There's no denying that Mass Effect 2 is universally acclaimed, and I can seriously see why. The game has high production values, excellent dialogue, and a good combat system. The game earned a number of GOTY awards and is considered by many to be in the upper echelon of games for this generation.
I, however, have struggled with this game since I beat it last year. I can see that it is good, but I fail to see why it is GREAT. Mass Effect 2 is so many things, and I believe it succeeds only marginally in any of them. As a TPS it is a little stale, as a RPG it is shallow, and as an adventure it is fairly predictable. So, while I enjoyed the game, Mass Effect 2 always seemed to be "watered down" for my tastes. One of my biggest qualms with the game is it's narrow locations. It feels like a theme-park ride, where you are "pushed through" from point to point, accomplish a task and get pushed through to the next point. In stark contrast to Mass Effect 2 is the Metal Gear Solid franchise, wherein every problem allows for multiple solutions.
Granted, some of my complaints are grounded in my personal preference: I am increasingly bored with games that "guide" me, and Mass Effect 2's branching storylines and conversation trees only serve to highlight the dissapointingly linear combat. Perhaps a deeper customization system would've helped, or implementing some stealth combat, or larger venues for combat with many possible paths to take. We are given many choices in the game, but as a gamer I want those choices to be in gameplay FIRST, then in narrative.
I may be alone in this, but Mass Effect 2 was not a revelation, nor a truely great game. It is a good game presented very well.
Now please tell me how wrong I am below... and I will attempt to defend myself.