I never liked Oblivion and barely tolerated Morrowind but Skyrim is pretty much consuming my life by the hour right now. In previous Elder Scrolls games, I usually ended up trying to enjoy myself despite the game mechanics, rather than because of them. I've never been one to tolerate sloppy core gameplay in exchange for player freedom. Personally, I'd generally rather play a linear game with good combat than a non-linear game with poor combat, but Skyrim's updated mechanics get the job done. They're not great, but they're good enough, and now that the Elder Scrolls series doesn't feel like it's tripping over itself, yeah, I can see what all the fuss is about.
Unless Serious Sam comes all the way out of leftfield and completely blows my bollocks off, I think I can safely mark Skyrim down as my favourite game of the year.