The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Common Sense Media says

A must-play RPG for mature fantasy fanatics.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

While typical for this type of game, creatures and NPCs (non-player characters) can be hit with weapons and will bleed and die. Corpses are shown.


Some suggestive themes in books and in some dialogue; players can be stripped down to underwear.


Players may hear curse words such as "damn", "hell," or "whore."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters can drink alcohol, but negative effects will likely kick in, such as fatigue.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this role-playing game isn't appropriate for younger players because of violence and gore, strong language, use of alcohol, and sexual references. For instance, any enemy you slash with a sword will bleed, and you see corpses. When it comes to alcohol, gamers' characters can consume wine or ale and experience its effect, such as increased fatigue or decreased intelligence. Sexual references are mostly in books or in dialogue, but most players' characters in this world can be stripped down to their underwear.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

ELDER SCROLLS IV: OBLIVION is an ambitious single-player RPG epic that lets you create a hero from scratch and explore open-ended cities, dank dungeons, and heavily forested areas. The story begins as you escort the emperor of Tamriel (voiced by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men fame) through a labyrinth of underground caverns, but evil goblins kill him. Before he dies, however, he asks that you find the lost heir to the throne and help protect the land from the demons released from a hell-like plane called Oblivion. The game can be played from either a first- or third-person perspective: The former lets you see these worlds through the eyes of the main character; the latter view, while less immersive, allows you to see your character at all times, as well as what may be lurking behind you.

Is it any good?


Graphically speaking, Oblivion is a treat for the eyes on both the PC and Microsoft Xbox 360 versions. From the lifelike towns and rural areas to the creepy enemies and special magic effects, the game easily outshines its predecessors. Another visual delight is the game's real-life physics, such as seeing a store sign sway back and forth after you shoot an arrow into it, and then being able to remove the arrow to reuse it later. The only unimpressive effect is the character lip-synching that doesn't seem to match their words, but it hardly dampens the otherwise awe-inspiring experience.

Oblivion successfully straddles quantity and quality; this groundbreaking fantasy RPG not only offers a huge game world in which to live in for months on end, but it also proves to be one of the finest role-playing games ever crafted.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why fantasy role-playing games are so appealing. Is it because the game presents a world so different than ours? Is it because you can become someone completely different? What about your special powers? Families might also discuss how kids feel about playing in such a huge world with so many characters and missions.

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Take Two
Release date:March 21, 2006
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:M for language, sexual themes, use of alcohol, violence, blood and gore (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byDKR725 February 2, 2011

The REAL review of TES4

Okay, here is the honest truth about this game, it's amazing. As for content, I laugh at the fact that the game is rated M. Especially since "Blood and Gore" are labeled on the game package. The reason for this is that the blood that you see in the game is so mild, it resembles that of a T rated game. There is some mild language and innuendos along the way, but it is pretty hard to find them. The most important part of my review, is to let other parents understand something they most likely did not know: Oblivion was originally rated T, but later was changed to M on account of "mods" made by a third party hacker which had nothing to do with the game itself, which added intense blood and gore and nudity to the game. Basically, if you simply buy the game in a store, you will be purchasing a T rated game with an M rated label.
Teen, 15 years old Written byMibb2 September 5, 2010
When you first look at my review you probably think that I am stupid kid because I ranked it more inappropriate then many other members, as well as my concerns and highlights are clearly conflicting. I did this on purpose because 95% of this game is very teen worth. 13+ easily. But the rare 5% of the places in the game are very disturbing. You cannot control where your children go and it is very addicting so you should assume that your children will explore everywhere and go to these places. For example, In Leyawiin's Castle you can discover a secret room (as a part of a quest or just exploring) that the countess likes to torture a specific race. You see a table with shackles and blood as well as other instruments that are used for torturing purposes. Overall, this is the best game you are likely to play for the next few years and the vast majority of the game is appropriate for teens of all ages, but the rare parts of the game are not appropriate for younger teens.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8, 10, and 12 year old Written byc-nerd April 7, 2011

Ok for young adults responsible for their own decisions.

My 10 year daughter visits her friend who has it. Every time she came home from the friends house she had a transference of anger and violent tendencies. A sibling finally connected the dots in that she was playing Oblivion just before coming home. The friends house is now out of bounds and the positive behavior has been restored. When she's old enough to discerns fiction from reality (age 18+) then, she can make her own decisions. This transference of violent behavior after playing the game should be an alert for most parents. Be aware.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide