Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an open world action-adventure stealth video game developed by Kojima Productions, directed, designed, co-produced and co-written by Hideo Kojima, and published by Konami for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It was released worldwide on September 1, 2015. The game is the eleventh canonical and final installment in the Metal Gear series and the fifth within the series' chronology. It serves as a sequel to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and a continuation of the narrative established there, and a prequel to the original Metal Gear game. It carries over the tagline of Tactical Espionage Operations first used in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Set in 1984, the game follows the mercenary leader Punished "Venom" Snake as he ventures into 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.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a separated composite of two previously announced Kojima Productions projects. The first was Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which was originally revealed in a Fox Engine tech demo shown at the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary Party on August 30, 2012. The second was The Phantom Pain, a trailer at the Spike TV Video Game Awards on December 7, 2012, presented as an original title by fictional developer Moby Dick Studios, with the Metal Gear Solid V logo virtually obscured. In March 2013, the true nature of these two projects was revealed at the Game Developers Conference, where Kojima announced that Ground Zeroes serves as a prologue to The Phantom Pain. These two, separately released games combined are Metal Gear Solid V, with The Phantom Pain constituting the bulk of the title.
The Phantom Pain was critically acclaimed upon release, with its gameplay drawing praise for featuring a variety of mechanics and interconnected systems which 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 critics as the greatest game in the Metal Gear series.