Rank Your Favorite Series!

  • I recently bumped up my patreon tier so that I could participate in the Community Showcase (had to drop Amazon Prime to do it). I've been thinking about what I want my first submission to be. I thought about doing some art, but I don't draw anything that I think would be a good fit for the showcase. Then I thought about singing something, but getting my voice back in to shape enough that I would feel comfortable sharing it online would take some practice, and I don't have the time right now. So I decided to write something. Since it will be my first post and none of the games I'm currently playing were recently released, I decided to discuss one of my favorite series. Persona. I wanted to make a post encouraging new players who have only experienced Persona 5 to try out the older games, so I got to work on my post. My first idea was to rank all of the games in various categories to give people an idea of what games they would like the most. I got it under 300 words but I figured reading the rankings would just be a pain for Jones, so I decided to go with a simple paragraph structure discussing which games did what best.

    But I worked really hard on the ranking, and want to share it so I created this thread. I would also like to see how you all would rank the games in your favorite series!

    Feel free to rank the games in your favorite series in as many or as few categories as you would like. I think the rankings could be a good jumping off point for people who are looking to get in to a new series and aren't sure where to start. I'm especially curious about how fans would rank the Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest games. I'm also curious to see how other Persona fans would rank the games.

    My ranking and explanations of those rankings are pretty long so I'm going to put them in a separate post.

  • In Any Case, here's my ranking of the Persona games from best to worst. (Generally speaking, unless the game in last place is Persona 1, that aspect of the game isn't actually bad, it's just weaker than the others.)

    Systems Used: Vita, PS4 Pro.
    Versions Used: P3Portable (FemMC), Persona 3 FES (MaleMC), Persona 4 Golden, Persona 2: Innocent Sin PSP, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment PS1, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona PSP, and Persona 5 PS4.
    Stipulations: I'm listing the two P2 games as one for the sake of simplicity, and because if you're going to play one really should play both. These rankings are of course all based on my personal opinions. I played the Persona games in reverse order (with the exception of 5 which I played most recently) which may have negatively impacted my opinion of the original Persona. Also I was born after it was released and as a result nostalgia doesn't help me tolerate some of the limitations of the earlier Persona games, which is why I might be a bit harder on them. If more than one game is connected by a forward slash that means I consider them to be tied in that category. I will not be including Q or any of the other spinoffs since those shouldn't really be played unless you've already played at least 3 and 4. Also I know I went way overboard with the categories, please don't feel like you have do do as many as I did.

    Overall Visuals: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
    Menus: 5, 4/3, 2, 1.
    Character Art: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
    Sprites/Models: 5, 4/3, 2, 1.
    World Map Design: 5, 3, 4, 2, 1.
    Over World: 5, 3/2, 4, 1.
    Individual Locations: 5, 2, 3, 4, 1.
    Exploration: 5, 3/2, 4, 1.
    Alternate World: 4, 5, 3, 2, 1.
    Sound Track: 3, 4, 5, 1, 2.
    Opening (Video/Music): 3, 5, 4, 1, 2.
    Ending (Credits/Music): 3, 2/4, 5, 1.
    Battle Music: 5/3, 4, 1, 2.
    Battle System: 5, 3, 4, 2, 1.
    Enemy Encounter System/Rate: 5, 4/3, 2, 1.
    Dungeon Design: 5, 2, 4, 3, 1.
    Boss Fights: 4, 5, 3, 2, 1.
    Party Member Variety: 3, 4/5/2, 1.
    Persona Obtainment: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
    Persona Fusion/Summoning System: 5, 4, 3, 1, 2.
    Persona Upgrade System: 3, 2, 1, 4/5.
    Persona Designs: 5, 2/3/4, 1.
    Upgraded Persona Designs: 2, 3, 5, 4, 1.
    Enemy Designs: 5, 3/4, 2, 1.
    Non-Battle Gameplay: 5, 4/3/2, 1.
    Battle Related Side Quests/Optional Bosses: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
    Non-Battle Related Side Quests: 3, 4, 2, 5, 1.
    Economy: 2, 3, 5, 4, 1.
    Unique Systems: 5/2, 3/4, 1.
    Main Characters: 3/2, 4, 5, 1.
    Side Characters: 5, 4, 2/3, 1.
    Character Designs: 5, 3/4, 2, 1.
    Character Growth: 3/2, 4, 5, 1.
    Character Interactions: 3, 5/4, 2, 1.
    Story: 3/5, 4/2, 1.
    Plot Twists: 2, 3/5, 4, 1.
    Villains: 5, 2/3, 1, 4.
    Series Lore: 2/1, 5, 3, 4.
    Overarching Theme: 3, 5/4, 2, 1.
    Sub Themes: 5, 2, 3, 4, 1.
    Implementation of Series Themes: 2/4, 3, 5, 1.
    References to other Persona/SMT Games: 2, 4, 3, 5, 1.
    WTF Factor: 2, 1, 3, 5, 4.
    Relatability of Experience: 4, 3/5, 2, 1.
    Intimacy of Experience: 4, 3, 5, 2, 1.
    Life Lessons Learned: 3/2, 4/5, 1.
    Personal Preference: 3, 2, 4, 5, 1.
    Best to Play By Yourself: 5/3/4, 2, 1.
    Best to Watch Someone Else Play: 2, 4, 3, 5, 1.
    Best to Play With a Friend: 3/5, 4/2, 1.

