Gaming owes a debt to the Metal Gear Solid series. Each game represents the peak technological achievement for their respective console generation. Ironic, then, that the idea for a stealth action game came from the first entry's technical limitations. Because the MSX home computer couldn't handle many characters on screen at once, Hideo Kojima opted to design a game where avoiding enemy detection was key, rather than taking them head on. The idea was innovative, but it didn't become a huge hit.
The series' popularity skyrocketed in 1998 with Metal Gear Solid, the third mainline entry and first 3D outing. This game blew minds with with its stellar graphics, fully-voiced cinematics, and tense cat and mouse game play mechanics. The next entry, Metal Gear Solid 2: The Sons of Liberty, upped the ante even further with its next generatation enhancements and cerebral narrative. Kojima's involvement ended with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain in 2015. The designer had a publicized falling out with publisher Konami, and eventually formed his own studio that is now working on Death Stranding. While the series may never come back in a familiar form, there is a lot to enjoy from its past.
Read on for 10 games fans of Metal Gear Solid should play. Not all of them will be immediately similar, or even in the stealth action genre, but they carry something from Metal Gear's spirit, whether it be open ended game play or an engaging narrative.
10 Deus Ex
Warren Spector is a name revered almost as much as Hideo Kojima, and not without good reason. He helped make many classics like System Shock, Thief, and Deus Ex. The latter title was especially innovative.
Each level was a sandbox where players could tackle objectives in a variety of ways, or branch from the main path to explore areas, finding documents that expand the narrative. The game is also set in a near future where technology has progressed slightly beyond the real world's, much like the Metal Gear series.
9 Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite starts off with a simple directive: find the girl. From there, things slowly get wilder and more confusing.
The game play feels like a perfect marriage of late 90s shooters and modern conventions, but the story is a science-fiction thriller that plays with some heavy ideas. If one is still hankering for more after the credits roll, the two Burial at Sea expansions are almost as good as the mainline game, and just as cerebral.
Instead of hiding in the shadows, Hitman is more about disguising Agent 47 in plain sight. While Metal Gear takes place in war zones and government facilities, Agent 47 takes out targets in public areas.
The two aren't that similar, but it is worth it for a different take on stealth that sometimes feels more like puzzle solving. If you're a fan of playing Metal Gear Solid, then Hitman should be on your must play list as well.
7 The Last Of Us
People who have already played The Last of Us started tearing up when they read the title here after remembering the numerous hard-hitting story beats.
On top of the breath taking narrative, the game play is an extremely tense survival experience that forces players to manage resources while sneaking past both human and diseased threats. Most encounters start out in stealth, but can break down into chaos if Joel is spotted.
6 Far Cry
Far Cry's open worlds allow for encounters to be tackled either with stealth or guns blazing. Both options are equally valid, and the tools at one's disposal allow for creative solutions.
The first game in the series is also an interesting adventure, presenting sandbox environments rather than an entire map.
5 Thief: The Dark Project
Another Warren Spector title, Thief: The Dark Project tasks players with staying in the shadows in an era when most first-person-shooters were about slaying everything in sight. Going against the grain paid off, and Thief sold well.
Instead of environments being shooting galleries, players had to carefully observe their surroundings when planning their movements to avoid alerting the enemy.
4 Silent Hill
Any Kojima fans upset at Silent Hill's cancellation owe it to themselves to play Silent Hill 2 if they haven't done so yet.
Along with Metal Gear Solid 2, it was another 2001 release that elevated the medium to new heights. It was a horror game whose scares weren't just in creepy designs and surprises, but in the atmosphere itself and the main character's journey.
3 Splinter Cell
This was probably the subject of many playground debates: whether Sam Fisher was better than Solid Snake. Can't they both just get along?
The two are both stealth series, but drastically different in every other way. Regardless, fans of hiding in the shadows should find something to enjoy in both of franchises, so this is another good pick for fans of Metal Gear Solid.
Dishonored made first-person stealth cool again. Most people groan at the stealth segments in the genre. They are usually poorly done and frustrating.
These two games really make the player feel accomplished when they are lurking in the shadows, avoiding detection and taking people out without getting spotted.
1 Zone Of The Enders
Both entries in this mech combat series were produced by Hideo Kojima. Additionally, Yoji Shinkawa did the art, giving them an ever so slight aestetic resemblance to the machines from Metal Gear. No stealth to be found here, but the second game especially feels like a Hideo Kojima title.
Like the Metal Gear seres, the core game play rarely changes, but there is still a ton of variety in the missions and challenges thrown at the player.