Mass Effect comes from the time when Bioware and Bethesda competed with sci-fi and fantasy RPGs. Bioware had Mass Effect and Dragon Age, while Bethesda rolled out Fallout and Elder Scrolls games. Mass Effect was the pinnacle of production, storytelling, and gameplay.
The worst Mass Effect game is still incredible. Still, there are levels of greatness, with one of the titles being the unequivocal best game, not just in franchise history but among the entire video game universe.
We’ll start ranking Commander Shepard’s space adventures with the worst game in the franchise.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
A few years after Mass Effect: Andromeda, we learned about all of Bioware’s problems. Once a reputable game development studio had significant issues in company processes. The mismanagement and abrupt finishing of the game led to almost complete disaster in the case of Andromeda. It was the first game after the adventures of Commander Shepard ended in Mass Effect 3.
The game concept was great, and the story had tremendous potential, but bugs and character animations doomed the game. Andromeda is set some 600 years after the original trilogy, but the world lacks innovative design, new alien species, and more compelling companions to the main character.
You will play as Pathfinder Ryder, but a lame attempt to make game settings more open-world ended up in repetitive fights in dull wastelands. Developers made changes to the combat system, and the gameplay has some advantages. But, overall, Andromeda failed to fill the shoes of previous hit games in the franchise.
Mass Effect 3
The third game in bellowed space saga improved upon many of Mass Effect 2 game mechanics. Bioware upgraded the already contagious combat system, but simultaneously abandoned resource gathering and space exploration. The story, acting, and cut scenes are once again superb, and the game got high reviews from critics and gamers. However, the most significant controversy is the ending of Commander Shepard’s saga. For many, the end is unsatisfying, with lots to desire, like the last season of Game of Thrones. It’s great, but it doesn’t add up for most fans.
For all of its apparent flaws, the original Mass Effect is a legendary RPG title that became one of the most memorable gaming trilogies. First, the good things. Mass Effect came with a great story and characters; you have a whole galaxy to explore with backstories. Citadel, Reapers, and saving the universe became gaming classics despite some gameplay issues that are more obvious now from a distance. Developers struggled with the combat mechanics, including RPG elements and third-person shooter view.
The most apparent bad design is trying to drive Mako, and you should get a couple of free hours of counseling after that experience. Galaxy exploration is also subpar and often feels empty and pointless. However, all innovative concepts flourished in sequels. So the game, despite some obvious issues, is still worth playing, especially if you get a remastered version in Legendary Edition.
Mass Effect 2
The second game in the trilogy is by far the most polished and arguably among the top RPG games of all time. From the first cut, scene storytelling is way above average, and the characters in the game are thought out and develop meaningful connections. Exploring the universe and solving quests for the Illusive Man while the Reapers and Collectors’ threat looms over known galaxy is deeply satisfying. Commander Shepard and his faithful Normandy are filled with side companions. You can develop romantic stories with Cerberus officer Miranda Lawson, or Jacob Taylor if you play a female character.
Storytelling and visuals improved dramatically from the original game, and developers from Bioware created much better combat gameplay. You can blast through the game in FPS style or pause combat and exploit your companions’ bionic and cyber abilities. Battle companion, armor, and weapon choices all matter in gameplay, and complementing skills add to the overall satisfaction.
Exploring the galaxy and planets is essential to create weapon upgrades, but it could become boring after a while. However, combat and story remain plausible and fun until the final act. Mass Effect 2 rose above the trilogy and had its title in the pantheon of great games that stood the test of time. It’s not perfect, but not far from it if you ask fans of the franchise.