Before open-world games became a thing and a theme for e-sport competitions, Japanese Kojima and the Metal Gear Solid franchise experimented with it in one of their titles. In addition to engaging storylines, the Metal Gear Solid series provided exemplary big-budget cinematics and stunning graphics.
Even fans of the series back when it was in 2D, on mobile phones, can testify to the quality of gaming it offered. But for the sake of this list, we hope to limit our scope to Metal Gear Solid games in 3D.
So while we wait for official confirmation there will be a Metal Gear Solid 6 let’s take a look at the top titles in this series as of today;
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)
Published by Konami and developed by Kojima Studios, The Phantom Pain took the Metal Gear Solid franchise up another level in terms of stealth-action whilst also offering players the opportunity of a non-linear approach to completing missions and objectives. The game was set in 1984, as a direct sequel to the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, with the mercenary leader, Venom Snake on a quest for revenge.
Snake heads into Afghanistan, where the Soviets have occupied, as well as the Angola-Zaire border to hunt down people who destroyed his forces and almost killed him during the climax of Ground Zeroes.
The Phantom Pain received praises for its player freedom and gameplay mechanics, but its poorly-written storyline and pacing irked a lot of fans and critics.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
Set in 2014, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots revolves around Old Snake (a prematurely aged Solid Snake), who embarks on one last mission to assassinate arch-nemesis, Liquid Snake. Liquid Snake who took over the body of former partner in crime, Revolver Ocelot plans to take control of the artificial intelligence system, Sons of the Patriots, which controls the activities of all Private Military Companies (PMCs) in the world.
Guns of the Patriots was released to critical acclaim, and also received the perfect reviews back in 2008. GameSpot claimed the game was “technically flawless”, and it lived up to its billing by selling over six million copies worldwide.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)
The title of this game isn’t some sort of metaphor or something, you practically had to kill and eat snakes in this game to survive. Have you ever told the story of a game like it’s some action movie? That was the kind of effect Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater had on me. With my black PlayStation DualShock 2 controller in my hands, I’ll be immersed in this stealth-action for hours. The Metal Gear Solid 3 became available as a Pachinko game in Japan in 2016. Pachinko is a Japanese combination of pinball and slot machine but Konami received a lot of criticism for using Metal Gear Solid for something like a “simple Pachinko machine” when it should be a full-fledged video game. While it’s easy to understand why Konami would like to get into the lucrative Pachinko industry in Japan, fans of Metal Gear Solid saw the development of a Pachinko game by Konami as a sign the company was moving towards low-quality games.
Set in 1964, the story revolves around a FOX operative, Naked Snake, whose mission is to rescue a Russian rocket scientist (Nikolai Stepanovich), destroy an experimental weapon, and kill his former boss (The Boss) who detected. The game takes place 31 years before the events of the original Metal Gear and received praise for its amazing storyline, graphics as well as a well-thought climax.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001)
Sequels are meant to be better than the initial version, and no other title depicts that fact than Sons of Liberty. The game is an upgrade to Metal Gear Solid in terms of graphics, gameplay mechanics, storytelling, and artificial intelligence. After the President of the United States is kidnapped by a group of terrorists called the Sons of Liberty, a young rookie agent by the name of Raiden is sent into the environmental cleanup facility to rescue the president. Raiden is assisted on his mission by his Commanding Officer, the Colonel, and his girlfriend, Rosemary, who both communicate with him from remote locations.
Sons of Liberty received critical acclaim and remains one of the best video games ever.
Metal Gear Solid (1998)
PlayStation has Metal Gear Solid to thank for propelling it to the top of the console battles just before the turn of the millennium. Released in 1998, Metal Gear Solid was the culmination of previous Metal Gear games (Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake). Its effect on the gaming industry cannot be underestimated, as it propelled the idea of stealth games for game designers whilst including top-notch cinematography and voice-acting.
The game puts players in control of Solid Snake, a soldier who infiltrated a nuclear weapons facility under the control of the terrorist organization, FOXHOUND. Snake must rescue all hostages in the facility and stop the terrorists from launching any nuclear strike.
Metal Gear Solid is regarded as one of the most important video games ever and holds a rating of 94/100 on Metacritic. The game sold over seven million copies across the globe, with 12 million demos shipped worldwide.
There Are More Metal Gear Solid Games
The video game designer behind the popular Metal Gear Solid games, Hideo Kojima had established himself as one of the best video game designers/directors/producers with the Metal Gear Solid franchise prior to Death Stranding. Glued to the PlayStation 2 console for those of us who started playing it back then, these games provided the closest experience to being a Navy Seal sent on an individual mission to save the world. Kojima has played a major role in the success of these games and there are more games than those mentioned in this article;
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (2006), Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes (2004), Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010), Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance (2013), Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014), Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Survive (2018)