great response, i definitely share your sentiment of friends being the main reason i initially got games, especially when i was younger. suikoden 2, ffvii, person 3, chrono trigger, symphonia, secret of mana were all lent/suggested by friends. very powerful gaming experiences.
as for the latter. music is by far the most immersive emotionally touching part of games. certain tracks will easily tear me up.
despite saying all that. gameplay will still be my number one. i suppose it's some inner bias that makes me seek and crave it. i'll be thinking on it.