How do you take a legendary series like Metal Gear Solid and whittle it down to just 15 top moments?
Trust me, it wasn’t easy. I spent a couple hours going back through the series and remembering everything I could. I then wrote down a list of 53 moments that really made me remember this series. The Metal Gear franchise is home to some of the best gameplay, cutscenes, and story I have ever experienced. Kojima’s expertly crafted story has made my gap fall in wonder multiple times. Perhaps no game has had me on the edge of my seat more than Metal Gear Solid 4.
Long story short: I love me some Metal Gear.
That being said, it was extremely hard for me to just take 15 moments let alone the original number of 10 I was going to go with. In the end, I couldn’t omit the other 5 and I believe I have come down with the best moments in the Metal Gear Solid series.
#15 – Outer Haven Created (Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker)
As much as I enjoyed Peace Walker, it was lucky to make this list. I had to include something from the portable titles because they are canon and you can’t just forget about them. That being said, only one event was big enough to be included on here and it’s the creation of the soldier nation under Big Boss.
We fought our way through Outer Haven during the beginning of the Metal Gear to stop Big Boss in our first missions with Foxhound. Outer Haven was legendary to players especially after how Solid made it sound like a big deal.
What Bid Boss did was insane but it worked and it culminated into a nation where soldiers would prosper outside of borders, governments, and flags. Outer Haven the original private military company and to watch this be created and hear Big Boss’ epic speech was great for long time fans.
#14 – Snake And Raiden Fight Alongside Each Other (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty)
As the story in Metal Gear Solid 2 began to wind down, every second mattered as Raiden fought his way to stop Ocelot and Arsenal Gear. Once he finally made his way through Arsenal and met up with Solid Snake, it was time to press the attack.
Gearing up and getting ready for their last stand, the two heroes fight side-by-side and we get to see the legend and the prodigy in full glory. Once you hit the circular room and the waves of enemies kept coming and coming, the intense feeling and constant, continuing issues with the AI combined for a hell of a fight.
It was great to see Raiden back-to-back with Solid Snake plus you just got the HF blade and swinging that thing around no matter how easier it was to use ranged weaponry was a blast. You played through the whole game to hopefully see Solid Snake kick some ass again and they gave it to you in the form of an epic wave battle with tons of enemies dying all around you. Fission Mailed.
#13 – The Hind D Battle (Metal Gear Solid)
I remember reading those little image blips in the Metal Gear Solid article for an old GamePro magazine. For this battle it said: “Shooting down a 2 million dollar helicopter with a 2 dollar missile never felt so good”. They were so right.
This battle was so epic back in the day. Before Rex came into the picture, the HInd was the coolest thing in gaming. Not only was this a tough battle but the sheer scope of it was unseen in gaming back then. How could they top this? Well, eventually they did but at the time it was hard to think that anything could top the Hind battle in the tense and cool factors.
Having Liquid constantly insult you during the battle really made you want to blow the thing out of the sky. When you finally saw it spiraling downwards you felt a huge sense of accomplishment. You just took down a battle ready helicopter and shut your jerk of a brother up.
#12 – The Metal Gear Ray Battle (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty)
After being separated from Snake and berated by Solidus you’re left to face an onslaught of Metal Gear Rays with a missile launcher. This seems like an impossible task. While Snake has had some success in the past, it just seems nigh impossible to take down a Ray model by yourself. This is supposed to be the ultimate Metal Gear and your up against tens of them. Seriously?
This would be higher on the list but after you take down a bunch of Rays you start wondering how many missiles you’re going to have to shoot to progress forward. That and, honestly, if it wasn’t for the AI going bonkers Raiden would be dead. In seconds.
Still, the aspect of being put up against multiple Metal Gear units at once is terrifying. Solidus basically throws everything at you and you come out on top before Ocelot hacks into them all and takes them over. Just wow.
#11 – Psycho Mantis Battle (Metal Gear Solid)
Psycho Mantis was a real prick but damn his battle is amazing. His trick was that he would throw you off your game by making you have to switch controllers, read what’s on your memory card, and counter everything you did until you switched controllers to the second port. Unless you actually did stuff with your real life console and controller, the game would make Psycho Mantis unbeatable.
The aspect of messing with your hear during this battle is what I believe inspired Eternal Darkness for the Gamecube. Psycho Mantis played tricked on the player, not Solid Snake. It was epic to experience and to this day his battle theme from the Twin Snakes is still one of my favorites.
#10 – Big Boss’ Return (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots)
Some of you may be surprised that this is only number 10. The thing is, you totally saw this coming. If this was completely out of left field and took us all by surprised then it would be different. Still, it is an amazing moment as the man went from solider to legend to villain to legend again and he is standing right in front of Snake.
This all happens after a lengthy battle about the Patriots and Revolver Ocelot. Snake is tired and he is giving his respects to the supposed grave of Big Boss. Instead, the man, still alive, stands in front of him and that moment was just jaw dropping to fans. It doesn’t matter that it was easy to foresee. Seeing Big Boss still alive and kicking after Zanzibar and all the time in between was nuts and what transpired between father and son was emotional and very important to the overall story.
