...A lower movement speed ads tactical dimensions of its own....The lower pace made the games less reflex-based, you had to play more strategically to win.
Tactics are mostly irrelevant when your opponent can just glance a couple inches over at your side of the split screen to figure out exactly where you are, what you have (health, weapons, etc.), and what you are doing.
The level design was better than any other game from the period, both as ‘levels’ and as ‘believable places’. Artistically, considering the hardware it ran on, the games looked much better than other games from the period. (In comparison Quake II looked very ugly...
For ugly and unrealistic looking games Doom, Quake, and Quake II are easy targets, but when GoldenEye was released it was Duke Nukem 3D that had set the bar for level design and realism. Personally I don't think GoldenEye surpassed anything that Duke Nukem had done. Duke Nukem had colorful, realistic, interactive, and destructible environments, and unique [for the time] game mechanics like swimming, jet-packs, hologram decoy, trip mines, etc.
It was easy to play GoldenEye in a party setting, handing over controllers as you died, and the gameplay worked in that environment. And it was fun to play two-player on the couch. Most games had netplay at the time, but nothing quite beats playing together with your buddies in the same room like that... I can recognise a good console title when I see it and I'm not afraid to give it the praise it deserves.
And that's the only reason anyone remembers GoldenEye. Being first console shooter you could play sitting on the couch with your friends is enough for it to get some recognition, but I wouldn't give GoldenEye any further praise.