Despite not liking the art style, you cannot debate the fact that all minecraft assets are instantly recognizable by any gamer. Second, my friends and I have never laughed as hard as we have while playing SMP.
But most of all, the entire list of games you listed as better are constantly being trolled for not having enough player agency. Can you think of a game that has more player agency than Minecraft? Play Tekkit with a few friends and go from dirt farmer to nuclear power plant. Play the Hunger Games servers and enjoy some of the most tense competitive multiplayer I've ever enjoyed.
The creativity is much more about the macro than the micro. Sure moving one block to another block is really boring. But what does that mean? What can I do when I put my mind to it? Like most games, RPG's especially, the moment to moment is not the main source of joy. It's from the larger world and what it offers to those who work for it.