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13 Reasons Why 'Fallout: New Vegas' Blows 'Fallout 3' Out of the Water

Updated May 24, 2018 3.2k votes 388 voters 15.0k views13 items

List RulesVote up the argument that best substantiates why 'New Vegas' trounces 'Fallout 3.'

Fallout 3 was a groundbreaking title when it was released in 2008. It introduced a scale and scope to the open-world genre gamers had only imagined up to that point. It was a post-apocalyptic sandbox of epic proportions, and many thought this game helped Fallout surpass The Elder Scrolls (Bethesda's other open-world franchise) in terms of quality. It was a nearly perfect product, and for most people that was enough.

The wonderfully creepy vaults of Fallout 3, as well as the claustrophobic subway stations, instilled a real sense of fear in the audience. The title went on to win numerous game of the year awards and cement the Fallout legacy.

Fast-forward to 2010 when Fallout: New Vegas was released, shaking up the status quo (as all good sequels do) and fixing things from Fallout 3 that players didn't even know needed fixing. New Vegas had better NPCs, better guns, and better implementation of core Fallout mechanics.

Still, fans bicker fiercely over which title is better. At least most gamers concede that Fallout 4 is the weakest of the series. But when it comes to these two masterpieces, there is really no argument. New Vegas was, is, and will always be the vastly superior Fallout game. 

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  • 1

    Gamers Were Offered Multiple Ways To Handle Quests

    Fallout 3 was more than a little binary with its in-game decision making. Usually there were two paths to choose from, and neither outcome was substantially consequential. Luckily, New Vegas upended that system and introduced a multitude of different paths to take with any given quest.

    This offered the player a ton of choices in how they wanted to approach a situation and affect its outcome, all with the immersive benefit of lasting, tangible repercussions. 

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  • 2

    Companions With Real Motivations Made The World Come To Life

    Fallout 3's companions were nothing more than hired help the game was programmed to lump the player with, were they so inclined to have a travel buddy for their adventures. New Vegas offered up companions steeped in the history of the world around them, giving the partners a sense of context and reason to be fighting alongside the player's character.

    While it's a small adjustment on the surface, going in to battle with someone who has a motive to be there does wonders for adding to the role-playing immersion Fallout games try so hard to manufacture.

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  • 3

    Enhanced NPC Interactions Allowed For Greater Immersion

    New Vegas awarded and punished its players far more seriously than Fallout 3, further adding to the sense of consequence that was all but nonexistent in the latter. For every choice made and action taken, there were ramifications. NPCs acknowledge these selections, and depending on your positive or negative Karma they will do everything from attacking you to joining you as an ally. 

    The changes caused by interacting with the world, while cruel at times, ultimately produced a far more engrossing role-playing experience. Particularly because any NPC had the possibility of noting a previous action at any point in a gamer's playthrough.

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  • 4

    Moral Ambiguity In Factions Made For A More Compelling Experience

    Fallout 3 was pretty black and white about its moral choices, as it only allowed the player to recruit good guys to fight bad guys. This made finding allies an uninteresting and thoughtless errand, since there was never an internal debate about who to bring aboard the team.

    New Vegas, however, showed the good and bad sides of civilians and factions, so there was actual weight behind which characters the gamer chose to align themselves with. This introduced an aspect of moral ambiguity that made players weigh values and ethics against their goals, creating a mental meta-game that fully immersed the audience in New Vegas's world.

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