Where should I start with the Persona series?

  • 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.

  • @Whoaness I am trying to say that it is sequel but that it is a non direct one

  • @waleed It's not even that either. There is no story relation. FFXV is not a sequel of FFXIII despite sharing a ton of aspects.

    People, don't play Persona 3 if you're going to play Persona 4. It's not a sequel!

  • Something can be a sequel while still being self-contained. It can tie into previous storylines and such, but it's not a requirement for it to be considered a sequel. Star Wars is a trilogy, it's one thing presented as 3 separate chunks. Yet, they are also sequels. And although Episode 7 is an entirely new thing with new characters and a new storyline, it's also a sequel to Episode 6.

    A sequel is merely a story that portrays events that take place in the same fictional universe. It can continue the storyline of a previous work, but it doesn't have to. Persona 4 is a sequel to Persona 3, just like Dark Souls 2 is a sequel to Dark Souls, or GTA V is a sequel to GTA IV.

  • @Paper-Lion Dark Souls games share lore, so yes. GTA games share story elements and characters, so yes.
    Persona 3 and 4 don't share lore, story, or even characters.

    Also, if someone hasn't watched Star Wars 4-6, they would not have any idea why Luke is important. It isn't an entirely new storyline.

  • I would always recommend to start from the very beginning, even if it is true that it is not necessary in order to understand later entries, and i'd say that about any series. I would have to say that both P2 Eternal Punishment and Innocent Sin are the high points of the series, so if you are going to skip ahead, at least try and dip into those two at some point.