After 8 years Gothic is my favorite rpg to this day.
In Gothic you don't start with any class in particular (warrior, archer, mage) instead you build up skill points to add on to any of these classes and abilities and skills they may possess giving you a lot of freedom for building up your character. My favorite is Mage primary and warrior secondary.
The magic in the game is fun. You can summon demons, transform any of the iconic beasts and animals in the story, render unsuspecting victims asleep and rob all of their belongings, or bust out the trusty storm of fire and toast your enemies...
The melee combat controls are like nothing I've played before. You swing your weapon based on the arrow keys and time your hits to pull of combos. Although in Gothic the blocking system isn't perfect we see it patched up in Gothic 2
The role playing aspect in this story was revolutionary for 2001 and although it might not be oblivion for you elder scroll fan's it's like rpg candy with an intuitive original story enveloped in rich universe that will inevitably make you buy Gothic 2 (which is worth it) and then Gothic 3 (which is... not as worth it) all in all find yourself a copy of this German RPG and get Gothic!