The best parts: Cinematic production values; a breathtaking yet believable universe; immersive character customization; mature storytelling with moral significance; plus, badass aliens.
The WORST part:
Yeah. The slooooooow elevators in Mass Effect have become a bit of an internet joke in the past several months, but no amount of humor or excuses (loading?) can make us forget what we lost in those boring metal boxes. Our time. Our energy. Our brain cells. Our will to live.
The rest of the game was definitely worth the wait... but that doesn't mean we have to forgive the wait itself. If man can travel across the vast reaches of space in an instant, why can't he do the same between floors? Or at least take the stairs?
Dishonorable mention: In all honesty, Mass Effect's hopelessly clunky and seemingly half-finished inventory system is worse than the elevator rides... but we barely understood it enough to finish the game, let alone to write a paragraph about it now. (And yes, we know that both problems were more or less corrected for the PC version. Have a cookie.)