My favorite moments from the OT are often related to renegade stuff. Reporter punching, defenestration, and other general badassery was a mainstay of the series for me. Unfortunately Bioware Montreal seems to think "grey area" is synonymous with bland paragon dialogue. I found my dialogue options to be a huge step backwards in terms of diversity and it's ability to engage my interest.
The main plotline is not very good, but I'd say that's fairly standard for the series. ME1 was good, but if you really examine the A-plot of the following games, it's full of plotholes and poorly thought out logic. I can tolerate it, but it's hardly something worth celebrating.
Character writing is ok. There aren't a lot of games that do this, but compared to Bioware's previous works, I find it slightly subpar. Again, not intolerable, but not making me want to champion the game either.
The quests rarely have more than one solution. There are some very obvious branches that come up occasionally, but the lion's share of quests are very generic fetch/scan quests. I really wish they had cut the number in half and made them each twice as good, I hate these generic quests. A couple lines of boring dialogue does not a good quest make.
The combat and environments are definitely better. If these are the main draws for you, there's definitely something to enjoy here.
I want to like the crafting, but man, reviewers weren't kidding when they complained about the UI. It really is a mess trying to take an item from the blue-print stage all the way through crafting. And there are some serious balancing problems with the modifiers that can make a plethora of useless guns. Do yourself a favor and save before crafting anything.
Last, but most importantly for me: bugs. I got pretty deep into the game and realized I wasn't hearing any banter. Apparently there's a bug that prevents your party members from triggering their banter. Well fuck. The best dialogue in the game seems to be between party members, so having that stuff completely inaccessible to the audience due to bugs is unacceptable. This caused me to put my play on hold. Then, realizing I paid full price for a game that is unsuitable for play, I asked for a refund.
I never really sold games but I did just recently refund Andromeda. I had 20 hours in it, so it's a bit shady, but I realized I was suffering from a bug preventing banter from triggering. That was the only part of the writing I actually enjoy in that game. That same night the mp d/c'd on me every 5 minutes, costing me several consumable boosts. I said fuck it and asked for a refund (which I got -- kudos to EA for that at least).
Hard to pick but given the season, I'll follow the GB template of one winner and two runner-ups.
*Invisible Inc. - Hail Austin for evangelizing this game at 2015's GOTY delibs. The design is just so tight. Great tactical and strategic level systems that create something better than the sum of it's parts. Also stylish af.
GTAV - Wasn't in the mood when this game came out. But now I'm enjoying the single player quite a bit. I really like having different characters. I especially relate to Micheal for some reason.
Dying Light - The movement in this game puts every other first person game to shame (other than titanfall2). I play on survivor difficulty and it feels like a perfect razor's edge when dealing with difficult combat situations which feels appropriate for the setting.