I've been playing video games since I was very small. Since the late seventies. I remember both my mom and my dad taking me with them--separately--to the bowling alley. My mom played in a league that met during the afternoon, my dad's met at night. At the bowling alley where my mom's league met, there were Centipede and Defender cabinets. I was absolutely terrible at Defender, but pretty decent at Centipede. I loved the track ball. Loved dodging the quick, little, solitary centipede segments, and loved it when the mushrooms would line up just right and a full-sized centipede would get funneled into the line of fire and I'd obliterate it within seconds. The times when I scored high enough to enter my initials, I felt like I'd accomplished something truly important. Whenever I'd return to the bowling alley, I run to check if my initials were still there. If they were, I felt supremely cool. If not, I'd go ask my mom for quarters.
My first console was a Magnavox Odyssey 2. I wanted an Atari, but the Odyssey had a keyboard, so my mom deemed it potentially educational and therefore superior to the Atari. It was not. It didn't have any of the games I wanted to play. The only game I remember playing on it was some game that was intended to teach the player how to type without looking at the keys. I was a terrible typist, and quickly gave up.
I played the Atari whenever I could. I remember playing Adventure! at my mom's friend's apartment. Her friend had a daughter who was considerably older than me. She wore a green U.S. Army jacket. She played Dungeons and Dragons. She introduced me to what is now a very important component of my life. I remember finding the key and slaying the duck-dragon as the girl looked on. It was awesome.
My parents had other friends with game systems. Wealthy ones. They had an Atari and every game worth playing. They also had an Intellivision, which I could never quite figure out how to control. Those controllers were super weird, and way more complex than a box with a button and a stick. Unfortunately, they lived a couple of hours away, and I'd only get the chance to play their games a couple of times a year. When we'd visit, though, I'd head straight to their lavishly furnished basement, turn on the T.V., turn on the Atari, and play the hell out of Pitfall, Frogger, Chopper Command, Spy Hunter--as many games as I could play in what time we had. There's photos of me doing other things during those visits, but I only remember playing the games.
Most games that I play and enjoy have a good narrative, consistent and responsive controls, good presentation, and style.