Skyrim is a huge game,and I'm sure it can last many hours because as everyone says there are so many things you can do in Skyrim. I won't say there aren't things you can do in Skyrim,but what I will do say is that there is absolutely no reason to do some of those things,and perhaps there wasn't even a reason for Bethesda to add them in first place. Fans of the series wished that Skyrim would have many features,and Bethesda decided to please them by adding them,but most of them aren't as much fleshed out as they should be to worth including them. This might sound too general for some,so I decided to make a list with some of the most redundant features of Skyrim,and explain why each one of them is useless in particular.
1) Horse Combat
There isn't a single action game where the player can ride a horse,that its fans didn't asked for horse combat.The Elder Scrolls is one of those series that didn't allowed the player to ride horses until a recent update for Skyrim which added the much desired feature. So Bethesda decided to finally include Horseback Fighting in the game,and what they did was to add 2 attack moves (1 per side) that you can do while you are up on a horse. Problem is they forgot to give the ability for npcs to fight from horseback too,so you can't really have a mounted fight with anyone. Oh,and when you try to hit anything you almost always miss,because the enemy creature is either too short and under your line of attack,or the attack's radius is pretty small to reach an enemy while you are on a horse. They gave us the ability to try this new feature and slash the air from the back of a horse,just so each one of us can say "Yay I'm such a cool badass now!",only that the only thing we are ever going to slash while on a horse's back is air.
In Oblivion the sleep option made sense,because every time you where to level up,you had to sleep. In Skyrim you can level up anywhere,and while this is convenient for leveling up,it resulted on making sleep useless. Well you get a "rested" bonus if you sleep,but it's nothing special,the help it provides is so small you can finish the game with or without it and never realizing any difference on your experience or the game's difficulty.
As sleep is redundant in Skyrim,paying for a sleep is also redundant. In Oblivion every time you wanted to level up you had to rent a room for a night until you are rich and can spend tens of thousands of coins for your own house. In Skyrim you can buy a house much faster,and you never need to sleep. There is no reason for the player to use an inn.
Nighteye is the ability to see in the dark. A player might acquire this ability as a spell,he can get his armor enchanted with it,or he can have it as a race power if he chose to play as a Khajit. The thing is everything in Skyrim is so bright you can perfectly see and distinguish enemies,rocks,items,whatever in any place and at any time in this game.Be it the deepest of the dungeons,or a wild forest at 23:00 hours. An ability that makes you see in the dark,makes sense if there are dark places,like they where in Morrowind and Oblivion. Since Skyrim is globally illuminated and there isn't a single dark place in it,I wonder why they left Nighteye in. The irony is that Nighteye's visual effects will make it harder for you to see what is happening on the screen..
In Skyrim you can gather ingredients and cook food.Finding all the needed ingredients to cook might sound like a chore,but the effects of cooked food are so weak in comparison to the effects of the potions that you can buy for a few coins from every single city you can fast travel to,that makes cooking redundant. It would make sense if there where things like cooking contests or something,but as it is,cooking is added just for the shake of making the game's feature list look bigger.
6) The Bard's College
O.K. things are pretty simple here. You saw that there are musical instruments you can pick up in Skyrim,you heard that there is a Bard's College here that teaches music and the player can join it,and you expected to start playing music yourself. Yet when you become a member they never teach you how to sing or how to play music,but they send you to dangerous dungeons to kill guys and monsters. All these quests could have made more sense if they where included in the Companion's Guild,or even if they where simple missions you get from random NPCs. A music school that doesn't teach you music but instead asks you to do the same things every other function and ordinary NPC asks you to do,doesn't need to be named a music school.There isn't a reason for this guild to exist.
7) Race #1 Argonians
What differentiated Argonians from other races in past games where their immunity to poison and diseases,and their ability to breath underwater. In Skyrim there are no points where you will have to get underwater,diseases are not a danger since there are no attributes to be damaged,and NPCs never use poison on their weapons. The only way to get poisoned in Skyrim is by having a Frostbite spider attack you,but since the poison deals about 2~4 health points damage max and its effect lasts about 2-3 seconds,all of the Argonian's special features are useless.
8) Race #2 Khajit
Khajit in past games had 2 basic abilities that made them interesting to choose and play as one. You could see in dark places,and you had good acrobatics,meaning you would loose less health points by falling from high places. In Skyrim there are no dark places,and there is no acrobatics skill,meaning Khajits doesn't have any advantages from the other races.
9) Race #3 Nord
What made Nords special in past games was their natural resistance to cold. This ability made sense in older games,because there where "cold" areas where your non-Nord character would be loosing life as much as he stayed there,and would have to drink 'Resist Cold' potions to survive,which gave Nords an advantage. But in Skyrim there aren't areas where your character gets damage because of cold. Cold as a hazard has been removed from the game,and even if you swim in waters that have ice crust on the surface,there is still absolutely no Cold Damage affecting your character. That means you have no advantages for playing as a Nord.
A lot of players abused smithing to level up faster,but the truth is that for anyone that doesn't want to abuse and farm the game like that,smithing is useless. By the time you will be able to craft an armor or weapon,you will probably have already found it for free in large quantities in your travels.