The statute of limitations is entirely relevant in real-life
The purpose of such statutes (for civil claims) is to allow people to be secure in their property and to require those who believe they have a claim against it to act promptly on that claim.
Let's follow the logic. I obtain some property (fraudulently or otherwise). I keep it for a few years and then sell it to you. Ten years later, the original owner comes to you and says "give it back" claiming that the transfer to me was never legitimate. I'm nowhere to be found. Is that fair to you?
Now, replace "years" in the above with "months" or "weeks". Is the original owner not being able to claim it fair to them?
Funny how the passage of time can change what we think of as fair.
What a statute of limitations actually does is provide a time limit on how long after an aggrieved person became aware (or when a reasonable person in their position should have become aware) to initiate a claim against the person who wronged them.
So in the above example, when I acquired the property, if it was done fraudulently, there was a moment in time when the person I took it from became (or should have become) aware that I had done it. The clock then starts ticking. Depending on jurisdiction and the particular wrong determines how long it ticks for.
From that point, the aggrieved person knows the clock is ticking and they better get off their proverbial, find me and inititiate a claim against me. If they don't then I (and you) get to keep it. Largely on the basis that if you can't be bothered defending your rights why should you keep them? But also as a practical matter that the further something is in the past, the harder it is to prove what happened: records get lost, witnesses die, buildings get demolished, even legal systems change.
Now, the claim may take a long time to finalize, years typically, sometimes decades, however, the statute of limitations doesn't apply to how long it takes for the dispute to be resolved. It only limits when a claim can be started.