SWTOR is one of the best I've played in terms of story and cinematics. The vanilla game has eight class stories and planetary story arcs for both factions on each planet as you level. Not to mention a bunch of side quests and Flashpoints (Dungeons).
Sorry. I'm going to judge you based on this. That's 'awesome'.
I used to play Wow, GW2, City of Heroes and Champions Online.
I'm trying to find time to play Secret World. I envy the fact you have time to play, and I think its great
I have only WOW-ed and EVE-ed. I did thing of GW but never did get the time. SWTOR was never an online thing for me, just a single player with KOTOR. My latest choice is Elite, but I have still been stuck with single player even then.
I played MMORPGs for over a decade. About half the time in Star Wars Galaxies. Also around a year each in Age of Conan, Fallen Earth, SWToR and The Elder Scrolls Online. Plus GuildWars2, D&D Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Eve and a few others for a month each.
There are two aspects to rp in these games.
The more usual is the part closely related to single-player computer rpgs. A pre-written story for your character that can be very or moderately railroady. I found this mildly interesting but mostly stultifying even if the story was well-written and the cutscene graphics amazing; it was just being a partial participant in someone else's story.
The rp I found more involving was the player-generated stories. When one can gather a few hundred players together for an event, interact with around a hundred on a daily basis and likely have around 20 or so with whom one has close intricate dramatic storylines it can be like the best parts of freeforming, larping and tabletopping combined.
By far the very best vehicle for that was SWG... with a dedicated team ready to play major & minor NPCs such as the Emperor, Darth Vader, a storm trooper, etc; with tools for the players to build and then dress houses/cantinas/town halls/medcentres/ships etc; tokens available to do further outdoor set-dressing; and further tools to change costume and looks more completely than any other game; politics to become mayor in various PC-created towns; viable non-combat PC roles such as crafter or entertainer; economic activity finding, selling and crafting resources and building machines for use or sale; plus gloriously fun space combat. For several years it was truly possible to live in another world for a few hours a day if desired.
However, the mass of players desire good graphics and lots of interesting things to blow up/slash to death so folks migrated from SWG and every game I tried thereafter had less of a soul though with interesting backgrounds and at least some fun other roleplayers there trying to keep stories and rp going in these trickier vehicles.
In the end, without other players roleplaying and without the game giving systems and tools to facilitate rp, these games are indeed "soulless. detached, predictable and repetitive". Even when an rp community gathers, it is often prone to narcissistic storylines and/or amdram OOC drama. But I met and chatted OOCly with a lot of fun people from round the world (and then stayed/rped with some of them in real-life), did participate in some great stories and enjoyed myself immensely for a time.