Personally, I feel that FO3 did the whole post-apocalyptic thing pretty goddamn well. There was something more real about its depiction of a Wasteland: raiders were everywhere, slavers ran their operation unopposed, safe havens were few and far between...it felt more "every man for himself". I felt more like Mad Max.
This is, of course, ignoring the entire main storyline, the tepid gameplay, the comparatively small pool of weapons, the poorly-designed and all-too-forgiving leveling-up mechanics...to name a fair bit of the big problems it had. New Vegas didn't just improve on Fallout 3's formula; it added a ridiculous amount of content to the game, well above and beyond what was included in FO3.
Mothership Zeta canon and the main storyline's ending deserve their own level of shame.
That's not to say that FO3 was a bad game. I loved FO3. I'll never forget the first time I wandered into that supermarket, for instance. But it's not a Fallout game. New Vegas is.
NV is simply better, and for that, I love it more.
A lot better.
---END OF COPYPASTA---
Asmodai: Wow, did you actually just type that New Vegas' story wasn't as compelling as 3's? When I say "compelling", I mean "you want to do this"; I do not mean "you have to do this". The former influences roleplay; the latter restricts it. New Vegas is compelling in the good sense. Fallout 3 is compelling in the bad sense.
"Hey kid, your dad left for no good reason without telling you so that you could stay here but because he left you can't stay here and he should have known that so go find him."
And I'm supposed to go find this person just because he's my dad? Fuck him; he's a stupid dick.
"These people shot you. They took something valuable from you. Now what?"
Yog: Holy shit, Fallout 3's story is better because it shows my birth? I guess Fallout 3 must be better than Oblivion, too; they started you off in some dumb jail cell. LAME-O.
And to say that Fallout 3's "You're born in the Vault. You die in the Vault. Now you're a Vault dweller with a father." gives you BETTER roleplaying options than "You're a Wastelander. Do whatever you want." is absolutely goddamn absurd. Nor was Fallout 3 lax at all. Want to get Power Armor? GO FIND YOUR DAD.
You don't have to go find who tried to kill you, either. At all. You're not even particularly or strongly compelled to go do so. You don't even have to get the Chip in order to finish the game.
EM: If you're only playing Fallout: New Vegas on one character, you're doing it wrong. Indeed, it's a GOOD thing that you're restricted by your factional choices because it means those choices MATTER.
What the fuck world do you hacks live in where Fallout 3 is a better game than New Vegas? Holy shit, even ignoring ANY story/roleplay arguments, 3's gameplay is fucking ass compared to New Vegas. It's gotten to the point where I can't even play Fallout 3 anymore because the gameplay is so atrocious.
ADDENDUM: It's good to see some fellow ROBBAZ HERE KING OF SWEDEN fans.