The Shin Megami Tensei franchise has always been very successful in Japan. Over time, it ended up coming to the West and pleasing several RPG fans.
What nobody expected was that it would be his spin off series that would conquer the world and create a gigantic legion of fans. This is the Worst to Best of the Persona franchise, which is part of Voxel’s year-end special. Here are our criteria, pay close attention:
The notes presented are based on the Metacritic note aggregator. If the game was released for more than one platform initially, we will take the notes for each version and do an arithmetic average.
We didn’t find the score for one of the games on the list on the website mentioned, so we did a survey and averaged it based on the analysis of the big foreign vehicles at the time of launch.
We only consider the main games and their initial versions, so spin offs and special versions will not appear here.
If you have a different opinion, just leave your list there in the comments and we will read everything. And, if you like the video, leave a like and subscribe to the channel.
6) Revelations: Persona (1996) – 78 (PlayStation)
At the bottom of the list, we found the very first game in the series, Persona Revelations, released in 1996. The game that was derived from the main series, Shin Megami Tensei, tells the story of an unnamed protagonist, who can also be called Naoya, and his friends who once decided to play a game or ritual called “Persona”.
In the middle of the game, students at St. Hermelin School pass out, and wake up in a mysterious place where they meet the even more mysterious Philemon. In his strange world, Philemon presents the group of friends with Personas, and sends them back to the school where they disagreed.
After visiting a friend at the hospital, Naoya and her friends discover that the city is being taken over by demons, and that the person responsible for this was the president of a company called SEBEC, Takahisa Kandori. However, now that the most interesting of this game arrives on the scene. Back at school, the player has a choice: try to destroy SEBEC to save the city, or investigate old school events.
If they choose the SEBEC path, players will follow the main campaign of the game, but if they choose to investigate the school, players will be introduced to a new and totally different campaign! The game was very well received by the Japanese public when it came out, but here in the west, its adaptation was very … problematic.
In a rather bizarre attempt to locate the game for the American public, somewhat strange changes were made to the game. The town called Mikage-cho became Lunarvale, The character Masao Inaba, a Japanese student who wears a cap, became Mark, a black student who wears a cap.
The game money was changed to dollars and the difficulty was reduced as well. However, a version without these changes arrived in the West some time later for the PSP. Critics liked the story, the world and the gameplay, but, as expected, the location did not please at all and some aspects were described as dated. The game got a score of 78 ..
5) Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (2000) – 83 (PlayStation)
In penultimate place we have Persona 2 two! Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, released in 2000, oddly enough, is the third game in the series, and a direct sequel to the second game in the series: Persona 2: Innocent Sin.
The game follows the story of a different protagonist than her predecessor named Maya Amano, the reporter who was part of the main group of the first game. In a world where the events of Innocent Sin never happened thanks to the unexpected end of the game, we accompany Maya and a new party of characters investigating the strange events that take place in the city of Sumaru.
As a reporter, Maya investigates the “Joker” rumor, which says that if you call your own number, the Joker would kill the person you want. Digging a little deeper, they find Joker at the Seven Sisters school, after he killed the site director.
The villain defeats them and runs to the school clock tower, where he tries to force a student to remember the events that happened in Innocent Sin, but Tatsuya, the protagonist of the past game appears and stops the event. Curious to know more, Maya tries to speak to Tatsuya, but he leaves and asks her to forget him.
With many mysteries involving the Joker, and even Tatsuya, the group continues on its way through the city to try to understand what is happening, and who is behind all this chaos. As much as the general public does not know the game, especially in the west, where the remake of Eternal Punishment never made it into stores, the most dedicated fans of the series consider the duology of Persona 2 to be the best of all in the series.
For the critics, the game brings improvements in mechanics in relation to its predecessor, the story is very intriguing, the characters are relatively strong, but the graphics do not draw much attention and some aspects of the gameplay are unbalanced. His grade is 83.
4) Persona 3 (2006) – 86 (Playstation 2)
Fourth, we met the different Persona 3, released in 2006. It was the beginning of what we know as Persona today. The game broke away from the style of the first games and introduced completely new systems for the franchise, such as the friendship system, the calendar system, animated cutscenes like anime, and much more.
School life gained a much greater focus than in other games, and now the player could choose how and with whom to spend time in the intervals between one part of the story and another. However, while the protagonist does not stroll around the city or participate in school clubs, he and his group of friends participating in the SEES, Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad, investigate a mysterious overtime that can be noticed between midnight and one in the morning by people with “potential”.
And along with this mysterious hour, they also investigate the emergence of a strange tower called Tartarus, which they believe can obtain the answer to all the mysteries of the world that have been presented to us. The game has an interesting relationship with death, making it the main theme of the work.
Almost all the friendship links made in the game will mention death at some point, and the story makes a point of showing that even with fear of it, the characters learn to overcome this thought, which often weighed on them. At the end of it all, the game brings us a scary, but real thought: time waits for no one, so we need to enjoy life as we can.
As the game’s opening says: Memento Mori. But even with the theme, Persona 3 certainly did not die in the eyes of the public and critics. So, the level design that requires grinding at times, the interface problems and the frequent loadings were not well seen, but the story is excellent from start to finish, there are two different and fun gameplay styles, the way to activate, if so I can say, Persona never loses grace and the production values are exquisite. Your grade is 86.
3) Persona 2: Innocent Sin (1999) – 87.25 (PlayStation)
Thirdly, let’s explore the city of Sumaru once again. In Persona 2: Innocent Sin, released in 1999, the protagonist is Tatsuya Suou, the mysterious character who helps Maya Amano in the sequel to the game, who is now in the role of a secondary character.
