There, I've said it. I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but there you go. I think that in terms of setting, gameplay and simple enjoyment I prefer Fallout 3 to Fallout 2. IMPORTANT: I don't really want to put forth the reasoning behind my thoughts as an argument. I just figured everyone would assume I'm an XBox troll-drone (trone? Droll?) if I didn't try poorly to explain. Of course, it's not better in every sense. Fallout 2 had the best dialogue of any game, without the occasional poor quality of Bethesda's efforts or the sparse dialogue unrelated to specific quests with most early NPCs in the original. Similarly, Fallout 2 had excellent mission design, without F3's patronizing fear of bad consequences (unless you do the Oasis quest as a monster everyone's hunky-dory with you), or F1's occasionally poor structure (The Glow? Yes, it's a month away from you. Oh, forgot to bring a rope nobody mentioned that you'd need? Well, get fucked, there's no other possible way into a big hole in the ground). Don't get my criticisms of F1 wrong -- as far as I'm concerned it's the best game in the series. But F2 was worse than F3. People say that combat in F3 is easy. I'm not sure, but I remember that by the mid-late game in F2 on Hard I was practically tripping over 2mm ammo to eyeshot everything I could see with the dangerously broken Gauss rifle that made energy weapons irrelevant. Early game wasn't much better, even if you didn't exploit prior knowledge of the game to grab power armour + a bozar- then again, that's player freedom, so no criticisms there. Secondly, the setting. I dislike Little Lamplight as much as the next guy (though you must appreciate that everyone who graduates from LL will end up in the besieged shithole of Big Town that everybody hates- oh, and selling those irritating children into slavery) but sometimes F2 felt like a whirlwind of verisimilitude-breaking places, between Arroyo and its magic shaman, the Temple, built perhaps by Wood Elves, New Reno, martial-arts duels in the middle-of-Town by people with Bruce Lee names and the Shi and no the Hubologists aren't fucking funny San Francisco, up to the Shiny Happy Tolerant Anti-Slavery NCR. And most of the towns that don't break my SoD, like Redding, the Den, etc, I just found to be very lacking in inspiration. I mean, say what you will about Megaton, but a ramshackle collection of attempted refugees to a Vault and an Apocalypse cult building a town out of airplanes parts is a little new, and is certainly visually kind of cool. Is the story dumb in F3? Oh boy is the Main Quest terrible. Do I think it was worse in F2? No, but it was just as bad. The Enclave were, frankly, pretty dumb villains, complete with 'Now that you cannot kill me, I will tell you my plan' President Richardson with the bad VA, giant-mutant-secret-agent-cyborg-Dragon Frank Horrigan, and 'Destroy 99% of Humanity for little discernable reason' Doomsday plot. And others on this board have given their reasons for despising the 'Vault Experiment' plot. I'm personally ambivalent about it, but I think F3 handles it in a better way than 2: You don't get to see the cause laid out, only the symptoms. I think Fallout 3's experiments in juxtaposition are, aside from being rare for any mainstream game, better than Fallout 2's. Oasis is, I feel, executed poorly, but is a good concept (And funnily enough Van Buren would put Harold in a similar place if not at all a similar situation), and Tranquility Lane, along with Betty's increasingly demented quests, rubbed me the right way the whole time. Andale as well. I think Bethesda must really hate suburbia. I enjoyed Fallout 2. Fallout 2 is a good game. But, personally, I feel Fallout 3 is better. It's the best game ever made by Bethesda and the best non-Eastern European RPG in years. Having said all this, there is only one thing left: VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE: BLOODLINES UBER ALLES!