I loved the first Max Payne, and I still appreciate Remedy's ambition today. It's a great game. That said, after playing it again recently, I realized that some of my fond memories of realistic physics and ultra-lifelike characters might have been contaminated with just a teensy drop of nostalgia since 2001.
If you're bothered by the "new" Max Payne of Max Payne 3 , with his varying amounts of hair on varying bits of his head, the series' original cast is at least a reminder of how much 11 years of technological progress can do for a guy's looks. The video above is my tribute to the smirking Max Payne who once was (who certainly looks good for the time), as remembered by the new, not-smirking-quite-as-much Max Payne.
When developing the original Max Payne, Remedy did not have a budget for actors, so writer Sam Lake and other developers played the roles. Lake is the original face (and smirk) of Max Payne.