Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain[b] is an open world stealth game developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on September 1, 2015. It is the ninth installment in the Metal Gear series that was 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 at Konami.
Set in 1984, nine years after the events of Ground Zeroes and eleven years before the events of the original Metal Gear, the story follows mercenary leader Punished “Venom” Snake as he ventures into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and the 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 praise for its varied and interconnected gameplay mechanics and level of player freedom. However, its narrative received polarizing opinions, with some finding it lacking for a Metal Gear title. Further scrutiny targeted the story’s repetitive second half and ending that left several plot points unresolved, which was linked to conclusive evidence of removed content and led some to suggest that the game was released unfinished. Despite this, The Phantom Pain received perfect review scores from several publications and was described as one of the greatest stealth games of all time. A complete edition that bundles The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes together, titled Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience, was released in October 2016.