Happy 10th Anniversary, Morrowind!

Time sure flies.

10 years ago this week, we released the PC version of the The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. While I was still a senior in college at the time, I remember it being a monumental release, and I was envious of PC gamers playing it before it released on Xbox. In the five years I’ve been working at Bethesda, I’ve learned to appreciate the game even more. The game was vital our company, and allowed us to continue the series with Oblivion and Skyrim.

It never ceases to amaze me how strong Morrowind’s community remains. The modding community continues to push the game to its limits and Morrowind will always be the sentimental favorite for longtime fans.

Want to go back and play the game? Grab it on sale on Steam and GameFly.

Feel free to share your favorite memories in the comments section.

Reader Comments

  1. My first memory of morrowind was when i tried to walk to balmora but instead i ended up in ghostgate and getting killed by a cliff racer x) Played as a weak Wood Elf with just a iron knife and the crappy clothes…. So i needed to use the paper map,it was really usefull!
    Also morrowind will always have a special place in my gaming heart<3 My first TES Game,But i almost love skyrim as much as i love morrowind,it feels like a spiritual successor of morrowind.

  2. If I could remove anything from my memory, it would be the thousands of hours I spent playing Morrowind, just so I could experience it for the first time all over again.

  3. I remember when I first played Morrowind. The best part was after you were done with the tutorial, a message appeared sying, “You are on your own now. Good luck.” Morrowind will always be my favorite TES game.

  4. Perhaps not my favorite memory, but one that stuck: when I was adventuring, I suddenly heard a screaming bosmer. I turned around, only to find a dead bosmer lying on the ground. He had a scroll that fortified your acrobatics by 1000 for like 7 seconds. “Great!” I thought, and used it. Yeah…..bad idea.

  5. One memory that stands out is when I first picked the Boots of Blinding Speed off that lady’s corpse. I then spent the next week running around in darkness, staring at my minimap so I could see where I was going. Then I found out about the resist magicka trick. THEN I realized I could just mod the blindness out and bump up the speed about 300 points.

  6. Quite possibly my favorite TES game of the five. Really great memories. I’m very proud to be a part of the still going strong modding community of Morrowind.

  7. Clearing out the people in the Balmora Council Club is one of my favorite memories of Morrowind. I was far too low a level to do so and was wearing the gear I’d just bought in Seyda Neen, gear I’d gotten the money for by looting the Census and Excise Office. The only way I could manage to bring the club’s patrons down is by standing on a bed and running forward to to make a slash with a rusty sabre I was so poorly trained for that it hit probably one in 5-8 times. after 45 mins of so I had a great place to display the gear I collected across Vvardenfell. When ever it rains I still remember walking amongst the giant mushroom trees of the Bitter Coast Region with light rain falling, and hearing hearing the theme play.

  8. I remember searching for a RPG game that had specific elements – namely a non-linear storyline. I read about Morrowind and bought it online.

    I can’t count the number of hours that I put into the game. The stories, quests, and lore are just second to none. I was fascinated by the world, and everything that I could do in it. I almost stopped playing as soon as I got it because I was confused about what to do from the start. Who would have thought that I could do anything that I wanted?

  9. So much great memories. From the top of my head: the Mundane Grotto, the cave with the Nord burial Ship, finding the last Dwemer, the first time equipping the Boots of Blinding Speed. Endless trips to that weird creeper in Caldera. Finding a piece of daedric armor or weapon was such a big discovery. Every Dwemer ruin was a great adventure. And the Deadric Crescent! Probably the most awesome weapon in the entire TES series.

    Thank you Bethesda for such an awesome game. Morrowind was brutal at times and very unforgiving for a beginning player. I’m not at all sad that the series has changed a bit since then, but Morrowind will always be my favorite place in Tamriel. Please continue to innovate, experiment and create the greatest RPGs.

  10. I have many, many, many memories of Morrowind (it came out when I was 20). One of my favorite memories, in particular, will stick with me forever.

    I only vaguely remember my first time setting up a character in Morrowind (I hadn’t played Arena or Daggerfall at the time), but I do remember that first moment of complete immersion: when I forgot that I was sitting at a window into another world and felt the world start coming alive around me.

