Split image of Fallout 76 power armor and New Vegas Courier
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Fallout 76 vs Fallout: New Vegas — Which is the Better Game?

Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 76 may be the most talked about games in the series but which is better?

The Fallout franchise has never shied away from expanding on a world that, for better or worse, is just a desolate wasteland, no matter the entry. Even still, each game has offered something to learn and has offered hits like Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 76, begging the question of which one between the two truly is better.

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Fallout: New Vegas Stands Apart From the Crowd

Fallout: New Vegas promotional art
Image via Bethesda

Fallout games, especially the more recent ones, have established the story of a Vault Dweller making their way through the Wasteland in hopes of finding a loved one or simply making their way around. However, Fallout: New Vegas offered something new: a main character who wasn’t tied to the vaults and was known as the Courier. As the Courier, you would travel through New Vegas and the surrounding area on a revenge mission to kill the man who robbed you and left you for dead.

New Vegas wasn’t a mainline Fallout game, but its story is one that has been considered the best the franchise has to offer for years. Its influence has even impacted the Fallout TV show, with the location being teased at the end of Season 1. However, regarding the game, its consequence-based story also offers some unique consequences and stakes for you as you explore the Wasteland. Plus, even though the gameplay was standard for a first-person-style shooter from Bethesda, the story added a level of cinematic quality that guaranteed an exciting experience for anyone who partook in the game.

Fallout 76 Pushed the Franchise Like Never Before

Promotional art for Skyline Valley in Fallout 76
Image via Bethesda

As a multiplayer-based experience, Fallout 76 had its fair share of struggles in the early years as it gained its footing as a pseudo-live-service experience. However, as the most recent Skyline Valley update has shown, Fallout 76 has more than grown past its difficult start and has since become something truly special. Now, you and a couple of friends can work together to either develop your community, explore the Wasteland, or scavenge for supplies. For years, the Fallout games had an underlying message of working together for a better tomorrow (even if the war never changes), and Fallout 76 has finally put that idea into action.

As it’s a mainly multiplayer experience, the story is fairly straightforward as you play as a vault dweller from Vault 76 and, serving as an alternate prequel, sees the Wasteland only a couple of decades after the Great War. Embarking on Reclamation Day, it’s up to you to take back the planet and work together to make sense of a world that was left behind. Already, the sense of community surpasses that of Fallout: New Vegas, but is it enough to establish Fallout 76 as a superior title? Sadly, that answer can’t be made based on story alone but also what these games have to offer us.

Which Fallout Game is Better?

Mr. House in Fallout: New Vegas.
Image via Obsidian and Bethesda

Looking at New Vegas, the game is a solo experience, and once you’ve played everything, there won’t be anything new coming. The game is complete on release, which could feel stifling to those who prefer a growing experience whenever they boot up the game. However, it also laid the groundwork for all other Fallout games that would come after. That said, Fallout: New Vegas was always the more memorable between it and Fallout 3, even though Fallout 3 changed the game’s direction completely.

In the case of Fallout 76, it’s got everything New Vegas does but improved as it’s come over a decade after that game. From the VAT system to basic movement, everything improved in Fallout 76. The best part, though? You can play with friends whenever you want. As a result, there’s an allure to immersing into a world as bleak as this because your friends are literally by your side.

But in reality, when deciding what you want to play, you must factor in what you prefer. Is it a unique story with fun gameplay? Then the New Vegas is for you. If you prefer a community with a growing storyline, then Fallout 76 is the true winner. Even still, to reach that goal, we have to acknowledge that New Vegas walked so Fallout 76 could run, and, as such, the former must always remain the best.

Check out our Fallout hub for more content on the franchise!

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Nicholas Brooks
Nick is a Freelance Writer at Gameskinny and brings with him over a decade of writing and editing experience from sites like CBR and Gameskinny. He also runs a small podcast called Popsubclub, where he interviews individuals in the entertainment industry as well as talks with peers. Nick's love of video games is only a small part of his passions as he's also an avid fan of movies, comics, music and theme parks. Make sure to follow his Instagram (@Comicsubclub) for more.