MGS2; Most amount of compelling game content in Substance. Thoroughly explored mechanics through VR missions. One of my favorite games.
MGS1; Well designed game with probably the best cast and plot twist in the series. This and Vagrant Story changed my mind about 3D games on PS1. MGS3; Not really a fan of free camera metal gear, but the neat setpieces and level design more than make up for it. I'd like to play the original camera version one day to judge for myself.
MGS4; Metal Gear falling victim to modern game design trends to me. Not a fan. MGO2 owned my free time for like a year and a half after release though.
MGSPW; Probably the game with the most content in the series, and one you'll spend the longest amount of time with the first time through. Just that without difficulty levels the content isn't really compelling enough to revisit a 2nd time around. That combined with a throwaway storyline makes this the one mainline Kojima directed entry I don't think anyone will care about in the future.
MGSPO; Barely a Metal Gear game.
Yup, add me to this concensus. If anything, I think it holds up extremely well for a PS1 action game. If anyone is concerned about returning to MGS1 due to graphics and controls, don't be, it's just as good today as it ever was.
To be honest though, I love all three in their own way, almost equally. I'll say MGS1 is top because it was the first I played, and I loved it. MGS2 is the game that made me an MGS fan (rather than just someone who enjoyed the first and wouldn't mind a sequel -- after MGS2 I became obsessed), and inspired me to open an MGS fansite back when I was a teenager. It took me a while to come to terms with MGS3 after playing MGS2, but I really appreciate that Kojima didn't want to poop on MGS2's ending, themes and so on by doing a direct sequel, and I've really come to enjoy that game a lot more as I grew older.
If I had a choice for more entries, I'd totally ignore MGS4 and Portable Ops, as they represent the series at its absolute worst, but Peace Walker is a fine game. The story is a little wanky, even by MGS standards, but the gameplay is golden. I've been replaying it in CO-OPS with a buddy this past fortnight, and it really is an exceptional game on that front. However, I feel it lacks some of the atmosphere of previous MGS games -- even MGS4 -- by having no proper boss battles, a lacklustre villain and bite-sized areas (designed for the PSP, obviously, but it just doesn't feel up to par). However, that's counterbalanced by the fact that you get to make your own PMC, recruit soldiers, co-operate on missions, develop new weapons and items, and so on.
1. MGS1 - The absolute best. The gameplay was perfectly dialed, the story was complex but not totally insane and fairly grounded in reality (except for Psycho Mantis).
2. MGS3 - Gameplay mechanics got a bit too complicated, as did the story, but it still felt more grounded and less "out there" than 2
3. MGS2 - Improved gameplay mechanics over the first game, stunning graphics for the time, but the best part of the game (the tanker) isn't the whole game
4. MGS4 - Crap all-around. Stupidly complex story and explanations for past happenings, terrible pacing, very little gameplay. Graphics were good, that's about all I can say.
1. MGS1; Best MGS and likely one of the greatest games ever made. Fantastic script, brisk pace, great hero-villain story dynamic, memorable characters and lines (Snakes dont belong in Alaska), and a superb score. Really it pains me to praise this game so much, only because of how downward everything went after this.
2. MGS3; Retains some of the things that made MGS1 spectacular videogame, but also retains various plot convolutions introduced in MGS2. Over dramatization of some scenes (again, thnks to MGS2) breaks the pace of the game. Gameplay is the best of any MGS game.
3. MGS4; Combines the best aspects of MGS series with it's worst. Net result is a negative because the worst aspects of MGS carry much more weight that it's best aspects. Gameplay is improved, but the camouflage system is kinda iffy. Didn't like it that much. Scenes are over dramatized to ridiculous extreme and the game has some incredibly ballsy retconning moves. You don't mess with the canon. Kojima doesn't understand that.
4. MGS2; I don't even know this game anymore. Can't remember a single damn thing about it other than playing as Raiden and a story that started out perfect, but fell into a canal of festering shit by the end. There is no pace in the game. Whenever things look like they're moving, there's some bullshit happening. Incest story was truly icing on the shit cake.
1) MGS3; Doesn't take itself seriously with the fourth wall-breaking and the wacky cast of characters. It is amazing how a game that asks you to stalk and be patient and constantly shift in and out of menus could be so great. It is meticulous to a fault. One of the few games where you don't tell people to play it, you say it needs to be experienced.
2) MGS1; I actually don't find MGS to be that playable today and I'm not a fan of The Twin Snakes. It left a huge impact on the industry and this subculture and created some memorable characters. What is great about MGS is that it is like a series of fascinating moments, never staying the same game, not just in the boss battles, either. It does what it can to keep the player on their toes. MGS1 also features the best soundtrack of the series.
3) MGS2; It blows my mind ranking MGS2 at all considering I hated it ten years ago. After revisiting the HD version, I was kind of amazed how relevant it felt today regardless of Kojima's trolling. By its own right, it is a very fun game to play but it suffers from lazy design in the Big Shell, a majority of the game. Its antagonists are not very memorable other than the relationship between Solidus and Raiden. I do think, however, that Raiden as a surrogate for the player worked perfectly. I think it says enough that I was able to change my mind about the game and finish it on a positive note this time.
4) MGS4; I like MGS4 as a game but there's crazy like MGS3 was and then there is the Beauty and the Beast Unit. Although revisiting Shadow Moses is the high point in the game for me it overall feels too fanfic-y.