Im used to RPGs. But when I first looked at Mass Effect I didn't know it was going to be an RPG. So I looked at all of the classes and I was actually kind of overwhelmed with choice. I was just honestly expecting to just hop in the action.
In Mass Effect 1 the classes are not as well defined as the other ones. When I went back to play it. I found that there were some differences but there was nothing major about the classes. There was weapon specialization and biotic powers but for the most part you could use the same weapons and the game play wasn't as different.
Im glad they made the classes more distinct in the later games it really added a whole other experience to the combat in the games. Now since this is Mass Effect 1, the creators can only predict so much of what will actually make the game good. So having all of the different classes and the variety was actually pretty good for a first try. It's only if you look at the game through a lens of the other games that you really start to see the difference. It makes sense that they improved the game and when you go back you are playing an inferior version of the game. It's a lot better than saying "Mass Effect 1's character classes are better than Mass Effect 2's".