• Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Dec 5, 2006

Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
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  1. 100
    Portable Ops feels like one of the few games to live up to the PSP's promise, in part because it translates the entire Metal Gear Solid experience into something that can be easily digested in small amounts...inarguably one of the best games to release on the PSP, let alone one of 2006's best.
  2. 100
    With all the variety offered in this game including signature MGS stealth action, recruitment elements, decent multiplayer and a decent and well crafted story, MGS fans would be foolish not to buy this game - it is truly the best PSP game of 2006 and the best MGS game since "Snake Eater."
  3. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is loaded with streamlined action and a full bevy of features that would make Baskin-Robbins jealous.
  4. 95
    A game that essentially pushes the PSP in all of its features: graphics, portability, Internet, extra hardware doohickeys, and multiplayer. Sure, it might have hiccups (occasional ghosting, quirky A.I., the one analog nub), but Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is not only a fine MGS title -- it's also a damn good showcase for the PSP.
  5. 95
    Portable Ops is by far the best reason to own a PSP so far. For fans of the series this game is a must own simply because of the story tie-ins and the incredible production values.
  6. Its excellent presentation and quick missions make it a perfect fit for the PlayStation Portable. There’s a rather steep learning curve, especially if you are new to the series, but it is worth diving into.
  7. PSM Magazine
    This is a game--actually the game--to buy a PSP for. [Feb. 2007, p.74]
  8. Portable Ops does the series full justice and then some: the compelling campaign we've grown oh so fond of, coupled with the compulsive recruitment system and the high-stakes multiplayer that should have Subsistence fans grinning like fools. A defining piece of PSP software.
  9. Pure Magazine UK
    The extra troop element, as well as the unique recruitment system, means the title should see a long life of playability. [Apr 2007, p.76]
  10. With a great story, fun gameplay, a dearth of modes to keep you busy for months, and an overall package that’s reminiscent of what you’d expect from a console Metal Gear Solid title, there’s just so much here that other developers need to pay attention to in order to compete on this level.
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    This new portable Metal Gear installment finally gives us the tactical espionage action we expect from an MGS title...and a whole lot more. [Feb. 2007, p.98]
  12. A must have, and the latest in a strong 2006 lineup for the PSP. If you see this snake in the wild, by all means, pick it up.
  13. 90
    The GPS and WiFi scanning feature is excellently implemented, the online and single player modes are deep, and there are plenty of things to do by tracking down and recruiting new soldiers from various places.
  14. The controls work surprisingly well, the action doesn't feel like a pared-down console game and even the loading goes quickly. Add familiar characters, sweet visuals, some excellent voice acting and animated cutscenes by comic artist Ashley Wood, and this should keep fans happy until "MGS4" hits.
  15. One of the best games ever made for the PSP. The single-player ties flawlessly into the multiplayer, where you can test your loyal soldiers against up to five other people via ad hoc, infrastructure, and even game sharing.
  16. Just what the PSP needed, this latest Metal Gear delivers on all fronts with an excellent story, a deep campaign, and a complete set of multiplayer features.
  17. 90
    A fantastic game. While it may seem like some of the changes detract from the core experience, they only act to improve and reinvent a series that is apparently never going to get old.
  18. Though it falls short on some of the series' more lofty standards, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops combines addictive gameplay, impressive sound and graphics, and an astoundingly fleshed-out multiplayer component into a package that is easily recommendable to both fans and newcomers alike.
  19. An action game worthy of Snake’s name, and one of the best games yet on the PSP.
  20. A supreme stealth action game that isn't just true to the MGS canon but offers exciting new elements for both singleplayer sneakers and multiplayer junkies.
  21. The core gameplay is extremely well polished and considered, the storyline and presentation are fantastic, Kojima's addiction to cut-scenes appears to be on the mend, and the squad-based nature of the game adds a whole new dimension which no MGS game has tapped to date - all factors which contribute to make this into one of the finest games on the PSP.
  22. Though somewhat short on the MGS series' traditional pantheon of inhuman boss characters to puzzle out how to beat, it's polished, fun, and delivers in all aspects.
  23. This game will make you carry your PSP around with you wherever you go in hopes of finding a new random access point to unlock a new soldier.
  24. Konami has been spot on, with an engaging storyline and revolutionary new gameplay features.
  25. Undoubtedly one of the best games available on PlayStation Portable, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops does nearly everything right. Other than slight problems with controls, the game is worth every penny spent for its solid presentation and great gameplay.
  26. Play UK
    Everything you want and love about Metal Gear Solid is in here, while the gameplay still feels fresh and relevant. All in all, brilliant fun. [Issue #150, p.82]
  27. Like pretty much every Metal Gear since the original Solid, this one's a system-seller. There are many reasons to get a PSP—this is arguably the biggest.
  28. Portable Ops is a difficult game for both newbies and experienced players, but the way in which the whole aura of MGS has been transferred to a portable platform impresses to no extent.
  29. 90
    The definitive PSP gaming experience.
  30. AceGamez
    Ranks amongst the finest games yet released on PSP.
  31. Visually the game is fantastic. In-game the graphics are among the best on the PSP, and alongside the occasional, highly polished traditional cut-scenes, there are a wealth of comic book style semi-animated cut-scenes that are presented with panache, and in some way explain the creatively inspired Metal Gear Solid Digital Graphic Novel, as a kind of precursor to Portable Ops' styling.
  32. An expertly crafted game, that’s almost completely at home on the handy Playstation Portable. With the exception of the lack of camera control, Portable Ops does almost everything right in translating the Metal Gear experience to the handheld platform, as well as adding some significant elements from both a gameplay and technical perspective.
  33. This is a truly excellent game whose only real flaws are caused by the platform it’s on. Still, as long as this is only on the PSP, it’s a must-have title for both Metal Gear series fans and PSP gamers looking for a great action game.
  34. Great use of limited buttons on PSP.
  35. Even with its minor control gripes Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is another fantastic game in the incredible Metal Gear series that no gamer should overlook.
  36. Even with its minor control gripes Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is another fantastic game in the incredible Metal Gear series that no gamer should overlook.
  37. Games Master UK
    One of the best games on PSP, and possibly the most refreshing and original use of Sony's machine so far - adding a welcome new dimension to the absorbing MGS universe. [Feb 2007, p.80]
  38. Pelit (Finland)
    One of the best PSP games out there. Snake's dreary life is never fun but playing it is a true pleasure. What we have here is a stealth game par excellence. [Aug 2007]
  39. This may disappoint Metal Gear fans used to the lengthy, elaborate missions of previous games, but it is ideal on a console you use while waiting for the train.
  40. With so much going for it, having to wrestle with the controls in Portable Ops is a real shame. It simply tries to do too much with too little, and while not a deal-breaker, it definitely makes the experience a lot less fun than it could be.
  41. Ultimately, MGS: PO is like eating a platter of finely crafted hors d'oeuvres - easy to digest, but compromised and repetitive. It's just less satisfying than a set menu of balanced textures and flavours - and, simply, why "MGS: Snake Eater is still Kojima's tastiest dish. [Feb 2007, p.60]
  42. The new twist on having allies to play as introduces a fair amount of replay value into the game (as there are secret characters to find), and the ability to obtain missions for each of the levels means you’ll be able to return to them again and again if you want to, though it’s possible just to move forward in the story.
  43. 82
    It's still a title that's hampered by the limitations of its chosen platform, one that would have been significantly more fun to play on a PS2 or any of the other home consoles.
  44. 80
    As a single-player game, Portable Ops can't match the scope and drama of its predecessors. Of course, with its bite-sized style and team aspect, it doesn't really try to. This is one of the PSP's best multiplayer titles, giving you essentially a two-for-one experience.
  45. 80
    Portable Ops still has a way to go- it still sucks being gang-stomped for the tiniest of sneaking missteps- but it's encouraging to see that Konami is willing to take chances with one of its main franchises. With luck, they'll take things even further in the future.
  46. Play Magazine
    All's fair in love and war, and Ops is smart enough, thankfully, to make at least some of its battles count. [Jan. 2007, p.78]
  47. The collection aspects of the game in addition to the online modes make this a real gem in the PSP’s lineup.
  48. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Original, compelling, and a technological marvel, it's just as essential for Metal Gear fans as "MGS3" is on PS2. [May 2007, p.84]
  49. While I love this game, I can't forgive its asinine camera system and controls when there was clearly a much better solution available.

