A compilation of some of the greatest and most groundbreaking games ever made, "Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1" should be an indispensable bedrock in any gaming historian's library. Rounding up visionary Hideo Kojima's entire "Metal Gear" oeuvre from 1987 to 2004, starting with the creaky, adorably odd "Metal Gear" and "Snake's Revenge," which were released on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The prime attractions are the "Metal Gear Solid" games, which made the transition from top-down to 3D, and included "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater" (2004), which many still hold as not only the best in the series, but one of the greatest games ever made.
For my money, "Metal Gear Solid 4: Sons of the Patriots" (2008) is the best, but we'll have to wait for Vol. 2 of the collection to re-experience that one.
While most of the compilation we get is a rehash of the stellar 2011 PS3 collection, which has become something of a collector's item, there is some new stuff here, including "Metal Gear Solid: Integral," which makes its North American debut after previously only being available in Japan. Other minor additions include oddball disclaimers that excuse some of the edgier, outdated political and sexual views expressed in some of the content.
While it would have been amazing to have gotten a comprehensive "Metal Gear" collection, what we get here is more than enough to keep you busy for months, and a welcome addition to a series that may never return with Kojima at the helm. A treasured relic from the past, its curated return is a shining highlight of the 2023 gaming year.
Publisher provided review code.