I think it has to do with the abstraction that gamification creates. In the combat minigame, your “enemies” are ultimately just obstacles, which you permanently remove from play by “killing” them. Outside of that minigame, the enemies are narrative figures as well as gameplay obstacles, so killing them naturally carries more narrative weight.I think the topic of "why is killing in games fun?" is worthwhile. Not just rpgs, but any games. Like in videogames, even games like mario, to defeat something is to harm or kill it, even when abstracted. Chess is a game that involves killing of opponent pieces. etc. One thing I've noticed in dnd is that killing inside and outside of initiative feels very different, with the former feeling more fun and less meaningful and the latter having increased emotional/psychological stakes to a certain degree.
Zombies are devoid, sure, but skeletons? In a day and age of Skeletor, Sans, Papyrus, Mr Bones, Bones.....Usually skeletons and zombies are devoid of personality and pretty boring, but there are exceptions.
Skeletor isn’t really a skeleton. He’s a ripped dude with blue skin and a skull head.Zombies are devoid, sure, but skeletons? In a day and age of Skeletor, Sans, Papyrus, Mr Bones, Bones.....
Skeletons are full of personality (plus honestly in Skyrim they're the best enemy to take down with stealth because I just cackle every time I smack a skeleton and it just explodes into bones)