Over time, we tend to forget. Memories fade. Even the games that have the most profound impacts on us aren't immune. But I've been thinking: despite all the fantastic titles we've seen this year, and despite all the memorable experiences, I'm wondering if anything has actually topped Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots .

Obviously, both Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception come close, and many will argue that one or both of Naughty Dog's masterpieces surpass Kojima's. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Heavy Rain , the ultimate in interactive thrillers in my mind. Then there are amazing experiences ranging from the most recent ( The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim , Batman: Arkham City , etc.) to the oldest of the generation ( LittleBigPlanet , Mass Effect 2 , etc.). There are just so many awesome games out there and yet, I'm not sure any of them felt like the complete, blow-you-away adventure that MGS4 was…

Bear in mind I haven't gotten around to Uncharted 3 yet (although Arnold certainly says it's pretty damn special ), and I'm not as big a fan of other huge titles like Halo . But I can count the number of games that have had a significant emotional impact on me this generation on one hand…okay, maybe two hands. The point is, of the many, many games I've played over the past five or six years, I'm really not sure any of them can stand toe-to-toe with MGS4. But like I said, memories start to fail. If I really think about it, I find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what's so great about MGS4.

But I trust the part of my brain that provides me with the warm, fuzzy, albeit vague answer: all of it was great. I also remember writing this .

Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

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Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

As of 2011, I'd say no.
Kojima made the best game of the generation.
You may argue Uncharted 3 is better or as good, but it's already 2011.

MartyRules
MartyRules
10 years ago

Snake says that MGS4 is the best game this gen,hmmm……

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
10 years ago

I'm not snake by the way, I'm SNAAAAKE!

Jokes aside, I admit I'm an MGS fanboy, but I'm stating my opinion as a gamer.


Last edited by Snaaaake on 11/15/2011 9:50:26 PM

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
10 years ago

Think that depends on what you're looking for in a game. I would argue that the excessively long cutscenes and absolute need to have played the preceding games limits its appeal. It certainly did for me, and holds it back from being the best of the generation. The Uncharted series, and more specifically the second and third entries, holds that distinction as far as I'm concerned.

Grandma Pantyho
Grandma Pantyho
10 years ago

It all depends on whether or not you played the previous MGS games leading up to MGS4. Having played all MGS games in sequential order, I can vow that it is one of the most brilliant master pieces in the entertainment industry. The story, characters and engaging game play craft the most unique mind grasping series of all time. So to answer the question, No, nothing has topped MGS this past decade and I don't believe anything ever will.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

I think whaat you're saying have a lot of truth to it. I would stress that gamers play and finish each of these games in order. When it comes to emotional master peices, this series really brings it.

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

It's all a matter of opinion. I have always been a MGS fan and that might be the tipping point for me in giving MGS4 my game of the generation award over U3 or KZ3. The game not only excels in every possible direction it was also a somewhat early gen game. Uncharted 3 hit me in a way the U2 did not and for that U3 comes very close to MGS4, but not close enough.

Nice article Ben. I advise no one to forget the mind bending masterpiece that is Metal Gear Solid 4. That game shines brightly.

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
10 years ago

Uncharted doesn't come close to MGS4. MGS4 is deep, well thought out, thought provoking and utterly emotional. Uncharted is ya summer mindless blockbuster….Uncharted isn't as muddled as MGS though, i'll give it that…also, technology wise, Uncharted possibly surpasses it.

Personally, LBP2 was the game to top it for me. But as a sole adventure game, i think it's unbeaten this gen….However, again personally, i think Ni No Kuni can change that. Very different, but the same effect, i'm sure.

Oh, and The Last Guardian…that has a high chance of taking over!


Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 11/15/2011 9:55:36 PM

kokoro
kokoro
10 years ago

Mindless? The game is only as mindless as the player. The characters in uncharted 3 have more depth and dimension than those in MGS4 and the story is told in a more compelling manner. MGS4's story is deeper I'll give you that, but overall uncharted 3 is probably a more accomplished piece of work.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
10 years ago

MGS sure is a heck lot deeper than Uncharted, but I'll never call the latter mindless.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Play any Uncharted on Crushing. They're not mindless games. They're just not as deep as MGS4.

Kokoro, gotta disagree with you about the characters. Drake and company are just normal Joes looking for treasure. Snake and Company are all mired in a twist past spanning over decades and many wars and covert operations.