    Some Explanations of my Reasoning: (Since you might be thinking I'm a little off my rocker right now.)

    SpoilerIndividual Locations/Exploration: Why is P2 up so high? Simply put, there's so many locations to visit, they all serve varying yet still important purposes, they pretty much all have individual music, they all have unique designs, and they all feature unique and interesting side characters.
    Alternate World: Why is P4 above P5? The TV world certainly isn't as aesthetically pleasing as the metaverse, but it has better context and meaning.
    Opening/Ending: I cannot stress enough that regardless of my ranking all of the openings and endings are incredible and some of the best that JRPG's have to offer. Especially the endings, they all made me cry, they all make me feel a lot of emotions, they're all sung beautifully. They are all wonderful.
    Enemy Encounter System/Rate: I really like 3, 4, and 5's enemy encounter system. None of them are random and it's easy enough to avoid battles you don't want to fight. 5 get's the slight edge for the sneaking mechanic. 2 and 3 have random encounter battles, and I hate random encounter battles. With some item usage P2's random battles are manageable, and they only occur in dungeons, not on the over world. P1 is straight garbage. Even if you like or just don't mind random battles, the encounter rate is WAY too high and they can occur on the over world which makes navigation almost impossible.
    Boss Fights: Why is P4 above P5? Simply put, the P4 bosses have more emotion behind them. They aren't villains or aspects of a person that should be condemned necessarily. In P4 the bosses are representations of what a person doesn't like about themselves and the only way to truly beat them is to accept them, which I think has more impact than simply beating up a person's flaws.
    Persona Upgrade System: 3 and 2 are on top because they're the only games where the evolution of a persona is tied to the story and a character's growth in game. Persona 1 kind of does this, where if your characters behave in a certain way throughout the game they can unlock their upgraded Persona.
    Persona Designs/Upgraded Persona Designs: On a base level I think Persona 5's inital Persona's have the most appealing designs. But when it's time to upgrade 2 and 3 show the most clear improvements and meaningful changes to their designs.
    Unique Systems: Why is 2 tied with 5? I just really like the rumor system that much. It's a great addition to the game that really fleshes out the world and gives the player a stronger feeling of control.
    Main Characters and Side Characters: I would take a bullet for any member of P3 or P2's main casts. They are just that strong. A weakness I hinted at in my explanation of Persona Upgrades, of 4 and 5 is that Persona changes are tied to social links. Yes those social links are very well written and give a lot of depth to the characters, and and the end of those social links the Persona evolutions do make sense. The issue comes in that all the character development is only seen in those social links. Because the game can't guarantee you've completed all the social links the main story has all of the characters behaving mostly in a way that is similar to when they were first introduced, which leads to a feeling lacking depth. In Persona 2 and 3 the character development is all tied to the main story, so regardless of whether or not you did the social links the characters noticeably grow and change. As for side characters, those really only change through social links and I think P5 and P4 did side characters best. And in 4 and 5 those side characters really effect the main story.
    Character Growth: I think my earlier explanation should explain this.
    Character Interactions: This is basically me ranking the social links, and the character dialogue in P1/2. I played FemMC primarily for P3 and if you haven't played that route you might not understand. FemMC is the only way to get social links for all the main characters and they are so incredibly well written that I have to put them above the rest.
    Story/Plot Twists: I think 3 and 5 have stories with the most to say. They both have strong narratives. P2 and P4 are also very strong in the story department but P4 is more based on its characters, and P2 is a little bit bizarre. As for plot twists, you just have to play P2 to understand why its first.
    Villains: This is entirely based on how hateable the villains are and P5 takes the cake with that one. P4 came in last because the bosses you fight aren't really villains. And the culprit you're chasing did bad things, but they're shrouded in mystery so it's hard to truly direct animosity at them. When they are revealed they just seem more crazy then outright evil.
    Lore and Themes: The Persona series does have strong consistent lore, except it's only explicitly mentioned in P1 and P2. As for themes, it varies a lot from game to game and just depends on what resonated most with me. For implementation of series themes, I would define the overall theme of the Persona series as the duality of man. The version of yourself you show to others versus the real you. They went in heavy on this theme in P4, but P4 didn't start that theme. P2 also pulls off this theme very strongly, and even has the main characters fighting versions of themselves with characteristics they don't like. And In P2 the character's Persona's weaknesses change according to them facing their true selves.
    WTF Factor: Look, you just gotta play P2 to understand how bizarre it is.
    **Relatability/Inimacy/Life Lessons: ** Again it just comes down to what I relate to and what I took away from each game.
    How To Experience: I think all the Persona games should be experienced on your own the first time you play them. But If you're going to play with a friend 3/5 are fun to experience with someone else. P2 and P4 are also fun but only for people who are used to anime tropes and are OK with some awkward moments. P1 just shouldn't be played by anyone unless it's 1996 and you're playing it when it came out, or you've played the other Persona games and just want to learn more about the lore. It's a pain to play, it's a pain to watch. I just don't like it.

