- Author's Saving Throw: In June 2016, Konami finally re-released both Portable Ops and Portable Ops Plus for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV due to fan demand.
- Awesome Music: See here.
- Broken Base: The canonicity of Portable Ops is heavily debated. Some fans still consider the game to be canon because it expands upon some of the details that was referenced in the ending timeline of Metal Gear Solid 3 and the core story foreshadows the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. Others consider Portable Ops to be non-canon because Hideo Kojima didn't direct the game. Not helping matters is how the game has been seen by Konami and Kojima since the release of Peace Walker.note
- Contested Sequel: Portable Ops bears the distinction for being the only mainline Metal Gear Solid game not directed by Kojima himself and has a peculiar position in the series' canon as a result. Initially advertised as the "missing link" between the events of Metal Gear Solid 3 and the original Metal Gear, it essentially tied up all the loose ends between those two games (showing how Big Boss first formed FOXHOUND, met Roy Campbell and Frank Jaeger, and obtained the funds for Outer Heaven) and even foreshadowed the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. However, despite the positive reception it received upon its release, Kojima went on to direct the next PlayStation Portable game in the series, Peace Walker, which he wrote as a direct continuation of Metal Gear Solid 3, ignoring everything that happened in Portable Ops aside from a single reference in which Kazuhira Miller tells Snake that they can finally "leave all the crap in San Hieronymo behind.
- Game-Breaker: The M870 shotgun is ridiculously effective against half of the bosses (namely Python, Null and Gene).
- Good Bad Bugs: The ability to have your squadmates hiding in boxes capture enemies doesn't check to see if you dragged multiple enemies, meaning it's possible to capture an entire level's worth of guards by knocking them out and then dragging near the hiding team member then calling it in, which takes significantly less time then dragging them all to the truck individually.
- Jerkass Woobie: While Cunningham is pretty much a big jerk and somewhat two-faced towards FOX and the CIA, considering what he had to put up with (being forced into a desk job after his leg was amputated, not to mention learning that the CIA basically left The Boss to die, which in his views was an insult to the memory of the Mother of Special Forces), it's kinda hard to blame him for what he did.
- Paranoia Fuel: Gene's powers create this out of nothing!
- Scrappy Mechanic:
- Whose bright idea was it to have your teammates die permanently in combat? Fortunately, this was remedied to be more tolerable in the sequel.
- The game's controls are clunky and awkward at best, mostly down to the PSP's single analogue stick layout.
- Signature Scene: Jonathan's death.
- So Okay, It's Average: At worst, the game is regarded as enjoyable or at least accepted as part of the series, except it delivered far less than was promised.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: "Calling to the Night" is often compared to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". Reasons for this include a similar opening motif with a piano and a high-pitched instrument, a dramatic key change when the percussion kicks in and a soaring chorus. Kojima is known to like Titanic, so this may not be coincidence.
- Vindicated by History: With certain contested titles in the franchise, depending on who you ask, it's now considered as probably the best of the non-Kojima Metal Gear games, as it's the one that held truest to the series' core concept.
YMMV / Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops