I haven’t fully played KOTOR since it’s release, but I think the thing that it does well is it’s scope and world-building. And people really dug that since people want to exist in a Star Wars universe. This was their best shot.
I say all that as a huge Star Wars fan, but I know there’s a reason I’ve not gone back to play KOTOR. The beginning feels way longer than it needs to be, ending felt lackluster, and that ocean-suit sequence was mind-numbing (unless I’m thinking of the wrong game). While I liked exploring that universe, I have much fonder memories with the gameplay in other Star Wars games such as Dark Forces, Dark Forces 2 and X-Wing/Tie Fighter. Hell, I even have a more rose-tinted glass view of renting Masters of Teras-Kasi and playing with my friends
Edit: Forgot to add the game I just played today, which was Emily is Away Too. I was surprised with how well it hooked me, but perhaps shouldn’t have been. As someone who grew up in the AIM era in college, both of these games have managed to capture that experience pretty well. This one even more so with the addition of having links to music and such that your friends send you. It was well done, and I played through it all in one sitting.