    I remember the first time I reached into Morrowind and did something I never could do in another game: steal something the merchant was being a jerk about. They said something rude, so I walked partially up their stairs (just beside their front counter) and swiped the Glass Dagger I wanted without paying. When I realized I had gotten away with it, I equipped the dagger and swung it around in front of the Merchant, taunting him with my sneaky prowess.

    I smiled wide, then, in the real world. It was then that I realized Bethesda had tapped into something truly special.

  11. The first thing that comes to my mind is going to visit Caius Cosades +950 game days after I got the package in the Census Office of Seyda Neen. I always remember leaving the office on track to Balmora and then not being able to stop exploring. That whole world in front of me! Amazing! 10 years ago! WOW, I was 27 years old! Since I was 10 I had a computer and playing games! Thousands of games! But Morrowind blow my mind! And will always have a special place in my heart…

  12. I remember the first time i played MORROWIND after picking it up the second day after its release. It was like suddenly being thrust at the blink of an eye into an alien world i had never seen the likes of before. Truly wondrous full of great beauty and unimaginable terror. When installing my first mod about a month later which was a house mod it was a magical moment of empowerment as i actually added something into this magnificent gameworld which changed it to my personal taste. Since then i have felt truly blessed by all the incredible work created by Bethesda and the Modder community making me feel as if i’ve brought not one rpg but every rpg i ever wanted.

    Thank you.

  13. I remember playing this game over and over. I think all I did was create thieves of one type or another. Explored dungeons, and exploited townsfolk. Doing the main quest never even occurred to me, and to this day I have *never* finished it!
    Back then you get off the boat and decide to do your own thing. No obvious quest leaders like “if you dont do this right now then the world will explode!!!”.
    Always a Wood Elf master thief. To this day, I still create Wood Elves. Have done in Oblivion, and have done in Skyrim. Although I also make the odd Dark Elf these days 🙂

  14. Memories… no digital distribution, no Steam.. lame internet, i have the box. Was the reincarnation of Daggerfall at first look, not the same game, there are much more in Morrowind, but the same desire to explore the world and their secrets. Was a simpler time, still studying, everything better in home, Morrowind is part of the good old days that I spent. Congrats Bethesda!

    • Ha ha yes internet speed back then was lame. I remember it taking all weekend to download the 200 meg DRAGONBREECH mod by LadyEternity and Proudfoot. How things have improved.

      One of the other big memories i had of first playing MORROWIND was the talking npcs which was alot of fun to see after the silent movie style of TES 2 DAGGERFALL. It also impressed me how not everyone talked to me along with the huge amounts of text conversations and how to get npcs to like or not like you.Loved the underwater life with all the fishes, mud crabs, clams etc. Still have MORROWIND installed permenantly on my pc but with FALLOUT 3 and SKYRIM there just isnt enough time in the day.

  15. The thing I rate most about Morrowind, more so than Oblivion and Skyrim, is the additional few layers of character customisation, and attention to detail in the character builds. The fact that Khajiit can’t wear boots, for example, the ability to choose your birth sign, class and race, and being able to have an onscreen map! Sadly this sort of thing seems to be getting trimmed with each successive game. 🙁

    [Don’t get me wrong, I *love* Skyrim, but you guys are in serious danger of slipping into ‘style over substance/usability’! Please please please please please let us have easy access to Stats/Inventory/Active Effects next time… I like being able to sort my stuff]

    That’s not to say that the Morrowind UI was perfect: the journal was a bit of a pig at times and having 100 bottles could be a bit trying…

    Favourite memory? Probably the first time I saw a Silt-strider! And fetching alchemical ingredients for Ajira.

    I loved the ‘weirdness’ of Morrowind, the giant mushrooms, the two moons glowing purpley, the ‘alien’ languages on the signs, the Khajiiti, the Boots of Blinding Speed etc. It set it apart from the usual sub-Tolkein stuff found in a lot of RPGs, and made for a compelling world that lives with you for a long time afterwards.

    *L* I’ve just rebought it in the Steam sale, I think this is my fifth(?) copy, having given various copies to friends/family over the years… 🙂

    Happy Birthday, Morrowind!

  16. One of my first memories of Morrowind was running all the way from Seyda Neen to Gnisis not saving the game even once. I got killed by bandits just outside Gnisis. That taught me the secret of F5. Happy birthday, Morrowind!

