Ever play a sequel, or game in the same canon but by a different devco, and think "Nah, this ain't a patch on the original"? Ever hear people on forums say, "This new version is bobbins compared to Company X's handiwork"? Yeah, well, most of the time that's BOLLOCKS. Seriously, the amount of work those good ole Rose Tinted specs do is incredible. They should be working for the UN.
Take, for example, F-Zero. Go back and play the original - it's a great game and hasn't aged badly because it's good, solid 2D with excellent track design. Now, read peoples' impressions of F-Zero GX. Mostly, it's people saying "Not as good as F-Zero X". Well, have you played X recently, or is this the further work of the Rose Tinted eyeware? FZX not only looks eye-wateringly bad these days, but the controls are so obtuse and inexact, they look like an early experiment in analogue design.
Another case: Half life. People got their hands on the new game, played it, weighed it against their stock memory of playing the original 5 years before and found it lacking. Well, play the first game again now and see how much was stolen from it and bettered by subsequent games. There's nothing in HL1 that hasn't been improved on in, say, Halo1, whereas there's tons in HL2 that no-one else has even got close to yet.
Now, you may disagree with me about either of these examples, but my point is: replay these things. Don't measure your opinion of a game against its predecessor - a predecessor you have a romanticised view of because you haven't played it in years. Compare games by playing them, don't compare current experiences with your ephemeral memories from the past. Rant over
So, have you done this? Unfavourably compared a current game to a past one then played the original and realised you were looking through a blurry haze of memory and now realise that..well...the old game's actually really dated and pretty shit?