When the Metal Gear series creator, Hideo Kojima, left the publishing company Konami, this incredible franchise ended. There were definitely some good times while it lasted, however.
The games span the early 1960s through 2018. While they appear like normal shooters on the surface, they actually show how horrific war really is.
- Metal Gear (1987)
- Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990)
- Metal Gear Solid (1998)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty (2001)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots (2008)
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013)
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014)
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)
Metal Gear (1987)
Platforms: MSX2, Famicom, NES, Commodore 64
Setting Year: 1995
The main character of the Metal Gear series, Solid Snake, is a special forces operative from a program called FOXHOUND.
Snake is on a covert mission to find the metal gear: an enormous robot invented by a military state in Africa, called Outer Heaven.
It’s a bit like a tank…only with infinitely more destructive capabilities, since it can launch nuclear missiles.
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990)
Setting Year: 1999
Solid Snake returns, four years after the first game’s events.
This time, you must help him sneak into Zanzibarland after a scientist is kidnapped. The party responsible hopes the scientist’s bioengineered algae will give them control of the oil market.
If that weren’t bad enough, Zanzibarland has also acquired some nuclear warheads slated for disposal.
Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Platforms: Playstation, Windows
Japanese Voice Actors: Akio Otsuka, Banjo Ginga
English Voice Actors: David Hayter, Cam Clarke
Setting Year: 2005
This was the first Metal Gear game to feature voice actors. Additionally, it’s the first time David Hayter voices Solid Snake.
Although he once worked for FOXHOUND, Solid Snake must now infiltrate their splinter group’s new base.
FOXHOUND threatens to use a fully developed metal gear on the United States, unless they’re given the remains of the antagonist from the first game: Big Boss.
Solid Snake squares off against Liquid Snake, the leader of the group, who seems just a bit too familiar….
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty (2001)
Platforms: Xbox, Windows, Playstation 2
Japanese Voice Actors: Akio Otsuka, Ken’yu Horiuchi
English Voice Actors: David Hayter, Christopher Randolph
Setting Year: 2007/2009
After a seemingly friendly company steps in to clean up a massive oil spill, everyone is shocked when they take the President of the United States hostage.
Young FOXHOUND agent Raiden must retrieve the president. Raiden then discovers the group holding him are terrorists named the Sons of Liberty.
This is the first step for Raiden in unraveling an elaborate government conspiracy, which will undoubtedly spawn far-reaching consequences.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)
Platforms: Playstation 2
Japanese Voice Actors: Akio Otsuka, Misa Watanabe
English Voice Actors: David Hayter, Suzetta Miñet
Setting Year: 1964
Over thirty years prior to the events of the first game, Naked Snake must rescue a Soviet scientist.
Before he can complete his mission, however, his mentor—The Boss—defects to the USSR and thwarts his plans.
Naked Snake works to keep the Soviet Union and United States from finally declaring war on one another.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots (2008)
Platforms: Playstation 3
Japanese Voice Actors: Akio Otsuka, Banjo Ginga
English Voice Actors: David Hayter, Josh Keaton
Setting Year: 2014
The recurring double agent of the series, Revolver Ocelot, finally reveals himself not as an ally to an aging Solid Snake, but as the antagonist.
Although Solid Snake is suffering greatly, he injects himself with nanomachines to increase his strength and agility.
His mission: assassinate Ocelot, thus stopping him from executing his mysterious plan.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010)
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PSP
Japanese Voice Actors: Aki Otsuka, Romi Pak
English Voice Actors: David Hayter, Robin Atkins Downes
Setting Year: 1974
Snake and Kaz Miller create Militaires Sans Frontieres, basically an organization of mercenaries-for-hire.
Snake accepts a job to investigate possible military presence in Costa Rica. He then finds they’ve somehow acquired powerful nuclear weapons—including a platform called Peace Walker.
He must discover the people behind the nuclear weapons, and get to the bottom of this mystery before anyone else gets hurt.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013)
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, OS X, Shield Android TV
Japanese Voice Actors: Ken’yu Horiuchi, Hiroaki Hirata
English Voice Actors: Quinton Flynn, Michael Beattie
Setting Year: 2018
In this game, you follow Raiden’s story, rather than Snake’s. You also encounter a new element of gameplay: swords.
While Solid Snake was a gun-based hero, Raiden wields a Japanese katana. Much of the game was subsequently redesigned, to allow for slicing in all directions.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014)
Platforms: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Japanese Voice Actors: Akio Otsuka, Tomokazu Sugita
English Voice Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Robin Atkin Downes
Setting Year: 1975
In Ground Zeroes, Kiefer Sutherland replaces David Hayter as the voice of Snake.
Snake sneaks into a military base in Cuba, to rescue a hostage named Paz.
Originally, Ground Zeroes was planned as a smaller mission in the upcoming game The Phantom Pain. However, it landed its own release when the development timeline for Phantom stretched longer than predicted.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Japanese Voice Actors: Akio Otsuka, Tomokazu Sugita, Satoshi Mikami
English Voice Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Robin Atkin Downes, Troy Baker
Setting Year: 1984
Punished Venom Snake goes to Afghanistan and Africa. He seeks revenge on the organization that diminished his Militaire Sans Frontieres forces, nine years earlier.
Accompanied by Miller, Snake reunites with Ocelot. They then resolve their differences.
Undoubtedly, one of the best parts of the game is the collection of tapes the player finds. Miller and Code Talker discuss starting a burger joint, and the merits of a great hamburger.
The Metal Gear series incorporated intriguing stories with tactical maneuvers, yet still maintained all the hallmarks of great adventure stealth games. In fact, the argument could easily be made that it’s responsible for the genre as a whole.
Heartbreaking as it is for fans that the series has ended, the legacy Metal Gear left behind in the gaming world—and the replayability of every single installment—makes the journey more than worth it.