Don’t judge a game by it’s cover

Unlike other industries, in the game world games can go from crappy to spectacular. As long as you have the time and money you can make your game as good as you want. During the crunch period time games can evolve to become masterpieces. At this point in time developers needlessly exhaust themselves as they try to wrap up the game. Why do developers wait till the last minute to make sure everything is good to go? Some blame could go to poor planning but most developers go through this phase so what exactly is the problem here? Is there a solution?