Way back in 1990, Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon was a revelation. Nobody had done an economic sim based on the railroad expansion across the United States in the 19th century, so the whole idea of the game seemed fresh - and also boring as hell, until you played it and were hooked.
Sixteen years later, the concept isn't so new thanks to a couple of sequels and some imitators that have borrowed the concept, but Sid Meier's Railroads! still manages to bring back the magic of that golden oldie from yesteryear.
Developer Firaxis Games does this primarily by refusing to fix what isn't broken. Simple, atmospheric graphics are reminiscent of toy train sets, and the music is all homespun renditions of classic tunes, like "The Star-Spangled Banner" on banjo. And instead of clogging up the straightforward original design - lay track, buy cars needed to transport specific goods and people, make money - with lots of economics and micromanaged fine details like train maintenance, the new game keeps it simple, stupid.