Hideo Kojima Recommends Starting With Metal Gear Solid 3 As Your First

By Ishaan . June 28, 2013 . 8:30am

The original Metal Gear Solid game is 15 years old at this point; and unlike more recent Metal Gear Solid titles, a lot of MGS1 is played from a top-down view.


Series director Hideo Kojima recently shared on Twitter that this matter was brought up while discussing Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection, which compiles all of the main Metal Gear Solid games to date into one package.


Kojima tweeted:


“When the concept of “Legacy Collection” was brought at mtg from sales team, dev side stated that it’d be hard for current user to play MGS1.


Since it’s bird-eye view, you can’t really see the front side which makes it hard to self-adjust for someone accustomed to FPS/TPS.


Kojima went on to say that people often ask him which Metal Gear Solid game they should play if they’ve never played the series before. Kojima personally recommends Metal Gear Solid 3, citing the more modern controls as his reasoning. If you like it, he says, move on to Metal Gear Solid 4. Says Kojima:


I often get asked “which title one should play if haven’t done MGS series?”. Play MGS3 as control is more modern, if you liked it then MGS4.


MGS1+2 has camera w/ bird-eye view. If you want to learn the story, then just read the novel.


I’d suggest [Peace Walker] for younger gen, but its hard to play solo unless you do Co-op w/ PSP/online. Hard boss battle if u like to take time and play


Kojima also points out that a digital novel for Metal Gear Solids 1 and 2 is included in the Legacy Collection, so you can use that to catch up on those two games. Alternatively, he recommends reading the Metal Gear Solid 4 novel by Keikaku Ito, if you want to learn about the Metal Gear Solid saga.


Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • hunterslasher13

    I did that when I first got into the MGS series via the HD collection.

    • Mr_SP

      I’m not even a FPS/TPS sort of guy, and I certainly took to HD collection’s MGS3 better than MGS2. Don’t know if I’d say that MGS4 would be the game I’d recommend after that… Peace Walker seems like the natural next step, continuity wise, while MGS4 could be confusing.

      • hunterslasher13

        MGS4 isn’t really a game to recommend I definitely played it after beating the MGS HD collection and MGS1, but as a first that is a ‘no’ from me.

  • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

    I would recommend Snake Eater, then Peace Walker, then MGS1 or two and then MGS4. MGS4 is full of expositions that have to explain the mysteries of the entire series (nanomachines!) so leaving it as the last is better.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    My friend played MGS3 as his first MGS… but because of that he couldn’t get into MGS1 because of the controls… however he’s the type of guys who complains about things if it’s too hard are different and if he doesn’t like it then he won’t deal with it. I always try to play games by release order, although that’s prevented me from playing most of my games.

  • Ferchenko

    AS EXPECTED!!! Thanks for confirming Mr. Kojima.

  • Wait what

    With all due respect, I could not disagree more with Kojima here. MGS and MGS2 are by far my favorites in the series and I think moving onto MGS4 without playing them is a downright sin. If younger gamers can’t adjust to the camera and playstyle of those games then that’s just sad. Not every game needs to play the same, and his reasoning being only “newer games play more like regular FPS/TPS” is kind of depressing. The fact that 1/2 gives a different playstyle than the usual is all the MORE reason to play them imo.

    Start with 3 if you want to go chronological, but if you do that then move onto 1 and 2 next, NOT 4.

    • AkuLord3

      I agree, reading the novel is fine but no reason to skip the glorious fun games and yeah Story Order you start with 3 but then if you went into 1 or 2, you be confused since they play VERY DIFFERENT. They shouldn’t be skipped just because “Its more Modern” come on Kojima

    • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

      The novels have the disadvantage of having Snake out of character sometimes. There is a scene where he knocks a group of guards while saying “Merry Christmas!” (??) and he kills a lot. The comic video also has several contradictions too but at least Solidus Snake sings Raiden’s Happy Birthday

      • MrSirFeatherFang

        What! Really? haha. I have the novels of MGS 1&2 because someone gave them to me.
        This sounds great.

    • Barrylocke89

      I agree with this. If nothing else, newbies to the series should at least give MGS1 and 2 a shot to see if they can get used to it. If they try it and decide that they truely can’t stand the older style camera angles, then yes they may want to move on to MGS3.

      If a player were to play 3 and 4 and save 1 and 2 until later, they may be dissuaded by the different style, while if they played 1 and 2 first they may be more willing to accept those games for being awesome in their own way.

