The Fallout series is known for being innovative, interactive, and accessible to many gamers through use of great writing, gameplay, and overall atmosphere. It's one of my all-time favorite games out there, and I'm not alone in that. Bethesda kicks some major butt in making an environment that is immersive, realistic, and makes it feel like we have landed right in the middle of a nuclear wasteland. The characters are dynamic, the choices feel real, and the radio is the perfect soundtrack to wandering. As a series, it's just great.
The most recent installment is Fallout 4, which is by far the most impressive game in the series. Though there have been many games in the series thus far, the installment prior to 4 is Fallout: New Vegas which is one of the most coveted games to Fallout fans. That being said, in terms of quality, 4 is the clear choice; here is why.
15 Our Favorite Furry Companion Makes An Appearance
Look at this cute-ass German Shepard, all armored out and cute. What does New Vegas have to offer? A robot dog with a gross exposed brain who is one of the most useless companions (useless, but nevertheless one of my favorite choices anyways, because dogs). Dogmeat is everything Rex wishes he was. He can disarm mines, retrieve items, detect enemies, and there isn't a single quest about trying to get Dogmeat a new brain. Dogmeat is the ultimate doggo, able to take down raiders and eat bullets like they are kibble. The best part is, when an enemy downs Dogmeat in Fallout 4, pop a stimpack in ya boi and he's ready to eat more bullets to save you. Rex, on the other hand, is about as tanky as Tracer, so he'll spend more of the game passed out and waiting for you to finish the fight. If you're playing on Hardcore mode, he might even die; then you'll be stuck trying to reload your last save, just so you can live with yourself.
14 Making Combat Suit Your Own Needs
There's just nothing like a baseball bat with attached saw blades for kicking some Raider or Ghoul butt with some style. New Vegas changed the Fallout series by adding modifications to guns, which opened up the Mojave to some new combat options. Fallout 4 took that idea, and gave it a syringe full of steroids. Multiple options for barrels, scopes, stocks, magazines; you name it, you can probably strap it to your gun. Prefer .45 over .50? You can convert your rifle to your ammunition needs. Plus, the ability to name your guns adds a touch of class to any arsenal: my legendary, double projectile .44 Magnum was named Darla's Butt, after one of the best butts in the Commonwealth. Regardless of your opinion about my ex's butt, you can agree the ability to customize a gun down to the name gives a welcome extra layer of depth.
13 A Whole New Wardrobe Full Of Options
Armor makes the man (or woman) in the Wasteland and the Mojave. When you start taking bullets from all directions, you're gonna want something you feel confident can stop a bullet from point blank range. The armor got a cosmetic boost as well as a major boost in customization in the jump from New Vegas to Fallout 4. This works similarly to the guns; you're given the ability to completely customize your armor, down to what it has resistance to and the paint job. This allows you to create your own personal armor and hand-tailor it for the situation you plan on running into, guns blazing. Rather than scrounging for the one armor set worth a damn in the Mojave, you can make sure whatever armor you pick up is the best it can be using the supplies you've got. This makes Fallout 4 the superior choice in armor customization, which will help you survive the Commonwealth.
12 Story Expansions That Actually Matter
Old World Blues and The Burned Man were decent DLCs in New Vegas. They added a bit of plot, one or two new guns, and an outfit or two. They were good, but Fallout 4's DLC is insanely good. New Vegas gave you a canyon and a 9mm, while Fallout 4 gave you a re-imagined theme park, a harbor in Maine with a threat worse than a radiation storm, and the ability to make your own robot companions, among other things. That is what DLC should be! Fallout 4 added new mechanics, new perks, and a refreshing new plot. The effort that clearly went into the DLCs was obviously greater in Fallout 4 than it was in New Vegas, making the choice in the two games pretty clear when it comes to additional content.
