The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Encounter both dungeons and dragons aplenty in Bethesda's fantasy RPG blockbuster

Bethesda’s latest open-world role-playing game doesn’t try to redefine the genre. Indeed, the story it tells packs in pretty much every fantasy cliché you can think of (including your own character, who just happens to be the return of a line of mystical warriors long thought vanished from the realm, blah, blah, blah...). But what ...Skyrim does so well is refine the genre and deliver an awesome gaming experience.

One of its chief pleasures comes from the astonishing world Bethesda has created – a land of incredible scope and diverse locations, packed with villages, caverns, towns and crypts crying out to be explored – and this graphically-rich fantasy land looks sensational on a bigscreen. However, like Fallout 3 before it, the sheer scope and diversity comes at a cost – pop-up and other graphical glitches raise their head occasionally, while loading times can be incredibly long. But even these flaws fail to break the spell ...Skyrim casts over the player, one aided by a sumptuous 5.1 mix that ensures you are drawn into its world.

Add to this a wide variety of enemies to combat, characters to befriend, missions and side-quests to be discovered, magic to be learnt, skills to develop and melee combat to perfect and you have a game that could keep you going for months.

Xbox 360/PS3/PC, Bethesda, £50 approx, On sale now