Agonizing Remorse is definitely more powerful, but it's an effect that's been popular for a long time. Village Rites, on the other hand, is a novel effect, so it's part of what defines Historic to me. My scorecard looks like so:
Core effect? Agonizing Remorse is probably more "important" to making classic decks tick whereas Village Rites makes Historic Artisan decks go.
Easier to replace? Village Rites, as Deadly Dispute
is arguably both better and more interesting. The Historic alternatives to Agonizing Remorse are Duress
and compatriots, which are just bleh unless you're playing a very combo-heavy environment.
Cooler? Village Rites was new and made certain types of decks function in a vastly different way, which is pretty cool in my book.
More powerful? Probably Agonizing Remorse, but I think Village Rites is more important in the decks that want it whereas Remorse is more of a catch-all card.