But while some games are unoriginal to the point of lawsuits (Simpson's Road Rage, how do you plead?), there is a lot to be said for a brilliantly-made game that adds little genuinely new to the genre. In fact, some of the best games of the past 12 months have been made up of little more than old ideas cleverly repackaged to create something wonderful.
So here we are, revealing how five massive, current-gen games are completely, blatantly, wholly unoriginal – and why they're all the better for it.
Thehealth systemis from... Halo
Sure, it may be disguised with a clever colour loss as you take damage, but the whole 'take fire, get to cover and wait for it to replenish' technique is straight out of Bungie's original classic shooter – and it's become a staple for the shooting genre.
Above: Take damage, get to cover, wait in safety. It's Halo with jeans on
The cover system is from... Gears of War
Snapping to cover and darting between two cover points is straight out of Gears of War. You could argue that every 3D shooter has a cover system when you just stand behind something, but this is programmed to work in a specific way. Specifically like Gears, which is a very good thing.
The shooting is from... Resident Evil 4
The third-person, over-the-shoulder camera angle is very familiar these days, but Resi 4 was the first to do it like this. Uncharted may have shoulder-switching, which Resi didn't have, but other than that it's identical. Why? Because it works.
Above:This was a major departure for the Resident Evil series. Thankfully
The climbing is from... Tomb Raider
Lara Croft was shimmying and vaulting as early as 1996 and her more recent rock-climbing techniques in Tomb Raider: Legend bear the most resemblance to Nathan Drake's wall-scampering. But Lara's PSone/Saturn game was itself a 3D progression of the original 8-bit Prince of Persia – the first ever motion-captured game, so it's hard to draw a definite line under this one. It's certainly nothing new, though.
Above:Both Drake and Lara now have independant limbs when climbing
So why is Uncharted 2 such a big deal?
Because it cherry-picks the best examples of every third-person actioner and delivers them all in a single package, wrapped up in the best graphics of this generation so far, not to mention a story and character list worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.