Annoyed about Skyrim’s constant re-releases? Don’t be, the alternative is much worse

It is now possible to play every mainline Bethesda Studios RPG from this century on the very latest generation of Xbox consoles, and most of them in a pristine 4K60 presentation with HDR enabled. This is, unequivocally, a Good Thing.

Skyrim, of course, has enjoyed the most frequent and thorough refreshing, arriving in a souped-up form in the 2016 Special Edition, and more recently in its next-next-gen Anniversary Edition, which featured some light-touch remastering (60fps and better god rays or something) and even some “new” content (a crap fishing minigame and every semi-official mod on the Creation Club store unlocked). Along with a VR release for immersion-chasers and a Switch release for the constipated, you can safely say that Skyrim is everywhere. A fitting paradigm for the quintessential go anywhere, do anything game.

Morrowind, along with dozens of other original Xbox titles, enjoys 2160p resolution and a slick framerate on the latest machines. PC players will scoff, as the homespun remastering options available to them through the modding community have turned the sprucing-up of Morrowind into a hobby in and of itself, with miles and miles of forum thread having been devoted to its pursuit. Still, it turns 20 next year, and the fact that you can put your original Xbox disc into the latest generation of hardware and expect it to work is a credit to Microsoft’s iterative backward compatibility program. That it works significantly better than on the original hardware is, frankly, miraculous.

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