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Hot take, Jade Empire is better and needs a sequel.
ME3 does have the best combat but saying ME2 has the best story is really weird considering it's completely pointless filler. It's definitely got the best worldbuilding and characterization but the main plot is basically an afterthought
I think the entire series is shit.
No idea why it would be filler in any way, ME3 is basically all built up on the stuff introduced in 2, namely Cerberus and the Illusive man, Mordin and Legion. And well even of it was filler, it is the more interesting of the 3 plots with better characters. In ME1 the plot is kinda wonky, not helped by the awkwad presentation of it and in 3 it has it's moments but it isn't really as consistent as 2 with anything.
Cerberus was so out of character in 3 that their presentation is inconsistent with that of 2, and on top of that nothing of concequence happens in 2s story outside of the Arrival DLC. You can cut straight from the end of 1 and to 3 with very little outside of the side characters having changed
If you cut out 2 then who is Mordin and why does he know about curing the Genophage? Also a friendly Geth called Legion? And who is the Illusive man who is now the secondary antagonist?