Last edited by Jawknee on 11/16/2011 3:42:04 AM

kokoro
kokoro
10 years ago

Jawknee

What I meant was the way the characters speak and interact with one another has greater depth, not the characters them selves or their backstories. In the latter respect, the characters of MGS4 have greater depth.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
10 years ago

@kokoro
If you had played Metal Gear in 2001 & then played Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of Patriots in 2007, tears will be shed.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
10 years ago

There was a part in Uncharted 2 that was plenty emotional. Knowing ND, I am sure Uncharted 3 will deliver the goods as well. I have yet to beat it, but I am expecting something good.

Mindless Blockbluster is MW3, and I love the game!

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

MGS4 has held up very well, and has been very influential. But, as far as gameplay is concerned, I think it has been eclipsed by the likes of Arkham City and Assassin's Creed, and as far as visuals and production values, I think ND's franchise superceded it by the 2nd entry. Though, it could just be my fading memory. I'll be sure to revisit it.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I don't think those games can be compared to MGS4. They're only similar because they try to be stealthy but utilmately fail when compared to MGS4. Batman is a great game but the gameplay gets boring after awhile and I never thought Assassin's Creeds gameplay was that great anyway. MGS4 allowed the player to approach situations is so many different ways that it never got old to me. The other games on the other hand felt very limited. Especially Assassin's Creed. .

Shams
Shams
10 years ago

I'll guess I'll have to give it another looksee. I would argue the open world nature of both Arkham City and Assassin's Creed (2 especially) made them less limited as stealth games, but I know what you mean in terms of combat options, especially when it comes to Assassin's Creed.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

man, i really want a new tenchu game so i can play a stealth game. i definetly prefer the way mgs4 handled thing. no kill-unseen playthrough, guns blazing playthrough. i know you can do that in batman and assassins creed but i still like mgs4 better, maybe because snake is closest to the average guy character. i did like the batman and assassins creed games.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
10 years ago

Nope. I don't think anything has. I haven't finished a game this generation and just sat there for a time after just thinking about it aside from MGS4. I have been wowed by the likes of Uncharted, Vanquish and Arkham Asylum (haven't played city yet), but MGS4 really hit deep down. It's the game that pushed me to really rethink the course of my life as a recently graduated person teaching English, to make a move to a career in something video game oriented. It made me want to be a part of an industry that spawned such greatness. It MOVED me.

Here is to hoping once my contract ends a year later I can move on to the game industry =)


Last edited by ZenChichiri on 11/15/2011 10:07:31 PM

gray_eagle
gray_eagle
10 years ago

im not a big MGS fan, no disrespect to other devs, nothing comes close to MGS4.

Twistedfloyd
Twistedfloyd
10 years ago

No, no, and no. MGS4 remains the unprecedented masterpiece of this generation followed closely by Uncharted 2 and Heavy Rain. No game possess the depth of MGS4's story, characters and game design.

Snake's arc he goes through in this game is absolutely amazing. Going from a man who doesn't value his life at all, to someone who does value his life by the end of it and has a completely new outlook on everything by the end of MGS4. It's a beautiful thing to see that someone explored the existentialist quality in this industry. A true story of human emotion, struggle and sacrifice that is without equal maybe except for MGS1.

Snake in general is a character that has so much depth over ten years of gaming that undergoes an incredible arc from MGS1-MGS4, not just within this game.

During my fifth play through (which I am playing through now), I am still discovering new places I had never seen before. The choice of playing stealthily or playing action oriented is incredible. The revamped CQC is exceptional, the level design is phenomenal, the cutscenes are unparalleled in their production value only being challenged by Amy Hennig, David Cage and Rockstar, but all of them come up short from matching Hideo Kojima's cinematic power.

Are there a couple of moments where MGS4 stumbles? Sure. Didn't like Raiden's arc by act 5. Thought a couple of cutscenes went too long. Despise Drebin and Johnny. But overall there are very few things like MGS4 out there. And those small nitpicking things right there don't come anywhere near close to being anything that can make MGS4 less than a masterpiece.

Microwave scene. Enough said. Masterful integration of gameplay (where you really feel Snake's struggle) and seeing his friends struggle at the same time as you're mashing that triangle button.

