Humans are predictable. They appreciate comfort, and rarely change by choice. This truth extends to fandoms too, having a more passionate appreciation for specific comfort zones.
Fans revere their demographics to the point of denying what they dislike in sequels or reboots as "non-canonical”. The 21st century has seen an overabundance of film and TV series veer hard into the danger zone of despair.
Star Wars, Game of Thrones, the DC Extended Universe - the list goes on.
With video games, it's a thin line to walk for developers to honor what came before whilst still innovating in gameplay, taking risks in storytelling, executing universal themes and writing "acceptable" character development. Even introducing a new IP that is clearly inspired by a particular game, series or genre welcomes the odd paradox of "too familiar".
It is in this paradox that fans often proclaim their outrage, but honestly, some of that is just the old-fashioned, self-entitled privilege of gatekeeping. What follows are video games that have hindsight on their side, slapping the privilege of "deserve" out of the way to cement their places in video game history as fantastic challenges to - and progressions of - the medium.