"You're a retro gamer, which is cool" - some a-hole last week
Because game design, quite simply hasn't moved on since 2002.
People don't buy the latest game consoles because they want new games, they buy them just so they can admire the graphics and play all the games that already exist, but with better graphics.
The thing is. When you get to about 30 you really stop caring unless you are some sort of technophile.
The games however have simply got worse. To play. The reason is game design based on graphics>gameplay.
Take NHL2K series. The best version is 2K2. Why? Because if your masochistic enough to try and actually play that game, you would play the 2K2 over 2K18 because, even though it's harder, they have not reduced the speed at which your character moves, in favour of animating that movement more smoothly, sacrificing quick movement, for a more smooth movement animation.
This prioritising of animation over a control's responsiveness extends into all action games, even down to making Mark of the Ninja the most boring game ever even though it got really good reviews and is kind of 'retro'.
Splinter Cell (PS2) plays differently to a new Tom Clancy game because there's practically no movement turn animation, basically changing the way the game play to how it does now, almost completely, from including a response/reaction game mechanic, to a more pre-emting and timing control scheme to account for animations whilst controlling your character.
Also, game design has not move forward with the re-release of Thief, being an example of how modern game design has taken away alot of the freedom of playing games, in favour of setting you in a kind of interactive story which puts training wheels on (mandatory tutorials :'( ) and fences you in. You can only use your grappling hook on predetermined places is weak sauce.
Take the J-RPG, a dying genre. J-RPG being giant headed, blue haired and gaint eyes people wader around town talking to everyone to figure out what to do next and fight monsters along the way and level up. Well that hasn't moved forward for 20 years if Square Enix's Final Fantasy series is anything to go by.
The last good game if this type is Phantasy Star Online, which mixed true controlled characters, with group online play and arcade style, hit-box-based combat system in the style of Diablo. There is lock on, but after I watched it being played I finally realised you can change your weapon mid fight and cast aoe spells, hence making where you're standing or facing, a key mechanic of the gameplay and also how World of Warcraft basically took PSO and put orcs and wizards in instead of JRPG blue haired people. But WoW doesn't even have as deep aoe weapon mechanics and hit boxes as sophisticated.
The Phantasy Star series on the Mega Drive dates the progression of that genre quite well. The Master System version was released unchanged on the Mega Drive (so you could catch up I suppose if you didn't have a MS).
Phantasy Star II is what you would expect with better graphics and sound but sadly lost the 3d dungeons (Yuji Naka was away) but it all looks nicer and is more expansive than the first although loses the planet travelling until halfway through.
Phantasy Star III introduced branching timelines, more attractive pixel art style (thanks to the Golden Axe team) and a stellar and memorable haunting soundtrack. PS3 introduced a new mechanic in fights, in splitting enemies into four areas: front back left and right. Also, a reactive in-fight soundtrack changes depending on how the fight is going - from tense to triumphant as you win but it does get a bit repetitive.
You can fully automate the battle, attacking the front row first then the larger back row enemies, just automate one move for each member, using their primary weapons (up to two) attacking either a row, column or individual enemy, depending on the equipped weapon, then just press it again until you've won. Or select actions for each character, including defending party members or buffing them with item and techniques. So each battle can be completed with just 2 button presses.
The technique mechanic is different in that all techniques use a set amount of technique points and only differing in power by level of the caster and setting the spell priorities of the 4 available within each spell 'technique': 'heal', 'time' (debuff enemies), 'melee' (attack) or 'order' (buff allies) in special 'shield' sign buildings in towns. It's a shame you have almost no reason whatsoever to use anything but gires and carry antidotes.
The backs of the characters are dropped in battle, giving way to the first person view used in the first game but with attacks animated in large effects like claws marks or bullet holes, and with simple scrolling parallax backgrounds.
Phantasy Star 4 came out and dropped branching storylines (brides to marry) in return to linear narrative and lost the (in my opinion superior) pixel artists of the PS3 team but had access to 24MB of storage to include a longer story. Also it included an attack fight macro system and icons make it actually possible to remember what the spells do.
But sequels in those days did tend to sometimes try to change something about the game rather than depend on a superior set of technologies, in graphical processing capabilities.
Shining Force 1 - 4 are very notable here as they very much popularised the j-rpg strategy genre and remain my favourites. With each episode changing how the game played in subtle ways, or compromises, in lieu of actually more advanced hardware, as in the PC market, to depend on.
PS: I would like to change an earlier statement I made about Sonic Spinball being the best SMD pinball game when it is Dragon's Fury by Technosoft as Spinball was not programmed in machine code but hastily ported in C hence it has an unacceptably bad frame rate and is actually boring and a bad game.
PPS. I take no pleasure and no enjoyment of slowly turning a woman into a lizard by destroying her brain with a giant ball bearing. Technosoft... You weirdos.
EDIT: I was actually talking about NBA2K2, duh.