Many criticize Fallout 3 for everything that it supposedly does wrong, but many fail to see that Fallout 3, in many aspects, is the best Fallout game. 1. Atmosphere Atmosphere is the center stone of every Fallout game. Fallout 3 excels at this, carving out a far superior atmosphere to any of the other games. Wandering through Downtown D.C. and the subway tunnels is harrowing, and an example of the brilliant tone set by the game. 2. Map Design Not only does Fallout 3 have a better map design than any other Fallout game, but it also has the most free map design out of any Fallout game. Take for instance where the player starts the game on the map. It is pinpoint in the middle, not to North or the West and close to an invisible wall, deathclaw sanctuary or anything restricting. This effectively encourages exploration of it's already well-designed map. 3. Side Quests Fallout 3 follows a philosophy of quality > quantity. While some have criticized it for having less side quests than several other Fallout games, Fallout 3's side quest are arguably the best designed quests in the franchise. Take for instance the Superhuman Gambit, an excellent showcase of how campy yet grounded Fallout can be, without straying into Wild Wasteland or Fallout 2 territories. The Power of The Atom showcases just how scenic and fun a side quest can be, as well as how impactful it can be on the environment. Never before or after Fallout 3 has a side quest ever managed to pull this off. 4. Factions Fallout 3 possesses the most beloved and iconic factions in the franchise, the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel. Some have criticized Fallout 3 for having an angelic BoS too uncharacteristic of Fallout 1's Brotherhood. This is addressed in lore in how the Brotherhood Outcasts came to exist. The BoS in Fallout 3 is Lyons' chapter of the BoS, who set aside their main goal of capturing technology to use it to help the Wasteland prosper. When combined with James's goal to purify the Potomac river, one can see why the BoS in Fallout 3 is so much more understandable and human than any other iteration of itself in the series. 5. Design The outfits, the weapons, the armors, the miscellaneous items and the creature designs in Fallout 3 were all designed by Adam Adamowicz, who has been applauded and acclaimed by many Fallout fans for his unique style and take on Fallout, never seen before in the franchise. Not only have many of his designed been carved into the public perception of Fallout (the leather armor and T-45 come to mind), but his style combines with the atmosphere to give Fallout 3 an apocalyptic yet beautiful aesthetic that is synonymous with Fallout in 2021. If a whole is greater than the sum of it's parts, then Fallout 3 is not only a masterpiece in it's own right, but a masterpiece on the basis of it's own individual parts. Fallout 3 is a fun and enjoyable departure from the Borderlands-esque humor of Fallout 2 or New Vegas, while also being having more artistic sensibilities than Fallout 4.