A "good" story in my eyes has to come from being able to say something about the universe, either about the human condition, the environment, myth, politics, or something else. It essentially has to have a voice -- not necessarily unique in subject matter, but well-expressed in tone and expression. It needs not follow conventions of writing (the vast majority of good narrative fiction and non-fiction don't, and in fact the standards have frequently been revised to take advantage of their innovations), but it must have something to say.
I've read books full of unlikeable and utterly plain or grotesque characters and still found them fascinating. A great deal of Mark Twain's writing contains these. Huckleberry Finn was never intended as a likeable personality, nor was Jim. They did, however, have something to say -- about race, about social change, about the common person, and about the measure of a man.
Steinbeck, like him or lump him, was able to spin a great tale from virtually nothing at all. Corey Doctorow barely bothers with characters at all (in the traditional sense) and goes for utter abstraction instead. One of his novels features a character whose name keeps changing, and whose parents are a dishwasher and a mountain. Now, Doctorow isn't my favourite author, and in fact I can't really put up with his style of writing. But I find what he has to say engaging all the same.
Poor stories are always those which are utterly formulaic, banal, and altogether too quiet and meek in their expression. Inherently, the story reflects the mind of its creator, and pedestrian, uncultured, or altogether too conventional thinking will rarely create a work worth remembering.