Even being barebones, it served as a template for every gen after that. In terms of innovation, only gen 5 and gen 7 had accomplished something. Even then, they are still too similar to the original formula. BW gave us a somewhat memorable antagonist and a "final boss" out of nowhere, which was a surprise. SM tried to wrap the game in a beach episode theme and tweaked gyms into something that feels a bit different.
TL;DR: We are just playing gen 1 over and over.