My favorite times playing MapleStory was 2007 to mid-2008.
Favorite Party Quests include the Sharenian Guild PQ, Carnival PQ, Remnants of Goddess, and Dimensional Crack (old).
All the party quests back then were really fun. As opposed to now when everybody's focused on grinding their hearts out. Well, the PQs were a grind sort of, but they were a fun grind, and you didn't really get tired of them, because they were fun.
The EXP gain has changed a lot throughout the years, I remember leveling being much harder in 2007 than in 2008, for example. Part of that can be attributed to how the early game became a lot faster with the Maple Island redesign and early game quests giving more EXP. I liked it when it was slower to level, because the community made it feel like such a huge thing.
The best Maple Island will always be the oldest (in other words, the biggest):
I liked the vastness of the maps. They were huge and fun to explore, even with secret maps inside. I was completely crushed when they removed some of my favorite maps in Big Bang. :C
I made it to around 90 with a Hermit, 75 with an I/L Mage and a 60 Night Walker toward the end. But it didn't feel as grindy as it does now. A lot of days I wouldn't even train in the game at all, and neither would a lot of people. Nowadays grinding feels almost forced upon you.
Events were also a lot more fun in the old days. My favorite event being the MV/Guy Fawkes event, where you had the jump quest before you'd fight him in his lair. Now almost every event is a grindfest, and they feel really uninspired as opposed to before.
I also really liked the style the old MapleStory had. Even the way you logged in was nice. It was like, you opened a book and in that book was an adventure. You logged in and went up the tree -- you get the idea. The game was atmospheric back then, now it feels uninspired.
The Reboot server is the best update the game has had for years. Still thought it was way too lenient though, just found it a nice change in the way you played the game really.
But what the Reboot server really proves is that Maplers want a harder challenge.