#5: Metal Gear SolidPlatform: PlayStationYear: 1998
Original review score: 5 out of 5 Stars
Metal Gear Solid set a new bar for cinematic storytelling in games, creating a shadowy world of intrigue and deception amidst an environment where stealth was the only winning strategy.
Why It Was Innovative:
In Metal Gear Solid, players took control of rogue operative Solid Snake and quietly sneak past enemy guards rather than kill them and risk alerting reinforcements. Though the stealth gameplay was itself revolutionary in its depth and accessibility, Metal Gear Solid's found even bigger success in its intricate and surprisingly dramatic storyline, which was told through a series of letterboxed short films that touched on topical themes from the psychology of war to cutting-edge technology. And despite the crude graphics and occasionally stilted dialogue, creator Hideo Kojima's vision of a playable action film shined through, thanks in part to stellar voice casting as well as clever art direction and cinematography. Metal Gear Solid was a cultural milestone for videogames, providing more proof of the medium's potential to move hearts and minds, not just fingertips.