Settle down captain cynicism. Maybe we did have an era where games rested mostly on their reputation and that of the studio that produced them, but I think we've far from lost that. Sure the market may be flooded with the F2Ps for the masses but I think that's expected to come along with the the accessibility of digital distribution.
I stepped away from PC gaming for about years, and came back feeling just as at home as I ever have. The difference nowadays is that those small indie games have earned an opportunity to become the behemoths that their predecessors were. The games I get drawn into now still include the platformers but now those platformers have to stand among the smaller titles that have earned their keep solely on enjoyment and playability. I still play games like Half-Life and Civilization, they just happened to be mixed into Minecraft, FTL, and Plants vs. Zombies - games that may have never seen the light of day if conceived 10 years ago.