  17. Morrowind isn’t a game, it’s a feeling…a way of freedom…since the very first steps…boots of blinding speed! …hmm? i wonder what… ^^

  18. This was the first RPG I ever played. I still love this game and think, it needs to be rereleased on PC and Consoles. New comers should be able to experience the same feelings in HD. If you were to make this, I would pay 50 or 40 dollars for it. Please Consider this guys.

    From a loyal fan
    UsableGamer07 (Xbox)

    • ^^^This!

      I’d buy Morrowind in a new engine, with revamped graphics in a trice 🙂

      [Just please leave the UI functionality and character stas/skill as they are in the original, not a big fan of the ‘streamlining’ we got in Oblivion/Skyrim]

  19. It has to be the sky, as silly as that might sound. But I remember all the talk about how beautiful and realistic the sky would be, leading up to the game’s release. And how even the star constellations would be accurate for the Elder Scrolls universe.

    I remember posting on the Morrowind forums, way back when, that the first thing I would do once I had the game, was get out in the open and look at the sky. And that’s just what I did.

    As soon as I exited the prison ship, I tilted my newly-created head straight up and just stared… in awe. It was even more beautiful than I could have imagined, and by far the most sophisticated recreation of a sky I’d ever seen. To this day, I remember that. I always loved looking at the sky in Morrowind.

  20. So many things to say…I don’t know where to begin.

    I did not get to play Morrowind on release, and I’m glad I didn’t. The mind of a kid is unable to comprehend the depth of such a game, fiction at its finest.

    Morrowind was my first TES game, my first RPG, the first open world game I liked. I wouldn’t have thought I would enjoy playing one. For some reason, I always felt lost in a sandbox game…but, yes, I then got Morrowind. Not for once did I lost my way. The directions were very good. Thanks to Morrowind I gave the first Assassin’s Creed a second chance, and that got me into that series as well.

    I didn’t expect to find such depth in a video game, but I was greatly pleased to see it was there. I was greatly pleased to see the potential of my favorite form of entertainment finally being exploited.

    The main story was beatiful and tragic. Morrowind’s Main Quest is still my favorite among the main quests of TES games.
    Loved the alien world, the creatures, the art. I’ll admit it, I didn’t get into the game at first, but soon enough I couldn’t stop playing it. Yet the strangest thing about Morrowind is not the alien world, it is its T rating. Really?? Rated T? You tricksters! 😉

    Now, my favorite memories. Well, I certainly won’t forget my first playtrough. I didn’t role play, but the experience was incredibly enjoyable anyway. I learned the lore at my own pace, the mysterious world slowly became familiar. That was a great feeling. Walking into the Cavern of the Incarnate, that was memorable. Azura’s voice suited her perfectly. And I won’t forget the bandit in that cave right near Seyda Neen, he tried to kick my ass at lvl 1. I returned like one month later and put him to sleep. Then there was Almalexia. It was 2am and I was to go to school the next day, but I didn’t quit the game and bested her in the Clockwork City. Good memories. <3 Today I finished my Tribunal MQ once again.

    Morrowind is also the first game I've ever modded. Got me even more interested in 3D modelling. That being said, thank you! "Thank you" is overused and not always meant, but it's so very fitting I say it.

    Can't wait to play the Skyrim DLC!

  21. My wife exited the ship’s hold, saw the water and the huge silt strider, and was so overwhelmed that she had to go to sleep. That gave me a chance to try it, and I liked it so much I bought a copy for myself. There weren’t any collector’s editions left, so she gets to lord her Ordinator figurine over me.

    When I started walking toward Balmora, I saw an entrance in the side of the hill beside the road to Pelagiad. I went inside and discovered a crypt, which I fought through and looted. Then as I was laden with loot, I got brown rot so that I couldn’t carry anything. Then I remembered that I had a scroll of Almsivi Intervention! I used it. Then I realized I had no idea where I was. It turned out to be the Great Temple in Vivec City. So yes, that game did not follow the trail of the main quest at all.

  22. It’s the game that got me into RPGs. I was just telling someone the other day about my first hour playing, stumbling around Seyda Neen like a drunkard, hitting a scrib then having to run away, getting pwned by a mudcrab, stealing stuff and freaking out seeing a netch or a silt strider… then the ambient noise walking around, when I suddenly heard a scream and a body falls in front of me. Which I promptly looted, and wore a stylin’ hat for hours into the game. I know I had well over a 1000 hours into MW and expansions before I was ready to move on, but some of the stuff in that game remains in my strongest gaming memories. I <3 Morrowind and the Elder Scrolls.

