Originally Posted by brettjv
I know this is belated but honestly if you own neither, I would just play FC4 and skip 3 altogether. They're both huge, and both very similar games, but FC4 is just 'better' in pretty much every way. You will almost certainly 'get your fill' of the type of game that the two of them are ... just by playing either one of the two. And as mentioned they have absolutely no common story elements so no worries there. All the FC games are completely unrelated actually.
FC2 pretty much blew, but FC the original was a milestone game at the time, the first 'big time' DX9 title, it blew everyone away. I'd still tell anyone ... it's a game worth playing. It's a pretty epic adventure, storyline isn't like Half-Life 2 great or anything but it's solid, gunplay is still fun, it's challenging but not TOO challenging, lots of cool/creepy environments, and you can get it for next to nothing.
FC2 was my favorite game of the series, but its a different type of game than FC3 or FC4. Its not an arcadey fun shooter. Its a punishing trudge through hostile lands while sick with malaria,, you will constantly find yourself surrounded and outgunned, your weapons will break, you will run out of ammo, and some guy will get a lucky shot through the bushes and kill you before you ever saw him. You have no mini-map, no OSD, its just you, a rusted AK, and a bottle of malaria medicine which is running precariously low. You will do well and whipe out an outpost only to come back through and find it repopulated. You aren't the hero, you may not even be good guy, your definitely working for bad guys. The closest thing you will find to victory is hawking some blood diamonds for an RPG, or completing an assassination contract for more blood diamonds. Welcome to Africa, now die.