OK, I will Seriously, I absolutely respect your opinion. Here’s my equally personal view.
I came to BL1, back in 2010, as a FPS player. I had (and have) no problem with a minimal storyline. My endgame was playing a game again at a harder difficulty. I just wanted combat situations that gave me choice and freedom as to how I tackle them. That said, I’ve always liked a “gimmick” that makes you different and gives you an edge. That might be “slo-mo” in FEAR or the Grav Gun in H-L2.
So when I discovered BL1, it was pretty well perfect. I got ever-changing weapons to adapt to, multiple difficulty levels, multiple characters to change up the gameplay and a whole set of “gimmicks” in the form of skills. I didn’t notice, nor care about, the weak storyline. I was used to games like Blood and Painkiller. How much the characters talk or have a “personality” doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the game. To me the characters are a collection of skills I can use in combat.
And, for me, it’s the skills that set BL1 apart. They are almost powerful enough to use without guns. Lil can just melt things by walking by them. Sal can let Blood do the work. Brick can punch everthing to death the moment he gets Berserk. Roland, not so much but 3 out of 4 is not bad I agree skills get a bit distorted, for good or bad, once you get into PT2.5 but up to the level cap, for which they were designed, they’re great.
My favourite characters, across the franchise, are Lil, Brick, Krieg and Amara precisely because of their dominant skills and lack of reliance on guns. But farming gear bores me and I have no interest in endgame.
Again, I’ll disagree about (some of) the DLCs DLC1 was a remarkably good zombie game and you can diiscover the genesis of Borderlands humour. DLC2 was great for us shooters. I’ve played through 20 rounders on more than one occasion. That’s testing DLC3 was considered one of the best game DLCs ever, on it’s release. It gave us the Armo(u)ry and Crawmerax. DLC4 was a weak afterthought but at least you got the Gift Shop My view might be a little distorted because I always play the DLCs at PT2.5 when they present a more serious challenge.
Over the years, Borderlands has moved away from being a straight FPS and moved more towards its RPG elements. BL2 got the balance right and it is my favourite in the series. TPS and BL3 have moved too far to RPG/MMO/games-as-a-service for my taste. Though there is some great FPS gameplay in both of them, when they let you get on with it!
So, in answer to WxndaBread’s question, I ask some questions in return. Do you need state-of-the-art graphics to enjoy a game or is it secondary to gameplay? Do you need your avatar to be given a character or do you prefer to give your avatar a character? Can you do without a grand story or prefer not to have endless exposition and cut scenes? Most importantly, do you come to the game primarily as a role player or a “shooter”? If your answer is always “the latter” then I’m sure you will get some enjoyment from the original Borderlands.