I think that to some degree, the technology that exists today, while conducive to outstanding graphics, is sort of a double-edged sword. I think gameplay takes a backseat because of the graphics and animation capabilities. Relatively speaking, it's much easier today to create a game that "looks cool." But the skills required to make a game that's playable? The technology advances don't enable that. In fact, I would argue that most, certainly not all, games today are becoming like mainstream movies, that is to say, boilerplate, because the gaming engines just keep recycling. It's not often I see a new game that looks and feels and plays unique.
I've been playing a lot of Lemmings lately, whose graphics and animation are secondary to the genius of the game design and interface, a skill that doesn't get flushed out just because of modern processing firepower.
Of course part of me is biased because I grew up with the C64 and Amiga. I do like some PS2 games, Shadow of the Colossus for starters, but I'm mostly a nostalgia freak I guess.