Hideo Kojima, the creator of the vaunted Metal Gear franchise, is on the verge of releasing his next big thing. Death Stranding, Kojima's first project after departing Konami in 2015, releases November 8. And in the build-up to the game's release, Kojima's doing a lot of press. While a lot of Kojima's interviews and comments have focused on helping unravel the mysteries of Death Stranding, others have been more casual. For example, this interview about Kojima's favorite games.
Speaking with Eurogamer as part of its 20th anniversary, Kojima recalled visiting Europe to launch Metal Gear Solid. Eurogamer was taking the opportunity to ask creators what their favorite games were. Kojima, ripe with nostalgia, offered his list of favorite titles. "My all-time best games are Super Mario Bros., Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (The Portopia Serial Murder Case), XEVIOUS, and Out [of this] World (Another World in Japan)."
It's likely no coincidence that the Metal Gear creator's favorite games were all released decades ago. After all, Kojima's been busy creating his own games since. Another World is the most recent of the games, released in 1991. The other three games were all released between 1983 and 1985 in Japan. Otherwise, there's little to no shared attributes between the four games. Super Mario Bros. is a 2D platformer, Portopia is an adventure-mystery, Xevious is an arcade shooter, and Another World action-platformer.
Kojima did have one other game to mention. A game that's likely much more relatable for modern game players. Kojima offered up his favorite game of the last five years, which is Inside from Playdead. Inside is a puzzle-platformer that tells a disturbing story about a boy in a dystopian world. It's filled with mystery and dread, and has a particularly unsettling ending. It's also believed to be a metacommentary on playing games, perspective, and control. A very fitting choice for Kojima given his past games.
It's funny, in some ways, to see that Kojima's favorite games are similar in a way to most game players' favorites. They're some of the first games he played. They're the formative experiences by which he evaluates all of the games since. It wouldn't be surprising to find that many of the ideas and themes in those four classic games played a significant role in the Metal Gear franchise or Kojima's other games. They may even be inspirations for the development of Death Stranding.