Words are insufficient to explain why Skyrim is probably the best single-player RPG of the last decade. It's obviously not the gameplay. Nor is it not the character power progression mechanic. Instead, it's the atmosphere. I tried to capture this atmosphere with a few youtube videos.
First, the dialogues. This dialogue is nothing special. All NPCs in Skyrim have voice acting and I have yet to meet a bad one. If you like to skip dialogues like this one, I can't help you.
More important, however, is the landscape. Every single mountain, city and castle you can see on the horizon really exists in the gameworld. In this video I try to reach one castle that I saw from afar. Remember that this is youtube quality.
This very short video demonstrates the intelligent use of graphical effects. This is a mage with an activated spell. If something is big and bright in Skyrim it is really dangerous. No unnecessary sparkle when you buff yourself. Thanks Bethesda.
If you thought Skyrim has only snow, you're wrong. While all areas in Skyrim are cold, some are at about 0°C. This one has lots of fog in the morning.
Of course, all these areas are available at all times of the day and with different kinds of weather. It's not always snowing or windy.
If you miss out on Skyrim, you miss out on the best single player RGP I have played in a very long time.