10 of the best Konami games of all time (2024)

10 of the best Konami games of all time (1)

After a falling out with Hideo Kojima, the cancellation of Silent Hills and talk of a mobile-focused future, we thought we'd remind Konami just how much we love their games - in the hope that they actually carry on making some more.

From Metal Gear Solid to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Konami is responsible for some of our favourite games of all time. Here are ten of the best.

1. Metal Gear Solid

While the photo-realistic Ground Zeroes is fresh on our PS4 and the dark story of Metal Gear Solid 3 is the fanboy choice, we find it hard to look past the original Metal Gear Solid, home of THAT Psycho Mantis boss battle.

When the game wasn't reading our memory cards or making our controllers rumble, it was making our heads spin with its complex narrative and our jaws drop with graphics that were way ahead of their time.

It looks like Konami will continue making Metal Gear games after Kojima leaves, but it won't be the same without the maestro at the helm.

2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

The PSOne was home to some of Konami's greatest achievements, including Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which is a triumph in atmosphere and level design that quite literally put the "vania" in the "Metroidvania" genre - you know, the games where you have to backtrack a lot.

It's a game that starts with a fight to the death against, er, Death, and ends with a battle against resident Castlevania baddie Dracula - who just happens to be history's greatest fictional villain.

The only thing that could have made Symphony of the Night any better is if they'd hired Christopher Lee - cinema's primo Dracula - to do the voices.

3. Silent Hill 2

A release that still gives us nightmares to this day (it's that ruddy Pyramid Head's fault), Silent Hill 2 isn't just the best game in the series, it's arguably the finest game the survival horror genre has ever produced.

The unsettling characters, the shocking twist at the end and the heavy use of symbolism made it an experience players would never forget.

None of the other Silent Hill games have come close to matching the psychological scares of Silent Hill 2 - the Sean Bean-starring movie certainly didn't - that is until Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro teamed up to release PT - the Silent Hills playable teaser.

Would Kojima and del Toro's Silent Hills finally have surpassed Silent Hill 2? I guess we'll never know.

4. Contra III: The Alien Wars

The Contra series is basically the video game equivalent of those brash, dumb, but massively entertaining '80s action movies, as players channel the spirit of Arnie and Sly to send hordes of heavily armed space monsters back to where they came from. In body bags.

Contra was already the go-to run-and-gun shooter for arcade goers the world over, but then Contra III: The Alien Wars came along in 1992 and took things to the next level by drawing on the power of the SNES - something that would give home console users a near-flawless arcade experience.

Contra III: The Alien Wars refined the side-scrolling shooting action, adding fevered motorcycle and missile levels, the option to hold two weapons at once and the game-changing ability to shoot in eight directions.

5. Gradius V

The Gradius series would take nearly 20 years to reach its full potential, peaking with the 2004 release of the excellent Gradius V on PS2, which was a game for hardcore players only.

Gradius V is a stunning shoot-em-up with a surprisingly deep weapon and power-up system, intense boss battles and exceptional level design. Of course, if you still can't get past the first level, you'll just have to trust us on that one.

6. Frogger

Before Crossy Road there was Frogger, a simple yet highly addictive arcade game that's as much fun now as it was when it was first released all the way back in 1981 - Crossy Road's massive download numbers are proof of that.

The aim of the game is to guide your frog over roads and rivers without being hit by traffic, swallowed by gators or floating off the edge off the screen. It may sound simple, but surviving is far from it.

7. Suikoden

PSOne owners may have too busy playing Final Fantasy VII to pay much attention to it, but back in the mid 1990s, there really wasn't any single role-playing game quite like Suikoden, which boasted more than 100 characters, huge battles involving massive armies and a base of operations that evolved as your ranks grew.

It was also a triumph of storytelling, featuring some truly touching moments, a great cast of heroes and villains, and a rousing musical score that really brought the action to life.

Many would argue that Suikoden was bettered by its sequel - the unimaginatively titled Suikoden 2 - but you can make your own mind up by checking out both games on PSN. There's even talk of bringing the third game to PSN, so fingers crossed on that one.

8. International Track & Field

Responsible for more strained wrists than the adult "art" industry, International Track & Field is the ultimate button-bashing multiplayer experience.

Not since the days of Daley Thompson's Decathlon on the Commodore had we broken so many gaming controllers, but that didn't stop us coming back for more.

It may not be the most scientific or technical of games, but players did come up with some pretty ingenious ways to top the leaderboards, using marker pens and rulers to break world records - which we suppose is the video game equivalent of doping.

9. Dance Dance Revolution

A favourite of drunken punters at bowling alleys up and down the country, most people have probably sampled the delights of Dance Dance Revolution or one of its many sequels and spinoffs at one time or another.

A phenomenon in the rhythm action genre, players ascend the dance platform and try to match the on-screen, arrow-based cues without falling over or spilling their pint. It doesn't get much more fun than that.

10. The Simpsons Arcade Game

Licensed games don't exactly have the best of reputations these days, but believe it or not, there was a time when that wasn't always the case. Konami struck yellow gold with the release of The Simpsons Arcade Game - and its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game wasn't too shabby either.

A coin-op beat-em-up may not have been the most obvious choice for The Simpsons - evidenced by the shoehorned plot in which Smithers kidnaps Maggie after robbing a jewellery store - but the genre was thriving and the game was fast-paced, simplistic and instantly enjoyable.

Arcade goers with enough cash in their pocket could visit popular locations such as Krustyland and Moe's Tavern, all the while fighting bosses that include a robotically-enhanced Mr Burns!

10 of the best Konami games of all time (2024)
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