Fallout Player Vote Reveals The Best Game In The Series
When it comes to exploring the horrors of nuclear war, and what many predict will be the end of the human race, few franchises have done it quite as well as Fallout. Mutating from the crude open world RPG days of Interplay's first game back in 1997, the Fallout name might've changed hands through several developers, but at its core, it's the same fundamental trip into the Wasteland we've always enjoyed.
Even though we're presumably a long way off the inevitable Fallout 5, the latest move in Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda has spurred players to look back and ask, "What is the best Fallout game?". We're guessing Fallout 76 wasn't anyone's top choice. Whether it was touring the end of the world with Dogmeat in Fallout 4, or butting heads with Mr House in New Vegas, part of the franchise's charm has been the vast number of NPCs that flesh out this apocalyptic nightmare.
Since the OG Fallout, we've had three more main series entries, spin-offs with the likes of New Vegas and Fallout 76, as well as everything from the turn-based Fallout Tactics to the simulation stimulation of Fallout Shelter. Each entry will mean something different to each fan, but in terms of which Fallout game can be classed as the "best", there's an unsurprising victor.
What did fans vote as the best Fallout game?
Posting on the official Fallout subreddit, the all-important question was posed to the world at large. 8,395 fans took part in the survey, which turned up some interesting results. Drumroll, please. With a whopping 58.9% of the votes (4,943) Obsidian Entertainment's Fallout: New Vegas scooped the top spot. Coming in second was Fallout 4 (26.8%), followed by Fallout 3 (10%). Both Fallout 2 and Fallout 76 earned just 1.8% of the votes, the first game trailed with 0.6%, while the others were lumped together with 0.1%.
Given New Vegas' beloved place in the series, we'd also have rolled the dice and guessed the gambling giant was going to win this one. The questionnaire didn't stop there though. Asking which game introduced you to the franchise, 55.7% started with Fallout 3. It's interesting to note the 2008 outing is the first time Bethesda Game Studios was signed on as a developer. It's also here that many think Fallout first hit its stride. In terms of which games everyone's played, Fallout 4 came on top with a massive 97.4% of those asked having played the 2015 game.
Fallout: New Vegas swept the board. As well as 68.1% of those asked saying it had the best story, 68.9% also said it had the best RPG elements. In terms of which game critics thought was the worst, Fallout 76 earned that dubious honour as 40.9% deemed it the weakest. When Bethesda launched Fallout 76 in 2018, the ambitious idea of being a prequel to the other games soon fell flat when the studio confirmed it wouldn't have any NPCs. The decision to deliver a non-NPC Fallout was later retconned when the Wastelanders DLC introduced NPCs in April 2020.
Why is Fallout: New Vegas the best game?
Ultimately, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what made New Vegas such a universal hit. Perhaps it's because it tried something different and explored a more vibrant world than the games that came before it. Also, with Obsidian putting its own mark on things, it felt like a wholly new game while still retaining what makes Fallout what it is. In 2010, Bethesda was unsure what to do with Fallout. There'd been the runaway success of Fallout 3 two years earlier, but with developers tied up on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it optioned out to Obsidian - which had been founded by some of those who'd worked on the first Fallout as Black Isle Studios.
Since the release of New Vegas, it's become a cult classic that's delivered some of the most iconic characters to grace the series. Barely a day goes by that someone doesn't throw around the idea of Fallout: New Vegas 2. With the Microsoft deal just over the horizon, there have been renewed calls for a sequel, and hopes the fact that Microsoft will own Obsidian and Bethesda could once again lead to a union for the ages. Now, we'll just have to wait and see whether our dreams of Fallout New Vegas 2 ever come true or the house wins this one.
Images via Bethesda