I often seek out games out of instinct and intuition. Sometimes, I'll see screenshots from a game that I know nothing about and feel something resonating in me by way of the game's look, style, and artwork. Over the years, I've learned to act when I get that kind of gut feeling, because more often than not, my hunch turns out to be vindicated. I've found some of my dearest favourites through this process (like for example the Persona series).
This process means that it often happens that I do backtracking across the console generations to check out games that really sparked by interest back then, but went unplayed because of a lack of time, money, or opportunity. Sometimes, a long buried memory of a game I "missed" will for some reason jump into mind, resulting in me going back to check it out. Many people here are seasoned gamers, so most of you have probably done the same thing.
One of the generations I often find myself returning to is the Saturn/PlayStation 1/Nintendo 64 era, mainly for PS1 titles. I've noticed, though, that there's something peculiar about this generation as opposed to the others I usually explore. For some reason, the graphics in "new" PS1 games really get on my nerves. When I say "new" PS1 games, I mean games released back then but that I try out for the first time now. I've found that, most of the time, I'm really hindered in my enjoyment of the games if they have 3D graphics, I just think it looks so hideously ugly most of the time with the choppy, blocky designs, the hazy, washed-out colours, and the outrageously lame framerates that usually characterize this generation. Here's the funny thing, though: this aspect never presents any problems when going back to PS1 games with 3D graphics that I actually played back then. I can play Silent Hill, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Threads of Fate, or any of my old favourites without even blinking at the graphics of noticing that they're "flawed". I assume this is because I got used to their looks back then when "better" wasn't available. But when I go back and try old 3D PS1 games I never played until now (the latest examples were Blaster Master: Blasting Again and the Clock Tower games), I usually develop a headache pretty quickly. Its not that I'm completely unable to play the games or anything like that, but to be honest, it does shape the experience in a negative direction. I hate to admit that, because I've often been one to hold contempt for true "graphic whores", but with respect to the PS1, I've found that I have, over time, developed "graphic whorish" tendencies myself (although not entirely, since I'm always in it for the game itself first and foremost, not the graphics).
The interesting thing here is that I have never had any graphics-related problems whatsoever going back to earlier generations, like the NES/Master System era of the Mega Drive/SNES era. I still love 8- and 16-bit graphics as much as I ever did, and I can easily get into "new" games on those consoles without the graphics bothering me one bit. The difference I can think of is that I must have problems with bad and "primitive" 3D graphics, and that those weren't around yet in the pre-PS1 consoles. With 2D graphics, its more like the graphics are "cartoonish" and thus can look pretty low-tech without looking offensive, but with 3D graphics, there's always (or at least very often) an element of and emphasis on "realism" involved, many games tried/try to present characters looking like actual humans. And when subsequent generations have raised the bar considerably in this aspect, the old primitive 3D graphics the PS1 managed to barely crank out just look bad in every way, at least in my subjective opinion the difference between PS1 and PS2 graphics in this way are way more noticeable then that between for example NES and SNES graphics. With NES and SNES games, there are many games I'd still call beautiful, but very few such games on the PS1. Trying out Clock Tower 2 just after experiencing the beautiful madness of the new Silent Hill: Homecoming really underlined this. I'm not trying to dis 3D graphics here or set up some bullshit "old-vs-new"-dichotomy, although I'm more of an oldschool gamer, I do like beautiful 3D graphics, its just the PS1/N64 butt-ugly Lego characters and nausea-inducing framerates that put me off. I'm also not out to dis the PS1 console here, in my opinion it has one of the strongest game libraries in gaming history, with some of my all-time favourites (including my all-time number 1, SH1). Its just the graphics that irk me after having experienced better 3D for many years now and getting used to that.
Anyway, these are my thoughts. Can you identify, or is your experience different? I suppose this is kind of a poll also... Do you have a special affinity or dislike for any particular console's/console generation's graphics? And if so, what's attracting/repelling you?