When I first bought Final Fantasy, I started with 12. It was back in the heyday of the PS2 - it had received mixed reviews, but after seeing a video of it online, I decided to try it out. And I'm so glad I did. It suited me perfectly, and I'd give it no less than 98% if I were to review it. And so began my journey of collecting all the other Final Fantasy games - merely a part of my journey to discover what makes games good, and why games appear to be in decline now. And I think I've found it.
Final Fantasy 9. Probably the best story I've ever seen. I'm watching a Let's Play of it on Youtube, and I'm at part 15/130 at the time of typing. But I've already discovered why the game is so good.
Final Fantasy 12 had it. Final Fantasy 13 doesn't. Final Fantasy 9 has it. Resident Evil 4 has it. The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim) has it. Metal Gear Solid has it. To lesser extents, games like SOS: The Final Escape and Croc: Legend of the Gobbos have it.
And so I found a pattern. It was mainly the Playstation 1 and 2 games that exhibited this trait. Being 'cheap' to develop for (compared to the playstation 3, for example) developers were able to put more content into the game for a lower price. Nowadays, too much money is spent on the game's graphics and the coding of the game to fit new systems and demands. Therefore, this has resulted in the loss of what attracted players to games in the first place, and keeps them there. Diversity.
I'm thinking of writing a guide to what makes games great. I believe that I have a few, if not all the answers relating to how to make them fun, how to keep the players attracted and to ensure that the game is not lost within its own creation. Do let me know what you think.