#9 – Sword Fight With Solidus Snake (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty)
Part of me put this in the top ten because of the amazing Father and Son theme but there’s also the fact that this was Raiden’s big moment. After surviving a simulated event to recreate Solid Snake in a new soldier and everything Ocelot and Snake did to derail the Patriot’s plan, Raiden still had his father to deal with.
This was the man that ruined him. Raiden’s childhood and life had been so hard and finally he was given the chance to take all his anger, frustration, and lifelong wounds against the man who created it all.
The fight atop of Arsenal Gear which has crashed into Manhattan is truly a great moment. You watch Raiden enter a mission in which he barely knows what’s going on to tackling one of the world’s worst terrorist cells and stopping a plot to destabilize the country. While Solidus wanted to stop the Patriots, he was played like a fool by both them and Ocelot. If Solidus was able to walk away from the S3 Initiative then he would have been extremely dangerous. You could say that Raiden killing his father kept the Patriots in control and gave them a lifeline when they needed it the most.
#8 – Metal Gear Rex vs. Metal Gear Ray (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots)
I love this moment in Metal Gear Solid. It pits the pure hatred of the two Snake brothers against each other in two machines that defined the series. Rex and Ray are so central to the story of Metal Gear Solid and to have Snake piloting the same Rex that he took down in the first game against a Ray unit in full-on mecha carnage is just insane. This is the moment that defined the Metal Gear Solid series. It’s not the best moment but it definitely packed the most action and pit two crucial characters and two pivotal machines against each other.
I also enjoyed the fact that no matter how advanced and capable Ray was, Rex was still so formidable and well constructed to not only last a fight with a newer Metal Gear but also win.
#7 – The End (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
One of the best battles in gaming, The End’s portion in Snake Eater was so intense you would sweat. This was all about patience. You had to tip toe through the bushes, crawl along the ground, and put to test all the skill sthe game taught up to that point. You needed the best camo would could get and you had to pay attention to every detail around you.
Being a sniper’s battle with the enemy having the sole vantage point would be tough for anyone. What’s great is that the game gave you the choice of giving The End a taste of his own medicine and beating him at his own game or stay true to the character and take him out from the shadows. Sneaking up on this guy was not easy and he would typically stop you in your tracks with a well placed sniper shot and then move positions.
It was extremely rewarding to be able to sneak up and take him out but to duel him in a battle of wit, patience, and aim was just so intense. Every gunshot that sprung into the air would make me jump during this battle. Did he see me? Is he baiting me to move out of cover? The End’s battle was one moment in the series I could never forget.
#6 – Sniper Wolf Shoots Meryl (Metal Gear Solid)
Meryl has a lot of moments in the first game. She starts out as a completely green rookie who had no business being there but Solid Snake had constantly been teaching her and making her feel more confident and brave. Then all of a sudden — BANG!
The next thing you see is Meryl on the ground right in the middle of the Sniper Wolf’s firing area bleeding out. Snake tries to calm her down and figure out what to do but Meryl just insists he goes on without her. It was a touching moment because you could much Snake began to care for her and he wouldn’t leave her laying there. No matter how hard she pushed him to go on he kept fighting to stay right there with her. Then you had to call up her Uncle and tell him that you had to leave. It was tough and emotional.
This was exactly what Liquid needed as leverage when it came to get answers out of Snake. If you were good enough, you were able to resist and save the damsel in distress but not without feeling like you let her down as she laid there bleeding because of you.
#5 – The Guns of the Patriots (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots)
A wild chase through the city, failing to keep a key to the Patriots safe, and keeping trapped by Liquid Ocelot all culminated in the grand activation of his plan. As Ocelot preached about his new world away from the control of the Patriots, we witnessed a beautiful scene. Ocelot’s speech and amount of grandeur combined for one of the most gripping scenes. You almost wanted Ocelot to succeed after that. It was such a triumphant and inspiring speech.
If it wasn’t for the sadistic ways Ocelot went about trying to usurp the Patriots the man would be a hero. Instead he’s a glorified villain fighting against a greater evil. This is his greatest moment and after everything we’ve seen him go through and try to do, it was a great scene to watch unfold.
#4 – Battle with The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
Naked Snake had a lot of questions for his mentor. He also had a lot of reserve going up against her. The Boss is a master strategist, melee expert, and excellent marksman(woman). In all respects, Snake should not have been able to take down The Boss. However, in her penultimate moment of facing a weapon she raised from the green and seeing him unfold into a superior soldier she realized his potential.
This battle was not only tough but it was graceful. The presentation of this confrontation is just astounding. The moment where we see Snake and The Boss square off in the field with the flowers and blades of grass flowing with the wind tells an entire story.
