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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review Roundup

Here's what the critics are saying about Kojima's latest entry in the series.


Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is just days away from its worldwide release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, but critics have delivered its verdict on what may be the final entry in the series to be directed by Hideo Kojima.

To give you a good overview of the game's critical reception, we've gathered up the scores, along with a short extract from the text, and put them in a list below.

For more on the critical reception for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic's extended coverage.

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Click to view images in full screen

GameSpot - 10/10

"When it comes to storytelling, there has never been a Metal Gear game that's so consistent in tone, daring in subject matter, and so captivating in presentation. The Phantom Pain may be a contender for one of the best action games ever made, but is undoubtedly the best Metal Gear game there is." [Full review]

IGN - 10/10

"The Phantom Pain is the kind of game I thought would never exist - one where every minute gameplay detail has true purpose. Its lack of story focus is sure to be divisive for the Metal Gear faithful, but the resulting emphasis on my story, my tales of Espionage Action, easily make it my favorite in the series. There have certainly been sandbox action games that have given me a bigger world to roam, or more little icons to chase on my minimap, but none have pushed me to plan, adapt, and improvise the way this one does. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain doesn’t just respect my intelligence as a player, it expects it of me, putting it in league that few others occupy." [Full review]

Examiner - 5/5

"Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain keeps you on your toes, guessing and wondering what will happen next, however, if I have one gripe with the game’s story it’s that the cutscenes are thrown at the player in massive helpings. For example, you will have just played through four missions, which would equate to a little more than a few hours, with no cinematics and then all of a sudden the game will toss 10 or 15 minutes of cutscenes at you with little gameplay mixed in. It’s not exactly the pacing I was hoping for in that regard, but the fact that cinematics are just as fun to watch, as the game is to play, helps make up for the lengthy pauses." [Full review]

Daily Dot - 5/5

"It’s only when I completed the story that I realized that every scene that made me rub my chin in puzzlement is a proverbial breadcrumb that offers a new perspective upon second viewing. A couple revelations are even significant enough to make one rethink the series as a whole. This is one of those rare instances where marathoning a game series is more meaningful after the latest sequel is released, not before." [Full review]

EGM Now - 9.5/10

"Big Boss’ supposedly final outing puts players in the middle of the most ambitious entry in the series yet, and it delivers on almost everything it promises. If this is Hideo Kojima’s final game, then he is stepping out at the top floor of the industry." [Full review]

GameInformer - 9.25/10

"An open world, a customizable base, a variable mission structure – these are not traditional aspects of Metal Gear, but they are what makes The Phantom Pain such an exceptional game. The gameplay, storytelling, and protagonists in Metal Gear may shift with each new installment, but Kojima’s ability to surprise and enthrall gamers remains unchanged." [Full review]

Destructoid - 9/10

"Despite the fact that I hit a few snags along the way, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain feels like a simultaneous celebration of the series, and a decidedly new chapter. It's equal parts tough and flashy, and it's fitting that if this is Kojima's last Metal Gear, he goes on a high note." [Full review]

Press Start - 9/10

"I must also praise Kojima for offering up a game that is not simply engaging and cinematic, but is one that also grants the player some agency in how the story plays out. From the start, I was hooked, despite this being my first foray into the Metal Gear franchise. That being said, while the game serves as a sequel to Ground Zeroes, it works equally just as well as a standalone." [Full review]

GamesRadar+ (Review in Progress)

"If Metal Gear Solid is an anti-war series that makes war feels heroic, MGS5 is its purest expression yet. At the same time, though, it’s the least 'Metal Gear' Metal Gear game ever, liberated from its traditional, relatively-linear structure and yawing cut-scenes. That's my non-review review and, until I receive and finish the game, this confounding duality is as fitting a conclusion as the brilliant, challenging and idiosyncratic MGS5 deserves." [Full review]

Polygon (Review in Progress)

"The Phantom Pain's story is, like other Metal Gear Solid games, complex — and frustrating in that complexity. It can be clumsy, silly and puerile, but we're still hooked. There are dozens of audio tape conversations we've listened to to flesh out the backstory, with dozens more still to soak in. Without a doubt, this game has series creator Hideo Kojima's touch throughout, a fact we're reminded of the dozens of times the game saysThe Phantom Pain was directed and produced by Kojima." [Full review]

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