There is enough room for both kinds of games. A game like simcity or a tycoon game, or spore even, inherently lacks a strong backbone of a narrative...essentially, the player has to creative his/her own narrative.
Some people can do that, some people LIKE to do that.
A game like HL2 would lose a lot of its narrative scope and cinematic elements if it were more openended, with RPG elements.
Warren Spector's games are hybrids of sorts, offering a kind of open-endedness within a framework of linearity (you can only do so many combinations of things in the process of finishing say, System Shock 2.
I personally like strong narrative over open-endedness, because many games really fail to give any story structure at all, and I find myself trying to win a sandbox game (e.g. the Sims, Simcity, etc...)
Its hard for some gamers to play a game the way its most enjoyable, or the way it was designed to be played, because we all have different preferences. I loved System Shock 2, I loved Half-life 2, and I actually love the Sims 2, but I recognize each one's shortcomings and how each one provides a different kind of experience than the other.
Quabbling over which kind of game is BETTER is stupid and beyond two masterminds of game development...different people have different opinions as to what is "BETTER"