As versatile and deep as the series is, it wasn't until Skyrim that The Elder Scrolls started generating somewhat attractive player characters. Looks like they've nailed attractive character creation for The Elder Scrolls Online.
The Elder Scrolls characters really have come a long way. Here's character creation from 2002's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind:
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, released in 2006, was a huge improvement, but the characters in general looked a bit frumpy.
2011's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim generated pretty humanoid classes, but the non-humans weren't quite right.
And now we've come to The Elder Scrolls Online, perfecting the look of both humanoids and non-human races.
Players can adjust height and weight, markings, hairstyles, and then go in deep, micro-managing specific traits until you've got the perfect avatar.
The result is not just gorgeous characters, but characters in all shapes and sizes, believably rendered in a living and breathing world. How good is The Elder Scrolls Online's character creation? As Evan Narcisse pointed out to me...
...so good it can render an afro that's not only believable, but beautiful.
Character creation in a single-player game is one thing — you can be a little homely, and it doesn't really matter. In a massively-multiplayer online game, where you'll be mingling with thousands of other players, a focus on creating compelling characters is one of the keys to success. I'd say Bethesda has that aspect in the bag.
Character Creation In Action [The Elder Scrolls Online]