I think a forums “list of categories” page is good for an overview of “what kind of things do they talk about here?”
But once I know that, the page is simply links to category pages .
The Categories List page does show a few of the latest topics for each, but Pinned topics may bump some / all of that category’s latest topics from showing there.
The list of Categories appeals to my liking of things to be “organized” and less “chaotic” but in reality once I am not New it’s usefulness is much lessened
IMHO as long as the Latest page makes the category a topic is in easily discernible if one has different levels of interest in different categories they can easily scan through the list
And a user can always go to a category’s page to see topics in only that category if so desired.