I love text-based games. They come from different places than most games:
Modern games need giant teams and multi-million dollar budgets. They need a 3D art department, a music team, advertising, accounting, HR, you name it. Which is all fine, but how can a single creative vision survive such a process? The games I have loved the most have come from a very small team; one or maybe a dozen people. They had real creative control and did something unique and interesting.
Also, if I am being totally honest, I covet the idea that one day I could write a decent text-based game. No corporate backing; just me and a laptop. It is (theoretically) possible that I could create some little game that a few people would love. You know, maybe. One day. A boy can dream.
Below are some of my favorite text-based games. All of these games have legions of fans. They all did something original, or fascinating, or fun, and people love them.
And all these games are free to play, right now!