Way too many to list, but here’s a general idea:
Guitar Hero pre-Warriors of Rock: With very few exceptions, I’ve started at Easy and worked my way up. Yes, yes, I’m better than that, but I want to know HOW much better. Besides, it’s good to have a high score for each difficulty level, especially for challenges that require a certain number of points. I don’t spend a lot of time on Beginner; I find it mostly pointless, not to mention unrewarding (can’t complete any challenges, for one).
Warriors of Rock: I cruised almost the whole way through the Quest on Easy. For Quickplay+, I just pick whatever seems managable since there aren’t separate high scores anymore. If I had to rank them, I’d say I like Medium the most, with Hard a close second.
Beatmania IIDX: I still consider Hyper (FKA 7-Key) the standard, even though it’s shot up quite a bit since at least 4th Style. Of course, I still play Normal (FKA Light 7), but the funny thing is, a few of those songs I enjoy a bit less if I’m under pressure to get a full combo. Hyper has only a few songs where I feel confident I can do that good, so for the most part I can just play and enjoy. For the last two games, however, I’ve actually gone backwards, playing the Anothers first. That’s because I know I’m going to fail a ton of them and want to get it over with.
Pump It Up: I used to be dedicated Hard/Professional (the “middle” level) player. Even after I got good at Freestyle (doubles), I preferred Hard, and I gave up on that execrable “middle” mode (Crazy with fewer pads) after about ten seconds. I once even kept a list of which songs I could clear, which I could get an A or S on, and which gave me trouble. To this day, I distinctly remember what caused me to stop playing it, which game it was, and which song drove it home…becoming absolutely ridiculously hard, barely below the old Crazy, Prex 3, and Bambole. I never cared much for this game after that.
Dynasty Warriors 2: Easy is find for getting the endings and collecting powerups, but for the real benchmarks (i.e. KO’s and points), there’s no choice but to step up. I’ve played several games on Normal, and I’ve found that if your warrior is powerful enough, they’re pretty enjoyable.
Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires: Easy. Always and forever. I find Novice largely pointless (little more than a practice mode), plus it doesn’t unlock options, and anything above Easy results in certain officers and special units requiring a bazillion hits to kill (the thing I hated the most about Dynasty Warriors 3).
Any and all fighting games: I have a basic litmus test. If I struggle horribly on the easiest level, the whole game is too damn hard, conventional wisdom be damned. Over the years, this has been invaluable in teaching me which fighting game manufacturers know what they’re doing and which are hopeless. Capcom got it. Taito never did, which is why they made like two of them and then forgot about the whole genre forever.
So I’m pretty much no-frills. Bottom line, if the game wants me to deal with frustration and aggravation and misery, it had better make it worth it. I get enough of that from the games that don’t offer any choice, thank you.