You can't fairly judge a game on what you wanted. You have to judge a game on what it is
No, you have to judge it on whether it is
what you wanted
. After all, you paid for it right?
Yes and no. Yes, you judge it based on how much it meets your expectations. No, you have to use the same expectations you used to judge game A and use it on other games too.
For example: stealth is being criticised for not being as good as it was in the Thief series. This applies to about every other game with a stealth system, yet it doesn't count as a negativ there. Following that logic, you would have to consider all games with no stealth system at all, as being something lesser, which just doesn't happen.
This leads to a one-trick pony game with a great combat system being considered good or great, but Skyrim with a not so good combat system (which I tend to disagree more and more) AND offering so much more being criticised as average at best.
If I take a few examples right from this thread and put them together, Skyrim needed a:
- The Sims implementation for marriage AND every NPC being marriable (if already married, killing his / her partner would have been demanded to be a solution)
- Thief series for stealth
- stats / skills from Morrowind
- amount of weapons / armor from Morrowind and Oblivion combined
- crafting from Vanguard
- graphics from Battlefield 3
- choices / decisions from Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines
- AI matching Deep Blue chess
- cooking from I-really-have-no-idea
- every single NPC no matter how important to the core story killable
oh I almost forgot: of course no level scaling AND bugfree.
This. is. just. not. realistic. At all.
My question remains: how comes that Skyrim (not only Skyrim really, we can safely put every Bethesda game here) needs all that to accomplish the expectations, yet other games (for example Assassins Creed series) who come with 2 or 3 of these elements done better and nothing else, get away with being awesome?
Edith: ... and everyone coming with the "less done great then much done average" argument - how would you have reacted to a Skyrim stripped down to 2-3 of it's current elements done fantastic? Yes, that's a rhetorical question.