Anyone who rates H1 as a less competitively balanced game than H2/H3 has never played it enough to know the depth of it. The amazing depth of this game are part of what allows it to set itself apart as the gold standard of competitive shooters.
What other game allows for such distinct separation in shooting skill between players?
What other game makes it absolutely necessary to know every single spawn, spawn trap, and random spawn to play it at a high level? The spawn system is 10x's more elaborate in H1 and what's more, it's FAIR.
What other game forces you to memorize dozens of different ways to grenade weapons and powerups to yourself?
What other game has such a balanced weapon system where you always start with a good but not great weapon? In every situation there is always a better weapon than the pistol (shotty and pr for close range, roks/sniper for medium range and sniper for long range) but if you're more skillful than the other person there is always a chance to win the battle.
What other game has a HUD that allows 4 players on one screen? Talk about team shooting and communication in H2/H3? Just imagine how much better the teamwork would be if you could be on the same screen like in H1.
What other game has 9 competitive maps that must be learned for competitive gametypes? Depending on the gametype, powerups/weapons may spawn at different times or locations. All of this must be memorized to play at a high level.
When looked at in this light there is no comparison between the games. H1 stands by itself in regards to it's competitive merits.