Were Dragon Warrior 1 and 2 not as good? I have the first one, was really looking forward to playing it...
A large part of it is grind. Given what RPGs were around at the time it was made, it was pretty well done and was very successful. By modern gameplay standards, though, it's not exactly the most fun RPG around.
I don't remember 2 all that well, but I know I didn't enjoy it as much as 3 and 4.
Also, you may be interested in checking out Chrontendo
. This guy is playing every NES/Famicom game in chronological order of release, and putting out a series of hour long gameplay vidoes with commentary, with 15 games per video. Once you get past his fairly boring voice, it's pretty interesting if you like that sort of thing; he really knows his stuff.
And Clock Tower is one of many games I keep meaning to get around to playing.