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After being unavailable for nearly two decades on PC, the acclaimed Metal Gear Solid series and their precursor Metal Gear are finally up for purchase via 

While this is great news for players who have somehow opted out of owning a PlayStation (or even a GameCube), this Konami-released set of ports isn't the best way to get into the series.

metal gear solid 1

look at those original graphics!

It’s exciting to see these games make their way over to PC, but they’re little more than convenient ways to own DRM-free versions of some of the earliest Metal Gear titles.

For $9.99 apiece, you can get Metal Gear Solid, with its included VR Missions, or Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, with all its additional Substance-exclusive content. Metal Gear, the game that started it all, is available for $5.99.

However, you could instead purchase the PlayStation 3 Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection for $25 via Amazon.

It includes a menagerie of Metal Gear entries: Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid 2: HD Edition, Metal Gear Solid 3: HD Edition, Metal Gear Solid 4 Trophy Edition, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Edition.

That's six games for $25.

metal gear solid legacy collection

This package also includes the original Metal Gear Solid and its included VR Missions, all for $5 less than purchasing all three GOG releases on PC.

You could also get the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for just over $20 to play Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and the former PSP-exclusive Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

Unfortunately, there's no indication that these releases have been given anything but meager polish now that they're on a new platform.

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This isn't the first time these games have debuted on PC, but they've gone without a re-release in some time. As a result, they're much muddier than they should honestly look in 2020, and they don't appear to be optimized the way you'd expect a game like this to be in the current year.

It doesn't seem as though there's anything extra to the releases either. It appears this is another set of ports from Konami that, like the recent Super Mario 3D All-Stars Switch ports, rely more on fans' preference for convenience than performance.

But while the Mario titles got at least a modicum of polish and updates to give them a bit of a visual boost, these releases appear to be simple ports to PC.

metal gear solid meme - I'm going to go in my pants...

Are they worth picking up?

Speaking in terms of enjoying the Metal Gear saga in general, absolutely. These are the best games to get started with the sprawling, sometimes confusing narrative.

metal gear solid meme - stealth they'll never look under a moving box

But are these the best way to play the games?

Not by a long shot.

In fact, you may be best served starting with the fantastic (yet pricey) Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, which released on GameCube. It will be a bit of work to procure a copy, but it'll be a much better experience than what this PC port is offering. That, or one of the PS3 options.

Of course, these PC ports do mean potential new mods in the future that can polish the graphics and the games in general to a point that Konami obviously couldn't be bothered with, but that's a ways off.

If you’re interested in getting started with Metal Gear and have the money to burn on mediocre ports, these GOG versions are at least affordable and DRM-free to play on PC or take with you to play on the go.

But if quality matters to you more than convenience, you can do far better and should avoid purchasing these so you can experience the games the way they were meant to be. Then go ahead and play the rest of the saga, which only improves from the second game onward.