I miss the box sets, and I don't mean the "beginner" or introductory sets. I mean going to the store and buying a complete game that included dice and character sheets. It was a self contained world with everything you needed to play except for players and pencils.
Opening those boxes was a combination of unwrapping a Christmas gift and opening up a munitions case. These were my shiny new weapons and I could dive into exploring them. I just don't get that feeling much anymore from the new game books.
Your typical boxed game had a players book, a referee's manual, and either an adventure or a gear book. The coolest thing about these sets was the brevity. They had to pack all of their rules into a small booklet, which meant learning the game could be done in about an hour. You didn't have to slog through a 500 page tome before you started kicking spy/cyborg/alien butt.
Now, the industry treats the box set like a stepping stone. You get a piece of the game, but if you want to play more then you need to invest in the bigger books. More rules! More Fluff! And eventually we'll put out a new edition so you can buy these books all over again.
Here are some of my favorite boxed sets, and damn I wish I still had them:
Top Secret SI
even FASERIP Marvel!
I know that there are some boxed set games out now, but it just isn't the same. I feel old. Get off my lawn.