Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Probably one of my favorite games ever. Then again, I love everything in the Elder Scrolls line. The last time I remember playing was July 2009 when I was coming down with piggy flu, though, and when I started having weird dreams about the game, I uninstalled it. The game itself, though, is absolutely wonderful! If you don't want to do the main quest or you want to wait to do it, fine! Wait. There are a hundred other things to do in the meantime. You could join one of the great houses or a guild... Or both! You could "level a profession," to use WoW terminology, or set out on an epic quest to kill all wildlife in the game... Or, as others have done, collect all the pillows and build a giant tower of them in Balmora.
The tutorial part of the game is the very beginning, when you wake up on a ship. Someone asks your name, and you type something in. A guard comes and you learn how to walk and open doors. You then get to pick your race and appearance. There aren't a lot to choose from, and appearances are kind of limited, but that's ok. It's a single-player RP game. No worries about looking exactly like someone else. You then talk to someone and choose your class and your sign. In another room before you're unleashed on the world, you learn combat and how to use things like food, torches, and lockpicks. In the last room, you get your first assignment: Travel to another town and find Caius Cosades. After that, you're off! The starting town has a lot of things to teach you how to play if you feel like hanging around and learning them, or you can go hop in a bug and ride to Balmora to find Caius.
In Balmora, you can join a House, if you are inclined to join the house dealing with rogue-ish traits. Sneaking, theiving, and smooth talking are all favored by House Hlaalu, who kind of own the place. There are also hubs for all of the guilds: Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, and Thieves Guild. The temple also has a club to join, if you feel like being religious. They kind of want to squash you near the end of the game, though. Hundreds of quests and rewards are in store should you join anything, though, and I strongly recommend it. You get access to trainers and vendors that you wouldn't have otherwise, and in a House, they build you a mansion! With all sorts of awesome stuff that's yours for the taking.
If you get through with the main game, there are two expansions. I've only played Bloodmoon (werewolves and a bit of Norse mythology! Lots of fun), but I'm itching to play Tribunal. And if you've played through those, there are mods you can download for free to add even more items and quests.
TES III: Morrowind is only $10 at Wal-Mart. Go get it and get addicted. Then play TES IV: Oblivion. I haven't played that one yet, either, but I'm going to before 11/11/11... When TES V: Skyrim comes out! *nerdgasm*
Tomorrow I don't work until the evening shift, so I'll give you some cool recipe in the morning.
P.S. - There's an opening at my husband's college that I might be able to fill! His professor is looking into it for me and he said he'd push my name up as far as he could. No more grease burns! *crosses fingers*