Which Metal Gear Solid Game is the Best?

For gamers, few franchises are more legendary than the Metal Gear Solid franchise. It was first released way back in 1998, and since then, several best-selling titles have populated the franchise. This stealth-action adventure series has left a lasting impact on the gaming industry, despite no games having been launched in the series since 2018. In this article we’re here to break down the franchise, looking at all the MGS games ranked in order of popularity and success.

We’ve pulled in Metacritic data to help us complete this task. As an aggregate site, Metacritic compiles critic and user reviews from across the board, so you can be sure the numbers are accurate. So, which Metal Gear Solid is the best?

MGS Games Ranked by Overall Score

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – 96%

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According to Metacritic, this title sits at the top of the table, claiming the ultimate spot. Released in 2001, MGS2 picked up top-tier scores across the board, wowing fans with an impeccable expansion to the already well-established Metal Gear franchise. Furthermore, there can be no doubt that this is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – 95%

We’re with Metacritic on this one, as we thoroughly enjoyed Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It was a delicious twist to the franchise, offering vast, open-world environments, and the ability to approach objectives however you saw fit. It did suffer from some repetitive late-game issues, but it wasn’t anything that could really pull down the score.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – 94%

As the last traditional Metal Gear Solid game to launch in the PS3/360 era, MGS4 was seen as an all-important title. In terms of the chronology, Metal Gear Solid 4 was the last one in the franchise that still remained true to the core elements of MGS. It was something of a heartfelt send-off for the main character, Solid Snake, and it was relatively well-received by fans and critics.

Metal Gear Solid – 94%

It was the first, but it certainly wasn’t the best. Although 1998’s Metal Gear Solid offered a fantastic introduction to the franchise, it just wasn’t as overwhelmingly enjoyable as the later titles. Still, it was enough to kick-start a series that would run for (at present) more than two decades.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – 91%

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As our personal favourite, we feel Snake Eater has been cheated out of a few points here, but it’s fine. Launched in 2004, Snake Eater was widely considered one of the best PS2 games of all time. It was almost ahead of its time, incorporating revolutionary stealth mechanics, gorgeous, open environments, and a tense, impactful, and emotional story.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – 89%

As we move further down the list, we start to come across the more niche Metal Gear Solid titles. In this case, we’re discussing the PSP exclusive title, Peace Walker. It was later introduced to consoles via the HD Collection, but it never performed too well overall. It’s not the worst rated game of all time by any means, but it certainly isn’t a fantastic experience.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops – 87%

It’s another PSP exclusive, but this time, it’s even worse than Peace Walker! This was the first PSP outing for Metal Gear Solid, which for almost the entire franchise remained a PlayStation-exclusive series. It wasn’t overly well-received, but it still managed to pick up a relatively high score overall.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – 83%

This was quite a bizarre outing for the Metal Gear Solid franchise, as shown by its overall score. When we’re discussing the MGS games ranked by popularity and score, it’s easy to see why Revengeance falls so far down the table. This futuristic, hack-n-slash, cyborg-driven adventure was an experiment into totally new territory – and not an overwhelmingly successful one at that.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes – 80%

Ground Zeroes only ranks so low on the list for one reason – it wasn’t really a real game. Instead, Ground Zeroes served as an introduction to The Phantom Pain, the full title released in 2015 that utilised the all-new engine and refreshed mechanics. While Ground Zeroes was a brilliant introduction, it was a very, very short-lived adventure.

Metal Gear Survive – 62%

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Oh, how far we have fallen. At its lowest point – on the PC platform – Metal Gear Survive picks up a rating of just 54%; we’re being kind by targeting the higher Xbox One rating. Like Revengeance, Survive was a bizarre experiment for the franchise, but this time, we were given a survival horror title. This iteration of Metal Gear was set in the same world as The Phantom Pain, but it featured harsh, challenging survival elements, pitting players against ghost-like, ethereal, aggressive enemies. It was too hard, too bizarre, and ultimately, not needed.