I found this interesting video.
The author compiled images of games through 27 years of gaming showing the evolution of water. It's interesting to see that first, it's just an harmonious blue (which reminds me of the comic #7, here). Then, unmoving pixels of different colors to show a wave effect. Different main colors to show the depth. or the proximity to shore.
Then, a little animation.
Then, interaction between character and water.
Finally, a semi translucent liquid instead of the blue one. With waves. Which reacts to interaction, be it from the character or from other sources (rain, falling logs, crocodile, etc).
There are other games he could have used, but I admit it's impossible to get all the images of all the games where water exists. Still, Titan Quest, Morrowind and Oblivion all show, to my mind, beautiffully animated water (when your computer is upgraded enough to ;)). I thnk Farcry and Crysis aren't bad at this either.
It's difficult to reenact effectively and beautifully the nature around us. It's so random, there are so many possible interactions... But still, as time passes, they manage to do it more and more. Gravity has become a common part of video games nowadays, and I must admit I find some fun in watching it just for the sake of watching it (I like railroading games to do something different than expected, like a tank race in Desert Combat ;) ).
Well, I just hope they'll manage one day to make a really immersing Massively Multiplayer Game where you can interact with everything. But... I fear I would never disconnect, then ;).