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.
“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.