I think The Wire succeeds so well as an example of sociological storytelling in part because of its framework, which is that of a cop show. Cop shows, and cop fiction in general, are a perfect archetype of a world in which powerful and flawed institutions endlessly smash into each other, and how that affects the decisions and lives of those in them and governed by them.
One of the fundamental reasons The Wire succeeds where most other cop shows arguably fail is its strict adhesion to its core thesis, which parallels the original thesis of GoT: the game is the game. Every season of The Wire - and, in the end, the show itself - concludes with participants shifted about, strengthened or broken by riding the waves of the game or getting dashed beneath them, but the inexorable force of the game remains unaltered by the will of its participants. The corners are still open. The cops are still trying to shut them down. It is utterly indifferent to who plays.
I don’t think The Wire needs any more acclaim, but the reason it stands out is because so many cop shows have a hard time letting their characters be weak. There are probably zero cop shows in which a protagonist doesn’t skirt the law to enact what is unequivocally portrayed as “true justice” on a criminal who The System, dumb and indifferent as it is, allows to go unpunished. There might be a single cop show in which the protagonist “going rogue” doesn’t work out absolutely perfectly for everyone, save their captain who has to swallow an extra bottle of Pepto from all that dang stress. There are slightly fewer cop shows in which a protagonist doesn’t reform their department by either moving to a position of power where they are an honest and benevolent leader, or otherwise proving that someone in charge is a crooked asshole and getting them fired.
I love cop shows, but I can’t think of any in which everybody either barely scrapes out a small victory for themselves or flatly loses, which is closer to the reality of working within these institutions. (The Shield might be the only example, but only because of its psychological cynicism.) Stepping back and examining cop shows this way, it’s actually startling that The Wire stands out so starkly in a sea of cop shows for being the only one I can think of that never falls to the lure of fulfilling some fantasy viewers invariably project on cop shows: to be powerful, to be just, to fix the system.
In abandoning its shared thesis in the final season and ending as it does, GoT fails by succumbing to the allure of all of these fantasies.