Fallout 3, the objectively 5th-best Fallout game, is free to keep via Prime Gaming right now

Fallout 3 guy
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Fallout 3, right? What a game. Bethesda's first foray into the Wasteland was also a lot of people's introduction to the series. To this day, it's easy to find people who call FO3 the best game of the lot.

Come the revolution, that opinion will be banned. To those of us who get our videogame takes directly from a ghostly plane of objective truth, Fallout 3 is actually the fifth best in the mainline series, behind Fallout 1, New Vegas, Fallout 2, and Fallout 4, and I suspect my placement of 4 on that list will be the most controversial thing I say in this article. FO3 may, or may not, be better than Fallout 76, Fallout: Tactics, and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, which unfortunately no one yet living has ever played (or at least I haven't, which is just about the same thing).

But don't get me wrong: The fifth-best Fallout is still a very fun game, and I have fond memories of my time galumphing through the Capital Wasteland. If you'd like to make some memories of your own, you can currently pick up a free GOG key for the game—in its all-dancing GOTY edition form—over at Prime Gaming, so long as you have a subscription to the service via Amazon Prime or what-have-you.

That means you get base Fallout 3 plus its various expansions like Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta. I'm a little iffy on Mothership Zeta, which takes place entirely on an alien spaceship because Bethesda leans hard into original Fallout's whackier elements, but the rest of those DLCs are all a good time. 

If memory serves, Broken Steel is particularly essential: It's the one that allowed you to keep playing after the endgame and which let you actually make a rational choice during the original ending (though the game will still call you a coward for it in the credits).

So if you're one of the vanishingly few people that doesn't have FO3 yet, or you just want a backup GOG copy in case Gabe Newell loses his mind and takes his knife collection to Steam's server racks, I'd recommend picking it up. I might be a bitter old Fallout grognard, but I give credit where it's due: Fallout 3 is a good time. The fifth-best Fallout ain't nothing to sniff at.

Correction: This piece has been updated to refer to Prime Gaming, rather than the old name of Twitch Prime.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.