Here is what I hate - don’t show me a loading screen (especially a long one) that leads to a fancy top menu, from which I have to then load my game. Thing Pathfinder Kingmaker as an example. Christ I hate that main menu. It animates ffs.
I think the main menu coming up (with skippable or disable-able opening cutscenes/logos) is ideal. I launch a game, it should go as-close-to immediately to the main menu as possible, from where I can load, continue, tweak options, etc.
I like it when games have an optional command line switch that you can run that does auto-load the last save and dump you right into the game, often pre-paused. That’s super rare, I think I remember it being an option with like… one game, and I don’t even remember which game it was. I think it was a strategy game.
I like the loading, the movie, the intro on the first play. After that, just load me up to a menu where I can continue a game or start a new one and with settings and all that. RDR 2 loads me into I don’t even know what save, and I hate it. I want to pick. I waste too much time going back to make sure it loads the right one.
I had a simlar issue with Total War: Three Kingdoms. If I just press ‘Continue’ the game sometimes loads the wrong save file, such as an auto-save when I had manually saved after that in my previous session. Hitting ‘Continue’ was almost always wrong so I prefer going to a list of saves.
Random oddly related aside; one loading screen I get mildly annoyed by? Windows 10. There’s no reason for me to click on the screen to get to the login, yet Windows requires that. One extra click closer to carpal tunnel. Every. Single. Day. ;)
I’m not fond of the many, many console ports that dump you on a screen asking you to press start to start the game. If you are lucky they at least swap out the “start” button with Enter or Space, but even that is crap. The same goes for quitting games. Quit game: get dropped to some submenu, then quit again: get sent to the start menu screen, hit enter to get to the MAIN game menu from where you can finally quit to desktop. WTF!!!
But yeah, my ideal situation is: (skippable/deactivate-able) intro screens that drop me on a main menu screen where the top ALREADY SELECTED option is “continue game”, which will load up the most recent save game (not just the most recent autosave). So all I need to do is one click or button press to carry on playing.