The Metal Gear Solid series has long been known for its outstanding lineup of incredible boss battles. With mind-bending meta-puzzles and smashing remnants of the fourth wall, Solid metal gear features some of the franchise’s best fights, and we’re culling every one of them here.
10. Vulcan Crow (tank)
While every fight in MSG is memorable, the first Vulcan Raven on the right is one of the least interesting. Although the tank throws a punch from a distance, fighting a minion isn’t very exciting, even if Vulcan is also in the tank. While glitter grenades block the most dangerous attacks and regular grenades slow down crawlers, Solid Snake can launch another explosive into the shooter’s compartment. A grenade-based battle is definitely a novelty, but overall this fight lacks the excitement of the best fights in MGS.
9. Ocelot Revolver
Like most fights in Solid metal gear, the Revolver Ocelot Battle is built around a new gameplay design. Essentially a square arena with some cover points, the player must avoid Ocelot’s fire and wait for him to reload to get some shots. The idea may be basic, but it’s still quite effective with Ocelot’s bullet count displayed on screen. Plus, there’s something super satisfying about knowing in hindsight that this will be your nemesis for the rest of the series.
8. Wolf Sniper (Corridor)
While the emotional setup of this battle is palpable, with Meryl’s blood still staining the battlefield, Sniper Wolf’s first fight just lacks the atmosphere and panache of the second battle. The alluring sniper has fewer places to hide on her vantage point on the catwalk and as such this tactical cat-and-mouse fight just isn’t as good as the later fight that takes place in a snowy field in Alaska.
7. Hind D (Liquid Snake)
The first time players encounter Liquid Snake, he has a distinct advantage. Flying a Russian gunship, a Hind D, Liquid blasts the player with a minigun from a distance. The battle is incredibly dangerous, but Solid Snake can get a head start with his Stinger Rocket Launcher. You have to choose your moments carefully, and switching between third and first person can make the fight particularly difficult. Still, it’s worth it for Snake’s last line: “I guess that takes care of the cremation.”
6. The Vulcan Raven
Few bosses in Solid metal gear are as intimidating as this imposing specimen. Shirtless, tattooed, and carrying a barrel of ammo on his back, this warrior armed with a Gatling gun stalks the player through a storage area filled with shipping containers. What makes this fight cool is how many options Snake has to dispatch his enemy. Although Raven has exceptional range, you can defeat him by laying mines, using the Nikita Directional Missiles, or targeting him directly with the Stinger. Whichever approach you take, the fight with Vulcan Raven and her gruesome demise has a significant impact.
5. Psycho Mantis
This one might be the hardest to categorize based on its iconic status. Psycho Mantis’ fourth wall fight is one of the best known in video game history. From reading your memory card to making players swap controller ports, Mantis’ psychic powers are a fearsome force to be reckoned with in-game and in real life. Although the novelty of the battle is lost in later reruns, there’s still a bold design choice here and having Hideo appear instead of video for TV issues is a masterstroke of humor based on the word games.
4. Sniper Wolf
The second fight with Sniper Mantis in the snowfields of Alaska is a total tour de force. As the sassy spy takes aim at Snake, it’s up to you to stay alive while shooting him from time to time. With your shaking hands aiming in the cold and just a shot or two enough to knock you out of commission, this tense encounter and the emotional death scene that follows it are among the best moments of Solid metal gear.
3. Cyborg Ninja
Cyborg Ninja has a personal vendetta for Snake, and as such wants to get close for a real fight. His palpable madness and masochism make battle even more twisted, and the fact that his quick sword strikes will block any bullet you fire his way makes him an extremely intimidating foe. Of course, once you know its backstory, this fight is even more intense and insane, but the confusion and fear that fuels the first time around can’t be overstated here.
2. Liquid Snake
Liquid Snake gets three epic battles in Solid metal gear and easily some of the best moments in the game. After defeating his super-weapon, however, Liquid is still not done. Engaging the player with timed combat, the battle with Liquid is not only difficult; it’s tense and frenetic. The time bomb requires you to be more reckless than you would like, and Liquid is no slouch when it comes to unarmed combat.
Still, the fight is even more exciting as Liquid returns for more as you attempt to escape the compound. A mounted assault rifle fight in moving vehicles is the beginning of the end for Liquid Snake and sets up the game’s dramatic conclusion, where he finally succumbs to FOXDIE.
As epic as the final showdown with Liquid Snake is, nothing can top REX metal gear. A walking battle tank with a rail gun, minigun, missile launchers and full nuclear capabilities, nothing could be scarier or more intimidating than this hulking juggernaut. The two-stage combat is also obviously tense, with the first half seeing Snake almost shattered as he crouches behind shipping containers.
After Gray Fox’s daring sacrifice and mad solo battle with the REX, the conclusion sees Snake with an advantage now that the REX has been partially disabled. Still, the massive machine is still incredibly dangerous and can easily take down Snake quickly if you’re not careful.