Just today, I discovered a game called Allegiance. Released in 2000 by Microsoft, it shortly lost support by the developers, but its thriving community made it into a free-open source game. Since then, the game is still being played today. It is a PvP MMOG Space Simulator, complete with RTS command elements. Courses provided by volunteers in the community, last a month long, its learning curve quite steep. Speaking with Annex on our Ventrilo server, he mentioned that simply nothing that good had been released since to tear away the players.
And its true, in a sense. Multiplayer space sims have been released, but why is this one still being played? Only about ten thousand people play it, but its clear that from the type of game, just about every one of them has been playing it since they found out about it.
The reason for this is because gameplay mechanics stand the test of time. Art, sound, methods of distribution, everything can (and does) progress with technology, but if your game isn't fun to play, no one will like it. This is why games like Fallout, the Diablo series, Baldur's Gate, Deus Ex, and others are still played today. Their gameplay works, and no matter how antiquated their appearances are. In a previous blog, I mentioned that gameplay is the most important aspect of a game.
So, check out Allegiance. I'm reading through the wikis and tutorials, and I'll be in game within a few days, hopefully. Knowledge is power.