Ranking the Metal Gear Series - Part 2
(For those that didn't get a chance the first time around, here's Part 1!)
6. Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain/Ground Zeroes
The last entry made by developer Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid V was as ambitious as it was entertaining. Having balanced the action and stealth aspects from Metal Gear Solid 4, this installment capitalized on those features to make for a truly amazing experience. As well, the one world added a nice sense of freedom that the other titles had been lacking with story-driven narrative structures
The combination of everything that helped Metal Gear Solid V become such a massive hit is just more proof that Konami made a big mistake in relieving Mr. Kojima as series director. Sure, it may not be the best title that the franchise has to offer, but it’s one that's worthy of all the praise surrounding it thanks to Hideo Kojima’s vision.
5. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
I’ll be honest with you dear reader, I’m a little shocked that I put Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker in the top five. One would think that the second PSP title in the Metal Gear series would fair about as well as the last one did, albeit with minor improvements. So imagine my surprise when Peace Walker doesn’t just exceed my expectations, it took them above and beyond.
Taking place after Portable Ops, Peace Walker deals with Big Boss finally coming to terms with what occurred during the plot of Metal Gear Solid 3 and, in doing that, creating the legendary Outer Heaven in the process. Long story short, this game was a rollercoaster of excitement. Peace Walker is filled with numerous twists and turns that keep you on your toes, as well as an epic final boss battle that caps off the experience to a tee. It’s not just another solid entry into the series, it’s one that dares to test what the series is all about.
4. Metal Gear Rising: Revegeance
Revegeance didn’t just turn the Metal Gear series on its head, it also gave it a new life where it needed it most. As someone that’s played all the games, I can say without a doubt that the stealth mechanics coupled with the free-foam boss battles made for some incredibly entertaining moments in the series. That being said, Revengeance came out of the gate and started break dancing out of nowhere to “Rules of Nature” while cutting a Metal Gear Ray into over a thousand pieces.
Revegeance absolutely blew my mind and I would’ve put it higher on the list if not for the ludicrous story. Now, I completely understand that all Metal Gear games have ludicrous stories, but Metal Gear Rising was so insane that it ended with a Senator turning into ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and going one on one with Raiden who had become 95% cyborg ninja...what?!? Just… just play it, it’s amazing.
3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
What I would consider the most emotional Metal Gear game, Guns of the Patriots left me drained and wondering what was to come next. With the exception of one other title, Metal Gear Solid 4 has hands down the best story out of all the other games. The ending alone puts this game in the top five of this list because nothing is more badass/heart-wrenching than seeing two genetically altered brothers duke it out on top of a submarine that fires nukes. (And here I was thinking that Revengeance had a crazy ending.)
It’s not just the ending though, Metal Gear Solid 4’s whole campaign deals with Solid Snake finally being able to let go of who he is in order to find peace. This is a man that has done nothing but fight all his life, so by using that as the basis of this story Guns of the Patriots really manages to drive home the more sympathetic moments of Snake’s final mission. Also, just a quick note, but I understand that this game is more than an interactive experience. That being said, I feel anything less on Konami’s end would have significantly cheapened the experience when all was said and done.
2. Metal Gear Solid
And coming in at number two, it’s the one, the only, Metal Gear Solid! This game is a classic. Honestly, I wish there was a more roundabout way of saying that, but it is. Metal Gear Solid got it all right; the story, the visuals, the music, the characters, maybe not the combat, but hey, it was stealth focused, so you can’t exactly blame it for having shit combat.
Those initial positives put by the wayside, one of my favourite aspects in regards to the original Metal Gear Solid is the amazing dialogue. It’s quotable, it’s unintentionally hilarious, and after 20 years it still holds up. Between you and me, I don’t think there’s another line that’s as expertly delivered as “A Hind D? What’s a Russian gunship doing in Alaska.” I don’t know why I love it so much, it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the game, but it’s synonymous with everything that Metal Gear stands for. Out of the ordinary espionage action.
1. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Well, here it is. If I had to describe the gem that is Snake Eater by only using one phrase I would definitely have to say it’s… pretty good. In-game jokes out of the way, this game is a masterpiece in every way, shape, and form. There’s nothing in the series that, at least in my eyes, even comes close to competing with Snake Eater. It’s got the best theme song, the best boss battles, some of the best dialogue in the whole franchise. It’s damn near flawless.
Well, that last part isn’t true, but frankly, it feels flawless. I don’t think there’s been another game I’ve played that’s made it so entertaining to climb a ladder. It doesn’t stop there, though, oh no. The story is solid throughout Snake Eater’s entirety (no pun intended), every character is memorable, there’s a huge emphasis on unique boss fights, you can use your system's hardware to your advantage, and some levels change depending on how good you are at the game! This isn’t something I say often, if ever, but Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of the greatest games of all time.
So, with all that said and done, I'll leave you with your thoughts... and the theme song to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.