There are plenty of open-world RPGs out there, covering just about any setting, from sci-fi, to historical fantasy, to high fantasy. These open worlds can vary in quality as all games can, but few have ever reached the status of Skyrim.
A ton of games have tried to replicate the open-world magic of Skyrim, but none have managed to quite hit the mark. That's not to say there haven't been other great open-world games released since then, The Witcher 3 is a fantastic example of another open-world RPG that's a cut above the rest, but that and the world of Skyrim still feel quite different.
Part of what makes the world of Skyrim so much fun to explore is the perfect mixture of empty space and interesting places to find. That's a difficult thing for an open world to achieve; many of them either have so much empty space that moving across the world to the next objective (or just to explore) can be a bit boring. It can take a long time to find anything of note, and it can make it difficult to stay engaged.
On the flipside, there are quite a few games with open worlds that have new things popping into the player's face every five seconds, and this is an equal turn-off. Finding something interesting in the world has to be this delicate balance of being rare enough to feel special, while still happening frequently enough that it pulls the player along without too much effort. If that sounds difficult to pull off, that's because it is, and it's part of why Skyrim's open world is rarely, if ever, surpassed.
Walking or riding through Skyrim is equal parts peaceful, awe-inspiring, and dangerous. There are plenty of areas that are just trees, mountains, and plains; but interspersed through all of that are buildings, caves, ruins, and so on. No matter which direction someone decides to go in Skyrim, they're bound to find something of note, they just might need to look a little bit to find it.
All of that being said, none of that matters if the locations all feel super similar. If everything players found in an open world was a lot like everything else they found, it would no longer feel rewarding to find anything in that open world. This is another problem that a lot of games struggle with, and for good reason; it has to be difficult to constantly keep the locations feeling fresh, while making them similar enough that they believably fit into the same world.
While some of Skyrim's locations can fall into this same trap, there are still enough different types of locations that it keeps it interesting. Between Dwemer ruins, bandit hideouts, Falmer caves, Draughr crypts, and more, it's unlikely many players are going to get stuck in a rut where they're clearing the same kind of location over and over again. Not to mention that, near the end of quite a few of these locations, players get to learn a new Shout that can change their gameplay possibilities tremendously.
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