  • I'm gonna do one for the Souls series.
    It's maybe not my absolute favorite series but I feel it's an easy one create some categories for.

    Visuals: BB, DS3, DeS, DS1, DS2
    Music: DS1, DeS, DS2, BB, DS3
    Sound design: DeS, BB, DS2, DS3, DS1
    Story: DeS, DS1, BB, DS3, DS2
    NPCs: DS1, DeS, DS3, BB, DS2
    Bosses: DS1, Des, BB, DS3, DS2
    World design: DS1, BB, DS3, DS2, DeS
    Individual level design: DeS, BB, DS3, DS1, DS2
    Mechanics: DS3, DS2, BB, DS1, DeS
    Healing system: DS2, DS3, BB, DeS: DS
    Hidden areas: BB, DS3, DS1, DS2
    DLC: DS2, BB, DS1, DS3
    Most difficult: BB, DS3, DS2, DS1, DeS
    Overall favorite game: BB, DeS, DS3, DS1, DS2

  • So naturally I'm going to rank all the 3D Zeldas.

    Dungeons: Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Okami, The Wind Waker, Skyward Sword
    Combat: TP, O, TWW, MM, SS, OoT
    Puzzles: TP, OoT, O, MM, TWW, SS
    Items & Abilities: TP, MM, O, TWW, OoT, SS
    Bosses: O, TP, TWW OoT, MM, SS
    Character Progression: OoT
    Other Activities: MM, O, TWW, OoT, TP, SS
    Metroidvanian Secrets: MM, O, TWW, OoT, TP, SS
    Cutscenes: TP, OoT, MM, O, TWW, SS
    Plot: TP, O, OoT, MM, TWW, SS
    Obligatory Time Travel Sub-Plot: OoT, MM, O, TP, TWW, SS
    Characters: Midna, O, TP, MM, TWW, OoT, SS
    Antagonists: TP, MM, TWW, OoT, O, SS
    Art Style: OoT/MM/TP, O, TWW, SS

  • @Haru17 I like your ranking (and you're inclusion of Playstation's one true 3D Zelda), it's a little different then how I would rank them but it's cool to see how other people view the series.

