Over 10 years ago I played this back when the ending was god-awful. Back when I didn't have the DLCs to change the ending into something that made so much more sense. To be honest this original ending actually ruined what was otherwise a near perfect flawless gem in my eyes. What made it more painful was that the ending didn't make sense, especially when you had certain companions with you.
That ancient injustice has since been corrected a decade later with my purchase of the GOTY edition that included the DLCs, particularly the Broken Steel expansion. What was already a damn good game became so much better. And mind you, I'm one of those who first played the isometric Fallout 1 and 2, and loved every minute of it. Bethesda took the IP and elevated it for slightly modern tastes; some might hate the shift from isometric, but I think they did the Fallout franchise decent.
Even to this day I cannot forget the sheer terror I felt ten years ago, running from station to ghoul-infested station, avoiding very angry Super Mutants and centaurs, all to experience pure exhausted exhilaration as I finally reached that obscure quest goal in the middle of the DC Capital.
Fallout 3 is the kind of game that sticks raw in your gullet, good and bad. And thanks to the GOTY version, the feelings are now less like a shotgun to the back, and more akin to the sizzling tenderness of Mole Rat Wonder Meat on the tongue.