Hideo Kojima went out on a high.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the last collaboration between series creator Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami, has topped Metacritic’s game-of-the-year chart. The popular review aggregator site reports that The Phantom Pain scored an average of 95 out of 100 for its Xbox One version. That’s actually one point less than Grand Theft Auto V on PC, but that version is classified as a port, not a new game (and is therefore ineligible for Metacritic’s end-of-year honors).
Metacritic bemoaned a general lack of high-scoring console releases this year, saying that only 14 games scored 90 or higher. Of those, only three were actually brand new titles — Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Bloodborne, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
That could be down to a number of reasons. Game developers could be starting out slowly on the latest generation of home consoles, we could actually be witnessing less great games — or “looking at the new normal, where greatness is a bit more elusive,” as Metacritic puts it — or it could mean that game reviews (sometimes criticized for being overgenerous) are becoming more realistic with their scores.