The first few critics have spoken and the early indication is clear:
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain could be the highest-scoring game of the generation so far.
According to Metacritic , there are only 7 counted reviews thus far, but the average is 95, and it includes two perfect scores from both IGN and GameSpot . There is no counted review yet that comes in below a 9.
Now, this isn't exactly uncharted territory for the franchise, as the previous entry – the amazing Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots – sustained a whopping 94 average even after 82 counted reviews. Historically, MGS is one of the most beloved IPs among critics so it's not exactly a surprise to see sky-high scores for the new installment. Hell, if it ends up averaging anything below a 9, many will call it a disappointing performance.
But perhaps more importantly, MGSV might be the game that finally, at long lost, embodies that vague, troublesome, yet oft-discussed term, "next-gen." Some claim we've already seen it this year with either Bloodborne or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt . However, just from a personal perspective, I think From Software's PlayStation 4 exclusive just missed the mark in terms of overall excellence and the significant problems facing The Witcher 3 at launch absolutely couldn't be ignored.
And while Batman: Arkham Knight is indeed fantastic (and the only major 2015 release that has scored a 9 or above at PSXE), I'm not sure I'd call it "next-gen." It really was just more of the same, only better than ever before. Given the scores we're seeing for MGSV, is it not only the likely Game of the Year, but also the first title that really strikes people as being something new and special…?
Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain