Difficult question, but obviously New Vegas is NOT better than 1. The very first game set the basis for the entire Fallout Universe, without it, there would be no New Vegas, as mentioned before. It definitely earns and deserve to be called " Fallout ", and it is a great sequel to Fallout 2. Is it overrated ? Maybe. But i have seen a lot of hate coming from Fallout 3 fanboys, despising it, considering it as some sort of " spin-off " and a " Fallout 3.1 ". I say let's instead consider it as the model for what a modern Fallout should be, no game will clearly ever be able to be as good as the first two, because they have their own status, they are the original games and made everything else possible.