I've always been a big SimCity fan, and my goal used to be to just get as big of a city as possible while meeting the constant, nagging demands of the citizenry. I remember buying a strategy book on SimCity 2000 back in the heyday of that game (oh, God, I'm getting old) and in that book they profiled five power players' unique cities, and it was fascinating because these players -- while they had large, thriving cities, certainly -- had focused more on some sort of ideal or utopia or even dystopia. (One guy's city was almost perfectly symmetrical along all four sides. Another was a dystopic vision of an overcrowded police state. And so on.) These players weren't just playing a game; they were making art.
It really opened my eyes to the vast possibilities of those types of open-ended games from then on.
GTA V is a great example of how I've extended that philosophy. I'll play the game totally differently depending upon which character I choose because I choose to "roleplay" as that character as well, acting and reacting to everything as I imagine that character would.
Needless to say, I get a lot more wanted stars when playing as Trevor.