That whole "they just don't make 'em like they used to" argument can be a precarious blanket statement. Granted, I'm sure many of us feel that way about software, especially how we perceive the titan companies of our youth getting a little creaky in the knees. Analogy: Michael Jordan in his prime was arguably the best basketball player ever, but if he were in the NBA now, younger stars like Kobe and LeBron would kick butt because they're in their physical prime and Jordan is past his. Jordan's still a legend, though and no one can take that away from him.
That being said, I do remember saying this about hardware in an old episode of the RPGFan podcast. My first generation Sega Genesis had a 6 oz cup of cola spilt on it, and it still worked. I don't have it now, but if I did, I could plug it in and it would probably STILL work now. And we've all heard stories of people abusing the hell out of their old GameBoys and even Game Boy Advances- they take a lickin' and keep on tickin.' Accidentally spilling cola on some of my current hardware? Probably gonna get bricked.
And I wonder if the OP might like Fire Emblem: Awakening.
And, again, there's a treasure trove of solid stuff from smaller development houses. Kinda like how we think music on mainstream radio is lousy, but if you dig deeper, there's some killer bands out there crafting great songs who are far from famous but are f'n good.
except in the nba the number of teams doesnt decline and over generations the players get better not worse.