  23. Morrowind was the game that really made me a pc gamer. I bought it on a whim and was hooked. The rabbit hole never seemed to end. Just when I thought I had seen or acquired everything that was possible, new items or a location would appear.

    The best thing about Morrowind was the lack of a compass and true quest directions in the journal. I know that I’m in the minority, but I loved it when I got a quest that directed me to “somewhere off the coast near a shipwreck” and I would have to scour the beach for a door to a cave or whatever I was looking for. The act of working for your quest reward seems to be missing from Oblivion and Skyrim (games that I’ve played religiously and still love!). The lore was also fantastic and engrossing.

    Morrowind will always have a special place in my games library and it made me a TES fan and a fan of Bethesda. Thanks for the great memories and fun!

    • That’s kind of ironic given the fact that Bethesda became a console developer who ports their Xbox games to PC after Morrowind’s release.

    • “I loved it when I got a quest that directed me to “somewhere off the coast near a shipwreck” and I would have to scour the beach for a door to a cave or whatever I was looking for. The act of working for your quest reward seems to be missing from Oblivion and Skyrim ”

      I think that pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter too. I liked *working* towards finishing a quest, thinking about it for myself rather than just following an arrow. Skyrim just seems a bit too ‘easy’ by comparison, withh far too much just depending on sneak/combat. There’s far less sense of having to make decisions or think about what you’re doing and why.

    • Die Fetcher! Morrowind was like mana from the gaming gods when its grace unfurled around me.

      At first I couldn’t comprehend the depth and impending doom of endless options and ways to die. And then it continued to astound and humble as it sunk its claws deeper and deeper into my gamer psyche.

      No other TES game has dominated more of my time than beloved Morrowind. Maybe because its multi tiered plethora of options for your character embodied the burning desire to create something of your own and play with your creation.

      The crazy jumping acrobatics stat sure helped too when I wanted to jump roof to roof like a prehistoric ninja lizard.
      Something i have missed..

      Thanks for the Mammaries you Fetchers! Morrowind for the PS3 would be gladly purchased with much fervor.. please manifest this. ;D

  24. Morrowind is the best rpg of all time and entered my heart in 2009 – 7 years after its release date i was 7 years late for playing it and it still inspired me more than the modern rpg’s

    As soon as i started playing it i was amazed and could not stop it was like i was in a trance because the gameplay was so great.

    Thanks Bethesda

  25. Maybe you should celebrate by releasing it on Xbox Live and PSN as a slight HD release (even though it could just be the original game at a nice high resolution and it would still look gorgeous). Think of the majority of people that never experienced it and if were say around 20 quid, think of the sales. It would be most downloaded game on Xbox and PS3 ever day 1.

  26. Congratulations!

    Why not release a revamped HD version on PSN and Xbox Live? Update the textures and voila!

    Any chance of this? This would be a great way to celebrate the 10th anniversary!

  27. haha i used to have that same little orangutan stuffed doll when i was like 5, i dont think i have it anymore though 🙁

  28. Besides all the great memories everyone else has posted, I remember stealing a complete set of glass armor from one of the Great House’s vaults in Vivec. And looking at the moon hovering just over Vivec and needing to know what it was and how it got there. And floating up into the Telvanni lord’s house for an epic battle. Oblivion was such a disappointment after the complete uniqueness of Morrowind. I can’t wait until a TES game takes us back there. Also, I am so excited about a future game set in the Black Marsh or Elsweyr.

    Oh, also, I used to steal the pillows out of every house I broke into. I’ve got a problem.

  29. While the updates to the Elder Scroll’s engine and game play since Morrowind are much appreciated, Morrowind will always remain a sentimental part of the series for me. I bought Morrowind 3 times, that’s how awesome the game is. Happy B-day!

