When the first Quake game was released, it was monumental due to its 3D graphics. Unlike the previous popular game made by ID Software (DOOM) Quake had real 3D graphics and not sprite images. Quake 2 was also monumental in being one of the first DirectX games to actually work on Windows 95, and showed that it was a platform worth developing games on.
But we are here to discuss Quake 3 Arena. Strangely, it is completely different than the previous games and is more of an online shooter for hardcore gamers. It really has no plot except to kill other people in a tournament.
The timing of this game was either good or bad, depending how you look at it. It was released almost simultaneously with Unreal Tournament. The problem? Basically these two games were identical, except Unreal Tournament had more depth and led to other sequels.
So what was the problem with Quake 3 Arena? Was it not fun? Oh yes it was. It as a blast. The problem, though, was the high speed of the game depended on its simplicity and low level graphics. This led to it looking like doggy doo doo compared to its competition.