Giant wall of text incoming.
I'm not sure this counts, but when I was still in grade school, my brother and I got into MegaMan Battle Network, specifically 2 and 6. To this day, Battle Network has influenced my tastes in all things gaming, including my affinity to fire and the types of RPGs I enjoy.
I had seen bits and pieces of Classic Mega Man before without knowing it; I had played a few rounds of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 a few years before we bought BN2, and there was some really old merchandise at a couple of stores that featured Classic. I remember seeing an ad for Zero 4 a few times in my local Wal-Mart, back when they had a bunch of TVs blasting product ads. I even rented the Mega Man X Collection one time and didn't understand why it played more like Super Mario World than Battle Network.
Then came the 20th anniversary in 2007. Two new games were touted as 20th anniversary titles: Star Force and ZX Advent. Star Force remains among my top 3 RPGs to this day due to the very personal connection I made to Geo, so I was pretty interested in seeing what the other anniversary title was like. I wasn't very good at it, but I did manage to beat it a few times on Easy Mode.
Fast forward 5 years. It was summer before my senior year in high school, and I wanted some games to hold me over. Lo and behold, the original ZX and the Zero Collection were both in the DS section. Thus began what I like to call "Zero Bootcamp". Because of their mission and ranked system, I was motivated to get as high a rank that I possibly could. I probably devoted a month or so to Zero 2 alone so I could earn those EX Skills and Forms. Gone, gone the man who couldn't hope to beat Chill Penguin's stage in X1. Now, I could easily pass platforming challenges the series could throw at me and experience the other half of the franchise.
Nowadays, I've gone back to beat half the Classic series, every X game sans X7 and Command Mission, every Zero game, both ZX games, and least one version of every main Battle Network game (with 100% completion of the last three, I might add). Oh, and I've 100% completed every single version of all three Star Force games except Black Ace. Every. Single. Version. I've tamed Star Force 2 four times.
Overall, I now not only have a greater appreciation of the series' roots now that I've played the vast majority of the games that came before, but also an even greater appreciation of my own roots with the series. Again, apologies for the length.
- Done now? Good: