The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game Poster Image

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

A must-play RPG for mature fantasy fanatics.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

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.

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

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

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Parent of a 10 year old Written bymrh73 August 21, 2014

Setting the record straight!

Oblivion is an excellent, absorbing, expansive game, that will enthrall any child (or adult) interested in a swords-and-sorcery type world. It won numerous Game-of-the-Year awards in 2006, and was one of the major games that caused people to upgrade their original Xbox to the Xbox 360. Although the graphics have aged a bit, it's still very pretty to look at, and the gameplay is still captivating. It should be noted that it was originally rated T, and I have the PC game box to prove it, as I've been playing it off and on since its original release. Bethesda later caved to parental pressure to change the rating to M based on the release of unauthorized, downloadable, third-party mods FOR THE PC VERSION ONLY, which let you play the game with topless females. The actual game content that you buy in the store (PC or console) is still a T-rated game!!! There are 5 aspects to Oblivion's rating label that I'll address: 1) Blood and Gore - if your child has seen the Indiana Jones or Lord of the Rings movies, they've seen gorier stuff than this. There will be a bit of blood on your sword after a battle that soon fades away. There are cartoonish-looking corpses and zombies strewn about some dungeons (if you want more realistic ones, look to the game's sequel, Skyrim). Nothing terribly egregious. 2) Language - VERY sparse. Of the thousands of lines of spoken dialogue in the game, "h**l" and "d**n" might get used a handful of times. Oblivion is NOT Grand Theft Auto. No f-bombs, s-bombs, or G-d's. When there is any mild cursing, it's usually contextually appropriate, related to a pretty intense occurrence in the game. 3) Sexual Themes - this is pretty laughable. You can strip dead bodies down to their drab, unflattering underwear when you loot them for armor, which might elicit a giggle or two the first time your son sees it, but it quickly becomes a non-issue. There are a few sporadic instances of double-entendre (a line of dialogue or two, and a book), but if your pre-teen understands it, then you've got other problems than what's in Oblivion. It will likely sail over their heads. 4) Use of Alcohol - another laughable one. Oblivion is no more corrupting from this standpoint than a stroll through the grocery aisle. Yes, there are alcohol bottles everywhere in the game, but it just blends in with all the other useless detritus you see on shelves and tables (e.g. bowls, spoons, flower pots, etc...). One town specializes in making wine, complete with vineyards outside the town walls, but no one is seen drinking it. All the alcohol is in plain, non-descript, brown (beer, mead, ale) or purple bottles (wine), and you derive no net benefit from drinking it, so what's the point? You can't get drunk and stagger around, and other than a temporary numerical change in your stats, you won't notice any difference in your character. There is one character in the game you might meet who does slur his words and act drunk, well, because he is; but, your quest to reunite him with his long-lost twin brother results in him changing his ways and going sober. What's so bad about that? 5) Violence - okay, yeah, it's violent, but only as much as you make it. I suppose you could wander around picking flowers for hours on end and never raise an angry hand to anything or anyone if you wanted to. Even at its most violent, it's still much less violent than any first-person shooter. And there are consequences for getting out of line and attacking innocent people. My son tried becoming the town bully...once. He soon got his comeuppance from the town guard. In short, Oblivion is pretty tame as far as mature content goes, compared to other RPG's. It's also much less dark than either its predecessor (Morrowind) or its sequel (Skyrim), and as such, is probably the most approachable of the Elder Scrolls games for kids. The warning label should really just say, "Obsessive-compulsives approach with extreme caution."
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
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