I think that some of the best games I've ever played were before I did a lot of reading of reviews, and watching what was coming out at E3. I picked up Metal Gear Solid for my original Playstation (or I should say, asked for it for Christmas), because it looked really good. I was not disappointed. For a long time I played games without a social connection. Again, I was playing just for playing. The experience was nothing that I prepared for, and I had no opportunity for comparison. It was always pleasant. Now granted, I still love just about every game I play, but I recognize that some of my experiences are not as pure and exciting as they once were. I also find myself becoming anxious as to what sort of slings and arrows I'll have to hear about my favorite games. Maybe it shouldn't upset me, because my experience is my own, but I think we all become a little let down when we can't share our love of something with the people we consider important in our lives.
I think that meeting or exceeding our expectations is a primary component of a "Good Game." I'm not suggesting that the answer to enjoying games is in lowering expectations. However, I think it has a lot to do with shifting our thinking. I think that not being exposed to a lot of reviews or criticisms in my earlier game play made it so that I was simply looking for an experience. I framed a lot of my gameplay into what I was enjoying, instead of what I wished the designers were doing. When we can let go of this search for something that isn't there, and just review what we've been presented it's likely that we will be PRESENT mentally enough to actually enjoy our favorite activity in a more pure way. These are my thoughts for now on individual game experience. When my friends and I play socially we often end the night by wishing each other "Good Game." My next entry will be regarding that social interaction. Let me know your thoughts on what you loved about your favorite games of all time in the comment section below.