Yeah, Open world SSX with multiplayer would have been a lot more fun than what we got. I don't think the "Hundreds of Levels" really grabs people anymore like it used to. People don't want hundreds of anything, they want like 10 or twenty things that are awesome and are re-visitable (look at the Call of Duty games).
Look at games like Burnout Paradise for inspiration. There was So much to do in that town both offline and online that made the entire experience so much fun and it all sat in one level.