I disagree about Core Worlds. For whatever reason, it was never really that popular to begin with, and it wasn’t left in the dust because better games with a similar theme came out, it got left in the dust because most people didn’t want to play a 2-3 hour deck builder. Fairly or not, the expectation is that a deck building game will be relatively quick, and Core Worlds didn’t fit that expectation. It was too heavy and too “thinky” for most deck builders.
That being said, unless my knowledge of the genre is missing huge gaps, I can’t think of any games that did what Core Worlds did better. They might have been faster, but to my knowledge, Core Worlds’ use of “controlled randomness” in how the cards came out, how the game gradually increased the strength and cost of the cards as the game went along, almost having a narrative arc, has never been used in any other deckbuilder, and was, and still is, revolutionary to the genre.
Personally, like I wrote above, I put Core Worlds’ lack of popularity down to being relatively obscure in the first place, being too long for what people expected, and the trend away from “pure” deck building games like Dominion and Core Worlds to more “hybrid” games with deck building aspects like Concordia, Gloomhaven, Mage Knight, Rococo, Clank, etc.