Persona Games Tier List
JRPGs are identified for his or her grandiose, globe-trotting fantasy adventures, taking players by means of a few of gaming’s most iconic worlds. Whereas clearly Japan has been enjoying the style considerably because the late-eighties, JRPGs ultimately noticed some worldwide reputation within the mid-to-late nineties with releases like Ultimate Fantasy 7. Comparatively talking, the Persona series was a late-bloomer for its worldwide reputation. but, when Persona did begin gaining traction within the west, the franchise’s reputation spiked immensely. Two entries specifically, certainly one of which released just some years in the past, made Persona the huge JRPG franchise that it is change into.
The Persona series has grown considerably since its very humble beginnings as a Shin Megami Tensei spin-off. A few of the earliest efforts within the series pale compared to what Persona has change into, but the trendy Persona Games have rapidly change into among the most beloved Games of all time. Persona has since outgrown its Shin Megami Tensei namesake and change into its personal franchise, and for good motive. The final 3 Persona Games are critically-acclaimed JRPGs adored by players worldwide. It is robust to objectively say which Persona game is the best entry, but here is how each mainline Persona entry stacks up in opposition to each other.
D-Tier: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, A.Okay.A. Revelations: Persona
Like many long-running JRPG series earlier than it, the first Persona game (often known as Revelations: Persona) is relatively the worst amongst its successors. Persona’s inaugural effort away from the Shin Megami Tensei series did set up just a few thematic components, but in any other case performed like a really conventional JRPG. The first Persona spin-off was initially born from one other spin-off (Shin Megami Tensei: If…), but any traditional Shin Megami Tensei fan would discover this game near-indistinguishable from different SMT entries. The identical principally goes for the PSP remake of the first game (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona) in 2009, although some trendy conveniences had been added.
Shades of what Persona would change into could be discovered within the first game, but it was nonetheless very a lot nearer to a SMT entry. The first Persona game had not one of the social simulator features/social Links, the story was way more obtuse and intentionally disturbing, and the dungeon design is pitifully archaic. A lot of Persona’s thematic components, like vibrant coloration symbolism or iconic musical themes, these items hadn’t change into Persona’s aesthetic but. Die-hard followers might perhaps take pleasure in enjoying by means of the first Persona game, but not one of the trendy options that make Persona distinctive had been carried out but, so the first game finally ends up being comparatively generic.
C-Tier: The Persona 2 Duology: Innocent Sin, Eternal Punishment
The Persona 2 duology, Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, have the very same points as the first Persona game. The duology solely edges forward of the first game for having extra iconic character designs and was a barely extra formidable departure from SMT. After all, ambition does not essentially lend to success both, because the narrative in Persona 2: Innocent Sin is off-putting. Enjoying by means of Persona 2: Innocent Sin’s first chapter is like dwelling by means of some sort of fever dream, the place players battle a resurrected Hitler and Nazis, alongside cultists hellbent on shepherding in the long run of the world.
It is bombastic, but the game no less than established how far a Persona game’s plot was prepared to dive into the supernatural. Eternal Punishment has a bit extra grounded homicide thriller as its plot, set in an alternate timeline from Innocent Sin. Eternal Punishment additionally established among the overarching narrative units that might reoccur in each Persona game since, like the thought of a “metaverse” and the collective conscience of society.
B-Tier: Persona 3, FES, And Persona 3 Portable
After just a few Shin Megami Tensei-adjacent JRPGs laid a really skinny basis, Persona 3 was the first game that actually ushered within the separate franchise because it’s identified at the moment. Persona 3 was the first game that released the social simulator features like Social Links, and it additionally released the extra streamlined battle system that is nearer to a Ultimate Fantasy game than the grid-style turn-based fight of the first two Persona Games. The third entry additionally, arguably, struck the proper steadiness between Shin Megami Tensei affect and the distinctive themes unique to Persona. The series would later shed its Shin Megami Tensei label due to Persona 3’s innovations.
Persona 3 was when the franchise actually got here into its personal. Contemplating the third entry noticed 3 completely different re-releases between 2006 and 2009, it is clear why loads of followers think about Persona 3 their favourite entry within the series. Persona 4 and Persona 5 would not exist with out the efforts made in Persona 3 to outline the series because it’s identified at the moment. Persona 3 is simply held again by a few of its mechanical selections, which vary from questionable to comparatively archaic. The largest instance is the sport’s choice to strictly relegate celebration members’ actions to AI-only, as a substitute of player-controlled actions. The “drained” situation that stops additional exploration may also be an annoyance.
A-Tier: Persona 5 Royal
The most recent Persona game, Persona 5, has largely change into the gold commonplace of the Persona series. Lastly dropping the Shin Megami Tensei namesake altogether, this was the sport that actually noticed Persona’s reputation explode worldwide. Every thing about Persona 5 is mechanically superior to earlier Games: the fight system was considerably overhauled to be extra partaking, shadow negotiation (a novel battle mechanic from the first two Persona Games) returned, alongside the sport’s now-iconic aesthetic and visible revamp. The place earlier Games had subtly established Persona’s basis, Persona 5 emphasised all the things that made Persona a novel JRPG.
Persona 5 just isn’t solely essentially the most approachable game within the series, but it’s additionally a powerful start line to understand previous entries within the series as nicely. Persona 5 Royal specifically (the definitive model of the fifth entry) is without doubt one of the greatest JRPGs ever made altogether, with a 95 Metacritic rating to show it. The one factor that weighs down Persona 5 Royal in comparison with the final game on this checklist is its pacing. A mean Persona 5 Royal playthrough, with the ultimate semester, is round 130+ hours. That journey is definitely well worth the time dedication, but remains to be absurdly lengthy for any game. That is the one detractor of Persona 5 Royal that locations it in second place.
S-Tier: Persona 4 Golden
As for what arguably is the best game within the series so far, Persona 4 Golden is an unimaginable JRPG that actually is a must-play for followers of the style. Every thing that makes Persona particular is emphasised by Persona 4 Golden: An intriguing and compelling story, a various forged of supporting characters with unimaginable character improvement, tight dungeon crawling that by no means overstays its welcome, and a unbelievable turn-based battle system. Persona 4 Golden deserves a playthrough, because it’s simply the quintessential Persona game in each type and performance. Even for players who aren’t essentially JRPG followers, Golden is a really outstanding game well worth the attempt.
Persona 4 Golden spent a lot of its lifespan caught on the now-defunct PlayStation Vita handheld, but now that Golden is offered on Steam, tons of recent players had been capable of expertise this game for the first time. Discovering the reality behind the mysterious Inaba murders is without doubt one of the greatest tales in JRPGs typically, simply rivaling examples like Chrono Set off, Ultimate Fantasy 6, or Dragon Quest 8. Whereas Persona 5 has rapidly change into the most well-liked Persona game of all time, Persona 4 Golden simply barely edges the fifth entry as the best Persona game of all time (up to now).