The question doesn't specify a specific religious viewpoint. Most of the other answers are from an ancient Israelite, Hebrew perspective (and rightly so).
But from a Christian point of view, the answer can be quite different.
The translators of the Revised English Version provide a long and potentially useful discussion of Elohim:
The first verse of the Bible says, “In the beginning God….” The word “God” is translated from the Hebrew word Elohim, and it refers to our one God. However, some Trinitarians teach that since the word Elohim is plural it implies a compound unity when it refers to God.
They describe "Elohim" as a uni-plural noun.
The word Elohim is always found in the plural form and is often called a uni-plural noun. A uni-plural noun is a word that appears in the plural form but is used for singular and plural subjects alike. “Deer” and “fish” are examples of uni-plural nouns in English.
Trinitarians consider themselves monotheistic, and so reject the concept of the three persons being treated as anything but a single God. So, despite the apparent plural nature of the word, they would reject the idea of its being translated into anything other than a singular form.
On the other hand, Binitarians recognize the Son and the Father as two fully separate beings. Together they form a single family or godhead, but they are still two distinct beings, as supported by the use of the plural form Elohim.
This position is further supported by verses such as Genesis 1:26: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ...".
But like Trinitarians, Binitarians would also retain the singular "God" translation when it is referring to the God family. Saying "In the beginning, the gods created ..." would lose the connotation of a singleness of purpose and will.
A quotation from the Binitarianism Wikipedia entry describes this concept:
...there are a fairly consistent linkage and subordination of Jesus to God 'the Father' in these circles, evident even in the Christian texts from the latter decades of the 1st century that are commonly regarded as a very 'high' Christology, such as the Gospel of John and Revelation. This is why I referred to this Jesus-devotion as a "binitarian" form of monotheism: there are two distinguishable figures (God and Jesus), but they are posited in a relation to each other that seems intended to avoid the ditheism of two gods" (Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, 2003, pp. 52–53).