I think it depends on the type/genre of game. In Morrowind, a first person rpg, there may be cloth animation (though there isn't) and in future there may be sss.
But in games like Age Of Empires, Age Of Mythology, Warcraft III, there are tens of characters which fill the screen. Even hundreds. They are all viewed from very far. there is no way you can add such complicated calculations in those games. It won't be possible in near future too.