I enjoyed it all the way through aside from the ending as I'm sure you've no doubt heard about. However, I treat the Citadel DLC for 3 as my ending. It provided ten times the closure for me.
As for the gameplay, 1 was kinda wonky, though it was more like a turn based RPG hidden in a TPS's clothing which a lot of people like. I didn't hate it but 2 I liked a lot better and 3 was pretty much perfect.
Once you get the Spectre weapons and some good heat reduction mods 1 starts to feel more and more like a shooter. I never got those weapons my first playthrough but if you don't mind abusing an exploit you can get the level VII versions before you leave the citadel the first time. to get the level X ones you need to be level 50.
Every time I try to go where I really wanna be it's already where I am, 'cuz I'm already there XBL, PSN, Steam, Origin, BSN, GFAQs, MC: PhilOnDez
Personally I really enjoyed the series and I would rank them in my top 10 favourite games. I loved the atmosphere and the story. The characters were pretty good as well. I really liked the gameplay as well (IMO ME3 > ME2 > ME1) although people who like inventory management prefer ME1. Personally, I don't like having to manage my inventory when 90% of the drops are obsolete once you get to the middle of the game and buy better equipment. Don't get the games if you're expecting a tactical RPG like DA: O though. The ME games are mostly third person shooters with role-playing elements set in an interesting and explorable world. The explorable portions of the game aren't that big though (think Witcher 2 style and not Skyrim style).
There are demos you can play for 2 and 3, I am not sure about 1. When I got my current gaming PC, ME was one of the series I was looking forward to playing, but I was really surprised how awful the gameplay is. I can forgive a certain amount of stiffness and clunkyness for a Bethesda title, but for a corridor gallery shooter, I cannot abide with how abysmal it is to actually play these games. I also found that while the games looked incredible in still shots, they become quite ugly when you see them in motion.
Just my 2 cents. Some people really love the stories. I find Bethesda's narratives and characters to be overrated, personally.
TWSS hes speken end the wenner es E. There cen enle be ene. "If it can fit in a Pokeball it can fit in a Gatorade bottle. I'mma catch it." NobleRoar
Well. There's 3 very different games that vary in gameplay and the story may be linear but the quality changes due to writers changing. It is not a consistent trilogy. It is unlikely that you will like it from beginning to end.
The series is super f***ing amazing and epic except for ME3's ending which is by far the worst ever in video game history. I am told they kinda fixed it with dlc but I didn't bother playing it because the original ending disgusted me and millions of true, loyal Mass Effect fans. People who liked ME3's ending are the people who played ME3 first and didn't like or play the first two games. Play the games in the order they were released. ME1 has the best story and more epic moments, especially the epic ending and the gameplay is average. ME2 has worse story but is above average and has great gameplay. ME3 has a better story than ME2 but worse than ME1 and the gameplay is great.