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

Updated May 24, 2018 2.9k votes 404 voters 15.5k 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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  • 5

    No Invincible NPCs Meant Players Could Be As Brutal As Possible

    One of the most annoying aspects a role-playing game can implement is a safety net on its NPCs, protecting them from any harm the player may wish to inflict. If gamers want to annihilate an entire town of civilians, they should be able to. Sandbox games are about freedom and a feeling of infinite possibility. Having more options creates a more enriching experience. 

    New Vegas shared this sentiment. The game allowed players the freedom to kill off virtually anyone, a feature that wasn't available in Fallout 3. Of course, this ended up creating some complications when it came to completing the game's central narrative, but gamers should also be able to forgo that linear model to forge their own path, and New Vegas allowed that.

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  • 6

    A Better Writing Staff Led To Enhanced Dialogue

    Fallout 3's story pales in comparison to New Vegas's. Fallout 3's inept dialogue, spawned from unrealistic verbiage and stilted interactions, couldn't be saved by A-list voice talent like Liam Neeson.

    New Vegas corrects this particular issue in a big way, upping its narrative game to reflect a mature, post-apocalyptic world in which people speak realistically, analyze serious socioeconomic issues, and utilize language as a weapon.

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  • 7

    Wild Wasteland Created A Game World Without Rules

    The single greatest perk offered in New Vegas was Wild Wasteland. Wild Wasteland was how Obsidian Entertainment bridged the gap between the older, more humorous, entries in the series and the extra serious Fallout 3. Fallout 3 did away with most of the cheesy and outlandish pop-culture references that littered the franchise previously, and doubled down on a more solemn tone.

    Obsidian wanted to have a little fun with New Vegas, however, so they created this mode to add in some hilarity along the way. With the Wild Wasteland perk activated, players were able to encounter a crashed alien spaceship, as well as witty references to Indiana Jones, The Princess Bride, and Star Wars

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  • 8

    The Storytelling Was Refined And Perfected

    On top of better dialogue, companions, and travel systems, New Vegas had yet another advantage over Fallout 3 in the immersion department, one that's not even intentional. Really, it's the result of Fallout 3's lack of immersion that gives New Vegas the advantage here. 

    In Fallout 3, there's an entire settlement called Megaton living next to a leaking, radioactive bomb. At one point, the player has the option to detonate the explosive, or disarm it. If the player decides to blow up Megaton, the necessary NPCs there survive, and continue to provide them with more quests. New Vegas, however, avoids these types of no-consequence missions. When you make decisions, they matter. Its suspension of disbelief was far better maintained as a result, and it made for better storytelling.

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