I'm really in love with the idea of skillful sword fighting in games. It's strange to think that something so simple as this is a rarity when you consider a few prerequisites.
1. The combat has to be somewhat believable, if not necessarily realistic.
2. It needs to be occasionally empowering while still making the player feel skilled when they succeed.
3. It should have a primarily melee focus.
Now I'd like to get Mount & Blade out of the way before people share their recommendations and experiences. I don't mean to negatively criticize these M&B or Tale Worlds in any way. I love those games and have been playing them to death since the original game was in beta, but I haven't played much of the recent expansions. (Napoleonic and Fire & Sword) These games have a very fun and unique direction based melee mechanic for those who aren't familiar, my only criticism here would be the pacing and rigidity of the animations. Again this isn't a criticism against the game, but instead a reflection based on my suggested criteria.
Also I can assure you that I've played every Assassin's creed game, and I'm definitely aware that Skyrim is a thing. While both AC and TES games are awesome AC isn't very challenging, and TES is a little clunky.
Sorry if I was overly wordy with the exposition. I'd love to hear any suggestions.
P.S. If a similar topic has already been made a redirecting link would be nice.