Some of them are proper, proper old games - like, from the early-80s. I'd talked about Space Invaders recently, and how much I appreciated its simplicity... but I've spread myself beyond it now and realised how many old games - particularly old arcade games - are similarly good for having the same clarity of vision.
Defender, Pac-Man, Phoenix, Q*Bert, Tempest, Asteroids... all these games have essentially one idea, and one gameplay mechanic, at their core... and they run with it. They're so different from what constitutes a blockbuster game of today, when epics like, say, Grand Theft Auto V are essentially an entire arcade in a single package, lurching from one style of gameplay - driving, skydiving, tennis - to story, and back again.
You get your money's worth to be sure, but they also lack the singular focus that really early arcade games had. It feels like everything these days gets buried beneath layer upon layer of busy work and distraction. Most games are just so over-stuffed, so hard trying to be all things to all people, that they lack personality.
However, what I've found weird in my recent forages into gaming history is that once you get into the home computer era of the Spectrum and Commodore 64, things take a turn for the worse. The simplicity on display in something like Space Invaders suddenly gets replaced by more complex games, which - frankly - were all a bit wonky and challenging for the wrong reasons.
Whereas in Pac-Man I knew that if I died it was my own fault.... if I die in Jet Set Willy it'll often feels it's happened because the game is going out of its way to spoil my enjoyment.
So why do I regard my ZX Spectrum as my favourite games system of all time?
See, there are a couple of things to consider about gaming in the 80s. Following the games crash which almost consumed Atari, consoles were replaced as the gaming format of choice by computers - and those computers weren't designed with playing games in mind.
However, perhaps the greatest success of those early home computers was in opening up game development to almost anybody. Whereas gaming had been a relatively corporate industry pre-1982 - as it is these days, albeit on a grander scale - during the middle of that decade you had something akin to the dawn of punk music in the mid-to-late-70s.
Punk proved that anybody could pick up a guitar and form a group. You didn't have to be good, you didn't have to be able to sing, or write songs. You simply had to want to be in a band. Similarly, when it came to the ZX Spectrum, and to a lesser extent the Commodore 64, all you needed to make a game was the desire to make a game.
What this resulted in, I'm finding, are games which are far more interesting, unique and idiosyncratic than the carefully-curated triple-A epics of today. They're scrappy, quirky, and noisy... but mostly always an utter chore to play.
And yet... despite that, there was something deeper at play through which I formed a connection.
The number of Spectrum games which are actually easy to pick up and play is starkly minimal. Even some of the blockbusters of the era are woefully tricky.
I had a crack at Wanted: Monty Mole the other day, and lost all my lives within the first couple of minutes (and, of course, no saves). And the same thing happened again on my next six goes.
Then there are others which are challenging for different reasons; the classic Knight Lore is painfully slow. Way of the Exploding Fist is unresponsive. And I challenge anybody to ever finish The Hobbit, with its bewildering mazes.
There exceptions of course; by keeping it simple, Jetpac remains an arcade-like joy. Manic Miner - though demanding - is surprisingly solid. Skool Daze manages to overcome its fiddliness by rooting you in its familiar setting.
But more often than not, I'd play a game for a few minutes before quitting in a huff, asking how I ever became a video games fan in the first place. I mean, when I think back... I'm not sure I can name a single game from the 1980s that I ever actually finished.
Yet somehow, at the time, I still kept playing, still kept buying them - waiting for that moment where games caught up with what I knew they could be. But more than that, I kept playing because games back then offered me something that we all need; connection.
Big games - the modern equivalent of your Underwurldes and Ant Attacks - are no longer interested in pursuing any one individual's personal vision.
Much as I appreciate the grand, widescreen, nature of something like Assassin's Creed: Origins, it's an incredibly safe game, more interested in broad appeal than unbridled creativity. That's not a bad thing per se - I mean, it's great that games are more popular than ever, better value for money than ever, and more accessible and playable... but they're just not as compelling for me.
I believe that the singular nature of 80s game design made games a much more personal experience. Whereas contemporary games are the product of huge teams and box-ticking, back then it was as much about forming a relationship between the player and the one or two people who created the game.
The personality of the games' creators shone through, and that is, I think, why I got hooked on games which were often - objectively speaking - a mess. You had no senior producers overseeing the development, no teams of play-testers, no corporate strategy - just games which were whatever the creators wanted them to be. There was no watering-down.
And that, I think, spoke to me, and inspired me, and taught me that if you want something that is true and raw and honest and truthful... you can't get that from creating things by committee. You might not get an end product that is "perfect", but you'll get something that's far more interesting and real. While they might not know it consciously, the consumers of that product will know it on a much deeper, primal, instinctive level.
Just as I appreciate people being themselves - even if the real them might be more challenging than somebody who feels a need to be liked by everybody - so I prefer games which are exposed and imperfect, warts and all.