It's kinda like Half-Life was better than Unreal or Quake 2 but not as good as Deus Ex. They were all great, though.
I like Half-Life 2 better than Doom³ although that's a superb game. But I just dig the non-linearity of Far Cry. You don't have the feeling of being pushed through a tunnel of horror, but have instead the option to decide how you want to play (sneaky with a silenced SMG, long-range with a scoped weapon; close quarters with a shotgun...) and where to approach.
That said, I think I will enjoy playing Half-Life 2. I love it.
Steam is an impudence!