I just played the entire trilogy back to back for the first time this month and have to say while I liked the story of the first game, I thought the overall arch of the stories of 2 and 3 were pretty lame. Mass Effect 2’s story is pretty much a generic Bond villain has you build a team to take on a laughably bad final boss (which seems almost irrelevant in retrospect given how most of these characters are barely in part 3). Then 3’s story is about a group of aliens that should be capable of wiping out earth in a just a few days somehow takes over a month to give you just enough time to fly around the galaxy getting all alien races to help you build the intergalactic “I Win Button”.
Mass Effect 2 and 3 do have much better character development, game play, and subplots that are much better than the main plot. To me the consequences of your choices in the Mass Effect have to do with how attached you have gotten to the characters and how you feel if you lose them. Mass Effect has it’s flaws, but this was also the first time anyone tried a game trilogy like this and I am sure Bioware and the game industry as a whole has learned a lot from it. I am very excited to see how games and their sequels evolve from what Bioware has started here, especially over the next generation