14 Best Bethesda games

Starfield Ship Battle In Space
Screenshot: Bethesda Game Studios

Bethesda has had a long history of both publishing and developing games. While some have garnered a lot more love than others, and many have been controversial, we’ve gathered the list of what we believe are the best Bethesda games. Any game published or made by Bethesda is fair game, so you’ll see some you may have forgotten Bethesda was involved with.

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14 – The Elder Scrolls: Arena (1994)

Elder Scrolls Arena Gameplay Screenshot

Image: Bethesda

The Elder Scrolls: Arena is one of the first titles in Bethesda’s game library. This is the entry that got Todd Howard to fall in love with the company. While it has its flaws, this early Elder Scrolls entry laid the foundation for the company’s expansive open-world RPGs. Players assume the role of the Eternal Champion, embarking on an epic quest to save the world of Tamriel from an evil sorcerer.

Arena’s open-world gameplay let players explore huge towns and detailed dungeons in a way that most players hadn’t seen outside of a text-based adventure. The game is heavily dated today, sure, but I did not regret trying it out for the first time last year. I highly recommend you give it a try.

13 – Deathloop (2021)

Deathloop Enemies Being Shot

Image: Bethesda

Deathloop takes place on the mysterious island of Blackreef, where players assume the role of Colt Vahn, an assassin trapped in a death-and-rebirth cycle. Players can play as Julianna, a rival assassin, adding unpredictability to every playthrough.

The strength of Deathloop is its intricate level design and freedom of choice. Players can explore Blackreef at their own pace, engaging in immersive and strategic combat encounters while uncovering its secrets. The game’s narrative is a mix of suspense and dark humor as the characters’ motivations slowly get revealed.

12 – The Elder Scrolls Online (2014)

The Elder Scrolls Online Players Near Portal Facing Enemies

Image: Bethesda

The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) is a huge win for Bethesda because they were finally able to move their Elder Scrolls experience to live service and they did it well. ESO offers a much bigger world than the new Elder Scrolls games and lets you see more of Tamriel than you had before. In the past, players had to guess at the lore and how the world of the game used to be, but now they could actually visit the cities.

Related: 30 Best Games on Steam of all time

The Elder Scrolls Online combines the single-player RPG experience of the main Elder Scrolls series with the social dynamics of an MMORPG. The biggest downside is that you can’t really play it alone. I tried it, and the game really punishes you after the tutorial. It’s not really single-player friendly.

11 – The Evil Within (2014)

The Evil Within Player Crawling Away From Enemy

Image: Bethesda

The Evil Within blends horror elements and psychological twists in a really cool way. Through its unsettling atmosphere and gruesome imagery, it creates a sense of constant tension and fear. Detective Sebastian Castellanos investigates a gruesome murder case but finds himself trapped in a nightmare world filled with horrifying monsters and supernatural happenings.

There’s something about The Evil Within that keeps players on edge, and you’re never really sure what’s real or what’s just a product of the protagonist’s fractured mind. It’s a mix of survival horror and action with challenging encounters and limited resources, making you feel vulnerable. Yes, the plot takes a nosedive and by the end, you’re not really playing for the story, but I’d say it’s still one of the best games in Bethesda’s library.

10 – Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014)

Wolfenstein Enemies Running To Palyer

Image: Bethesda

Wolfenstein: The New Order is set in an alternate history where the Nazis won World War II, and you’re a hero who wants to stop the Nazis. With a mix of stealth and gunfights, players can choose how to approach challenges. The levels are well-designed, with a variety of environments and strategies that add to its retro-futuristic aesthetic.

While it’s not the main reason people love the game, the story is incredible. We won’t spoil anything, but it offers crazy good consequences to what seems like no real choice. Meanwhile, it shows you the outcomes of what would’ve happened if the Allies hadn’t won in WW2, and it’s not pretty.

9 – Doom Eternal (2020)

Doom Eternal Player Shooting Enemy

Image: Bethesda

Doom Eternal does a great job of capturing the top-tier level design that the original had while still keeping the high-action pieces. While the new Dooms haven’t been as loved, Doom Eternal is one of the favorites for fans because it feels like it was created by the old crew at Id Software.

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Doom Eternal lets players take on the role of the Doom Slayer, a formidable warrior tasked with saving the world from demons. There’s a lot of blood, guts, and gore, and it makes you feel like a total machine of destruction.

8 – Dishonored 2 (2016)

Dishonored 2 Lady Near Man With Uniform

Image: Bethesda

With its intricate level design and steampunk world, Dishonored 2 creates an atmosphere that players can’t get enough of. With two playable characters, Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano, each with their own unique abilities, the game is replayable and diverse. Through stealth or brute force, players can tackle missions in this open-ended game.

As they seek to reclaim the throne from an usurper, the game takes place in the fictional city of Karnaca. Game worlds are shaped by moral choices, political intrigue, and supernatural elements. Many fans have wanted a sequel but that may not come soon.