    • d19xx

      Definitely, 1&2 are some of the best in the series imo. Not a fan of TPS so there’s that…

      • The Watcher

        TPS is the best gameplay mechanic

        • neocatzon

          As long the character doesn’t block half the screen :3 like in RE6, Binary Domain, Warhammer, etc. MGS done it right~

    • 60hz

      Another agreement here – took the words right out of my keyboard man… It’s kind of discouraging that his reasonings revolve around camera and not fun factor… and to be honest i didn’t find 3 all that fun, and 4 even less so… needless to say i’m probably one of the few who will sit out 5…

    • patapongirl

      MGS3 is my favorite MGS game in the entire series, followed by MGS4. And this is coming from someone who HATES war games or basically, any game that uses guns/knives realistically.

      May be it’s just me…

      • Wait what

        I love 3 and 4, but I love 1 and 2 more. People should play ALL of them.

    • Kai2591

      Hear Hear!

  • Sim

    this collection really is perfect for someone who hasn’t played the games before.. im going to consider a purchase of this :)

  • Unemployment Master

    IMO, You should keep it release ordered.
    I was mind blown when I finally understood what the Les Enfant Terrible was about in MGS2 (I was 11 when I first played MGS2, didn’t really understand MGS1 because it wasn’t my language and I was 8, my english was much better in MGS2’s time. Who said games don’t teach you important things?).

    Honestly MGS2 will always be the best one IMO, with MGS3 being a close second. I lost count of how many times I fought Solidus in that epic last boos fight…

  • epy

    I don’t know. Of course he’s the man to give you the best answer but a lot of the enjoyment I got from Snake Eater’s plot came from information I already had from MGS1.

  • Nitraion

    Hmm yeah MGS 3 is my first but i start with bird view version first then 3rd person view

  • But see, if you start with Metal Gear Solid 3 first, then that pretty much sets the bar too high for the rest of the games. I still think it’s the best one.

  • Göran Isacson

    Ha ha ha oh my god, Kojia outright says it. Like, some would possibly go “please bear in mind these games age and the design choices they have were made in another time”, but he just goes straight to “eh, read the book-version”. Cut-scene fiesta indeed…

  • Fidelis

    …Never played MGS1..watched Twin Snake’s cutscenes..

    But I found MGS2 much more enjoyable than MGS3 quite honestly.

    Just thinking about it makes me want to give it another playthrough.

    • d19xx

      When in comes to gameplay, 2 is probably the most fun in the series.

      • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

        2 is probably the one with the best replay value. Moving around can be fast and restarting in different difficulties allows the player to search for new dogtags. Although 3 was far more innovating, stealth could become tedious since it requires to use the pause menu.

  • What an interesting thing to say. I usually recommend to people that they play the numbered MGS games in the order they were released, both to understand the story (and appreciate MGS2, which is my favorite of the series story-wise) and because, well, 1 and 2 can be hard to go back to after playing MGS3. I will hand it to him that MGS3 is basically the perfection of MGS1’s vision, so I can see why he’s so proud of it – but MGS2 is a fascinating sideways step that’s impossible to fully appreciate without having played MGS1. Also I don’t know how anyone, least of all Kojima, can recommend MGS4 to anyone who hasn’t played every single previous game and knows exactly what they’re in for.

  • KnifeAndFork

    From MGS3 to MGS4?

    Uhhh…..what about Peace Walker HD? That goes right after MGS3 and after that comes MGSV. Then Kojima should remake MG 1 & 2 and MGS1 with Fox Engine. Then you play MGS2. Finally, you play MGS4.

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    His Engrish is as awesome as ever. I love Kojima~.

  • SirRichard

    I kind of get his logic, but frankly I’d disagree. The series is best experienced start to finish, and while 3 does indeed work as a standalone game, a lot of references and the significance of who’s who will fly over your head if you start with it.

    MGS1 and 2 also need to be experienced as games, because just reading the story doesn’t have the same impact or entertainment, really.

  • Just Tim

    I’m glad the Kojima went out of his way to let non-fans know the chronological order of the MGS franchise’s backstory, which results into looking streamlined, in contrast to Legend of Zelda’s.

  • isotrex

    I freakin’ love the first Metal Gear Solid. I remember it back in the day before when there was no online leaderboards or online connectivity and yet I’m still replaying it over and over again.

  • Jopoku

    So my dear, fellow siliconerians, how do you think the legacy collection should be played? Should I do it chronologically or should I do it in order of release? I’m getting a very Haruhi Suzumiya vibe from trying to figure how to enjoy this lol

    • Heldronus

      Order of release. You don’t really have to play the MSX games but play all the Solid games in order of release because MG3 references stuff from 1&2, and PW references stuff in 4.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos