When Rockstar Games announced that they were going to make a long-in-coming, not awaited by all that many people, sequel to 2004's Red Dead Revolver, very few gamers actually stood up and said, "Finally!"
That's because Red Dead Revolver, while not a bad game, was maybe a bit too visually stylized or drew from spaghetti westerns a bit too strongly to really captivate the mainstream market. It was unique, and decidedly Rockstar, but the game hardly lit the world on fire, either critically or commercially.
The appropriately titled Red Dead Redemption was another matter entirely, achieving almost instant classic game fame. That probably has something to do with Rockstar making it into an open-world type game, a genre they invented with the GTA series.
The Moral of the Story: If it doesn't work the first time, don't be afraid to reinvent it.
So tell us, what game series do you think got a lot better after questionable beginnings?