The frustration with the clunky controls and driving, especially on bikes Now when I start a new game I can hop in pretty quickly, but man it used to difficult as hell. Not sure if it counts for nostalgia though, but the controls did convince me to get my first PC gamepad.
More seriously, the intro. It completely blew my mind back when I saw it for the first time. It's still really impressive today but also a bit dated. And since I've played through the game so many times and I know the role of the ship and all those people in the story, it's not as enigmatic and um, edgy? As it used to be. I still like the intro a lot but it really is just an intro to the rest of the game and not quite as much a piece of art on its own I guess.
The Soviet connection though, that's still as good as ever. Just listening to it right now from my GTA IV playlist in fact.
Overall it's kinda funny. On one hand I do miss when I could explore the game for the first time. Everything was utterly new. Now, it's a more familiar experience, and I can't really say one is better than another. Besides the game STILL manages to pull off new surprises and it's so large and rich that new things keep cropping up. A few months ago I finished IV to 100% for the first time but honestly I think if I started again now, there would be still more things to discover I've not seen yet. And those things I have seen, even dozens of times, I could still appreciate again. It's a classic.
There are games where I wish I could play for the first time again, such as Mass Effect. Discussions with Sovereign and Vigil really have the gravitas only for the first time, and once mysteries are explained, they aren't as engaging.
But other games I can keep replaying and they keep on giving. GTA IV and Life is Strange are notable examples. It's like being in a good stable relationship. It's not the fresh unknown wild thing at the beginning, but nice, comfortable and lovely after you find the mutual compatibility (Sheesh I probably made it sound terrible.)