Metal Gear Solid
Released On: September 3, 1998 (11 years old)
Metal Gear Solid wasn't the first Metal Gear game made, but it was the first -- and arguably the only -- game that actually pulled off Hideo Kojima's interesting penchant for mixing stealth gameplay with cinematic storytelling.
The actual act of sneaking around and shooting guards in the face definitely pales in comparison to later Metal Gear Solid titles. But where the original still manages to edge out its competitors because its story isn't a ridiculously convoluted mess, like Metal Gear Solid 2, or reliant on stupidly long cut scenes, like in Metal Gear Solid 4.
Metal Gear Solid was when Solid Snake was still a young, womanizing, chain-smoking badass instead of a decrepit geriatric or a disillusioned philanthropist. It was when Revolver Ocelot was a conniving Judas of a scumbag and not completely insane or some prepubescent jackass with a stupid hat. It was when Cyborg Ninja was a ruthless, masochistic psychopath and not a masquerading woman or Raiden.
It was also when the plot could be understood and appreciated for what it was. No inane plot twists for the sake of having plot twists, no lengthy sermons about things that are only remotely relevant to the plot and, most importantly, no agonizingly long cut scenes that don't add a whole lot the story. Metal Gear Solid games have gotten more technologically advanced and more complex over the years, but having all the shiny bells and whistles is no match for having an original, compelling, coherent storyline that can keep gamers hooked from beginning to end.
Metal Gear Solid had just that back in 1998 -- it's arguable whether any other Metal Gear Solid can really say the same.
The Legends of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Released On: November 21, 1998 (11 years old)
The Legends of Zelda: Ocarina of Time set the bar for what 3D action-adventure games should look and play like, and it continues to be the standard despite being more than a decade old. If you play any of the newer Legends of Zelda games, like Wind Waker, Twilight Princess or Spirit Tracks, it's impossible to complete it without at some point thinking, "Man, I wish this game was more like Ocarina of Time."
Every single Zelda game developed by Nintendo has been awesome, but, ever since Ocarina of Time was released with its masterful blend of amazing level design, terrific music and incredible boss fights, they've all just been battling for second place.
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