I'm with Yoshi on that one : all their games are fairly different, it's hard to really pinpoint a single one when I like them for different reasons.
I invested far more hours into Killing Floor 2, so you could say it probably means it's my favorite right? But truth be told, I expressed many times how disappointed I was with the direction the game took those past few years.
The first Killing Floor is what got me into their games, and I still hold very fond memories of that one ! It's dated, but in the best way. It just has a lot of charm to it.
I also played the first Red Orchestra, although not as much as I would have loved to.
It's KF2 and by far, but I want to double what Aleflippy referred to above, KF2 is so poorly maintained that I'm at a point where I can't enjoy the vanilla gameplay. I'm pretty sure that a lot of players share this sentiment.
I usually bring up here the fact that similar long retention type of games such as DRG, PD2 and L4D2 all grow in playerbase with years, yet KF2 is stagnant. This IMO is an objective measure of how poorly it is maintained.
Those examples mostly come down to how much modding freedom those games have, without needing to host your own server and fumble with mutators and what not... Just plug and play, hence why they keep retaining such high player base.
While with KF2 ever since Saber joined into the development team.
- Quality dropped
- Balancing in shambles
- Maps are out of proportions... Legacy maps are still more fun to play even with new zed additions, than the maps we were getting for the past 2 years... some are good, most are terrible.
I'll be honest, i mostly enjoy(ed) this game going solo into suicidal long and seeing what I'll get myself into, random players, random skill level and more freedom to goof around vs your usual boring match of HOE.
But the never-ending addition of new weapons that overshadow old additions that overshadowed weapons that came before the whole paid DLC thing, too many choices with less clear line of what's effective and what's a newbie trap.
Yes, KF2 is by far my favorite tripwire game... and yet i can barely enjoy it now, with a squad lasting 1 match then leaving the server, leaving me to wait for another 20 minutes before lobby fills up again.
I Sincerely hope that when KF3 comes, it will mix best of both KF games... Difficulty, movement, zed speed and most importantly British humor.
I swear KF2 would have been 20% better if mercs would stop try harding at sounding serious and been cheekier like KF1 mercs.
(As long as legacy mercs retain their voice actors.... It would be weird to play Foster without J.Michael Tatum voicing him)
I don't think it's the modding or server hosting troubles.
I agree that modding could've used better support in terms of documentation, otherwise the game is rather simple to mod. But of course, once you mod it, nobody's going to play your mod because it deranks the game (not to mention it crashes your audience KF2 because of the MaxObjectsNotConsideredByGC issue) and TWI hasn't whitelisted a single mod since 2018 and by now the whitelisting process is below the first stage of the capability maturity model, as the people who knew left the company, the documentation doesn't exist, those who stayed can't figure out what do. This again brings me to the poor maintenance issue.
As for servers, nobody needs servers, as the number of servers in this game as of now is just a bit below the number of average concurrent players, meaning that every player could've grabbed a server for themselves for exclusive use if they wanted to.
I have 0 hope for KF3, as if they make it, it's likely going to be similar to the way how KF2 is maintained. Besides, a lot of people who worked on previous installments in the series either left or were kicked out. We have enough garbage or average games available, I don't think that another subpar game can contribute anything to the advancement of mankind. Especially after the acquisition, Saber isn't exactly known as a studio that creates great and outstanding games. I'm rather confident I won't play KF3 if they make it.