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Aah, thanks for the clarification. What, then, is your answer to "which one delivers a more fun single player experience"?
To address your point directly, I also don't agree that Quake 2 "was the most supported engine as opensource versions and platforms". Not only does this point have nothing to do with the question, it is also IMHO wrong. Quake 2 has only one engine that works on 64-bit Linux (Yamagi Quake 2), while Quake 1 has multiple excellent 64-bit engines (notably Quakespasm and Darkplaces). Quake 1 also has a browser port, which Quake 2 does not.
(In case you're wondering, the bad grammar in your answer and its irrelevance to the question made it look software generated. The way "howeywan" just suddenly showed up and repeated what you said made you two look like one of those bot tag teams that have been giving us trouble.)
The original quake was the best - quake 2 took all of the weapons from quake 1 and Doom and "redesigned" them... the rocket launcher was ruined (should need no explanation), the grenade launcher used to be my favourite - in quake 2 they wrecked the physics of the thing and again in quake 3 - making it next to useless. The hyperblaster was a useless replacement for the nailguns, the only winner was the rail gun - every other was just meh... I'll never understand the kind of FPS game design where there is a delay between the click of the mouse and the firing of the weapon... quake 2 had lots of that, quake 3 also...
My favourite of the quake sequels so far has been quake 4...
Gee, caravel, I was nodding my head until you mentioned Quake 4 being your favorite. Quake 4 is one of the worst games I've ever attempted to play.
It was incredibly stupid how they made your companions nigh indestructible. By the time I was a few levels in, I was using them as the equivalents of tanks in MMORPGs. I'd get them fighting monsters, and when the monsters were close together, I would throw grenades into the crowd, killing the monsters but not my invincible teammates. Talk about immersion-killing.
Most games, especially newer ones, have an exploit of some kind. In general the more complex the game, the more exploits are to be found. I agree quake 4 wasn't perfect, but it has been my favourite since the first game, simply because they returned to balanced single player style weapons and improved on them, rather than the nerfed crap of quake 2 and 3. I find quake 2 ridiculously easy even on the highest difficulty (I should mention that I'm one of those insane people who played and completed quake 1 on the highest nightmare difficulty multiple times and started out with doom and also played that on the highest difficulty), quake 4 however I find quite challenging on the higher difficulty levels - as the "acrobatics" of other MP focused FPS games are not really possible and the enemy are extremely aggressive and can deal out and take some serious damage.
The NPCs had to be made invulnerable in certain areas because they were an important part of the plot-line - that's a flaw if you exploit it (which I don't) but there are few other ways they could have done it. You will note that in many areas the main NPCs hold back and send you in first - that's by design. I can only think of one or two areas where the NPCs go in guns blazing and can essentially do most of the killing for you. In any of the escort missions the NPCs are vulnerable.
//edit: I should add that the only thing I really hated about the game were the vehicle based missions - poorly implemented and tedious.
Sorry, imo quake1 was the best single player, not even Doom3 could top it. Every couple of years ill get a latest version of one of the community modified quake1 engines and replay the game. Last time i used Darkplaces engine - brilliant gameplay and good graphics to boot. Quake2 starts well but then gets really boring, not many times ive finished full game. Quake4 is even more tedious than quake2. Doom3 suffers from corridor sindrome - just too many of thoses. Quake1 is amazing, i can't believe how much of gameplay iD squeezed into it, considering first time i played it was on Pentium1-100Mhz with turbo(!!) button.
I've only had the pleasure to play quake 1, played the shareware on a 486Dx100 (yea', I'm THAT old ) and from the very first moment I fragged a dog (just accross that first brigde) I was sold, taped, hooked, you name it...still trying to get it up and running on my new install here...
Both games are great, and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. But looking back, Quake 1 wins out, ever so slightly.
Quake 1 was just that little bit more visceral, frantic. The physics and weapons made gameplay a little more satisfying. Quake II was great, but movement was slower, a little sluggier, weapons a little less satisfying.
Also, Quake 1 had an awesome, Lovecraftian otherwordly atmosphere, and the constant stream of new levels which are still coming out and of great quality also lean me to Quake 1 a bit more. Quake II had great atmosphere, but some parts, such as the warehouse and hangar were a bit bland, a bit sterile. Quake 1 was immersive the whole way through.