Speaking very generally and vaguely from old-man XP: games became a lot more enjoyable when I stopped feeling like I had to know everything, play everything, and be on top of everything.
I think everyone that digs into this stuff to the point where they write/talk about it on a regular basis falls into some version of a self imposed “knowledge weapons race”.
I’m not saying it is bad to study. Especially if you are going to design or critique. But there’s a point where it’s harmful and will burn you out.
Play what interests you. Check out recommendations. Be willing to try new stuff, but be okay that you’ll never get to all of it and that others have more experience than you in different stuff. You didn’t play X BITD? Cool! I love to rant and I have the time, so let me paint a picture about why I think X is important/amazing, and you should try it out if you have the time.
I didn’t play Y but you did? Great! It’s amazing you say? I’m listening!
Just … keep this in mind as you dig through the “must plays”. Eventually the list becomes daunting and infinite. :)
PS I’m not saying the “What game is this” thread is the cause of your question, but I get the feeling people wander into that thread and get the wrong idea (or maybe I have the wrong idea?). It isn’t a pissing contest or a measuring stick of your knowledge/worthiness. If it was, I wouldn’t be checking it every hour on the down low (it really is my favorite thing right now). I mean, I’ve played maybe four games in that thread, and two of them were mine! It just feels like folks sharing stuff they are into, while making a game out of it to trip each other up. If I got the feeling it was meant to make people feel like they aren’t “worthy” of being around/joining in, I’d drop out.