Pez's FF and Chrono Trigger minis were pretty good. I'd say minis started going downhill once they all started to be themeless, and lacking in particularly interesting roles.
Pez quit hosting minis because of the bad activity he had in one of his games. The open set ups are a good idea, granted some can be kind of boring but there are a few that I really enjoyed playing in. People just aren't posting in them though and that's what's so annoying.
Hydra is hardly a mini either. With 26 people in it there should be a lot more activity.