Where to begin? My parents, though mostly my father, used to play boardgames with us kids at a very young age. I quickly progressed from Candyland and Cootie to Chess and Stratego. My siblings found other interests but I never gave up my passion for board games. I am not really athletic, so for me board games are my way to compete with others.
My grandparents loved playing cards, so whenever I went to visit them nights were usually spent playing Pitch or Hearts. It was then that I learned my grandfather's trademark smirk when he played the "perfectly timed" card that would result in his victory, or my grandmother's laugh when she managed to do something to disrupt his plans. It is because of them that I enjoy playing games with direct and frequent player interaction and conflict.
High school was a time of two opposite gaming tendencies. Star Wars CCG had just come out and my mates and I invested heavily into this system. I still love it today though I rarely get to play it, and it brings back memories of sitting around for hours constructing decks and reliving the SW movies (at least the good ones). At the same time, my "free thinking" school decided to offer alternative classes and one was titled "Axis and Allies," presumably to teach us about WWII history. This was a doorway to another dimension of gaming- wargaming, albeit on a smaller, simplistic scale. College was full of summers playing Risk and a wonderful new game to my world, Diplomacy.
Rochester, NY (my hometown) used to have a store called Crazy Igors which sold just about any board game you could think of. In the days before EBay, it was the place to purchase games. I remember walking in and having my mind blown away by all the strange, wonderful, dusty old games. It was like the "wall of games" at Toys-R-Us from years past, only better.
However, my primary hobby in life isn't board games. It is Model Railroading. I currently model in HO (1:87), N (1:160), G (1:19) and 1/8 scales, including construction of a fully operational steam locomotive. Miniature games look really cool but since I spend so much time building models already I don't want to invest in another duplicative hobby.
I mostly prefer co-op games or games with lots of player interaction. I will play Euros but I rarely have the chance to play the same game enough to develop a solid strategy. I love luck in games, and the more random card draws or dice rolls the better. I enjoy wargames and any game where I can amass a huge army and use it to strike fear in my opponents. I have an undeserved reputation as a "Back stabber" which isn't true... mostly!
In general, board games are an investment to me, but not one of money (though some will at least retain their value in the long term). They are an investment into happiness, friendships, good times, and some crazy parties.
I rate games based on how much I enjoy them, not necessarily based on how good the game is in general. Thus, my 10 might be your 5. My Top 10 games are my top 10 favorite games that I own. My Hot 10 games are the games I most wish to purchase (and may have already played before).