The best parts: Zombies; zombies in a mall; killing zombies in a mall; killing zombies in a mall with any weapon you can grab, from a baseball bat to a lawnmower to an oversized Mega Man helmet; oh yeah, did we mention zombies?
The WORST part: TIME LIMIT
In case our enthusiasm wasn't obvious from the preceding paragraph, let us be perfectly clear. Battling zombies in a mall is one of the greatest ideas in videogame history. The premise was stolen from movies, sure, but transforming it into open-world interactive entertainment - with players in complete control of all the slicing and dicing - was a stroke of genius.
So why restrict that genius? Why give gamers only a limited "72 hour" taste before yanking them back to the beginning, again and again and again? Why imprison such wild, carefree, no-brainer fun in such a needlessly overcomplicated and confusing structure? Why ensure that failure, repetition and stressful multi-tasking are the norm? Why?
If the developers were attempting to mask a meager amount of gameplay, we'd understand, but Dead Rising has enough great material to fill weeks and months. Forcing us to experience that material in stupidly short chunks doesn't make it seem longer, more realistic or more exciting... it just makes us more likely to quit.
Dishonorable mention: Maybe we could get everything done in 72 hours if the other survivors weren't a bunch of idiots, if the janitor didn't keep bothering us on the phone every ten seconds or if we could read any of the text on our standard definition TV's.