Platform: Windows / XBox
Sometimes, it’s hard to recommend older games wholeheartedly because of the progress that’s been made every year in video game design. Older games look blocky, or just plain ugly, or don’t work well on modern systems.
Morrowind, the third installment in The Elder Scrolls series, is a game I would recommend wholeheartedly even if there weren’t options to mod it to look and run wonderfully on modern systems. But! There are!
For some of us (yes, me included) modding a game is scary. I totally get it. But if you want to improve your experience with this really really really amazing game like a thousand percent, take the leap of faith. If it goes horribly wrong (it won’t), the worst you’ll have to do is uninstall and reinstall the game. Ok, ready?
This is the mod you want: Morrowind Overhaul – Sound and Graphics. Someone spent a whole heck of a lot of time putting together various mods and making sure that they play nice together. Capitalize on that. You will need to create a free account on the site in order to download the file. Then you just unzip it into the folder where the Morrowind.exe lives, run MOInstaller.exe as administrator, and follow the prompts.
Look at this. LOOK AT IT. It’s beautiful. This patch will also fix a whole lot of bugs that were in the original game. If you’re an experienced modder, you can absolutely customize it while installing, but I just let it do its thing, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
The GotY edition of Morrowind comes with both expansions, and is worth every penny of the $20 asking price. Even if you try your hardest to stay on the straight and narrow and only follow the main storyline (which I’m fairly certain you won’t be able to), you will get hours upon hours of enjoyment out of this game. It’s open world in a way that puts other open world games to shame. Feel free to talk to everyone, and wander off often.
A quick note for folks who have played Oblivion and/or Skyrim but never Morrowind – scaling enemies were introduced in Oblivion. In Morrowind, if you wander into somewhere that’s for higher level characters, you will die. Save your game frequently.
I played Morrowind obsessively when it first came out. I lost months to this game. I still listen to the soundtrack frequently. I had resisted going back because I was worried about how it would hold up, but now that I’ve modded it up, I cannot wait to dive back in.