Bethesda is one of the biggest publishers and developers in the video game industry. They’re mostly known for their Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, but the publication side of their business has helped other developers bring you games like Wolfenstein and the recently revived Doom series. They have their fingers in a lot of different pots, so we thought our readers would appreciate a list of the best Bethesda games ranked to see which ones are worth playing.

They’re currently working on the much-anticipated Elder Scrolls VI, and their brand new sci-fi themed IP, Starfield. With so much excitement on the horizon, this seemed like the perfect time to rank the best Bethesda games.

20 Best Bethesda Games Ranked

To be clear, Bethesda has only developed a handful of games in-house. Most of their games are developed by other studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. This list will include the best Bethesda Game Studios games ranked as well as the best games they’ve published.

Let’s dive in!

20. Fallout 76

Fallout 76
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: November 14, 2018

Starting off our list of Bethesda games ranked from worst to best is Fallout 76. The release of the newest game in one of Bethesda’s signature series was more than a little disappointing. It was intended to be a multiplayer open-world variation of the world established by previous titles, but they skimped on the design, gameplay, and narrative. It didn’t even have NPCs for the first two years! It was insanely glitchy and extremely empty.

19. Rage

Rage
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS
  • Developer: id Software
  • Release Date: October 4, 2011

Rage is an FPS game with a heavy emphasis on driving and augmenting various post-apocalyptic vehicles. The world was almost entirely destroyed by an asteroid, leaving you and the other survivors to scrounge a living among mutants and bandit clans.

If that sounds a bit like Borderlands to you, you’re not far off.

18. Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Wolfenstein Youngblood
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
  • Developer: MachineGames, Arkane Studios
  • Release Date: July 25, 2019

In Wolfenstein: Youngblood, you assume the role of either Zofia or Jessie Blakowicz, the twin daughters of the protagonist from The New Order and The New Colossus twenty years earlier. I guess Nazi-hunting must run in the family.

It received mixed reviews due to its lackluster gameplay despite being the first Wolfenstein to offer co-op. You can see our full review here.

17. Rage 2

Rage 2
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia
  • Developer: Avalanche Studio, id Software
  • Release Date: May 14, 2019

The second Rage game dials the violent gameplay up to eleven! The AI in Rage 2 is smarter, making them harder to predict and much more challenging to fight. It also has a much more stylish and colorful design than its predecessor.

The only drawbacks are its mediocre story and one-dimensional characters.

16. The Evil Within

The Evil Within
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Developer: Tango Gameworks
  • Release Date: October 14, 2014

The Evil Within is a survival horror game created by Japanese development company Tango Gameworks. You play Sebastian Castellanos, a detective investigating a murder at a mental hospital, when reality suddenly warps into a nightmare full of ghastly creatures.

This is a good one for Silent Hill fans.

15. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: May 1, 2002

Morrowind was a big step forward in the Elder Scrolls series. It was the first open-world, the first to transition to 3D, and the first to make its way off Windows and onto a console port — though I have to say, the loading times playing it on the original Xbox were atrocious.

It’s hard to recommend to new players, but there’s no denying that the series would never have made it where it is today without Morrowind.

14. Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein The New Order
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Developer: MachineGames
  • Release Date: May 20, 2014

Although it’s technically the seventh main entry in the Wolfenstein series, The New Order is the first game that had MachineGames and Bethesda at the reins. It’s an excellent jumping-off point for new players looking to get into the series.

The game is set in an alternate timeline where the Nazis have all but succeeded in taking over the world. It follows William “B.J.” Blazkowicz as he fights to stop them. 

13. Prey

Prey
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Release Date: May 5, 2017

Prey is a game that flew under a lot of people’s radar, which is a shame because it’s an absolute delight. In an alternate universe where humanity took to the stars much earlier than they did in our world, Morgan Yu must escape a space station where monstrous aliens known as the Typhon have escaped containment.

Play this one if you want to see some excellent sci-fi-action-horror.

12. The Evil Within 2

The Evil Within 2
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Tango Gameworks
  • Release Date: October 13, 2017

The first Evil Within game had potential. The Evil Within 2 is where we really get to see that potential come to fruition. Detective Sebastian Castellanos returns three years after the events at the Beacon Mental Hospital. He discovers that his daughter Lilly, who he thought was dead, is being used in an experiment to create a town called “Union.”

Few games have done stealth-survival-horror this well in a long time. 

11. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: MachineGames
  • Release Date: October 27, 2017

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is the direct sequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order and is frequently hailed as the best game in the series.

Blazkowicz awakes from a five-month-long coma following the events of The New Order and once again must seek to liberate the world from Nazi invaders.

New Colossus improves on its predecessor in almost every way, adding meaningful character interactions, branching storylines, and better mechanics. That’s why it’s number one on our list of Wolfenstein games ranked.

10. Dishonored

Dishonored
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Release Date: October 9, 2012

What happens when you task Arkane Studios to make a game with Bethesda’s signature action RPG style in a gritty, steampunk setting? Dishonored!