Awards & Rankings

#2 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2006
#12 Most Shared PSP Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 210 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 210
  1. Feb 15, 2014
    As a fan of metal gear series, this is the only metal gear game I haven't enjoyed. And there is only one reason for that: Worst controls inAs a fan of metal gear series, this is the only metal gear game I haven't enjoyed. And there is only one reason for that: Worst controls in gaming history.
    I've spent few hours with this game and the issue just doesn't go away. Story line can be good and other mechanics can also be very enjoyable but controls being what they are, it's not even worth to play.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2013
    This game is great! I do find the stamina meter extremely annoying, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying this.
    The storyline is wonderful.
    This game is great! I do find the stamina meter extremely annoying, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying this.
    The storyline is wonderful.
    Voice acting is SPLENDID! (David Hayter AND Steven Blum).
    The gameplay and graphics are sweet!
    I'd say get this if you can find it in a retail store or on PSN.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 10, 2011
    The only thing better than the poopy-brown graphics is the horrible, Monster Hunter-esque controls, coupled with tons of dialogue with noThe only thing better than the poopy-brown graphics is the horrible, Monster Hunter-esque controls, coupled with tons of dialogue with no voice acting and some kind of autistic army management system. This game has hours and hours worth of exciting gameplay, slowly trudging around the blocky levels, not being able to crouch-walk but still having a third person camera implying that you could. My favorite thing to do is to play as characters who aren't even Snake, such as guys who are in disguise, invalidating stealth.
    The team-based action really gets me going, too. What happens is, you get a bunch of guys and hide them in boxes all over the level, right? As if that wasn't awesome enough, you can switch between them by hiding whoever you're playing as in a box. That's not even the most exciting part! If you're ever in danger, your box-hiding comrades absolutely will not help you because box-hiding is just a way to make a team-based game with no teamwork and the developers were too lazy to program friendly AI. So cool!!!
    Full Review »