I designed a game called The Good Life which was meant to emulate the same kind of simple and fun games that the Commodore 64 used to crank out. The result is a three part game with better graphics, sound and gameplay than many of the golden oldies.
Visit my games page to try it out, and don''t forget to send me an e-mail with an opinionated attachment!
I know what you mean. Most of the games that came out at that time were pretty original because they had nothing to copy from. As technology became better, they started remaking old concepts with "bells and whistles". I think that 2D games are finally going through a rebirth (Diablo, Warcraft, AOL), but 3D games are still just facinated with the technology. They need to work on more of the game aspect instead of just showing off the latest, hot 3d game engine.