Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection is a collection of games in the Metal Gear series. It was released for the PlayStation 2 on March 18, 2008 in North America. The Essential Collection features Metal Gear Solid as well as Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence.[1]


Each game has a new commemorative boxart cover drawn by Yoji Shinkawa.[1] For Metal Gear Solid, it is packaged in a PS2 case. Despite this, Metal Gear Solid is still a two CD game.[2] Finally, the manual included in The Essential Collection is more condensed than the original version.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance includes everything from the original version, but in itself, is not a new game.[2] Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence includes the 3rd person camera, but like Substance, is not a new game either. However, the second and third disk of Subsistence, Persistence and Existence, respectively, are not included in the collection.[2] In the case of Subsistence, The Essential Collection contains the manual from the original version of the game.


After a week's worth of speculation,[3] Konami officially announced Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection on February 5, 2008.[1][4] In a press release, Anthony Crouts, Vice President of Marketing for Konami Digital Entertainment Inc., stated, "Since its inception, the Metal Gear Solid franchise has been one of the most successful game series in the history of video games, receiving worldwide recognition and praise. Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection represents a great value for gamers, bringing together three must-have classic titles which pioneered the stealth action genre."[4] The Essential Collection was released for fans waiting for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.[1]


Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection received very positive reviews. GameRankings gave it a 90.00% based on two reviews.[5] IGN gave The Essential Collection a 8.8 saying, "While it's a great compilation of the series over the past decade, some decisions made on the part of the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 3 hamper just how incredible this set actually is."[2]