Mass Effect 1 and 2 were just a "preamble" to Mass Effect 3, developer BioWare has said.
BioWare Edmonton general manager Aaryn Flynn compared Mass Effect 3, due out early next year, to the Superbowl, and Mass Effect 1 and 2 to the regular season of American Football matches.
"We want to make sure that if someone is new to the franchise they feel very comfortable playing Mass Effect 3," he told Eurogamer.
"Certainly it's a very polished experience. In the story it starts at a time with a very singular focus and purpose in the galaxy. You could say the previous games were just a preamble to this moment. Everything has been building to this. It's like the Superbowl. Who cares what happened in the regular season? Now's the one that matters."
Mass Effect 3 begins with Commander Shepard on Earth and on trial following the events of Mass Effect 2. During the trial Earth is attacked by Reapers. Shepard then flies off to gather an army and launch a counter-attack.
The game marks the end of a trilogy of games that began life on Xbox 360 in 2007 - but for BioWare it closes off almost a decade's worth of work.
As such, Flynn promised fans a "proper ending", one packed with surprises.
"Fans want a definitive end," he said. "They'll be the judge of that ultimately when they play it and see how we do that. Certainly, what this game absolutely does represent is the culmination of almost a decade's worth of work for the studio and for Casey [Hudson] and his team in terms of exactly what we're trying to do with the game we kicked off almost ten years ago. They're working really hard to make it a real proper conclusion, something that's fitting to what they've worked on for so long, and what the fans are telling us they're dying to see.
"It feels good for them. They're excited about the story they're going to tell and what's going to happen in the game. They've got lots of surprises up their sleeve and stuff they've been holding onto for a while."