Yep, I finished all the sidemissions and collected everything that could be collected.
It understood pacing and scale like no other. It started out really, really small. With you being send down to scout a colony and it ended in a big-ass firefight in space. Absolutely beautiful.
I liked the Mako missions because they gave the world much more scope. ME2 with all it's fake 'epicness' felt tiny in comparison. The levels felt smaller, you didn't really feel like you were exploring a galaxy.
Remember that one tech-cave with all the dead Protheans in their life-pods? That place was huge, nearly BLAME!-like in it's art-direction. Absolutely amazing and something very few videogames even try.
I think there's something magical and frightening about standing in a big empty space that has a roof so big you can't even see the end of it. As if you reached the end of earth.
I only felt like that while playing a certain mission in STALKER: CoP and the last hours of Metro 2033.
When the final battle at the Citadel ended you actually felt something. You felt the scale. It felt epic and I'm not talking about this 'epic' so many videogames try to sell you. You felt like you've accomplished something fantastic, like you were part of something big.
You saw your Shepard one last time and then Credits and amazing music.
Oh and yeah, the soundtracks were never as good as they were in Mass Effect 1. Catchy tune after catchy tune that felt very retro-sci-fi.
I also do not appreciate how buffed up the art-designed was in ME 2 and 3. In ME 1 every armor and weapon felt very smart. It looked new and different.
In ME 2 and 3 every armor needed to be bigger, shinier and carbon-yer. They really didn't get what made the armor so cool in ME 1. Also the weapons lost their smart-design.