  • @michemagius Thanks. I'm kinda curious if Capcom felt they needed to add time travel in because it had been in every mainline Zelda game since like A Link to the Past's title (and is to this day). It's amusing to see the series' quirkier tropes through time.

  • @Haru17 I do find it a bit odd. Okami itself takes place in the past so it's funny to me that they time travel further back in to the past. Feels like a Zelda nod to me. And I do find it strange that time travel is so prevalent in Zelda. I mean, it's fun and all, I'm just not sure why Nintendo is so fond of it.

  • @michemagius It was cool in Ocarina and Majora's Mask, but it's something they should probably let die. It felt like such a forced OoT reference in Skyward Sword. TWW and TP probably did it the best, not turning the story into a time travel plot and just using it for dungeons.

  • @Haru17 Yeah I hear that. To be honest I actually forgot time travel was even a part of TP and that's my favorite Zelda.

  • First, I always am up for any excuse to supplant Final Fantasy into a conversation, so I'll follow your format (where applicable).

    Second, super cool for you bumping your pledge! I'll look out for the Persona post when the showcase happens next month (Mine will be PSX predictions)

    Third, onto my personal rankings of the Final Fantasy series!


    I have NOT played 3, 5, 11, 14.

    For Final Fantasies 1 and 2, I'm referring to the PSP versions. For 4, the GBA version. For 6, I played that on the Vita. All others were on their launch platform.

    Overall Visuals: 10, 7, 15, 1, 9, 2, 4, 12, 6, 13, 8
    Menus: 7, 10, 12, 1, 4, 9, 2, 15, 6, 13, 8
    Character Design: 12, 10, 1, 7, 13, 2, 4, 9, 6, 15, 8
    World Map/Overworld Design: 7, 4, 1, 15, 2, 10, 9, 12, 6, 13, 8
    Individual Locations: 7, 10, 12, 1, 15, 4, 9, 2, 13, 6, 8
    Exploration: 7, 12, 4, 1, 2, 15, 9, 6, 10, 8, 13
    Sound Track: 7, 10, 4, 1, 15, 12, 9, 8, 2, 6, 13
    Opening (Video/Music): 7, 1, 4, 15, 9, 2, 10, 12, 6, 8, 13
    Ending (Credits/Music): 10, 12, 9, 7, 4, 1, 15, 2, 6, 8, 13
    Battle Music: 7, 13, 12, 1, 10, 9, 2, 6, 8, 4
    Battle System: 10, 7, 1, 12, 9, 4, 15, 2, 6, 13, 8
    Boss Fights (Necessary and Optional): 7, 12, 4, 10, 1, 9, 2, 15, 6, 8, 13
    Party Member Variety: 7, 4, 6, 10, 9, 2, 1, 8, 12, 13, 15
    Enemy Designs: 12, 9, 10, 7, 1, 2, 4, 15, 6, 8, 13
    Side Quests: 12, 7, 4, 10, 9, 15, 13, 6, 8, 2, 1
    Economy: 7, 10, 1, 4, 9, 2, 6, 12, 15, 13, 8
    Unique Systems: 7, 10, 12, 4, 1, 9, 15, 6, 2, 13, 8
    Main Characters: 7, 4, 12, 10, 9, 2, 8, 6, 15, 13, 1
    Side Characters: 12, 7, 4, 9, 2, 15, 10, 1, 6, 8, 13
    Character Growth & Interactions: 7, 4, 9, 6, 2, 10, 12, 15, 8, 13, 1
    Story: 7, 4, 10, 1, 9, 2, 12, 6, 15, 13, 8
    Plot Twists: 10, 7, 12, 4, 6, 9, 2, 13, 8, 15, 1
    Villains: 7, 10, 4, 6, 1, 9, 2, 12, 8, 15, 13
    Themes: 10, 7, 12, 9, 1, 4, 13, 15, 2, 6, 8
    WTF Factor: 8, 15, 13, 9, 10, 7, 4, 6, 2, 1, 12
    Personal Preference and OVERALL rankings: 7, 10, 12, 4, 9, 1, 15, 2, 6, 8, 13

    Some notes:

    After doing some comparisons in comprising this, I was shocked to find that I really enjoy 13's battle music. And I despise that game.

