I'm 26, so a year younger than you.
A few things:
1) I think we remember older games more fondly than newer ones. Could be cause we're jaded or because we were less critical of games in our younger years and had fewer expectations of them.
2) FFXIV hasn't been out long enough to have a lot of really strong content. For me, FFXI was fun at first but didn't really get GOOD until I started doing RoZ and CoP, which wasn't until my mid 60s.
3) Single player games are a lot easier to "draw players in" with than MMORPGs are. It's just the nature of the beast when you're writing a story around one character versus trying to write a story with multiple characters.
4) Holy crap spoilers. I mean, most people who would care know this all but a warning might be nice for anyone who hasn't :P