A fresh Windows install is always a bit of a double-edged sword. The good side is that you get rid of all the crap that accumulates on your hard drive over the months that gradually makes your computer slow from a sprint to a crawl, but there's always the downside that you have to go through the whole rigmarole of reinstalling all those patches, security updates, the anti-spyware/virus programs, and - of course - all your games.
It's a very time consuming process, and only now am I in the position of trying to decide which games to reinstall, and in which order. I'm almost reluctant to reinstall World of Warcraft, because not only is it an EIGHT CD install (the original four, plus The Burning Crusade's four disks), I've got three and a half years worth of patches to download and apply. Which is going to take some considerable time. I'm almost tempted not to reinstall it at all, since I do have it on my gaming lapdog, but fate has thrown a spanner in the works there, too. Ever since the last patch came out, logging into WoW on my lapdog crashes my wireless network. I presume it's an incompatibility thing with Vista (since I didn't have the same problem with my main rig, and that runs XP), but I'm not sure what to do about it right now. So no doubt I'll be abusing my broadband download limits over the next few days putting on all those patches again.
I'm also currently reinstalling Steam and a few games I have on my account there (starting with Audiosurf and X-Com: Terror From The Deep, by virtue that they're small) but it's going to take me a while to reinstall all of them. If, indeed, I do decide to reinstall them all. You see, when your PC games collection numbers somewhere over 250 titles (30 of which are on Steam), it's not exactly a trivial process to decide what you're going to reinstall and when. It's appropriate enough that Audiosurf should be the first game I reinstall and play, since it's still my favourite PC game of the year. (Not that it's really had much competition on that front)
Other than that, however, it really is a bit of a conundrum. Since I've lost pretty much all of my save games, barring a few I already had backed up to CD, it's difficult to contemplate which games I really want to install and replay from scratch.
SpellForce 2 has gone on again, since I only just started replaying it, so redoing the first half dozen or so maps isn't going to be too painful. But do I really want to reinstall something like Oblivion or Neverwinter Nights 2 and replay them again from the beginning? Sure, things like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic are a raging certainty (after you've completed it a dozen or more times, you're pretty much immune to First Planet Blues), but other games that I've played to death, like GTA: Vice City or Half-Life 2 may not be so lucky. I don't really see myself replaying Half-Life 2 until Episode 3 comes out... whenever the heck that may be.
In fact, this may represent an opportunity to look at some of the more neglected games in my collection. I never did get around to installing Supreme Commander and Titan Quest, so now would be a good time to have a taste of them while Warcraft isn't on the menu. Who knows, I might even get around to installing some of the games I've only briefly flirted with for a couple of hours (such as Hostile Waters, X3: Reunion or Project Snowblind) and give them a proper run out. Either way, don't expect to see me in Azeroth or Outland for a few days...