the amount of dungeons to crawl through is staggering and crawling through said dungeons is very fun. This game also has a overworld even larger than Arena's, so you might want to rethink going out to that dungeon on foot. The game is about as hard as Arena, but if you find it too difficult, you could always set the reflexes on the lowest setting.

This game is equally simple to install on Windows. Just run the auto-installer and you're all set. However, I was left with the subpar SoundBlaster Pro sound card setting, so I had to go into DOSbox and change to the infinitely better MPU-401 sounds.

Overall: 5/5
An amazing game. I'd recommend it to any Elder Scrolls fan who hasn't played it.

Daggerfall is also available for free on the Elder Scrolls website, but again, you'll have to use DOSbox to install it.

3 - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind:

Ah, Morrowind. This game needs no introduction. Any Elder Scrolls fan worth his salt has played Morrowind. The world is vast and detailed, the music is breathtaking, and the gameplay is top-notch.

This set also includes the Construction Set, a modder's resource, and both of Morrowind's expansions, Tribunal and Bloodmoon. Both add a large amount of content to the game. Mournhold and Solstheim are a joy to explore and both have a plethora of quests included.

Morrowind is easy enough to install from disc. Just pop it in, install, and do the same for the two expansions. This is the first game in the pack that you get with the included Steam code. Just enter the code in to play Morrowind without the disc.

Overall: 5/5
What else needs to be said?

4 - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion:

Oblivion was my first Elder Scrolls game, and I couldn't have wished for a better entry to the series. It's simple enough for a newcomer to enjoy and is packed with loads of stuff to do. My only qualm is the dialogue assignment. For example, if you're talking to a beggar with the voice of a chain smoker and choose an option like "Rumors" or "The Grey Fox", you'll hear a much more manly, macho voice as opposed to a man who smokes 18 packs a day.

Oblivion also includes Knights of The Nine and Shivering Isles on disc two. If you download it from Steam with the code I mentioned before, you also get the smaller add-ons like Horse Armor and Frostcrag Spire. These add a lot of content to an already deep game and the Shivering Isles is my favorite Elder Scrolls expansion to date.

Installation is just like Morrowind. You can install from disc or download it from Steam.

Overall: 4/5
If you can get over the hilarious dialogue ("Hello" "I saw a mudcrab the other day. Horrible creatures." "I've heard others say the same." "Goodbye"), Oblivion is a fantastic game. I'd sooner recommend this to a newcomer to the series than any other Elder Scrolls game.

5: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:

Skyrim is a fantastic game. If you're looking at this set, you're no doubt already familiar with Skyrim, so I won't go on about it.

Also included is the three DLC, Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. The add-ons add a large amount of content

Installation is simple. You need to register SKyrim on Steam if you want to install from disc. I recommend just using the code to download it. It's much simpler.

Overall: 5/5
It's Skyrim.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this purchase. This is easily over 500 solid hours of entertainment for less than $40.
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on March 25, 2015
This has to be one of the best deals in gaming, ever.

Five great games, all the DLC, hundreds and hundreds of hours of game play - for less than half the cost of a new game. In fact, this collection - this anthology - was cheaper than buying the complete version of the newest game in this series! Meaning it was cheaper for me to buy all 5 games, than just one. And, yes, the Anthology had everything the newest game had to offer.

The Elder Scrolls franchise is one of the best RPG series ever. Search Twitch for Skyrim, read the reviews for Skyrim, Oblivion, and even Morrowind. You will be hard pressed to find a bad review for any of these games.

Two things you need to know before buying this collection.

1. The first two games - Arena and Daggerfall - are both available for free on the Elder Scrolls website. You do not have to buy anything to get those two games. The company is giving them away. It's not a limited time offer, either. (At least as far as I can tell - it's been going on for years now.)

2. You will need a (free) Steam account to play the latest (and best) game - Skyrim. And you will have to download it from their site. This is a huge game, and it will take time, even on a fast connection. It seems that Steam is the only way to play Skyrim on PC.

One more thing to mention - you owe it to yourself to look into modding the games. If you don't know what that is, or haven't done any mods before - it is well worth looking into. It can make older games look brand new, and add quests and storylines and characters to these games. This is all done with the blessing of the game creators and publishers - and it's free. It's community made DLC. With Steam, it is built in - but also check out NexusMods (google it). You will be glad you did.
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