I'm not a hardcore gamer, neither am I too casual. I'm more of an in-between gamer, If I get the chance I would spend hours upon hours playing something, or spend some time doing other stuff and game. My platform of choice: the PS3 (The Sony PlayStation 3 for serious non-gamers ), after all "it only does everything" (credits to Sony).
When it comes to game genres, I really have no preference. However, I do prefer games that are visually appealing and most importantly is playable for a significantly long time. If you take these two criterions into consideration, there aren't that many games that fit. For example, the GOW series is amazing, just go in and slash everything, however it is possible to finish over a single session. I also do have interests in simulation games, whether it is cars (GT5 for example) or fighter planes (Ace Combat and HAWX) since they can get pretty dynamic.
The last game I bought (at a bad time, week before finals!) was The Elders Scroll 5: Skyrim, simple known as Skyrim, by Bethesda. It is an open world game, basically you just roam around doing quests and interact with NPCs (non-player characters). Typical RPG you may think. But no, they went to great lengths to make a game that in some cases can be quite unpredictable, thanks to the Radiant AI system. Through dialog you can change the outcome of missions, receive a different reward and so on.
The main story, without spoilers is about dragons. The player is a special person, with special powers (search for "fus ro dah" videos). The story is quite short, but you have quite A LOT quests not related to the main story line. You end up playing a game that might as well have no end if you truly want to play it thoroughly! I actually read somewhere that mentioned the devs clocked 300 hours of game play and just stopped because they didn't feel like counting more. Not surprised.
If you want to find out more… BUY THE GAME!
PS: For PS3 users suffering from lag, freeze etc… Disabling all auto-saves, deleting those auto-saves and saving manually instead worked. I froze only a couple of times since making these changes (rather than every 10 or so travel/loads).