The Elders Scrolls III: Morrowind ranks in the top when it comes to most RPG player's all-time favorites. A successful move from the earlier 2D incarnations of the series to a modern, three dimensional model utilizing 1st or 3rd person player viewpoints, Morrowind places gamers in the position of a recently released convict sent to the island of Vvardenfell to join the Blades. This organization, effectively the secret service of the Imperial Empire, has only a small presence on Vvardenfell but is a vital component of the emperor's control over the province, which itself is key to holding Morrowind and its restive Dunmer residents.
Morrowind's primary quest is extremely long and the plot surrounding it exceptionally complex - this is due at least in part to the size of the island of Vvardenfell, which takes hours in game-time to traverse from end to end. A volcanic land beset by monsters emanating from deep within the caldera of the central peak, it is filled with humanoid foes and hostile beasts galore. Players are offered an extremely wide variety of options when it comes to character construction and skills that, in classic Elders Scrolls fashion, level up depending on how often they are used. Unlike in some RPGs where simply killing enemies and completing quests provides experience points that allow a character to level up, in Morrowind the player has to constantly hone skills. Training can help, but is expensive.
Morrowind's variety in quest types, factions, opponents, and outcomes sets it apart, and has led to its remaining the RPG of choice for gamers even after The Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion succeeded it graphically and in canon. Indeed, Morrowind has retained a strong fan base comprised of diehards and modders who have continued to breathe new life into the title on the eve of the release of Skyrim, the next entry into the series.
Any serious RPG gamer should give Morrowind a shot and look to some of the many mods available if the standard game experience becomes less satisfactory. Some general guides below will help novice players get going, and other detailed guides on the various races, factions, and character types that can be played help even advanced players get a new game going. In the end, Morrowind is so beloved perhaps more than anything due to its extreme level of character customization. If you can imagine a character, you can play that character.