Actually did a lot of this over the past year. Never really beat any of the games -- I generally don't finish games. I play games to play them, not to finish them, and if I get 20 hours out of something I consider the cost justified (especially considering that the vast majority of the games I own only cost somethingin the ballpark of 3 dollars) -- but definitely played enough to get a good feel for the mechanics.
And not even stuffs like reducing the sheer amount of grind necessary for everything
Never actually had to grind in DQVII. I didn't even bother buying equipment if I couldn't afford it. You found most of the best stuff anyway. That's basically the key to enjoying DQVII -- never grind.
Games I Used to Dislike:
Golden Sun - I actually started replaying this. Originally hated it because... it was sort of genericy? Combat is simple, but the dungeons are actually really neat and it has a very organic sort of progression. Liking it a lot.
FFVIII - Replayed some of this this summer, using a fanmade difficulty increase patch. Interest waned when I hit Disc 2. The plot completely derailed, GF spam started working again, and Quistis' Degenerator spam REALLY started working.
Anvil of Dawn - Another replay thing from this summer. Turns out the first time I tried playingit I just fucked up somethingcompletely or whatever. IDK. This is actually a pretty damn cool game.
Wizardry 8 - I've stated my issues with this game. I'm halfway through a mod that should address a lot of them. We'll see if it does.
Strange Journey, Etrian Odyssey - Not really DISLIKE but I never got a FEEL for EO, and SJ just started pulling weird bullshit.
Albion - Lack of balance and apparent need for grinding was pissing me off but goddamn if the story isn't interesting.
PSO - OTOH, grind sucks. OTOH, goddamn that atmosphere is foxy.
Xenogears - I... actually finished this game, and liked it, but it had things that I think I would dislike now. I want to try it again.
FM3 - Plot was dumb and the dominance of range weapons sort of bugged me, as did the randomness of your skills firing. Generally preferred FM1 a lot, but... FM3 had some interesting things.
Fragile Allegiance - Irrelevance of building placement on the asteroids bugged me. Not really sure why.
Wild Arms 2 - Actually got around to this one over the summer. Don't remember why I disliked it. I fucking love the hell out of it now.
Star Ocean 3 - Ahaha just kidding I am never touching this again.
Games I Just Forgot About:
This is basically everything I ever played. LOW ATTENTION SPANS ARE FUN. Specifically, though:
Outcast, Omikron - Interesting sci-fi action-adventure games. outcast is the better of the two, certainly, but Omikron wa really neat too. But they're both big and confusing and I tend to forget about them.
Growlanser 2 - Got this from my grandmother for christmas in 2005. Also received her terrible stomach virus. WHUPS. Ended up puking a bunch, much like everyone else in my family, and promptly forgot I even HAD this thing.
Ultima 8 - Actually managed to play a lot of this recently. 12 years after buying the Ultima Collection. Fanhate turned me off, I guess. Cut content aside, I really like this game.
Redguard - Less forgetfulness, more Glide emulation being finicky as hell. It's playable for me *now* but... low FPS.
VtM: Bloodlines - Loved this game, but had to stop playing it because my laptop couldn't really run it. Set up an old desktop PC. Quite interested in getting back into it.
Arc the Lad 3 - Was gonna finish 2 before playing this, thus never actually started this.
Vagrant Story - Seems so cool but confuses the hell out of me.
PS2 Games in General - Fun fact. Bought Dynasty Warriors 5 last week. First time I actually played my Ps2 in over a year.
Millennia: Alerted Destiny, Reunion - Looked interesting, but they're big and confusing and I have no manuals.
Realms of the Haunting - Never got around to playing this. Heard it was good. Probably gonna try playing it in January.