Throughout the 7th gen, time after time, hype for new releases in established franchises has suggested the belief that since it's next-gen and it will be totally above the previous games in the series.
If you were to rank the games of a series, chances are the newest releases are probably not the best.
1. Much of the next-gen game hype is graphics based. Realism aged badly. Abstract ages well.
2. Setting, personality, characters, story, structure/pacing are all things that make games classics. Next-gen techology isn't needed for these things, doesn't guarentee these things and sometimes gets in the way of them.
Examples (from major series):
- Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess are rarely #1 on people's Zelda lists due to their pacing.
- When the hype of MGS4 died down, many (not all) people ranked MGS2 and MGS3 above it.
- Final Fantasy 13, I think most people can consider a joke.
- Mario Galaxy is probably a counter-example, but 3D World probably won't reach classic status
- GTA IV's acclaim is an empty shell of what it was and many people abandoned GTA5 after 3 weeks. They're not on a level beyond San Andreas and Vice City if you were to ask most people.
- Halo 4 was by no means a huge leap from Halo 1-3. It even had less impact than Reach.