I played the demo of the first Fallout game years ago off of a demo disk that a friend of mine got in the mail. Suffice it to say that I bought the original Fallout shortly thereafter and became enamoured by even the idea of a sequel. However, unlike poorly written sequels to boxoffice smash hits Fallout 2 delivered with absolutism. Not only were the game's core competencies improved, but the entire scope of the game had been expanded. The developers kept what they had done well in the first game and retooled things that had needed work. It wasn't long before Fallout 2 had taken the highest spot on my video game hierarchy.
The quality of the game though is not entirely recognized the first time through. I throughly enjoyed playing through the game the first time, but I soon realized that on my second and third times through I was still finding a vast number of differences. You see, Fallout is not like a typical game that is wholly linear. There are many different ways to reach the end, and major subplots can be avoided, skipped or completely overlooked on any single time through the game. Different paths or methods or styles can therefore be used to complete the game. I no longer judge a game on how much it challenges me or how difficult it is to finish it. I consider the whole value of the entertainment that I derive from it. Hence, the long-standing value of the game has become its replayability.
I have played many games in my life. Some of them have provided far more intense entertainment than Fallout 2 and others have challenged me more. However, none have come so close as to match the level of long-standing entertainment that I have derived from this single game. Clearly, Fallout 2 was the best video game purchase I have ever made.