This is really a timeless question, so it could've gone in more than one forum here, but since I'd rather talk about how this applies or doesn't apply currently, I decided to post it here in Modern Gaming.
Most of us probably have varied interests in gaming, as well as collecting, but some of us have a special affection for certain genres in particular... and I want to talk about whether or not you are one of those people, and if so, what is the genre that you have such a love affair with?
For me, I guess I'm truly polyamorous in more ways than one, because there are several genres that are very near and dear to my heart. But there is still somewhat of a rank amongst them that makes some of those genres clearly more interesting to me than other genres that I love too.
So, this is my list, to the best of my ability to rank mine in order from my absolute favorite genre on down...
Without a doubt, coaster sims are my #1 favorite, but sadly most coaster sims are PC exclusives, so most of you have probably never even heard of my favorite games. Games like Disney's Ultimate Ride series (a trilogy consisting of Ultimate Ride, UR Coaster Deluxe, and UR Disney Coaster, also known as UR, URCD, and URDC) consumed YEARS of my life, and in this particular case from beta testing all of them for Disney to making MODS for all of them too, games like this are the kinds of games I sometimes wish that I could live in. And in the case of the UR series, I kinda well live in them forever, as my name is listed in the credits of all 3 games. Yep, that in itself makes my interest in coaster sims my most special interest... Games like No Limits, Scream Machines, Hyper Rails, Roller Coaster Factory and its two sequels RCF2 and RCF3 and its semi-sequel 3D Roller Coaster Designer, and many others consumed so much of my life that playing them and designing my own rides for them is almost all I ever did for many years... I was so obssesed with 3D RCD that I built a total of 400 different rides for that coaster sim alone! I can't say that I've ever spent that much time playing any other type of game, so it's obvious it's my #1 favorite.
Next on my list would be pinball games. I have a voracious appetite for any and all things video pinball. I want to own every video pinball game ever made for any system, and I think I'm doing pretty good at trying to achieve my goal... I own all of them for Genesis, SNES, Saturn, PS1, 3DO, Jaguar, Game Gear, Game Boy Advance, and Virtual Boy, including all of the imports for most of those systems as well, and all of them for the modern era of PC's from Windows 95 on up too... I'm still working on expanding my PC pinball collection, and my PS1 import pinball collection, but I have very few holes remaining in the rest of my pinball collection to fill... except to start collecting them for systems that I'm currently not collecting for yet... a DS is on my XMAS wishlist this year, for a few reasons, but among them is of course Metroid Pinball... I will own that and a few other games for the DS soon... I have decided!
Next is probably SHMUPS... Boy, do I love good old fashioned 2D SMUPS! I have no preference between hori scrollers and verti scrollers, I love both just as much, but I definitely prefer 2D over 3D... though I love 3D SHMUPS too... I'm still spending hundreds of dollars trying to expand my Saturn import SHMUP collection, but it's coming along very nicely... still no Radiant Silvergun yet, but one of these days I'm gonna be able to afford to get it... and I will... brand new and factory sealed, just so I can open it and play it... yes I'm very anal that way, but I can afford to support my anal retentiveness... it just takes me alot longer to save up for supporting it than it used to right now...
Next is most likely racing games... OMG, I have no idea how many racing games I have for all the systems that I collect for... hundreds... maybe even thousands by now... I know that I have over 50 for the PC alone, and I'm still very actively collecting new ones for it constantly... This is how I'm getting to experience many of the best games for current gen and next gen systems that I don't own or plan to own yet... The PC versions of those games are more than enough for me, and more than enough to try and keep up with, too... Thanks to games like GTR, there seems to be a PC racing game renaissance right now, breathing some much needed new life back into the genre, and increasing it's popularity with mainstream casual gamers... Always a good thing, as it helps to keep new releases on the shelves at my favorite game stores every week, or at least every month... Gotta love being current with something, even if it's "just" the PC... My rig is powerful enough to handle them all as well as any of the current and next gen consoles can, and I'm getting to enjoy all the PC exclusives, as well as most of the best for all the rest... and usually at a much cheaper price too!