#3 – The Confrontation with Metal Gear Rex (Metal Gear Solid)
We had seen some cool machines in the older Metal Gear games but when you have nearly every character hype up this hulking mass of pure destruction, you’re expecting something grand when the times comes. Needless to say, Metal Gear Rex did not disappoint. When you first enter the holding chamber and a quick cinematic plays showing the full glory that is Rex, you’re just awestruck.
Back when Metal Gear Solid first came out, the game held a lot of things in terms of story, gameplay, and battles that had just not been seen before. We had the awesome encounter with the Hind D, the dynamic between Snake and Meryl, the insane mindclash of the Pscyho Mantis fight, and now this giant construction of nuclear death was standing right before us.
When Liquid actually turned Rex on and the battle area was set, you just had to stare at the screen and wonder how you would be able to walk away from this. How would you be able to stop this thing when the rest of the world is so frightened of it?
This battle did everything right from difficulty, tenseness, character development (Gray Fox and Liquid), and how it continued to throw more and more at you despite the success you were having. After everything that had happened on Shadow Moses, it all culminated with the deadly Metal Gear Rex and an epic showdown.
#2 – The Final Showdown With Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots)
Since Shadow Moses we’ve been chasing down Ocelot. The game got even more personal when Solid Snake’s brother, Liquid, somehow manifested himself through Ocelot. While the two shared on body, the two minds toiled with different plans until finally they merged to create the dangerous Liquid Ocelot. Or… something to that effect. To be honest, I never understood why Ocelot would have Liquid’s arm grafted onto his body in the first place. Still, it was the perfect plot device to continue the ever winding legacy of the Snakes and Big Boss’ children.
Snake had chased Ocelot and Liquid all around the world and finally was able to catch up to him aboard the craziest ship I have ever seen. This thing has Arsenal beat.
The fight with Liquid Ocelot is divided into four parts. You fight Liquid as the primary mind first. Then you’ll see Ocelot fighting back and you’ll engage the extremely tough Liquid Ocelot. After that you’ll have just one last foe: Revolver Ocelot. After all, Ocelot has been the mastermind behind most of the events that have happened in the Metal Gear Solid series. It is only fitting that you square off against this nemesis last.
After this you’re treated with one last attack. All it takes if a simple press of a button to take out the man that has plagued the Snakes since the Virtuous Mission. This battle comes directly after our number one scene in the series which also helps heighten the atmosphere, tension, and mood. This is the final battle for Solid Snake and it meant so much to not just fans but also the creators and devs. The health bars and models change into their different forms that we’ve see evolve over the years. It’s one hell of a throwback to all of the other games and in all just feels so epic and climatic.
#1 – The Microwave Hall (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots)
The battle through the carrier was enough to tire any soldier. Snake was running on fumes at this point in the game and it took everything he had to continue moving. Just when everything seemed doomed, Raiden comes out of nowhere and holds down the enemy advance while Snake continues on to finally shut down the Patriots. Only one last test was left: reaching them.
Near the end of Metal Gear Solid 4 we are treated to one of the most intense, emotional, and edge-of-you-seat moments in gaming history: the Microwave Hall.
This hallway is filled with Microwaves and just as Otacon says, the longer you stay in there the quicker you’ll fry. The game locks you out of pausing the game or doing anything but equipping the Solid Eye and moving forward. While that sounds simple, it is far but.
This scene has a lot going for it. We have a familiar tune playing back which just depresses the scene and makes you, as the player, feel like this could really be it for Snake. Snake is in bad shape and the longer you continue moving in this hallway the worse he gets. There are shockers can constantly extend out and let out a quick but painful blast that destroys Snake’s suit piece by piece until Snake is laying on the ground writhing in pain and crawling his way forward. While you do this, everyone outside is fighting for you and giving you the time you need to finish this one final mission. You see clips of Raiden, Sonny, Meryl, Akiba, Otacon, Roy Campbell, Naomi, and everyone else doing all they can to ensure you can keep going. But can you make it?
That’s the feeling this scene gives you. You have no idea if you can actually make it or not. The first time you go through this scene, it is just excruciating to witness. Snake is painfully crawling his way towards his objective and doing everything that you would expect the ultimate soldier to do but he is dying in there. Every second he is frying up and the shocks just keep coming. I honestly had no idea if they were going to kill him right there and then. I was waiting for Raiden to burst through and find Snake’s body just lying there and frying. Instead, even Raiden was finding himself in a horrible predicament.
This scene is by far the most gripping, emotional, and intense moment I have ever experienced in gaming. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and when I made it across, I just sat there sweating and panting almost brought to tears to how well this scene was put together and what it did to truly justify every single thing Snake has ever done in his life. The almost never-ending pain from that hallway wasn’t enough to stop this man from completing his mission.
The Microwave Hall is the most impressive and memorable scene in the Metal Gear Solid series.
Do you have a moment from the Metal Gear Solid series that wasn’t on this list? Share your experiences with us below in the comments section. Also, be sure to stay tuned for our Metal Gear Rising review coming soon!