It's uncommon but can happen. A series can begin with some games that are just eh to bad then suddenly become pretty good.
Nier is a really interesting example. Nier is a spinoff of the PS2 Drakengard games. Those games are fucking awful. Interesting ideas but they play like garbage. Nier on PS3 and 360. Had brilliant music and story. Full of great ideas but the gameplay was very average. Then we come to Nier Automata. Brilliant story and writing. Same fantastic music. It also plays really well. Now it was not intended to be a full-on PG over the top combat. They intended to tone it down and it fits the game. I also believe it has the best dodge in any action-based combat. NA is easily one of the best games of this generation.