Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an open-world action-adventure stealth video game developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. It was released worldwide on September 1, 2015.
It is the ninth and final installment in the series directed, written, and designed by Hideo Kojima following Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, a stand-alone prologue released the previous year, as well as his final work prior to his departure from Konami.
Set in 1984, nine years after the events of Ground Zeroes and a decade before the events of the original Metal Gear, the story follows mercenary leader Venom Snake (also known as Big Boss) as he ventures into Soviet-occupied Kabul Province and Angola–Zaire border region to exact revenge on the people who destroyed his forces and came close to killing him during the climax of Ground Zeroes. It carries over the tagline of Tactical Espionage Operations first used in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
The Phantom Pain was critically acclaimed upon release, with its gameplay drawing praise for featuring a variety of mechanics and interconnected systems that allow a high degree of player freedom in approaching objectives. While the story drew criticism from a few reviewers for its lack of focus, others acknowledged its emotional power and exploration of mature themes.
The game received perfect review scores from several publications, including Famitsu, GameSpot, and IGN, and was described by some critics as the best stealth game of all time. A complete edition, titled Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience, which bundles both The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes together, was released in October 2016.