Origins was a great game. It's sequel was not. That's off topic, I know, but still.
But for someone to say that Skyrim is hands down the best RPG ever made is a bit of an overstatement.
As to this, anyone saying this has clearly not played RPGs with any regularity. The Suikoden series alone blows any Elder Scrolls game out of the water as far as pure RPG excellence. However, Suikoden does not embrace the sandbox type game play that Elder Scrolls does. For what the Elder Scrolls seeks to do: create an immersive environment for players to explore, Elder Scrolls is really second to none, even other Bethesda games like Fallout 3 don't touch it.
Final Fantasy also has to be mentioned in any RPG discussion. And Persona.
The difference, as was stated earlier by another poster, is that these games focus on story. For my money, Dragon Age: Origins is nowhere near the caliber story or game as say Suikoden I or Final Fantasy VII. But Origins has its own schtick as well: choose your own adventure. It is great at this. I still prefer the original KOTOR to it, though.
This post was edited on 10/15 at 3:51 pm