First the monochrome arcade style games. These were not as nice on my rudimentary PC as they were in the arcade, nor was my keyboard as nice as the "real" controls. But at least once the initial game was paid for (you bought your games right?) playing was free.
Then adventure games. I was an ace janitor in Space Quest, the knight of King Quest, Guybrush of Monkey Island.... you name it, we played it.
With the advent of Doom, soon followed by Quake and Unreal Tournament we all switched to first person shooters. Sadly I sucked (too slow). Champion at typing insults in the chat window though ;-)
It was strategy games that finally made me a complete addict. Starting with Sid Meier's Civilization and progressing through the Warcraft's and StarCraft. Command and Conquer, Notable exceptions here is World of Warcraft (phew!) and StarCraft II - SCII only came much later and I never really played it.
There was however always a kind of unsatisfied feeling with all these games. They started, you gathered resources and built. Then you did battle and either won or lost. Fragged or got fragged. The next map you get to do it all over again. You never got to keep any of that gold, or lumber or BFG's (my greatest regret!) or whatever. There was never that continuity.
Enter EVE. And a continuously growing character. Hour after hour, day by day my skill points build. I can do more and more. As long as my subscription is running, I am making progress. From flying a frigate to a destroyer, a cruiser, battle cruiser and ever the under achiever, much later a battleship.
Starting of as Caldari progressing to Minmatar (still Winmatar at the time), to Gallente (drone buff!) and finally Amarr - because, completeness and also nerf proof. Besides lasers are cool and you get to scoff at non Amarr uni-racial corpies that have to go on humiliating ammo runs during POS shoots... Scrubs! ;-)
In reality EVE goals are much easier to achieve than those in real life. Just go out and try to fit a spaceship in RL - come on - I dare you! Ever enrol for a degree in Electronic Engineering? EVE "me" graduated
Of course skill points is just part of that equation - player skill also comes into it, but as your author has reconciled himself with the fact that he is but a moron and a slacker, he will dance past that particular minefield and skip to the rich player experience instead.
EVE really does offer fabulous entertainment for the cost of 15$ per month. Yes I pay with real money - which part of moron and slacker did you fail to understand!? I digress. That brings me to the second thing I like about EVE. The endless possibilities to amuse. To entertain. The sandpit.
In a sense you get to do it all over again. The arcade game (have I mentioned lasers?). Ever been in a massive fleet decimating another fleet in what can only be described as a turkey shoot? Yes! Ever come out ahead in a 1 vs 4? Ok me neither...
Quests are now exploration. Strategy games - the gathering of resources and loot, through missions (maybe)
EVE is the shooter game with a permanent killboard for all to see. Just in case you are wondering, your author still suck at that... and he is still a master at insults in
At every twist at every turn your author is reminded that he is but a noob. And he is OK with that.