Despite the limited advancements that MMR-style matchmaking has brought to multiplayer games there is something about it that still feels very sterile and uninspiring. Part of it is the brutal algorithm that tries damn hard to keep everyone on a 50-50 split of winning and losing matches and somewhat the tedium of always being matched to players exactly your skill level given a large enough playerbase. Sure it injects a lot of perceived fairness, but frequently feels bland.
I have always preferred server browsers leading to dedicated servers. Yes, that model can lead to moments of unfairness and matches with a distinct lack of balance. Though when I think back over the years that all seemed to average out over a normal bell curve distribution. This can be smoothed over if the game offers an auto-balance feature within matches. I have always had the best time on dedicated servers in games with auto-balancing of team numbers.
Having fixed dedicated servers just seems to serve up a cornucopia of varied experiences while getting to play with players from all skill levels mixed together. Gives one opportunities to both lord over inexperienced players and learn from highly skilled veterans (whether friend or foe).
Dedicated servers also allowed communities to form organically in game. In many games I tended to favor particular servers due to their administration or the culture it engendered. I joined many forums, communities, and clans (I still feel that is very unfortunate terminology) via dedicated servers I used to play on a lot. Since MMR took over I have found ZERO communities through games. Mostly just increased toxicity since it is just a bunch of randoms playing against other randoms with no sense of context or community.
I also found that dedicated servers with reliable, present, and consistent admins the cheating element was handled quite well. DaveLong is quite right to point out that the PC platform always has the most cheaters, but I feel they have prospered during the times of blind algorithmic matchmaking. Dedicated servers with active admins were quite adept at kicking/banning players with obvious cheat/hacks (I know that was imperfect and biased).
I will go yell at some clouds now.