The 15 best video games of the 1980s

4 of 16

13. Metal Gear

Released: 1987 (Japan) / 1988 (North America)

Platforms: NES, MSX2, MS-DOS, Commodore 64, PlayStation 2/3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita

Long before Metal Gear Solid launched the adventures of Solid Snake into the stratosphere of public consciousness, the original Metal Gear was teaching players how to sneak their way to victory. Although it’s best-known in the West for its NES release, it actually first appeared on the MSX2 in Japan.

Fans still debate which version is superior, as the two differ in some very key points, including how the game actually begins. However, the most recent re-releases of Metal Gear are based on the MSX2 version.

Like its successors in the series, you’re not meant to fight every single enemy you come across; instead, you want to avoid attention as much as possible. That means being careful with weapons. The goal given to the player character, Solid Snake, is to rescue Gray Fox, another operative who’s been captured while investigating a mysterious base.

Why does this game make it onto the list? It did something different with its action, and GamesRadar dubs it and its successors “the first mainstream stealth games on consoles.” Not bad, Snake … Snake? … Snake!!

Ah, he’s probably under a box somewhere.