There are few fantasy franchises with quite the same reputation as The Elder Scrolls, the long-running franchise from Bethesda that started back in the early '90s. Jokes are often made about the fifth entry in the franchise, Skyrim, being ported to every console under the sun, but there's a strong case for an Elder Scrolls collection for the Xbox Series X.

Resurrecting Classics

An Elder Scrolls collection certainly isn't outside the realm of popularity; in fact, it's already happened. The Elder Scrolls Anthology contained all of the mainline entries in the franchise, but it only released for PC. While console players certainly would have appreciated the collection, it was likely another case of being impossible due to the age of the older games.

Now, however, older games make it to current-gen consoles pretty frequently. The classic DOOM games are available on current-gen hardware, and they work pretty well. With a few changes for control schemes and, ideally, widescreen support, the games would be good fits for the console, even if the outdated game design is off-putting for some.

Oblivion and Morrowind are already available for the Xbox One through backward compatibility, and the same will likely be true for the Xbox Series X, considering Xbox's dedication to backward compatibility on the platform. Of course, there would still be work to create a single, cohesive package of Elder Scrolls games, but it certainly seems like something that would be possible for Bethesda to pull off, given Microsoft's support.

The Ideal Collection

One of the big questions is how many people would opt for the collection with the original versions of the games. Arena and Daggerfall can typically be found for free, so some players may be apprehensive to purchase them, even by nature of it being a port. Those that purchased the backward-compatible versions of Oblivion and Morrowind may have similar objections if they had to purchase those to games again. The solution is putting the games on Xbox Game Pass, like other Bethesda games, or allowing them to be purchased individually.

The other way to sweeten the deal although incredibly unlikely would be a remastered version of Morrowind or Oblivion included with the bundle. Skyrim has already received visual overhauls with the Special Edition package, so it's not a strong contender for a full remaster. The other two, however, didn't sell as well as Skyrim and could be granted new life through a full-fledged remake.

Bethesda's Todd Howard has brushed this off before, saying remaking Oblivion would basically mean making a new game, but with the added resources at Microsoft's disposal, anything seems possible. Oblivion may not be the best option, though. It's a much more typical fantasy setting than some of Tamriel's other locations, so Morrowind might be a better way to go, thanks to all of its weirdness.

The Community Option

The final, somewhat nuclear, option would be letting the community handle the remakes. This would be a bold strategy, as it may lack triple-a studio polish, but it isn't an outrageous idea. Right now, a dedicated group of Elder Scrolls superfans are working on Skyblivion, a project meant to recreate Oblivion in Skyrim's engine, and it's coming together impressively well, judging by recent development updates.

Similar projects are in the works for Morrowind, which may even allow for overhauled versions of both games being featured in an Elder Scrolls collection if Bethesda and Microsoft were able to pursue it. It may even set a bright new precedent for the future, as fan projects and remakes are often subject to legal action from the original creators.

Bethesda could essentially treat this like contracting out smaller studios, purchasing the developers' work and giving them credit for the creation. Activision has done this for remakes like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, so the idea isn't completely outrageous. Plus, the people behind projects like Skyblivion have already proven their dedication to the franchise.

Perfect Timing

One of the most compelling arguments is how amazing the timing is for such a collection. Next year will be the 10-year anniversary of Skyrim, the most popular game in the franchise, as well as landing right at the first anniversary of the Xbox Series X. With the recent Bethesda acquisition being finalized by then, there's nothing better to cement the partnership between the two companies than an Elder Scrolls collection.

It's probably going to be a few years before fans get The Elder Scrolls 6, so it's also a perfect way to hold them over until then. Physical pack-ins, like the maps the games have included in the past, could also sweeten the deal for dedicated fans looking for something to spice up their collections. Other options could include things like statues of the Nine Divines, or physical coins.

Regardless, Bethesda owes a lot to Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls franchise as a whole. It doesn't seem likely that the studio would pass up such an impressive landmark of a title on such a rare occasion. Not to mention, a collection is something that many fans have been asking for.

Full remasters may not be the most realistic expectation, but an Elder Scrolls collection seems like too good of an idea to pass up. Microsoft and Bethesda's relationship has never been better, and the timing is perfect. Elder Scrolls fans would almost certainly eat it up if it's handled respectfully, so the ball is in Bethesda's court.