Where should I start with the Persona series?

  • @marcel You're lucky you can get P4G. I am playing through P4 right now for the first time (and first full Persona game) and I'm loving it. However, it does bother me a bit that the game was only expanded and improved in Golden. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

    I will say I tried P3:FES first but it couldn't grip me. I prefer P4 because it involves the main character more prominently. In P3 (at least the first 10 hours) it felt like they were all talking around me but not including me.

  • Either 3 or 4, but definitely try one before going into P5. It's likely a smaller cost commitment and you can get a feel for what these games are like. For me I preferred Persona 4, though I never got to play the supposedly better Golden version.

  • It might be worth it to give Persona 2 a shot. Innocent Sin (the first part of the P2 duology) is on PSP and non-censored fan translation is up for grabs for PS1.

    P2 is in my opinion superior to P3 and 4 in terms of characters, story and atmosphere. People will disagree with me, but characters in 3 and 4 are much more of anime caricatures that really only exist to justify main character's existence. That's how I feel, anyway.

    What P2 has going against it is somewhat dated looks and clunky UI. The fight system is deeper than in the later entries but it is, again, hindered by the poorly designed UI. But there are ways around it (speed-up function in emulators really helps this game).

    Chances are that you will not be able to go back to P2 after so many things have been streamlined in P3/4, so I'd recommend giving that one a try first. It's kind of like playing Witcher 1 after Witcher 3.

    P2 also has undisputably best waifu.

  • How about starting with P3? Depending on which platform do you have you can try either P3FES on PS2 or P3P on PSP/PSV. I have played all 5 games so far and I would say persona 2: sin and persona 2: punishment have the best story but they are far away from the modern persona games while more similar to the shin migami tensei games. Persona 3 has pretty good plot and settings, you also get accompanies like A.I robot, dogs, and the idea of using a fake gun to trigger your persona is way cooler than the glasses in 4 and the masks in the upcoming 5. Also need to mention that in P3P you even get the chance to play as the female protagonist!

  • I started with Persona 4 the original. It's fun, but I'm not a rabbit fan. I guess I'm not super into how the dungeons work. Worth checking out, though, I'd say!

  • I know you said you're probably going with P4 which is great but if you can and have time later on you should totally go back and play P3!

    I started with P3 and oh man, great vibes all around during that game.

    Hype is real for P5 and so happy to hear of more people trying to get into this amazing series!

  • The first Persona I played was 3 when it first released, but I never got into it at the time. It wasn't until P4 Golden that I gave the series another shot. Golden was incredible and I loved every moment, but then when I went back to P3 I had a hard time playing it because of the many improvements in 4. Still beat it and loved it, just probably not as much as I would have if I played it first. I would play P3FES or P3P first then move on to Persona 4 Golden just so that doesn't happen to you.

    The older games are fun but entirely different so feel free to not play them if you don't feel the old school JRPG vibes.

  • You don't need to catch up as they are all different, but I do recommend Persona 4. The group is very endearing and likable.

    Persona 3 has okay characters. They're a bit too disconnected from each other where Persona 4 has a lot of moments where they truly care about each other. Persona 3 is also a bit long which is like 120 hours minimum for a playthrough.

    You can just start with Persona 5, but it is half a year away.

    Edit: Wait, why is this in the announcements?

  • 3 and 4 are obviously the ones that shot Persona in to the mainstream (many mainline SMT fans resent it and don't count it) but 1 and especially 2 are really good games imo, they have that SMT dread and weird atmosphere and 2 has a very interesting plot. 3 is pretty dark too though.

  • Like everyone else says, 3 and 4.

    Generally speaking I'd say it doesn't matter which of them you start with. However. Since Persona 4 is a sequel, it obviously improves on a number of aspects of P3, so going backwards 4 to 3 is likely to be less enjoyable than going forwards 3 to 4 and thus getting the improvements rather than having them taken away from you.

    But I know some people are turned off by the theme and atmosphere of P3, and although I can't identify with that personally, if you feel that way, it's better to play P4 and not P3, than to try to force yourself through P3 and risk dropping the series all together.

    So basically, if you have any interest in playing Persona 3 at all, I'd say play that one first, and then Persona 4. It'll be a smoother transition, and lead to less frustration.

  • Before I got into Persona, everybody said that the series really started with 3, so I got FES and 4 Golden at the same time.
    I tried playing 3 FES but it didn't gel with me, and I jumped into 4 Golden and loved it and couldn't put it down. It does a better job of explaining it's mechanics (social links, fusions, etc). After that, I went back to 3 FES and it clicked so much better. Currently playing P3P as the female protagonist.
    So yeah, 4 then 3.

  • @Paper-Lion Persona 4 isn't a sequel. It has zero story ties to Persona 3.

    It's like how the Final Fantasy games are separated where XIII and XV are different, but XIII-2 is a sequel of XIII.

  • @Whoaness it is not a direct sequel but it is still a sequel , it improves a lot of things from persona 3 and there is a huge and long persona 3 easter egg

  • @waleed But implying it as a sequel means they have to play Persona 3 to understand the story.

  • @Whoaness it is still in the same universe the older characters are still there but you will not see theme all , you do meet a character from persona 3 in 4 , it is like star wars you do not see the older characters as much but they are there in some way or another

  • @waleed But Star Wars movies are direct sequels of each other...

  • @Whoaness star wars does the same thing but in a trilogy format

  • @waleed Each movie is a sequel of its previous one...

    I understand what you're saying. The trilogies are self contained, but the trilogies are directly related to each other whereas Persona 3 isn't related to Persona 4, at all, in terms of story.

  • @Whoaness (minor spoilers)
    . .
    you do visit tatsumi port island and meet chihiro

  • @waleed Cameos don't relate two separate games, otherwise Kingdom Hearts is a sequel to almost all the Final Fantasy games.