I’ve played all sorts of different games and always found myself drawn to games that require a certain repetition. Rather than a monotonous completion of the same task over and over however, this repetition is usually part of a ranking system. For example, on sports games the repetition lies in the same principles as their real life equivalents. You play 80+ basketball games a season, but each game provides a new challenge. One game you might miss 5 easy shots in a row, and determined to overcome this, you’ll play again and again until your statistics improve. For me and many other gamers, this is a huge incentive.
Another example outside of sports games would be first-person shooters. I played more Counter-Strike than I’m willing to admit in my early teenage years, playing thousands of games on less than 100 different game maps. Why? to become better at the game. This meant improving my coordination with the mouse, learning the perfect timing to turn a corner on a particular passage and to emulate the better players and improve myself. Without constant repetition, this would be incredibly difficult. Team-mates were picked up along the way, and competitive games would be played against others on a map everyone had played countless times together. In this way the game could very much be related to a sport, with a fixed set of rules and teams each time.
If these game types (and many others not included here) are so repetitive then why do so many people play them so often? I would argue that they challenge the creativity and skill of their players. Due to the same scenario being presented at the start of each game, players are forced to change their approach through skill and strategy. This often presents far more enjoyment than a linear narrative game, or even an open world, because players are able to focus their energies into particular tasks. Thanks to the requirements for reaching truly elite status at these games, there is a huge competitive gaming industry for various gaming genres. An example would be the now defunct Championship Gaming Series, which hosted players of football, shooting, fighting and racing games. Each of these takes a long time to master, and that is where the fun lies.