Just to point out that perhaps the difference is that talk of F2's silliness is a little talked up, at least from my playthroughs. Yeah there's bits of it here and there, but it is within a world that largely takes itself seriously, poses serious moral questions and fulfils the tenets of what we would consider a great RPG and Fallout game. Fallout 3 on the other hand is a silly world taking place with attempts to be serious within. When the iconic moral debate of the game you are defending (and I applaud you trying to do so) is the Power of the Atom, with others being purifying or poisoning the water at the end, or..... blow up the people helping you versus blow up the people trying to kill you (the end of Broken Steel.) I could go on and on. Superhuman Gambit springs to mind. These just are not serious decisions to consider. There is no Junktown, Gecko, or Goodsprings, to name examples from each good Fallout pithily. Fallout 2 is a serious world with silly elements, like F1 and NV with Wild Wasteland. It just dials those up a little, maybe too far depending on taste. Fallout 3 is a silly world trying to be serious, and it does not succeed. Only in gameplay. They were built using rather different design principles in regards to narrative experience surely?