Is Diablo 3 Better Than Diablo 2 Resurrected? An In-Depth Comparison

As an avid ARPG fan and long-time player of both franchises, I get asked this question a lot: "Should I play Diablo 2 Resurrected or Diablo 3?" There‘s no straightforward answer, so let‘s dig into the key differences between these loot-hunting classics.

At a Glance

Category Diablo 2 Resurrected Diablo 3
Release Date 2021 2012
Setting Dark, gothic fantasy Bright, colorful fantasy
Combat Pace Methodical Fast-paced, action packed
Character Customization Extensive skill trees Streamlined skills
Endgame Content Boss runs, PVP Adventure Mode, Rifts
Multiplayer Co-op, PVP, trading Co-op, limited PVP/trading

Diablo 2 Resurrected modernizes the classic Diablo 2 experience while retaining its retro appeal. Diablo 3 reimagined the franchise for a new generation with polished combat and streamlined RPG elements. Keep reading as we analyze the key factors in depth.

Gameplay and Combat

When it comes to visceral, satisfying combat – the core of any ARPG – Diablo 3 is the clear winner in my view. While Resurrected retains the calculated, tactical pace of the original, combat in D3 is silky smooth and loaded with jaw-dropping effects. Cleaving through hordes of demons with my Barbarian‘s whirlwind powers never gets old!

Don‘t get me wrong – wreaking havoc as a Sorceress in D2 is still glorious. But going back to the rigid movements and dated animations after experiencing D3‘s dynamic combat feels underwhelming. Diablo 2‘s combat complexity lies more in build diversity and synergies versus fluidity. Plus, minor quality of life improvements in Resurrected like a larger stash and automatic gold pickup make gearing up a bit less painful.

Winner: Diablo 3

Character Customization and Progression

This category goes to Diablo 2 Resurrected in a landslide victory. With its vast skill trees, complex attributes, and wide-ranging gear choices, D2 offers almost limitless character building options compared to D3‘s simplified take.

I‘ll never forget the first time I built out a kickass Frost Orb/Fire Wall sorceress or my unkillable hurricane druid. Optimizing your skills to take down enemies most effectively takes knowledge and planning. While D3 has some solid class diversity, the lack of customization and permanent skill choices is disappointing.

The grind to max level 99 also takes serious dedication in Resurrected. I wish Diablo 3‘s paragon system had a similar sense of increasing power over hundreds of hours. D2 retains the exceptional replay value you expect from a hack-and-slash RPG.

Winner: Diablo 2 Resurrected

Story and Setting

Diablo 2‘s story of an epic struggle against the Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal remains one of the high points in ARPG storytelling. The game‘s dark, Gothic tones pair perfectly with its loot hunting gameplay. Treating myself to another playthrough, I found myself getting sucked into the journey across Sanctuary just like I did decades ago.

While I wanted to love Diablo 3‘s storyline, it failed to resonate for me. The shift to a more colorful, high fantasy aesthetic felt at odds with previous games. And the tale of Leah, Deckard Cain and the mysterious falling star lacked gravitas compared to Diablo 2‘s narrative. The epic cinematics were gorgeous but couldn‘t make up for the shallow plot.

Winner: Diablo 2 Resurrected

Endgame Content

After finishing the campaign, Diablo 3‘s stellar endgame & Adventure Mode blows Diablo 2 out of the water. The intense challenge of tackling Greater Rifts to push your hero and loot collecting skills to the limit offers endless replayability. Whether going solo or in co-op groups, Adventure Mode is incredibly addictive.

Diablo 2 Resurrected‘s endgame boils down to repeated boss runs (usually Baal) or PvP combat for loot and glory. Don‘t get me wrong, I have fond memories of endless Meph and Pindleskin runs back in the day. But the endgame lacks diversity compared to everything Diablo 3 has to offer. Plus quality of life bonuses like Nephalem Glory buffs make grinding more rewarding.

Winner: Diablo 3

Multiplayer Experience

While I regularly played solo, joining up with friends or random groups added an entirely new dimension to both titles. Diablo 2 Resurrected retains the definitive social experience – whether rushing new characters, farming bosses cooperatively, or duking it out in intense PvP. Trading rare items was also a thrill.

That said, I ran into countless connection issues and headaches getting multiplayer going in D2R at launch. When it worked, it was glorious. But technological hiccups hampered the experience. Matchmaking improvements in Diablo 3 made jumping into public games seamless, and the gameplay gibs were glorious with 4 players wreaking havoc. But the social elements never reached the heights of Diablo 2 during its heyday.

Overall, I have to give the edge to Resurrected based on the fond memories it provides. But Diablo 3 offers a smoother multiplayer platform. I hope Blizzard expands the social features of D3 further in the future.

Winner: Diablo 2 Resurrected

The Verdict: Which Should You Play?

So which of these legendary ARPGs comes out on top? In my expert opinion, there is no definitive winner – both are phenomenal games that satisfy loot hunting urges in different ways.

For those craving modernized combat, quality of life upgrades, and loads of varied endgame activities, Diablo 3 is your best bet. The gameplay improvements make it hard to go back to D2‘s rigid combat.

But players yearning for deep character customization, trading, and a meticulously faithful retro experience will likely prefer Diablo 2 Resurrected. And it retains the long-lasting addictive grind that made the original so compelling.

My recommendation? Start with Diablo 3 to experience the buttery smooth combat and visuals. But once you‘ve had your fill, give Resurrected a try to appreciate the series‘ RPG roots and loyal recreation of a classic. For diehard ARPG fans, you really can‘t go wrong adding both games to your collection. They offer distinct but equally satisfying adventures.

So grab your sword and spellbook, pick your poison and get ready for endless hours of obsessive loot hunting. Sanctuary awaits!

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