The one that started it all....
Metal Gear Solid is Hideo Kojima's masterpiece that set the stage for one of the most renowned series in videogames of all time. Kojima is one of the founding fathers of the stealth genre, and MGS was his first vision of Metal Gear in a 3-D world. To this day, MGS still holds up as a fun, intense gameplay experience with a gripping story and unhindered display of Kojima's directorial talent and philosophical insights.
Suffice it to say when MGS was released almost a decade ago, its production values were something the industry had never before witnessed. The art direction, the musical score, the graphical quality - and most importantly, the application of cinematographical techniques and effects of the caliber of great movies was revolutionary.
MGS is often criticized for being too much of an interactive movie, but this is precisely what makes the game memorable and great. For those who could care less about the ideas and stories creator Hideo Kojima wants to express, MGS is a far less appealing game. The long cutscenes and dramatic storytelling are made especially for people who are open to enjoying them, and if good stories, unique characters, and insightful philosophical discussion appeal to you, then MGS will as well.
The only standout flaws with MGS are its frequent use of back-tracking to accomplish objectives and the wonky aiming mechanism. Other than that, MGS is also a short game, so those looking for a meatier experience might be slightly disappointed. Nonetheless, the stealth gameplay in MGS is well-executed and fun, and like any other MGS game, the boss fights are truly the highlights of the game. In short, if you've never played Metal Gear Solid before, it's never too late to give it a try.