11 Certain Enemy Redesigns Make A Huge Difference
Now this may seem like a small detail to most people. I mean, we're talking about a change in one enemy out of a few hundred character changes. The changes made to the feral ghouls were literally jaw-droppingly shocking. They didn't just update the skin, reskin the model, or improve the graphics; they changed the personality, the movement, and the entire feel of the creature. These ferals now sprint, like Usain Bolt heading to the finish line, and dive and twist with the agility of a puma. They are, without a doubt, the most terrifying parts of the game. In 3 and New Vegas, ferals were anything but dangerous. But in 4, a horde of feral ghouls have the ability to rip apart your power armor. These kinds of dramatic changes in character movement and development are exactly why Fallout 4 is better than New Vegas.
10 Power Armor Actually Feels Powerful
In any Fallout game power armor is the ultimate accessory for any player, and it's certified in making you look like a badass. Finding power armor and getting power armor training in New Vegas is quite the pain in the ass. The Brotherhood of Steel or the Brotherhood Outcasts are just about your only shot at obtaining power armor, and both are hard to find or show up very late game. Fallout 4 on the other hand has a new take on power armor, making the armor more widely available (seriously, it's everywhere) as well as offering more customization. Power armor is now a psudeo-Iron Man suit of apocalyptic superiority. With multiple variations and limited charge time (screw fusion cores), this adds a dynamic to using power armor that New Vegas just doesn't bring to the table.
9 A Fan-Favorite Faction Is Much More Present
Speaking of power armor: Ad Victoriam, brothers. While some tend to hate the near Fascist command that the Brotherhood took on in Fallout 4, I was just glad to see them brought back into the main plot. The Brotherhood is one of the most interesting and deep factions within the series, showing up in nearly every installment of the game. Yet in New Vegas I always felt like the Brotherhood was underrepresented. They are confined to an underground hole, difficult to find, hard to work with, and the payoff doesn't feel that satisfying. The Brotherhood in 4 is the Brotherhood I remember fondly. They arrive in an airship and start droppin' Vertibirds and Paladins like it's nobody's business. The Brotherhood feels like an intimidating force not to be messed with in 4; in New Vegas they feel like some upset children hiding from reality.
8 You Actually Feel Like You're Surviving In A Wasteland
Survival Mode in Fallout 4 is the Dark Souls of the Fallout universe. Between saving only when you find a bed, limited ammo, double damage dealt and received, suffering through dehydration and hunger while trying not to die of radiation poisoning... it's as close to the nuclear apocalypse as I would ever like to be. The Survival Mode in 4 is dynamic, new and refreshing... while New Vegas' Survival Mode just feels tedious and obnoxious. With no real change to combat, the realism of being dehydrated is immediately taken away by having to dump 1,000 10mm rounds into a raider's head before they are killed. Not to mention, 99% of everything seems to debuff you to the point of wishing Benny left you dead in that ditch.
7 It Really Puts The Nostalgic Glasses On
The whole world of Fallout 4 has more of that vintage 1940s feel to it that just hasn't been in other Fallout installments. Rather than just a green or sepia filter over the world to give it a general feeling of 'apocalypse', the bright colors contrast beautifully with the dead wasteland surrounding them. Fallout 4 gives the player moments where things will send you back to memory lane, like seeing an intact toy that looks out of place in a feral ghoul den. Meanwhile, New Vegas just seems to have a drab sepia tone washing over the whole game that doesn't give the same amount of immersion that Fallout 4 offers. Fallout 4 has that feeling of an antique shop with preserved junk, while New Vegas has the feeling of finding a dirty sock buried in the desert.
6 An Expansive World Offers More To Explore
The whole point of a Fallout game is to explore. You're encouraged to look in every nook and cranny, and search every jetted-out addict's body to find every piece of scroungeable loot possible. Eventually, after about 125 hours (once you've started questioning why you haven't showered in a week), you've probably seen all you can see, and killed everyone you can kill. So, why not extend that timeframe by exponentially increasing the size of the map? As you can see in the image above, Fallout 4 has the largest map in Fallout history. You get far more bang for your buck, and this doesn't even include the full maps of Far Harbor and Nuka World, which add hours of exploring and make your vault dweller into the perfect scavenger. Easy pick with this one.