Next is a genre that I'm not into as hardcore as some people are, but I am into it more than the average person... fighting games... who isn't into those at all? I own most of them for all of the systems that I collect for, but I've never been the sort of player to memorize all the special moves and stuff like that... I just go crazy on all the buttons and usually defeat the hardcore move memorizers using that strategy... That's what I love about fighting games... you don't even have to know all the moves... you just have to be really good at going crazy on alot of buttons!
Next is another genre that's more of a PC mainstay than anything else... train sims... These really follow coaster sims very closely for me, but I spend far more time with the other genres that I've mentioned so far than I do with my many train sims, so I didn't think that it should be any higher on the list, unless I considered it to be a subset of the coaster sim genre, which it is in some ways but not in others... Anyhow, I own all of them and all of their domestic expansions, so I'm currently just collecting new ones as they are released and trying to expand my collection of the import expansions for them... Yes, you can do imports with these too, just like you can with coaster sims... and I do, so I guess that makes me a pretty hardcore collector of these things as well... There are dozens of import expansions for Microsoft Train Simulator alone, as well as dozens of domestic expansions for it, so it's consuming alot of space on my hard drive... over 5GB worth for that game alone so far, and I'm still only about halfway to having a complete collection of all the expansions for it right now... and that's just one of my train sims! Who says the PC can't be a collector's system too? In some ways, it's the ultimate collector's system!
Then there's nautical sims... I have a pretty nice little collection of this heating up genre going so far, including several imports, but mostly all on the PC as well... the PC is just the sim system of choice, I guess... Games like the Virtual Skipper series have kept me addicted enough to import each new version as soon as it's released, rather than waiting for the domestic releases of them, and new games like Ship Simulator hopefully will keep this genre growing in popularity with the mainstream... it took a long time for the train sim genre to establish itself, but it did, and now this genre is looking to do the same...
Next to last on my list is flight sims... I own alot of these too, but mostly only the arcade style ones... the realistic style ones just don't interest me as much, so no Microsoft Flight Simulator for me... and thank goodness for that too, as there's even more expansions for that one than there are for Microsoft Train Simulator, and I'm having a hard enough time trying to keep up with everything that I collect as it is! So this genre is a bit of a strange attraction for me... I never really play them very much, but for some reason I want to keep collecting them anyway... I guess just because flying a plane is like designing your own rollercoaster without rails as you ride it! That's pretty much my favorite thing to do in games like this... just fly around and do inversion maneuvers... gotta love the looping!
And finally, last on my list is RTS games... this one is really a strange attraction for me... I collect as many of them that really interest me as I can for the PC, but mostly only to have them... almost none of them are installed, nor will they ever be installed... Partly because I just don't have enough time to really get into playing games like this, and partly because there's just too damn many of them... who does have enough time to get really into playing all of the games in this genre? How do magazine reviewers do it? I collect them for all the consoles and handhelds that I collect for too, but I'll actually play them on all of those systems from time to time, so why I keep collecting them for the PC too I guess is for the sake of variety, but another reason why I hardly have any of the ones that I own installed is lack of hard drive space... alot of those games take up alot of space, so if you have alot of them installed, you're really letting them consume alot of space, and I'd rather fill up most of my hard drive space with my other favorite genres! But I'm still pretty hardcore about collecting this genre... so much so that I own most of the import RTS for the Saturn... about half of my import collection is RTS... games that are nearly impossible to play in Japanese without a translation or the ability to translate... and I have neither, so I tend to collect the import ones more than I actually play them too... Fortunately though, that can still be done very cheaply, so I'm not wasting alot of money on them... well actually I am, in total, but individually I've gotten most of them for practically nothing, and that's for new sealed copies... so at that price, why not collect alot of them, even if it is mostly just for fun? Not many others are doing it, so that's an incentive to collect them too... it's easy to do!
OK, you'll probably have a much simpler list than mine, with much less explanation, if any, so for the sake of making mine easier to read at a glance like yours, here's a brief recap of my list:
I know, I know... what's left that's not on my list?