10 Video Game Clichés That We Secretly Love

Because who likes water levels anyway?

Red Dead Redemption 2

Cliches are an inevitability in any entertainment medium, because the more that audiences consume, the more au fait they become with successful formulas.

This is certainly true in the world of video games, which have dined out on familiar narrative and gameplay tropes for literally decades. And while cliches certainly get a bad wrap, they don't always have to be viewed negatively.

As much as we all love unique storytelling and cutting-edge gameplay, there is also a major appeal to familiarity - be it a tried-and-tested plot that still works, or using oft-repeated gameplay mechanics to ensure the player knows what they're getting themselves into.

Obviously there are many tropes that are deeply terrible, and there are those that certainly outstay their welcome, but there are also many that continue to be useful and, above all else, entertaining to millions of players.

You might not want to admit it to others or even yourself, but these 10 video game cliches continue to succeed because so many of us secretly love them...

10. The Suspiciously Generous Item Drop

Red Dead Redemption 2

One of the most common video game cliches of all time occurs when the player enters a room and finds a seemingly over-generous consignment of health items and equipment waiting for them.

This is basically video game shorthand for "gear up, because s**t is about to get real," and almost always signifies that a challenging boss fight is just a room or two away.

This trope is frequent across pretty much all action-centric video game genres, and though on one hand it might seem like a relatively lazy way to keep things balanced, it also helpfully gives players a heads-up that the next chunk of gameplay won't be a relaxed, easy time.

Though occasionally subverted for either comedic effect (Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel) or a dramatic surprise (the Andrew Ryan confrontation in BioShock), for the overwhelming majority, devs will shower potions, weapons, and armour upon players shortly before they're thrust into battle against a gigantic slobbering monster with more health than the previous five bosses combined.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.