5 Quests Are More Engaging And Interesting
"Come Fly With Me" is one of the most frustrating and hated quests I've ever played. The quest takes forever, even if you know where everything is. New Vegas is packed full of bullsh*t quests that make the grind ever so real. Whether it's killing hundreds of ghouls for Vargas or running around doing meaningless tasks for the Brotherhood of Steel, New Vegas is just full of quests we don't want to be doing. Fallout 4 has gotten rid of these long pointless questlines, and instead replaced them with plot related quests or quests to help expand immersion. While Preston Garvey has been bashed on (rightfully so) for his constant harassment of the player, at least his quests have a purpose other than grinding for the sake of grinding. This is just another reason the most recent installation is the clear choice for the best Fallout.
4 Make Your Character Look Just The Way You Want
The facial customization in Fallout 4 is unmatched by any game out there, and I will fight you on this. This is the game with the most detailed facial animations, mixed with the best customization to make your character exactly what you want him to be. For a game so focused on conversation and interaction, the ability to make your character look and feel real is worth the extra mile. New Vegas was a generation behind, but even for its time it was not the leader in animation or realism. Characters you made in New Vegas would look great in the character creator, but awful in the actual game. Mass Effect outdid New Vegas easily in that respect, and it's hard to say if any game will outdo the level of detail and customization Fallout 4 puts in the players hands. Hey, bonus points if you can tell who these two characters are based off of! Here's a hint: why so serious? If you didn't get it from that hint, I have nothing left for you, and you may not call yourself a nerd in my presence.
3 A Story That You Actually Care About
The whole plot of New Vegas is a stretch at best. From taking a bullet to the head, surviving that (somehow), surviving the almost guaranteed infection, and finding the man who did the job in an ever expanding Wasteland, the Courier does it all, with no motivation other than the promise of revenge. To go from this to somehow ruling the Mojave makes almost no sense whatsoever. But Fallout 4 has a classic story that runs throughout the entire game. You're emotionally invested in the character from the beginning, after watching your spouse die. Find your son. Get revenge. Anyone can get behind that plot, and would take on an army of Super Mutants to get their child back. The twists and plot points are all going toward that one goal, which keeps you pressing on through the Commonwealth.
2 Character Skill Customization Is Vastly Improved
Perks make the Fallout world go round, and Fallout 4 has the coolest way of picking your perks, offers the most perks, and gives the most description on what those perks will actually do to benefit the Lone Survivor. The diversity between the perks and the games is one of the paramount points in why Fallout 4 is the superior choice. The perks in New Vegas seem helpful at best, but hardly game-changing. Fallout 4 on the other hand introduces game changers. There are ways to make Dogmeat hold and enemy for you, craft stronger armor and weapons, and the classics like lock-picking and Bloody Mess make an appearance. The animations add an extra layer of vintage fun to the game. Watching a smiling little Vault-Boy play Jesus in the Life Giver perk is worth the $60 on its own.
1 The Ability To Pimp Out Your Own House
While some people hated the Minecraft resembling building system in 4, it was definitely innovative and leaves New Vegas in the dust. Being able to customize whole areas as you go definitely adds to the immersion of the game; these places start to feel like a home and like they're yours. This feature is honestly a whole game in itself with the depth it reaches. Every player of this game has a settlement that they've made into a home, and people get really attached to their creations and spend tons of time building them up and decorating their houses. It's like The Sims meets Fallout! In DLCs they've added the ability to build your own Vaults, create contraptions that defy gravity and physics, and even catch and release Deathclaws in your own Thunderdrome arena! Two games in one is the best reason Fallout 4 will always come out on top compared to New Vegas.