Eurogamer has been publishing a few articles on what they consider the games of the generations, the most recent being about Bethesda's oft-debated but undoubtedly successful revival of the Fallout franchise. They praise the sense of exploration and atmosphere, and cite them as reason to overlook the weak writing and gameplay:
A constant theme of this generation has been old ideas and formats being recycled and repackaged. Every publisher has visited dusty back rooms to inspect what licenses had been accrued over the years - what brands they could reinvigorate, which older gamers to reel back in, how many HD remakes could be hastily chopped together and what consistency of freemium bullshit could be feasibly be forced down a single throat.
Fallout 3 however (alongside the likes of X-Com) came from the right place - a design team energised and invigorated by the approval of their teenage selves. It used the past as an intelligent stepping stone towards modern mass-appeal roleplay and, arguably, eased the passage of kickstarted re-apocalypses like Wasteland 2.
Today, even a half-thought dedicated to a post-Skyrim Fallout 4, running on the next generation consoles and modern PCs, can lead to a permanent and debilitating state of arousal.
Ron Perlman makes a habit of stating "War, war never changes" - it's his opening gambit at dinner parties. He must know, however, that it isn't true. War had to change, and Fallout had to change with it if it were ever going to survive outside the vault. The fans it left behind, the hardcore who thought it tainted by exposure to the outside world and cast it out, were saddened. That can't be denied. The way Fallout 3 strode out, blinked beneath an unfamiliar sun and went on to thrive, however, genuinely made it one of the greatest experiences of this generation.