Why everyone thinks it's so great is beyond me. The game is full of broken mechanics you can abuse to make it a walk in the park even in the hardest mode.
The enemies run towards you and stop right before reaching you and then they walk slowly giving you enough time to do anything....the A.I. is a joke. "Hey guys there's a ton Ganados coming after me. I'll just shoot one guy in the face and then do a devastating AoE roundhouse kick that will knock everyone away from me(while making me invulnerable). While they're taking their slow ass time to get back up I think I'll seal their fate with my knife"
Not being able to change your weapons in real time is also terrible even for its time several games allowed you to do this....go watch a YouTube of mercenary mode the ones with high scores and I guarantee you they pause more than 20 times.
The knife and pistol is already one of the most powerful weapons in the game. In fact you could clear most of the game with just these two weapons. And because you're not using your other weapons and ammo (because you're lol pwning with the knife) you can then sell your access ammo and other weapons and buy even stronger weapons to literally blow through the bosses.
Let's not forget that if they somehow manage to grab you, it's insanely easy to get out of it and even kill them by kicking their head to explosion, and if you ever think you can get close to me then say hello to my grenades or shotgun lol.
Don't get me wrong guys. I don't hate the game and I certainly enjoyed playing it. I just think it's highly overrated and doesn't deserve the praise Internet nerds give it.