In recent years, one genre seems to have been left behind in favor of RPGs or action-adventure games: hack-and-slash. The latest notable game in the genre is likely Hi-Fi Rush, which introduced rhythm elements into the mix, making it feel somewhat distinct from standard hack-and-slash games. But Hi-Fi Rush alone isn’t enough to properly serve fans of the genre, and that’s why, more than ever before, we need a Metal Gear Rising remake or remaster for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
When it comes to anyone’s best PS5 games and best Xbox games lists, the hack-and-slash genre has very few entries, aside from possibly Devil May Cry 5, which is an absolute must-play if you ask me. But the one game that I always yearn for is Metal Gear Rising, whether for another playthrough, to watch clips, or to listen to the stellar soundtrack.
For those unaware of possibly one of, if not the best spin-off game ever created, Metal Gear Rising takes place in the universe of the popular Metal Gear Solid series. While it does feature a character from the mainline series, Raiden, Metal Gear Rising doesn’t require you to play the MGS games, and in fact, it was my first time playing a Metal Gear entry.
In Metal Gear Rising, you play as cyborg-ninja Raiden, who after getting badly wounded during a security mission, must uncover a web of political lies while defeating a long list of enemies. Much like Hideo Kojima’s brilliant mainline Metal Gear Solid series, the narrative can become a bit extravagant, culminating in a strange amalgamation of meme-worthy scenes, satire, and too-close-to-home moments. However, don’t let that put you off what is some of the finest combat in the genre.
As a cyborg-ninja, which is badass on its own accord, Raiden can pull off extremely-fast slicing and dicing, while being able to use slow-motion to rip out enemies’ spines and heal himself. Much like the major beats of the genre, the game is easy to learn but hard to master, but it’s one that feels fulfilling to adapt to.
There are plenty of no-name and no-face enemies that end up as bodies in your wake between the start of a mission and the final boss of each level, but it always keeps the action exhilarating. The bosses are *Chef’s Kiss* absolutely perfect, and while it’s partially because of the incredible adrenaline-pumping action they provide, it’s mainly due to an absolutely stellar soundtrack that, to this day, I still find myself coming back to listen to.
From absolutely chaotic and blood-pumping tracks like Rules of Nature playing during the first boss fight, as you throw a larger-than-life Metal Gear around like it is a toy, to tracks like It Has To Be This Way where you’ll find yourself shouting the lyrics while fighting a nanomachine-wielding senator who’s out for blood, the OST never suffers a dip in quality. I plead that you listen to it if you enjoy amazing videogame music. In fact, I’d argue that listening to one of the tracks alone will have you looking for a copy of the game.
So, if it’s so perfect in my eyes, why do I want a remake? Well, I don’t want anything to be remade, as such, but I’d love for a visual overhaul, some additional content, and that sweet, higher framerate for the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S can provide. The core experience is just as thrilling as it was when it was released back in 2013, but it does look dated now compared to most games. Every element of it is just as sublime as it was at launch, but I’d love for it to be upgraded for modern systems while keeping the experience intact.
It seems very unlikely that a sequel would ever be made, considering the issues between publisher Konami and Hideo Kojima, as well as developer Platinum Games working on other titles like the Bayonetta series. The best bet for a sequel would likely be a spiritual successor from a talented team of indie developers or perhaps a double-A game from a smaller studio. However, I beg Konami to let a third-party studio take a hit at remastering or remaking the game for current-gen consoles because it is truly one of the best games I’ve ever played. Considering Konami is finally investing in the series again with the remastered collection and an MGS3 remake, it’s about time that Rising gets attention too.
But that’s not the only reason I want Metal Gear Rising to have a new lease of life, but simply because the genre itself seems rather barren. As Sony releases consistent PS5 exclusives that mostly fit the ‘third-person action-adventure’ blueprint and Xbox exclusives seemingly throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks (aside from some of the best racing games, of course), the hack-and-slash genre is gathering dust. We need a new game that gives you the rush of adrenaline that titles like Metal Gear Rising offer, and what better way to renew life into the genre than arguably the best game in it?
In reality, my heart breaks at the idea of never seeing another Metal Gear Rising, but in a strange way, I was happy to witness it happen. As the list of the best open world games seems to grow larger with each year, the short but sweet thrill of playing a massacring ninja fueled by revenge keeps me hoping for another game in the Metal Gear Rising subseries. For now, I’ll be picking up one of the best PS5 controllers or best Xbox controllers and jumping back in for another playthrough.