See yesterday. The perfect game for me is one where I have players who show up!
Actually, the perfect game is one where we play for 3-6 sessions, completing a full story arc, but not lingering too long in the world. The players are engaged and interested and want to tell a full story, but they aren’t so invested in their characters that they get mad if someone dies.
But the perfect published game system for me hasn’t been written yet. There needs to be a nod to story structure. There needs to be an emphasis on social and intellectual challenges, over physical ones. There needs to be excitement, a mechanic for managing secret information, and the very real threat of things going badly for the heroes, but it turning into a great story anyway.
If I had found my perfect system, I would use it and stop trying to design games. Timewatch comes close– very close, actually. Whispering Road sets up a structure that I adore, but the conflict resolution mechanic could use some tweaking (or just clarification, really; it’s hard to let go of the idea that you roll dice not to resolve conflict, but mainly to decide how well a scene addressed someone’s core need as a character.)
Anyway. Perfect is the enemy of good. There are hundreds of good games out there that I love.