Oh, absolutely! I installed 3 on my PC around the same time I installed 4, it's just that I played 4 first because it always seemed to be the most interesting to me, knowing the little bits and pieces I did about it, i.e. being trapped in the room, traversing through portals, ghosts, hauntings/possessions, serial killer antagonist, et cetera. I'm hoping to start 3 soon, however, I was thinking about revisiting RE7 sometime as well, as I am yet to play any of the extras or DLC.
Yeah, adding a couple more worlds would've definitely helped, especially if they were of the standard of the Water Prison or Apartment Worlds. I think, all up, to really make this game all it had could've been, it would need a) more depth and polish to the worlds and content already there b) further development in the apartment and its mechanics c) refinement of the story with better emotional hooks and d) puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles! I enjoyed the enhanced combat but I sorely missed the puzzle-work.
I still liked 4 a lot, and it's captured my imagination, but I can't help but think it could've been another perennial Silent Hill entry like 2. It kind of feels half-baked as it is.
I think the only reason I got the good ending was because, over the years, I kind of spoiled myself a little here and there on games 1-4, their endings, and the ending requirements. Not too much, but just enough, like knowing to protect your companion, heal yourself, that kind of thing. You might recall I was trying to get the 'Maria' ending in SH2 (lol) and Good+ in SH1. I ended up getting the 'Leave' and Good endings respectively. I can definitely see most players getting the "worse" ending on their first times through with little to no fore-knowledge to serve.
Also, it still blows my mind that in 2 both 'Leave' and 'In Water' can be equally seen as the definitive endings, and make the game and story feel utterly final/complete, after having experienced them. Joy, I kind of envy you getting 'In Water' first time around. 'Leave' is beautiful but I imagine getting 'In Water' would've been like having a hole punched through your soul, much like EOE, an emotional bruising you will never forget.
Man, I love the first game, and it scared the absolute shit out of me (being down in the deep dark of the school and hospital profoundly affected me), which 2 and 4 didn't quite manage, though obviously their strengths lie elsewhere. It really is an ambiguous, stark, mist-drenched monolith of a game, where you have to piece together the story with what little thread it gives, all whilst instilling such a sense of awe-struck and dread.
I would love to pour over the first game again in more detail, and write about it at-length, but I may save that for my inevitable replay.
Oh, yeah, I hear you on the work thing too man: I work a full 40+ hour week and, sadly, I still end up working late into most weeknights, even doing a full day on the weekend usually, just to stay on top. Shit is just hectic.