Generally though, games I replay after completion I liked in the first place. The experience won't worsen for me in repeat times (other than the whole dated technology factor).
I'm the opposite. i went back this summer, replayed some old favorites, and ended up like, hating all of them except Chrono Cross.
And then I started liking SD3.
I always ask myself after I'm through with a game, "gut level feeling- did I enjoy the experience?"
I started doing this, hence the problem above.
The problem with RPGs is that they have characters and stories. They can be incredibly endearing even if the gameplay sucks, and sometimes you end up convincing yourself they ARE good -- because they've endeared themselves to you.
Which is why I can't tell if I actually like Chrono Cross or not. Or FFIX. Or FFVII. Most JRPGs I really don't...
Well, playing Quake Live, you can really tell it's a game by a company that knows exactly what they wanted to do, how to do it, and then doing exactly that. It's the same feeling I got from Persona 3, to give an RPG example.
I don't know if I get that vibe from most things Square's produced. Or many of them. Or any. I don't get much in the way of clarity of vision from most Square products.
I don't get it from most JRPGs in general. If I had to come up with ONE reason why I liked Symphonia more than any other tales games, maybe it IS because it felt like it had more clarity, to me, than Abyss, which felt like it had rampant featuritis, or Phantasia, which felt like a game caught between being its own entity and being a Standard 16-bit JRPG.
And maybe why I like DQ games in spite of their relative simplicity and sometimes plodding nature. They're games that felt like they had a design document behind them, firmly set in stone, and signed thrice by everyone involved.
I tend to think that balance is maybe the ultimate make-or-break thing behind games, but I wonder if maybe clarity isn't more important. Clarity, I think, tends to dictate balance.