The trilogy might have ended on a note that didn’t please some fans, but as a whole, Mass Effect was and is a triumph of worldbuilding and storytelling. What started as a rich space odyssey with a slight old-school science-fiction vibe blossomed into a full-blown epic with compelling characters, enthralling locales, and fantastic story beats. The games became more and more action-oriented as the series went on, but this development fit the epic nature of the series while retaining its RPG roots. A brilliant dialogue and karma system molded each player’s Commander Shepard to his or her liking, and other characters would react favorably, angrily, or even romantically to the player based on those dialogue trees. Still, it was the revolutionary system of tying the events and endings of three games together based on player choice that really set the trilogy apart. With literally hundreds of choice threads running between the games, it was difficult to find two identical playthroughs. Some of these choices were not easy ones, either; the first game would culminate in the death of at least one crew member, and by Mass Effect 3 players were lucky to have their whole party intact. Few Western RPGs nail it as perfectly as Bioware’s trilogy has.