I agree that ME1 was too cluttered considering the inventory system but ME2 had way too less of it. Also the loyalty missions/romances you barley had to do anything to get them (Kelly Chambers just came to you and said that x, y or z wanted to talk to you) BF3 has lost a lot by losing the commander and 6 man squads in my opinion (teamwork and size mostly.)
On the topic of lack of innovation and stagnation, I believe it to be more or less the lack of imagination. Innovation is not required for a good game, just some imagination on the script and gameplay, doesn't mean it has to be innovating. In fact I did not talk about innovation in my original post. Imagination does not limit to that. You can give games some really small illusions of freedom (Escape from Butcher Bay), small hubs (Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlinesm, Deus Ex: Human Revolution), interesting plot mechanics which might or might not work out (Darkness 2), completely new aspect (World in Conflict, Portal series), a classical polished multiplayer that has not been seen in ages (Tribes: Ascend, Quake Live), a polished coop experience (FEAR 3, PAYDAY: The Heist.)
DA1 was okay considering the tactical aspect. It was much more difficult game comparing to DA2 tkaing into account enemy placements, their equipment and spells/actions they could do.
Fable series' problem after the first installment is directly tied to steamlining considering making combat/player health/content even more basic and simple.
Streamlining as a word, I do not know why it has come to here. Maybe I have worded my original post wrongly but I do not want it to become a topic in this thread. Obviously for you it's not as bad as it has been made out to be and for me obviously it's not as beneficial as it has been made out to be. So lets just say that you win and I lose in that argument.
The reason I picked Dead Island is because it tried to do something different (interesting melee combat where you can remove your opponents limbs to make them less effective, open world zombie apocalypse in first person and full 4-player coop), of course Techland went too greedy by going multiplat but that's what you get (weird animations and an unfinished game). But still it has some soul behind it unlike most games today and that's the reason I remember it so well (good times with buddies and Oblivion style animations.)
The thing with Duke Nukem Forever is that infact it was too constricted considering 3D. It was a massively linear affair with overdone jokes, shit gameplay choices and shouldn't have been released at all in my opinion. The fact that Gearbox decided to release it like that is just shameful.
DX:HR main mistake, even more dire than the missing content is the 3 button ending it has because ultimately your choices throughout the game do not count at all.
You do not need to look before the year 2000 to find some brilliant games and the years they have had a good streak. I don't know why people keep going to 1992-1999 to get good games where there have been brilliant installments after these years and in very short timespans.
I played DA2 on hard/normal. I switched to normal on 2 boss fights only (the rock guy and some sidequest villain who spawned some ridiculous help), mostly because it took so long to kill them.
I picked Alpha Protocol because it has timed responses, they more or less convey what you're saying and because it forms a minigame (intel and all that jazz.)
The list you have is mostly pretty shit compared to 2004 PC games list.