The story begins with Tatsuya repairing his motorcycle before getting scolded by his school principal, Seven Sisters. After that, Tatsuya walks around the school until he meets his friend Lisa, who asks for help to rescue a girl who was kidnapped by the leader of a rival school.
Fights come and go, and the characters end up doing a kind of ritual that became popular in the city called the Joker game. In it, people invoke the Joker and have to speak their wishes, if they can’t, they lose their essence of life and turn into lifeless shells that look more like zombies.
Trying to investigate this bizarre business, they also hear about the phenomenon that turns rumors into reality, which presents us with a very interesting system in the game.
If it’s the player’s interest, can Tatsuya go somewhere on the map to spread rumors, for example, did you know that the bakery around the corner sells nuclear weapons if you give the baker the right password? As silly as it sounds, if this rumor spreads, you can be sure that you can arm your party to the teeth with guns, as this is how the player can equip the characters in the game!
The rumor system can also help you catch more personas and even face secret bosses around the map. A curiosity, did you know that the subtitles of the duology refer to Tatsuya? If you want to know what the innocent sin he did, or the eternal punishment he suffers, make a point of playing the games. And looking at the criticism, we can say that he impressed.
The story is exciting and innovative, being the main aspect of the game. The gameplay was also praised, being described as simple, balanced and polished and the sound part was described as excellent. Now, getting in and out of combat requires long loadings, lack of direction leaves players at a loss and for some the system of rumors is dull. Your grade is 87.25.
2) Persona 4 (2008) – 90 (Playstation 2)
Persona 4, released in 2008, was the game that really popularized the saga. The game follows the same mechanics introduced in its predecessor and tells the story of the classic unnamed protagonist, which in this case we will call Yu Narukami, arriving in a small country town called Inaba. Upon arriving at the site, he quickly encounters problems, encountering a body in the middle of the street when he returns from school.
Not long after, Yu hears about the Midnight Channel legend, that a person can see his soulmate on the TV screen, if he is turned on at midnight on a rainy day. To the surprise of our protagonist, a person really appears on the screen! Surprised, he tries to touch the TV, but without waiting, the young boy almost falls into the small screen, being lucky that it is too small for him to enter completely.
The next day he takes his friends to a bigger TV, and enters the world behind the device. There, they meet the game’s mascot, an empty bear costume called Teddie.
Now being able to freely enter and leave the world of TV, the characters quickly discover that the people who appear on the midnight channel are not their soul mates, but victims of a serial killer, and that if they did not hurry to save them there from within, they would appear dead after foggy days in the city.
And that’s where something different from Persona 4 comes in: The days also have a weather forecast, so players know how long they can save the victims of the mysterious serial killer.
However, even with this somewhat sinister basis, the game is seen as the lightest game in the series, focusing a lot on the friendship between the main characters and having moments that relieve the heart after four games with very dark themes. Like the third game, it has a theme that the story follows, and in this case, it’s how we should accept who we really are, and that message is demonstrated mainly behind the boss fights.
Most bosses are dark versions of the characters, which show their real desires and thoughts. And only after defeating and accepting them, do the characters gain the power of the persona.
It is important to pay close attention to everything that happens in the game, since in the end he will not tell you who the killer is, you have to find out for yourself! Otherwise, it will have to be in the kick, good luck to hit whoever is killing innocents in a list with literally all the characters in the game!
For the critics, the game balances the parts of RPG with those of resource management, the characters and dialogs are memorable, it improves the interface and the combat of the saga, it brings many new locations and the story is very mysterious. It even takes a few hours to catch the stride and the problems with loading continue, but it is still an incredible game and got a score of 90.
1) Persona 5 (2016) – 93 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4)
And finally we reached the first place with Persona 5. The game launched in 2016 innovated the already innovative series of games. With a new engine in hand, Atlus managed to make an extremely stylish game that impresses in relation to its predecessor, Persona 4.
Full of charm and charisma, Persona 5 tells the story of Akira Kurusu, a young man who was unfairly accused of a crime he did not commit, and so he had to move and move in with a friend of his parents in the great city of Tokyo . However, this is not the only thing that disturbs our protagonist: a strange application appears on his phone as a virus, and he has no idea what it does.
Leaving this mystery for another time, our hero, together with his friend Ryūji, without wanting to discover what the app was doing: he sends you to the metaverse, where all the evil of a person manifests in a palace, and then the first The palace they find is that of their physical education teacher, who secretly abuses his students and treats them like trash.
Inside the palace, they encounter a strange humanoid cat named Morgana, who teaches them a few things about the metaverse, the personas, and how to steal the artifact at the end of the palace cleanses all of a person’s evil. In a beautiful metaphor, the way to awaken their personas is to revolt against society, and take off a not so metaphorical mask that is glued to their faces.
Persona 5 was even more popular than Persona 4, and so well regarded by players that it competed as Game of the Year at the 2017 Game Awards! In addition, he competed for the best soundtrack, best art direction, and best RPG, winning the latter. With this information from the award, it is not difficult to imagine that he was loved by critics.
The turn-based combat is great, the balance between the real world and the metaverse is balanced, the soundtrack is a masterpiece, it has the best dungeons in the series and the squad of characters is complete. Boss battles at the end of the game are pretty unfair, but the game as a whole is a work of art, so much so that it got 93 on the score and the crown.
Remember, these notes are not ours, but the Metacritic note aggregator. This was the Worst to Best of the Persona franchise, which is part of Voxel’s year-end special. Don’t you agree with the list? Leave it there in the comments.
And which persona do you most like to play with? Put down there that we will read everything.