My near-absolute boredom with sports simulators kept me away from a whole section of games beyond their Mario-branded, sort-of equivalents. Despite that, four months of insistence from my car-junkie friends convinced me to give Forza Motorsport 2 a chance. I wasn't converted into a motor head, and the day I correctly identify a car part beyond a steering wheel is still going to be a revelation, but I spent a bizarre month hooked on unlocking parts and shaving down lap times in Forza 2. It lacked the item-fueled frenzy I was used to, but what it offered was so well made that I didn't really mind.
I've got similar "that one game" stories for other genres: StarCraft taught me I could enjoy real-time strategy games despite being miserable at them The Legend of Dragoon eased me into RPGs by partially letting me make up for awful strategies with a competence for timing, and Street Fighter 2 helped me treat fighting games as more than just a button-mashing, I-couldn't-win-if-I-tried affair. There was a time when I was dead set against touching any genre beyond platformers, but one by one, I was won over by great games.
Do you recall certain games serving as your first step into a genre you had never bothered playing before hand? What were they, and what was it about them that changed your mind? Let us know in the comments below, right after you check this week's Japanese hardware sales data after the break!