Skyrim vs. Oblivion – A Graphical Comparison (Infographic)

Based on the E3 demo video and the more recent Gamescom screenshots, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will look fantastic. But to truly appreciate the game’s visuals, we need to look back at The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, released in 2006, and see the technological and artistic improvements the past five years have had on the series.

To that end, we put together this infographic comparing the faces of the different races of The Elder Scrolls, then and now.

What did we learn while doing so?

Apart from the fact that bloom was way overused in Oblivion, the people of Skyrim look 100% more menacing. It seems like everyone in The Elder Scrolls V will be a jerk.

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17 Comments on Skyrim vs. Oblivion – A Graphical Comparison (Infographic)


On August 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm


But you know, I think some of the hi-res texture packs and modded skinjobs from Oblivion look better than the standard Skyrim skins.

Which means the hi rez packs that will come out on Skyrim will be insaaaane!

Brandon J. Clark

On August 24, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Surprisingly, they’re still ugly!

Brandon J. Clark

On August 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm

wtf man! Can’t they make some friggin babes?!?!


On August 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm

in 5 years skyrim will look ty too lol. personally, its not the best looking compared to other hot titles coming out.


On August 25, 2011 at 12:16 am

yeah I’m really disappointed, I was hoping for a lot more, wheres the individual strands of hair? Is this going to be a port for ps3? it sure looks like console.

Garyn Dakari

On August 25, 2011 at 12:40 am

Ah, you can always count on the people on the internet to find something to complain about ;)


On August 25, 2011 at 6:41 am

Wow, side by side like that really shows how far the graphics have come. I really enjoyed Oblivion and thought the graphics was great. Didn`t touch it or looked at it for 3 years so I forgot how DATED it looks now. It looks almost like a previous generation. Interesting how quickly we get used to new graphics as just standard and its how games should look.


On August 25, 2011 at 7:15 am

Hey… Oblivion would looked way better if DX11 & tessellation were available 5 years ago (I still think Oblivion looks awesome)… and what makes me happy about DX11 usage in Skyrim is that it will enable far better graphics at relatively lower hardware requirements (relatively, meaning you will still need a DX11 capable hardware and operating system), so PC that is capable of running Oblivion on high settings will probably be able to run Skyrim on at least a middle graphic settings in same resolution. But as it was case with Oblivion, Skyrim will probably require PC that costs 2K+ USD to run on highest settings on HD resolution… But, who knows? Since PS3 & Xbox are dominant gaming platforms, maybe hardware requirements wont be so high as I expect.

On the other hand, I am not such a graphic freak, and I value gameplay way more than how game graphic looks like, so we will see how game will end up (but I must admit, new improved AI and battle with dragons and other creatures X times bigger than you sounds really promising :)

P.S. Anyone knows if this game will be 64-bit? I will upgrade my PC to 16GB of RAM soon, and it would be nice if Skyrim could use at least 8GB of that (even Oblivion with some mods used almost 4GB of RAM, and that is peak for 32bit games).


On September 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I love that someone has done this. Although I know it’s typically to look back at old games and say to yourself “Did the graphics really look like that” but I can’t help but think these Oblivion portraits were not taken with the settings maxed.

I hate that the higher demand and profits that go with console noobs is killng the advancement of PC games. Yet without console noobs quiet a few games would never be published. Errrr


On September 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

@ d3w10n

Read this about RAM and games – it’s a little out dated but it’s still relevant. Result – the extra RAM wont make a difference,2264.html


On September 24, 2011 at 12:35 am

I’m sure on the XBox 360 Skyrim will still look like the pictures on the left side because the hardware hasn’t gotten any better ;-)

Yo Wrong

On November 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Actually it looks just as good on the xbox360. Face it, PC nerds, the consoles have won, no use crying about it. Maybe if some of you came out of your parent’s basements once in a while, or stopped sitting 6inches away from a crt monitor for 18 hours a day you’d realize that.


On December 9, 2011 at 10:29 am

You’re obviously using ultra-low pc resolution for oblivion and high pc resolution for skyrim.
Shame on you.


On January 6, 2012 at 1:22 am

Lol, all the Skyrim ones have a grey, depressing tint to them. Oblivion is all bright and happy.


On January 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

No, actually it doesn’t look as good on consoles and nobody plays with a crt monitor as of like 5 years ago.


On February 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Skyrim is the proof that better GFX don’t make a better game. I was bored of it just 4 hours after starting it while in Oblivion I had fun till the end. Also the Skyrim people still look like s*** compared to other games.

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