Corvo Attano is framed for the murder of the Empress of the Isles. He joins the resistance and becomes an assassin to get vengeance against those who sought to ruin him.

Give this one a shot if you like stealth!

9. The Elder Scrolls: Online

The Elder Scrolls Online
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: April 4, 2014

The Elder Scrolls: Online is the only MMORPG on this list. The Elder Scrolls series is full of rich lore, and the world of Tamriel was already the perfect backdrop for an MMO. Putting the two together seems obvious.

It combines all the great character options, spells, and abilities from the main series with the online functionality of an MMO. The game is four years old now, but it’s still receiving regular updates and support. It’s had four major expansions. The newest one, Greymoor, just came out in January 2020.

We put it on our lists of the best MMO games and the best Stadia games in 2021!

8. Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Release Date: November 11, 2016

Dishonored was an excellent game, but Dishonored 2 edges it out by making seamless improvements to the format in almost every way. You get to choose from one of two characters to play — Corvo Attano or Emily Kaldwin. Each of them has very different playstyles, making their respective playthroughs feel unique.

It’s set fifteen years after the evens of the first game. Either Emily or Corvo must uncover the mystery behind an assassin known as the “Crown Killer” and retake Emily’s usurped throne.

7. Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
  • Developer: id Software
  • Release Date: March 20, 2020

Doom Eternal is Bethesda’s most recent release and one of their most anticipated games. Hell’s armies have invaded Earth, and it’s up to you to show them why that was a mistake.

Eternal has more weapons and a larger pool of enemies than its predecessor. The action and gameplay are smoother than ever, though the heavier emphasis on platforming struck many players as an odd choice.

6. Fallout 4

Fallout 4
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: November 10, 2015

Fallout 4 builds off the legacy of Fallout 3, utilizing a massive open world set in a post-apocalyptic Boston. You play the “Sole Survivor.” You wake up from cryo-sleep to discover your spouse is dead and your son has been taken. 

There are several factions to interact with, various side quests to perform, and an extensive crafting system. It’s a blast to play, but it maybe wasn’t quite as innovative as 3 or New Vegas.

5. Fallout 3

Fallout 3
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: October 28, 2008

Speak of the Devil! Fallout 3 is the first game Bethesda made after acquiring the IP from Black Isle Studios. It marked a complete shift in the series — the first two games are classic CRPGs, while Fallout 3 is an FPS-action-RPG. Some fans loved the new direction the series took, while others didn’t enjoy the departure from the original games’ format.

It’s set in the ruins of Washington D.C. You must leave the vault where you grew up and find your missing father, who is played by none other than Liam Neeson!

4. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: March 20, 2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was the most ambitious game the Bethesda Game Studios had ever attempted at the time. It takes place in Cyrodiil, the seat of a massive empire in the center of the continent. You must stop a cult known as the Mythic Dawn from opening the Oblivion Gates and releasing the Daedric monstrosities that live there.

Skyrim may get most of the attention these days, but old-school Bethesda fans never forget late-night meetings with the Thieves Guild on the outskirts of the imperial city or those special assassination conditions for the Dark Brotherhood.

3. Doom

Doom
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
  • Developer: id Software
  • Release Date: May 13, 2016

Want to rip apart some interdimensional demons with your bare hands? The 2016 reboot of the Doom series is the adrenaline-soaked gore-fest we never knew we always wanted. It came out in a time when Destiny and Call of Duty style shooters all seemed to be blending together, offering an action-packed alternative with a heavy-metal soundtrack set on a dead research station on Mars.

We liked it so much that we put it at number one on our Doom games ranked list.

2. Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Release Date: October 19, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas is a unique amalgamation of the consequence-based storytelling from the original Black Isle Studios Fallout games and the 3D-FPS-action-RPG gameplay established by Bethesda in Fallout 3.

You get to explore the remains of a retro-post-apocalyptic Las Vegas as “The Courier,” a reluctant hero forced to help determine the fate of New Vegas by siding with one of three factions — Mr. House, Caesar’s Legion, and the New California Republic.

It’s our pick for the best Fallout game and our second choice for the best Bethesda game.

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim
Image Credit: Bethesda
  • Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: November 11, 2011

Taking the number one spot on our list of the best Bethesda games ranked is none other than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It’s not a stretch to say that Skyrim is one of the most popular role-playing games of all time. Its beautiful open world and massive scope have influenced the design of countless RPGs that followed. It’s been ported to every modern platform, enjoyed a successful VR integration, and has one of the biggest modding communities of any game.

You play the Dovahkiin (or Dragon Born), an elite warrior who can absorb the souls of dragons and use their power to produce powerful “shout” abilities.

Everything about this game is immersive, from the beautiful frozen landscape to the memorable soundtrack to the versatile ability tree.

Fus Ro Dah!

We hope you enjoyed our ranking of Bethesda games worst to best. Be sure to follow High Ground Gaming for news about Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI, as well as more lists like this one.

Happy gaming!

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