A great collection that doesn't quite get it all right.

User Rating: 9 | Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection PS2
The Good: MGS games are just about as good as ever; three excellent games for $30; new snazzy box art and packaging; great way to experience the graphical advancements across PlayStation history.

The Bad: MGS3: Subsistence is missing the bonus disc; MGS1 could have been either the GameCube remake or the never-before-released in the US Integral version; no new content for those who already own these.

Metal Gear Solid is a series that, in just a couple of installments, has rocketed to the top as one of the most beloved franchises ever. Each game features incredible production values, twisted (and sometimes very confusing) stories, and lots of great stealthy action. Now Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence are available in one great package for only $29.99. Is it worth it? Well, you decide.

For those who do not know anything about the three games, make sure you look at GameSpot's reviews for each. They cover each of the games thoroughly.

As a collection, this package is mostly sound. It contains the best versions available of both MGS2 and MGS3. Unfortunately, the original Metal Gear Solid is still a PlayStation game on two old PSone discs. This means it requires a PSone memory card even to save, so be aware. What is unfortunate about this is that there has been a GameCube-exclusive remake of the original since then, as well as a version called Integral that involved more advanced AI, several Virtual Reality (VR) missions, and some other tweaks. Integral has never been made available in the US, so it's too bad that Konami didn't take this chance to finally release a localized version here.

Also, it is worth noting that while MGS3: Subsistence originally came with a second disc that contained special modes, the original two Metal Gear games, and a parody theater, this disc is missing here. It's understandable that the online mode on that disc would be missing (because the servers have been down for a long time now), but it would not have set back the company much at all to release the other stuff on a tweaked second disc.

Despite the drawbacks of this collection, it is a great way to experience these games if you haven't before. The core games are unchanged and great, and there are still plenty of extras and things to keep you occupied. It's a great value for what you pay.
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