7 – Fallout 4 (2015)

Fallout 4 Player Looking At Dogmeat

Image: Bethesda

Fallout 4 is a huge change from previous Fallout games. Once, you could play a character with any background with any purpose or goal, now you’re set in being a mom or a dad looking for their kid. There’s also a definite ‘bad guy’ faction, and you’re set on helping the Minutemen whether you like it or not. Added to that is a very poorly done dialogue system that didn’t really tell you what you would say before you said it.

Fallout 4 is a good game, but it’s not better than the previous ones. It looks nicer, continues the story well, and is a lot of fun. As a matter of fact, it’s better than many games released during this period. It doesn’t mean, however, that the quality is on par with the previous games.

6 – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)

The Elder Scrolls Oblivion Knight With Armor

Image: Bethesda

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was a true-to-form fantasy RPG. The game immersed players in the fantastical world of Tamriel, where they embarked on a grand adventure. Its beauty lies in its rich narrative, which lets players create their own destiny as they explore a vast and diverse landscape.

There was nothing like this at the time of release, and if remade, it would be a contender for Game of the Year. There’s an endless amount of content and improvements available through the game’s modding community. Even though Oblivion has some flaws, its charm lies in how it transports players to a magical world and lets them live a life of their choice in it.

5 – Dishonored (2012)

Dishonored Enemy Blown Up

Image: Bethesda

Dishonored is widely regarded as a compelling and innovative game due to its unique blend of stealth, action, and storytelling. Players take on the role of Corvo Attano, a bodyguard framed for murder in a city plagued by corruption and supernatural forces in a steampunk-inspired world. At the time, not many games made you think about killing the way Dishonored did, and the game makes you think differently about stealth and combat.

While it’s not my cup of tea, it definitely has a huge fanbase, and it would be criminal not to have it low on this list.

4 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

The Elder Scrolls Skyrim Dragonborn Walking Through Town

Image: Bethesda

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, released in 2011, captivates players with its expansive open world, rich lore, and immersive gameplay. It transports you to the breathtaking province of Skyrim, a land filled with rugged landscapes, ancient ruins, and diverse cultures. The game’s strength lies in its freedom. You can do anything you want and there is no ‘right’ way to play.

The game has been rereleased more than a few times, so it’s hard to say it’s not good. There are many who have been introduced to the world of RPGs because of this game.

3 – Starfield (2023)

Starfield Ship In Space And Docking

Image: Bethesda

Starfield is generating excitement in the gaming world for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s got a lot of content that has kept players entertained for real-world days worth of time. Each little feature, like shipbuilding or outpost-making, feels like a game in itself. It’s one of the best games Bethesda has released.

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However, in its attempt to include everyone in the fun, everything feels good, but not always great. It’s fun to play but it doesn’t break any barriers in terms of how good it is. It’s just good, always. Not the kind of game you’ll put posters up for, but definitely a game that’s always reliable to give you a good time.

2 – Fallout 3 (2008)

Fallout 3 Player In Brother Of Steel Armor In Desolate Location

Image: Bethesda

Fallout 3 is a post-apocalyptic experience that immerses players in a desolate, immersive world. Set in a bombed-out Washington D.C., it combines RPG elements with an open-world environment, making exploration a big part of the game. As your character searches for their missing father, you learn more about the game’s lore and its people. You can ignore the objective and still play the game just fine because you’re free to do what you want.

Fallout 3 is known for its morally ambiguous choices, where players have to navigate a complex web of alliances and consequences. Retro-futuristic graphics, dark humor, and the iconic Pip-Boy device add charm to the game. It definitely looks dated but Fallout 3 still holds up today.

1 – Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

Fallout New Vegas Player Blowing Up Super Mutants

Image: Bethesda

Fallout: New Vegas is hands down my favorite Fallout game. It was made by Obsidian, the original creators of Fallout, and they used their ideas for where they would have taken the series. There is no real bad guy, just the sides you pick, which other Bethesda games have trouble with. Due to its immersive storytelling and choices that lead to crazy and funny outcomes, it has earned a special place in the hearts of many gamers.

Players assume the role of a courier left for dead, embarking on a quest for revenge and power. It offers a richly detailed post-apocalyptic world set in the Mojave Desert, teeming with unique characters and factions. What makes it stand out is its intricate storytelling and morally complex choices that shape the game’s outcome. The freedom to align with different factions and shape the wasteland’s future adds replayability. The game’s atmosphere is enhanced by its iconic soundtrack and voice acting, making every encounter memorable.

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About The Author
Aggy has worked for multiple sites as a writer and editor, and has been a managing editor for sites that have millions of views a month. He's been the Lead of Social Content for a site garnering millions of views a month, and co owns multiple successful social media channels, including a Gaming news TikTok, and a Facebook Fortnite page with over 600k followers. His work includes Dot Esports, Pro Game Guides, Attack of the Fanboy, Try Hard Guides, Android Police, N4G, WePC, Sportskeeda, and GFinity Esports. He has also published two games under Tales and is currently working on one with Choice of Games. He has written and illustrated a number of books, including for children, and has a comic under his belt. He writes about Starfield and CS2 for PC Invasion, among other things.