Hideo Kojima has had his hand in a lot of games. He's been making them since the 1980s. The first actual game he worked on was Penguin Adventure for the MSX computer in 1986 for Japan. He was an assistant designer to Ryouhei Shogaki. On top of that, all of his work had been with Konami up until his latest release, Death Stranding. In honor of this momentous release, we went back and ranked every game he had a direct hand in. That is to say, we only included games he directed, designed, or wrote for. As long as he had a hand in one of those three elements, we counted it.
And yes, we are going to rank Death Stranding. However, we did decide to leave out a few entries. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a remake. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was just a glorified demo to The Phantom Pain and the same goes for P.T. Yes, that game could have been amazing if it ever came out as Silent Hills, but again, it is a demo and a great one at that. He also helped produce Zone of the Enders and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but his involvement with those projects was limited. With thirteen games in total, let's get to ranking.
13 Metal Gear
By and large, Kojima is known as the “Metal Gear Guy” since that is a series he worked on for most of his career at Konami. The first game, Metal Gear, released for the MSX2 in 1987.
The West would receive the game a year later on the NES, although they would not be able to play an emulated version of the original until Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence in 2006. It is still stealth-based, but a lot more limited due to the hardware.
12 Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
The sequel to Metal Gear is a bit better but still adheres to this more classic top-down formula. It also launched first for the MSX2 in 1990 in Japan. It actually never got an NES version like the original and instead wouldn’t be available until that same re-release of Metal Gear Solid 3.
Instead, Westerners got an exclusive sequel called Snake's Revenge. While Konami developed the title, Kojima did not have a hand in it and it never released in Japan at the time of the original launch, also in 1990. A tale of two Snakes as it were.
11 Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand
Even though Kojima was mainly a producer on Boktai, he also helped design parts of it too. The game clearly has a lot of his quirky nature built-in. Like Metal Gear, it also featured stealth, only this time, players were vampire hunters.
In order to slay them and other creatures of the night, players needed to charge the Solar Gun with actual sunlight. There was a solar panel on the back of the GBA cartridge. Needless to say, it was a game ahead of its time.
This originally released for the PC-8801 and MSX2 in 1988 for Japan. The West would not receive Snatcher until it was remade for the Sega CD in 1995. A popular genre at the time was point and click adventure games and this was Kojima’s first attempt. Think of it like an anime version of Blade Runner and that about sums it up.
9 SD Snatcher
For those unaware, whenever "SD" is placed in Japanese text, especially in reference to video games or anime, this means, "super-deformed." Another perhaps more familiar way to describe it is "chibi," which essentially makes things cuter.
Anyway, SD Snatcher released for the MSX2 in 1990 for Japan. It features the same characters and world from the original, but it was now a turn-based RPG. This is the only straight-up RPG Kojima ever worked on, although he was only a writer. There is an English fan patch for the MSX2 version.
In 1994, Policenauts launched for the PC-9821 in Japan. Even though it would get later ports to consoles outside of the Japanese market, it never got an official English release. That said, there is a fan patch for the PlayStation 1 version.
Like Snatcher, Policenauts is a point and click adventure game. Instead of being based on Blade Runner, this one is more like a space version of Lethal Weapon. Kojima sure likes his movies.
7 Death Stranding
Death Stranding is one of 2019’s most divisive games. On one hand, the graphics are phenomenal and the storytelling is right up there with the best of Metal Gear Solid, even if some of the metaphors hit players on the head one too many times.
The gameplay is a hard sell though. While it is undeniably unique, Death Stranding's gameplay isn’t exactly fun.
6 Metal Gear Solid
Out of the weeds and onto more solid ground - Metal Gear Solid that is. The portion of this list that probably matters the most to Kojima fans.
After experimenting with different genres, Kojima finally made a return to this series eight years after Metal Gear 2 launched. In a way, it is like a reimagining of that game while being a sequel all at the same time. It was groundbreaking for the PS1 for its graphics, story, and tactical action.
5 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
This is a weird entry since Metal Gear Solid 4, while great, is kind of a forgotten game. It was released in 2008 exclusively for the PS3 and has remained there ever since.
It isn’t even on PC. Usually, these things get ports or remasters. Point is while it may not be ingrained as some of the other titles in this series, it was a brilliant end to Old Snake’s career.
4 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
As much as the first “Solid” entry was groundbreaking on PS1, Sons of Liberty was exactly that for PS2.
The only difference being is that it launched at the beginning of the PS2’s longevity. While Raiden taking over as the hero split the fan base, the open-ended gameplay was as stellar as ever.
3 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Peace Walker is the only portable entry in the series Kojima had a direct hand in. In fact, despite there not being a number in the title, he wanted fans to treat this like Metal Gear Solid V.
Of course, this was before that game released, but the point is this PSP title was a miraculous blend of this series, Monster Hunter, and even a little bit of Pokémon.
2 Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Snake Eater is the first game that introduced Big Boss as he was before he became the villain. Prequels are a hard thing to get right. Just look at the Star Wars prequels.
They ruined Darth Vader. His journey was not as heartfelt as the one Big Boss went on. Kojima actually took the time to develop his character along with trying a new setting, the jungle, for some different kinds of espionage.
1 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Despite the game technically not finishing the way Kojima wanted, what with his bad public breakup with Konami and all, The Phantom Pain is still the best work he ever produced.
It may not be as crazy as some of his other stories, but the open-world gameplay mixed with stealth offers nonstop fun. At least, Kojima left on a high note. Well, in some regards.