All due respect to Mass Effect and Uncharted or any other franchise, but nothing to me is as beautiful or poignant as Metal Gear Solid. MGS4 especially makes me cry tears of sorrow and joy each time I play it.

MGS4 is one of the most picture perfect experiences ever. And I defy anyone to find a better final boss than the LO fight. The cutscene before it pumped me up so much the first time I saw it, I was literally just in tears and on the edge of my seat as I fought Liquid.

And the final scene with a certain character at the end of the game (while Kojima needs a better editor) is just unreal in its brutal honesty and social commentary. A heartbreaking portrayal of two men at odds for their entire lives coming together in a moment of brotherhood is one of the most emotionally beautiful things I've ever seen.

So, yeah, for me, MGS4 is the best game this generation and is without equal (in this generation).

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
10 years ago

Holy crap! I forgot about Mass Effect!!

As much as I love Mass Effect… oooh, so close, but only marginally beaten by Uncharted 2 and 3 and MGS4.

SubjectiveTruth
SubjectiveTruth
10 years ago

Couldn't have said it any better.

SoulController
SoulController
10 years ago

@Floyd

You nailed with that post bro. The only games to ever move me to tears were FF7, MGS 3 & 4.

MGS 4 had something magical about it that despite the 360's dominance at the time, here was a clear statement from Kojima & his team that this kind of quality was only possible on the ps3. A nice big middle finger to shoddy hardware & empty hype. Kudos Ben for this article

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
10 years ago

i felt the microwave scene was a bit unneeded, reminded me of the ladder scene in mgs3. Could have been a cutscene instead

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
10 years ago

As I said many times, MGS series is the greatest video game franchise ever existed with the most complicated historical/fictitious background thus became the greatest story ever told in video gaming.

I will forever remember the saddest and most emotional ending of all at the end of MGS3 with The Boss's tragic death (like Big Boss said himself — ever after the day I killed the Boss, I am already dead)… In that sense, nothing will ever surpass what MGS series has achieved.

Here is my salute again The Boss, from Big Boss.

p.s. I just got my MGS HD Collection Limited Edition today, super excited and worth every penny of it 😀


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 11/15/2011 10:55:11 PM

main_event05
main_event05
10 years ago

To me, that is the moment that literally started everything. Either that or Ocelot's birth. Go back through MGS lore and you might find that Ocelot may be the most important player/pawn in the series.

fatelementality
fatelementality
10 years ago

As far as tuggin at all the emotional strings, no game comes close.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
10 years ago

For me, MGS4 signalled everything wonderful about the PS3. It was the first truly next-gen game, something that made the Xbots jealous in a time of 360 dominance.

To me, nearly everything exclusive to PS3 has had a huge impact on me!! Only Gears of War 2 and 3 had a big impact on me on the 360. Halo Reach was impressive, but just didn't do it. Nothing special. Fable II came oh so close!!

As for PS3, well, with Uncharted 2 and 3 I had to invite my friends around to check it out, and showed the rainforest graphics off to my mum. Yeah, THAT impressive!!

Heavy Rain was revolutionary!! I have never been more absorbed in a character's story and personality than I have with everyone in that game. It introduced me to a new type of gameplay I now love more than anything, exploring human relationships between fictional characters. Truly excellent if done right, and Quantic Dream definitely nailed it!!

Got more 4 player action out of Littlebig Planet than any Mario game I own on Wii.

God of War 3… words cannot describe the epicness!!!

Honestly, PS3 has it all. Wii has some gems and is incredibly fun, 360 has Gears of War, but PS3 really is the only console to truly have it all!!!

As for anything beating MGS4?

…. nope, Uncharted 2 and 3 come close, but the story of MGS4, the cutscenes, the characters, the length of the story, the increasingly varied gameplay types, it truly was, at least to me, the perfect game. 🙂

tes37
tes37
10 years ago

MGS4 was too great of a game. After playing it, I thought it was going to be a good sign of things to come. I was wrong. There have been some amazing games that followed, but not very many could compare to the quality of Kojima's effort.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
10 years ago

Anyone catch the new episode of The Simpsons, where Homer takes the kids to E4?

Guts of War II: Entrails of Intestinox!!

Grand Theft Scratchy

Medal of Duty

Assassin's Creed: Summer of Love

Protovision

Ybox

I was surprised to see so many PS3 references in there!! For an American show, I thought Ybox would get more attention, LOL!!


