Morrowind was the best one imo as well, I didn't like Oblivion or Skyrim but I loved Morrowind so that's an easy best elder scrolls for me.
Also I don't know how well Morrowind has aged, it's quite old now but for it's time it was one of the best western rpgs ever made.
Also I don't agree with what you said "but really its not that hard to admit that newer games are usually much much better in most aspects".
When I look at the series I really like often the older games were way better like GTA the older GTAs like 3 & SA are much better than IV and V, Fallout as well 1 & 2 are 2 of my favourite games ever made yet I didn't like 3, new vegas or IV at all. The witcher series 1 & 2 again way better than 3 even though 3 has some amazing graphics, CS for 1.6 and Source were way better games than Go, Diablo 1 & 2 way better than 3 etc. I could keep going but you get the point I'm trying to make.