@Jordan Garcia the above article says "Raju Hirani wanted to make the two hero project with Shah Rukh & Salman".
Every director does that with their actor. It's just the entertainers mostly are not judged by the performance barometer of a non-commercial film. Dabangg was as challening as a Sultan or a Bajrangi Bhaijaan or a Tubelight. Even Race 3 had the moments for actors to perform. Didn't Anil Kapoor excel in Race 3? Same kinda scenes in Race 3, look how disinterested Salman looked or how the ones he was actually in sync was ruined by bad direction.
Basically my point is, Ranbir Kapoor doesn't "act" only in Barfi or Jagga Jasoos. There was hell lot of acting even in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani or a Besharam. You can't set one barometer to judge every performance.
Lastly the last 15 years? Jaan-E-Mann, London Dreams, Heroes performances didn't come out unchallenged. Same with Wanted where you can see a Salman totally invested in. You want to judge him, check out Yuvvraaj. A clear example of him actually elevating a scene all by himself followed by a scene messes up again all by himself. Good acting + Bad acting galore in a single movie. Limited acting skills was mostly evident in the 90s, barring that the growth as an actor is evident pretty much with every closing year. Without that growth, he would have never made it in the industry past the 90s. Good looks can only get you through initial period. Adding the last point about good looks only because that is the sole point undisputed about him while rest of the stuff gets enough points to argue. Just giving credit where it's due.