Originally Posted by Jaz
Still - no. There's always the setting.
I tend to buy many games in the bargain bin, years after they first appeared. I did, for example, play PC JE and PC Drakensang at the same time, and though there's a 4-year gap between those games, I liked the older game a lot better mainly because of the setting and atmosphere. And, well, you can have a great atmosphere without a 'modern' approach, think of Minecraft.
Or let's take SoFII and Far Cry. Got those at the same time as well. While Far Cry had impressive visuals - I stood and stared at the butterflies and stuff -, SoFII was the funner ride for me, event though I didn't like several gameplay decisions they had made. Meaning, I'd rather pop that into my drive than the other one if I was asked to replay one of them.
But to stay in-universe, there's the case of Redguard and Battlespire. While Redguard was the first Elder Scrolls Game to have that wondefully weird atmosphere Morrowind so successfully made use of (and, a little less successful, Skyrim), I still like buggy-as-your-iPhone Battlespire better, even though I played it five or six years after its release while I played Redguard in the year it came out. Battlespire was not only buggy, it was a dungeon crawl and levels were rather repetitive, but I still love to hear the dialog and voice acting a lot.
So yes, it's primarily about taste.
In some cases nostalgia may be involved, but certainly not when an older game was played way later than a newer game. Newer doesn't automatically mean better, or more of the features one loved about an older game. Skyrim is a very good newer game in this regard as it actually tried to combine what people loved about the predecessors, but there still are features I sorely miss, features I had in MW.
@Sammy: there's always this: