Video game franchises are the products of intense labor by teams of designers and programmers operating under an insane amount of pressure to deliver a releasable game in time for the next holiday season. Having to endure such a time crunch has often resulted in game creators taking shortcuts, and one of the most common methods is to just recycle what the last game in the series did and hope nobody notices.
This isn’t so much a sign of laziness as it is of an overworked, undervalued workforce, but it’s still fun to rag on what appears to be a lack of creativity. This act of repetition has gone on so long that it has become the backbone of some of our favorite franchises, even if it means we’re paying for multiple installments just to do the same things over and over again.
But just because something is repetitive or redundant doesn't mean that a game is bad. Sometimes, a game is just so good that its sequel doesn't have a lot of new heights to elevate the series to. And sometimes, that's even what people want.
10. Every Pokémon Game
The Pokémon franchise has been using the same basic formula for so long that it has gone from fun to corny to boring to impressive and then all the way back to fun again. The first generation of the series introduced the first 151 monster sprites in 1996 built around gameplay that anyone who's played this year's Pokemon Sword and Shield will find familiar.
You catch Pokémon by fighting them, each Pokémon has up to four moves they can use in turn-based combat, they level up through said combat, and then you use them to catch more pokemon and traverse through the pixelated world this all happens in. Rinse, recycle, repeat, throw in a few hundred new creatures every time, always start with the three cutest of each set for the player to pick from, and always give them the option of giving their rival and battle pets humorous nicknames. But hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that the Pokémon games have single-handedly saved Nintendo's handheld division many times over and the fact that they are still making ostensibly the same game some twenty-five-odd years later speaks volumes as to the staying power of a simple, family-friendly RPG.