Last edited by Dancemachine55 on 11/15/2011 11:01:22 PM

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

Yeah I saw that. It was nice to see Guts of War get some attention. The Simpsons don't have a deal with M$ like I suspect family Guy does. So they can reference what ever they want at the "E4".

PAKINIPS
PAKINIPS
10 years ago

I remember a family guy episode taking the piss out of microsofts E3 conference and how they buy people back

Jalex
Jalex
10 years ago

It's a legitimate contender for 'Best Video Game of All Time (To Date)' in my mind. And that's not just because I'm an admitted 'Metal Gear' fanatic. Surely the gameplay won't appeal to all, but there aren't any actual glitches or design problems (at least I haven't noticed any in my 18 playthrus), earning it a place near the top, if not the very toppermost.

Victor321
Victor321
10 years ago

To me personally, I reminisce and you're right Ben; nothing has topped MGS4, but many have come close.

In my eyes and in my experiences, the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series have had me coming back for more (over 200 hours spent in each franchise). Same with the Uncharted series.

Those 3 series above give me shivers and goosebumps, and just plain gaming bliss when I played all the games in their respective franchises the first time; wonderful, memorable experiences for sure.

But I remember playing MGS4, and witnessing the ending while the credits rolled; that final scene made me shed tears.

No other game has done that to me to this day.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
10 years ago

Trying to one up my avatar, huh Victor? 🙂

Victor321
Victor321
10 years ago

Haha XD I was looking for a new one and this pic surprised me, I had no idea it was in my pictures!

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Nope.

kokoro
kokoro
10 years ago

Uncharted 3. Definitely.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Nope. Not even Uncharted 3. Uncharted 3 is amazing but it's ultimately lacking depth in both gameplay and story compared to MGS4.


Last edited by Jawknee on 11/16/2011 3:21:33 AM

kokoro
kokoro
10 years ago

I guess you're right. Though uncharted 3 has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I literally could not stop smiling half the time- it constantly amazed me, all the way through.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Oh most definantly. It is indeed one of those games that was just nonstop fun. I but once you played it once or twice, there isn't much new to explore. MGS4 had a ton of guns and attachments to play with. Had alternate ways to approach the game. Granted different medals to challenge the player to play it in different ways. Getting the Big Boss Medal was one of the most rewarding and challenging gaming experience ever in my opinion. Uncharted is amazing but it just doesn't offer that level of depth and challenge.

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

i'll pick elena over merill though anyday, hahaha. just saying it.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Merill could be hot if she didn't have man arms.

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
10 years ago

nope not for me anyway. several games have amazed me this generation. ( most notability Heavy rain assassins creed 2 uncharted series GTA RDR) but MGS4 remains the most unforgettable gaming experience i've ever had period. obviously being a long time MGS fan going back to 98. i don't really need to get into how emotional the story got at times ( who didn't get misty eyed when the credits started to roll the FIRST time ?!. you know what i mean 🙂

anyway even in gameplay terms its still a technical masterpiece. to this day its hard to find a fault with it.


Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 11/16/2011 12:03:45 AM

shadowpal2
shadowpal2
10 years ago

MGS4 was the game that marked the beginning of the rise of the PS3. After MGS4, blockbusters all over started hitting the console.

I mean MGS4 made the PS3 what it is right now. As MGS2 did for the PS2, and MGS did for the PSX. Kojima is God.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
10 years ago

JAwk loves this game. I've never been a big fan of MGS but I respect its quality and understand why people enjoy the series. This game deserved to sell 12 million in its first week.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Yurrp! 🙂 I played the hell out of this game. 9 play throughs and I have been meaning to play it for a 10th here soon. It ranks up there with my top favorite games of all time. MGS4, FFVII and Zelda OOT.


Last edited by Jawknee on 11/16/2011 3:22:26 AM

Temjin001
Temjin001
10 years ago

It's hard for me to say anything has topped it. I can much more easily say that there's been several games that sit right there with it on the same level, each bringing their own identity and individual strength and significance.

Rogueagent01
Rogueagent01
10 years ago

I'm with you Temjin001.

I can say that a couple games/developers have definitely bumped MGS4 to the side and said share. Valkyria Chronicles, Heavy Rain , and the Yakuza series are the only games I can think of that feel like the same caliper(to me).