The video game industry is built off franchises, even more than cinema. Of the top 20 best selling games of all time, 12 are sequels, and they show no sign of slowing down.
With the variety allowed by video games, often with stories and sidequests that equal the length of many films, it's only logical to lean heavily on content from your best sellers. No one knows that better than Nintendo, who have been refining their own dedicated catalogue for over 30 years.
There is something comfortable about Nintendo games, both in their repetition and the characters we know. Nostalgia is their best tool, and they use it like a neurosurgeon. With Nintendo's endless line of sequels, they've also loaned out their most popular brands to create spin offs, ranging from the underwhelming to those that even surpass what came before. Maybe nothing compares to the originals, but many come very close.
Lastly, an honorable mention goes out to Mario Tennis, if only for introducing Waluigi to the world, and all of our hearts.
9. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is a series of puzzle maze games that in many ways reflects the franchise it spun off from, especially in its turn-based combat and environments.
The premise for every game is generally the same; the player character is a human who is somehow transformed into a Pokemon, they find a timid best friend in the Pocket Monster that first discovers them, and proceed to plunder a series of dungeons. Dungeons are the mazes that players must navigate to proceed with the plot, often leading to boss battles or a slightly different layout.
The environments, foes, and helpful items found in the dungeons are randomly generated in multiple layers, creating unique playing experiences with each go. They're fine games, but weighed down by a repetitious story. While most Pokemon games thrive off of the framework set up in the originals, playing any Pokemon Mystery Dungeon means you've already had a taste of the rest.