Have a look even at all-time-great 2D isometric games like Baldur's Gate or Arcanum; their character sprites are just a little more varied than EK's. A few years later on the first 3D titles in the mid 2000s, the variety of visuals is multiplied because in a 3D game adding new models and animations is much simpler.
And it sometimes goes to absurdity, at least in my opinion.
I looked at some XCOM videos where you can play with how your character looks. And there you can choose different tattoos for arms, head, etc. among other normal things.
To me, it is just "bragging rights": Our game have 1443 tattoos you can choose from. It doesn't add one iota to actual game play, replayabilty or real fun when playing game. I know there are games like Sims where something like this may have sense, but...
Anyway, I think that real thing that today usually is missed in games is actual game play, what you do, how you do it (it needs to allow relatively lot options, with relatively simple user interface, i.e. UI) and why you do it. Today it is too much into how it looks like. Boring.