Well to begin with there are definite connections between that of Pacman and Fear but only in loose comparison, both games are similar in one particular way, as they both have an outcome or ending. Both games are also played in a competitive manner E.G. the player wants to gain satisfaction from playing and completing the game, or achieving certain goals. The main difference between the games are that one is produced now in the present and the other one was produced in the past, and so there is bound to be a difference in the quality of the outcome, obviously one game will have better graphics because of the time it was produced at.
Another way in which a past game and a present game can be similar is that of their own particular genre, take for instance "golden Axe" and "Legend of Zelda" or "World of Warcraft" the premise is very similar, as the genre denotes the game to be an adventure, the story is also that of a warrior (compared with Legend Of Zelda) or the choice of different characters with different area of expertise such a wizardry for instance (compared with World of Warcraft). The way in which games like Golden Axe and other fantasy games are played are even more similar the main aim of the game is to defeat the enemy, story is perhaps of no consequence it just differs throughout time from past and present.
There always has to be a winnable side to attract players into games, this is somewhat different nowadays because of online play, older games were always pitted against an A.I. opponent, this does produce a winnable scenario but the player is only ever beating the computer. Different from A.I. is that of online play on the Xbox 360 for instance, one game that certainly sometime feels unbeatable is that of "Command and Conquer Tiberium Wars" when played against certain seasoned veterans, being beaten multiple times deters players from a game but is also a big difference from playing against an A.I.
I suppose the choice of the genre is all down to the design brief itself, the outcome of the game all falls down to the chosen direction in which the company wants to follow, further development comes from the artists and this influences the outcome of the game from the development of art shows how the game should look or feel. The outcome of the game is greatly influenced by the artwork produced in the preliminary stages but many areas of the production influence the final outcome, the production of a game should be emphasised as a team effort!!
Looking back at the past of gaming and then looking to present of gaming, there are obvious differences but then there are not so obvious simularity's, gaming may have come on leaps and bounds but looking at the development of an idea and the process of creating a game, the old is somewhat closer to the new than you might think.