A couple of years ago I booted up the original Wing Commander using a mod that prevented it from running at a squillion frames per second, and discovered that it was - by every standard instilled within me by contemporary gaming - crap.That's the extent of his explanation. Combined with his comments about other series, it mainly seems that he can't get past the graphics, because even the original Wing Commander's gameplay, storytelling, characters and atmosphere beat out most modern games. I'd also say the graphics hold up better than most of the games made fifteen years ago.
I've got the new Splinter Cell, Unreal Championship, Metal Gear and other contemporary titles, but last night I spent my free time taking out the hijacked Gwenhyvar. Eight Gratha, four Jalthi and four Krant, and that's not even counting the captured Rapiers guarding the destroyer! We have a DOSBox Tutorial online if you'd like to join the fun too.