  30. I came to Morrowind late, but it was still the first TES game I ever played. From stepping off the ship into Seyda Neen, to delving into the depths of Red Mountain to finish Dagoth Ur, I have loved this game so much. A funny thing. When I first played Morrowind, I liked it a lot. But I started having nightmares about going into caves in the game (I was quite young)! I had vivid dreams about being attacked (by cliffracers no less!) and I was utterly creeped out by the Sixth House. After that I wouldn’t play the game for a year or two. One day I just said, “You know what? Screw it.” I finished the main quest in a flash, even though going into the Dwemer ruins was one of the scariest dungeons in the game. I pushed through it. Morrowind had become one of my favourite games of all time. My character went from a small shy Argonian encased in iron to the crazed spear wielding Nerevarine. Amazing the emotional effects a game can have on you. Thank you for Morrowind, and thank you for TES, Bethesda. Continue to make awesome games!

  31. I was introduced to Morrowind by a friend when I was 15. He’d call me to chat while he was playing the game, and eventually I caught him, as I heard him electrocute a cliff racer that was heading for him.

    I asked him about it, played it at his place a few weeks later and then (sorry!) he burnt me a copy. However my PC wasn’t good enough (so, karma, I guess!).

    A year or so later, my PC was finally good enough, and I bought the Game of the Year edition. I kept getting sidetracked by sidequests, and didn’t actually finish it until about 2005, when I played it non-stop over one glorious summer.

    So, thank you, Bethesda Game Studios. And thank you, Fargoth, Vivec, Wulf, Raxle Berne, Caius Cosades, Crassius Curio, Sul-Matuul, Azura, Yagrum Bagarn and Divayth Fyr.

    And most of all, thank you Lorkhan, for having your heart ripped out to make this wonderful, wonderful world.

  32. I want to hug everyone on that team. I don’t even know how many times I’ve played through Morrowind, but I do know that it is the greatest game I have ever played, and probably the greatest I ever will play. Thank you all for creating such a rich, beautiful, and mysterious world. I hope my kids will play it one day.

  33. After reading more comments, I would also like to say that future TES games would surely benefit from a “Morrowind Mode” in which there are no arrows to direct the player. Skyrim was great, but no game world since Morrowind had the same feeling of being a totally wild and dangerous place, where one might discover an unexpected (and unmarked) dunmer stronghold, or stumble upon a conflict between the Imperials and the Telvanni, or bump into exotic and enormous Netchs. Skyrim did not have the same feeling of vulnerability and insignificance. I knew I could fus-ro-dah my way out of almost any situation, and it was never in question whether I was the “chosen one.” The brilliant stroke of Morrowind’s plot was that you were never guaranteed to be the “chosen one,” as first of all, it was highly DEBATED that a chosen one was even a real thing! Plus, you got to meet the ghosts of those who did not make the cut. As clunky as the process was, you knew that the fate of Vvarvendell relied as much on the Almsivi or Divine Intervention scroll in your pocket as it did the prophesies foretelling the challenger of Dagoth Ur.

  34. Started a month ago,still playing and i love it.I don’t want to compare it to Oblivion or Skyrim,every Elder Scrolls game has a different place in my heart.However it is the only Elder Scrolls game which i really want to read the books and learn more about Tes lore.Thank you Bethesda for all this awesomeness…

  35. I set up my original Xbox today just to play Morrowind. I know it is backwards compatible for the 360 but man I forgot just how good it is. I too really wish spears would be introduced back into the Elder Scrolls. Though I would love to see this released on XBLA or something like that. But still 10 years…how time flies.

  36. Time moves way too fast..

    Morrowind was like mana from the gaming gods when its grace unfurled around me.

    At first I couldn’t comprehend the depth and impending doom of endless options and ways to die. And then it continued to astound and humble as it sunk its claws deeper and deeper into my gamer psyche.

    No other TES game has dominated more of my time than beloved Morrowind. Maybe because its multi tiered plethora of options for your character embodied the burning desire to create something of your own and play with your creation.

    The crazy jumping acrobatics stat sure helped too when I wanted to jump roof to roof like a prehistoric ninja lizard.

    Some things i have missed..

    Thanks for the Mammaries you Fetchers! Morrowind for the PS3 would be gladly purchased with much fervor.. please manifest this. ;D

  37. Congrats, Morrowind is my favorite game of all time and it is a part of my favorite video game series of all time, developed and published by the best of all time!!!

    Can’t believe it has been ten years!!!

  38. Jeez… all these memories you guys are listing makes me want to play the game again (or rather continue where I left off last time), but I know I won’t be able to stop if I do!