Before retiring my PS3 (until Persona 5 comes out), I only have the HD collection of Metal Gear left to play. I played a few hours of MGS2 and eventually got too frustrated by the design and remembered reading an article that quoted Kojima saying that MGS3 would be more accessible for first-timers in terms of gameplay.
To get up to speed, I've been watching "movie" versions of the first two games. My eyes are beginning to get motion-sickness though from the amount of rolling that they've been doing whilst watching the second game's story unfold. The anime tropes, the unending chain of betrayals/hidden agendas and quite poor voice acting have left me doubting my desire to play MGS 3 and Peace Walker.
Does it get any better, or is it just a case of loving or loathing Kojima and his ninja-favouring ways? (Ninjas can be badass, not hatin')
EDIT (as quite a few people have missed my later post halfway down) - I played, enjoyed and completed MGS 1 when I was a younger, so do have some affection for the series, but MGS 2 in terms of story and plot points seemed like nonsense.