    Under unique systems, if you flip 6 and 2 and 1 and 9, then it is exactly my overall rankings. With that said, I don't think there are two orders that are exact.

    The original Final Fantasy's main characters are blank slates, which is why it's last in that category. HOWEVER, some games' main characters get on my nerves (13 and 15 specifically). This also applies in some part to character growth and interactions.

    In terms of plot twists, 1 is last because of its very bare bones story, but 15 is penultimate because its story presentation was a personal colossal failure, not speaking about WHAT the story is in any capacity. When your plot twists happen off-screen, there is no bigger storytelling sin.

    I thought of the WTF category with negative connotations both in and meta game.

    UPDATE: Now that I have played Final Fantasy 9, some notes about that game pertaining to the above rankings:

    It may be because I'm editing this minutes after the credits, but this is probably a top 3 ending for me.
    There's something about the variety of enemy design that is simultaneously detailed and appealing more so than later entries.
    I feel 9 does an excellent job presenting characters in one state, and by the end they have grown. With that being said, Steiner gets on my nerves.

    Overall, Final Fantasy 9 started out in my "Meh/Ok" category with 1, 15, and 2, but as time went on, I enjoyed it more. I don't absolutely LOVE it, as some characters (Steiner, Brahne, Thorn/Zorn, Eiko, Quina) grated on me for one reason or another, the mini-games were not fun (sans Tetra Master, but I STILL don't fully understand it and there are times when it was a chore), and sidequests were not designed well, even if the majority of them had great concepts, but I enjoyed it and is between said category and my "LOVE/Really like" group. And I guess for the first time, I liked a game I bought based on many others' positive feelings.

  • Well that would be Persona for me and I don't feel like going into detail so just overall


    And spinoffs above 1 as well.

  • @bard91 Yeah 1 is pretty dreadful...

  • Bumping this thread, if only temporarily, to factor in Final Fantasy 9 to my rankings above as I have now completed the game in about 63-64 ish hours.


    SOCOM 2 > SOCOM 3 > SOCOM CONFRONTATION > SOCOM 1 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SOCOM 4

  • Sonic the Hedgehog, let's go. For simplicity's sake this is just the mainline ones (besides 3D Blast since frankly I couldn't stomach that weird isometric platforming for more than a few levels) and just classic since that's such an entirely different world from the 3D Sonics that it'd need its own list (and even that'd be a nightmare since those are so wildly different from each other as well.) I'm also gonna be a madman and rank 3 and &Knuckles separately, just because I can.

    Level Design (Gameplay): Mania>&Knuckles>CD>3>2>1>Chaotix
    Boss Fights: M>K>CD>3>C>2>1
    Special Stages: C>M>CD>3/K>1>2
    Level Design (Aesthetics): CD>M>3>2>K>C>1
    Music: M>CD(JP)>C>3>CD(US)>2>K>1
    Intro: M>CD>3>C>2>1>K
    Ending: CD>M>K>2>3>C>1
    Ability to not absolutely drop off a cliff quality-wise once you reach Oil Ocean M>2
    Overall: M>CD>K>3>1>2>C

    I'm sure there's more categories I could put on here but I think I covered the most important aspects at least.

  • FYI I have a few favourite series...

    Tony Hawk's Underground > Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 > Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 > Tony Hawk's American Wasteland > Tony Hawk's Underground 2 > Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 > Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 > Tony Hawk's Project 8.

    The rest are unplayable.

    The Souls series is like killing your children. Let's just say Dark Souls 2 is dead last by a LARGE MARGIN.

    1. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
    2. Metal Gear Solid
    3. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
    4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots
    5. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes/The Phantom Pain
    6. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
    7. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
    8. Metal Gear
    9. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops

    Never got around to playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which is something I hope to do at some point. Never could get into the Metal Gear Acid games.

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