It's always intimidating to finish a game that's immensely popular, knowing you have to write about it. Especially when that game is Mass Effect 3. There are few games that are more written about, more analyzed, that have a more fanatical fanbase.
Having played through to the end, I am a little confused as to the completely violent reaction towards the ending. It's almost like the fans expected a Fallout 3-esque slideshow showing what happened to every single character after your actions in the previous two games. And I have a few things to say about that.
The first thing is that the ending could only really be one thing. Throughout the series, regardless of choices made, the same events have happened. You go to the same planets, meet the same people, fight the same enemies; it was just specifics - how the events unfolded - that differed. Expecting the ending to reflect everything you've ever done is naive at best. The developers trusted you to fill in the blanks yourself - just like every other sci-fi series in existence.
I have a bit of a rant about the complaints about peoples' choices not having an effect on the ending and how that ruined their enjoyment of the whole series. To those people I say - shut the fuck up! The entire game is literally consequence after consequence for your past actions. While playing I was constantly reacting to the results of decisions I made two years ago. It seemed like everything that was happening was altered in some way - from minor things like my team-mates referencing their roles in the suicide mission of the last game, to major things like decisions I made from specific loyalty missions shaping the future of entire races. I really felt like my actions left a permanent mark on the galaxy, regardless of what happened in the ending. It makes me angry that so many people totally ignored the 30 hours of consequences that happens before the end. Do tens of thousands of people lose all good memories of something the moment it ends poorly? It's utterly ridiculous.
I don't know if it's come across, but I have been thoroughly satisfied by the final foray into Commander Shepard's story. 5/5 stars and I'll see you in Insanity.