Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
Buy On
  1. Edge Magazine
    Games with distinct souls are rare things, but Persona 3 succeeds in displaying a mesmerising personality that touches the many well-crafted aspects of its curious and singular approach. [Nov 2007, p.94]
  2. In the end, Persona 3 is a tedious excursion that made me waste hours of my life that I will never get back and left with my right eye bloodshot for staring at the TV screen as my contact lens ran out of moisture and it solidified to my cornea.
  3. Play UK
    It doesn't look very nice, gets repetitive going to school every day and killing demons nightly, and "Rogue Galaxy" is still available and better. [Issue#162, p.88]
  4. 60
    Persona 3's daily structure is both a blessing and a curse. A benefit of the system is that you genuinely look forward to seeing what new characters or events are revealed the next day. Yet having to visit a single dungeon, even one with hundreds of floors, is not always appealing.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#7 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 144 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 144
  1. Oct 15, 2017
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Persona 3 combines Life Simulation & Role-Playing Game (RPG) genres, making it a unique gaming experience. It falls under the JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) genre with games like ‘Final Fantasy’ or the ‘Tales of’ series, due to the Japanese anime style of the characters & Japanese setting. It was released by Atlus for PS2 in 2007 with a Mature (16+) rating. It is a long journey, spanning 70+ hours. Due to the way the game is paced, with one day leading directly into the next, it is easy to get trapped in very long play sessions. Some segments last over an hour without a place to save. If you die, you go back to the last save, so I recommend playing on easy on the first run, as you get 10 ‘Plume Of Dusk’ items which revive your whole party, restoring all HP/SP, these can’t be bought after they’re used, so use them sparingly!

    The game is centred around the trials & tribulations of Japanese high school life, where you spend the day developing ‘Social Links’ with classmates & others you meet in the town of Tatsumi Port Island. By night you & your team fight monsters (‘Shadows’) to save the world.
    The main mechanic is the ability to evoke a ‘Persona’. Personas are a ‘manifestation of one’s psyche’ (a part of your personality manifested into real form). There are 170 personas that the protagonist can obtain & make use of, due to his ‘Wild Card’ nature. Other persona users can only access 1 persona – methods of this include cards in ‘shuffle time’ at the end of battles & when using the ‘Velvet Room’ where you can fuse personas to make others. Personas can be levelled up by Social Links, relationships the protagonist makes through the course of the game. Each one has an ‘arcana’ (corresponding to tarot cards) & are levelled up the more you talk to people during life simulation periods. Social Links are like real relationships, you want to spend enough time with the person so the link doesn’t become reversed, preventing you from levelling up personas of that arcana until it is fixed. However, this can also happen if you spend too much time with that person, making it a complex balance. The game has a dark atmosphere, including the method that party members evoke their personas, putting the evoker (an instrument closely resembling a gun) to their head & pulling the trigger. One of the main aspects is the mysterious Dark Hour, said to fall between one day & the next. During this time normal humans are transmogrified into coffins, all electrics cease to work, besides those modified to, & all liquids turn blood red. Those transmogrified remain blissfully unaware of the hours’ presence, but S.E.E.S can experience this hour & use this time to defeat enemies (Shadows) in their nest, known as Tartarus, the main dungeon in the game. The Shadows came about with the Dark Hour & feed on the psyche of humans who have been lured out of their coffins.

    The protagonist is a 17 year old Japanese school boy who has the ability to use a persona, at the start you are asked to join a ‘school club’ called S.E.E.S (the Specialised Extra-curricular Execution Squad) a group of persona users you are living in the dorm with. S.E.E.S expands over the course of the game, eventually encompassing persona users of many types that are strong & weak to different abilities.

    Battles occur when you hit an enemy or an enemy hits you, taking you to a separate screen. During a battle you can use persona specific abilities: Bufu (ice), Garu (wind), Agi (fire), Zio (electricity), Light, Dark & Almighty. Abilities that characters can equip through various weapons & that personas can also have are strike, slash & pierce attacks – physical attacks demonstrated during the powerful ‘All-Out Attack’ you can perform once all enemies have been knocked down by having their weakness exposed. You can find these out by asking your out of field scouter to analyse the enemies.
    The games’ graphics aren’t as good as other PS2 titles of the time, Final Fantasy X (2001) graphics far excel those of Persona 3. In addition, colours appear quite washed out, mainly being dirty greens/reds during the dark hour. Black looks more green, seen on enemies crawling the dungeon floor, & white looks more grey as seen on character uniforms/floor tiles. However, animated cut-scenes & drawn elements look stunning. The graphics don’t really hold your understanding of the game back, as character emotions are expressed in drawn portraits above their speech & convenient over head emoticons (exclamation marks/sweat drops).

    Overall, Persona 3 is a great game, with an in depth story & developed & unique characters. I would definitely recommend it to JRPG fans & also dungeon–crawler fans who are looking for a new experience.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 14, 2017
    I expected something better for all of the hype this really average franchise gets.

    All characters were boring anime archetypes with no
    I expected something better for all of the hype this really average franchise gets.

    All characters were boring anime archetypes with no flavor of their own.
    The story was an extremely generic premise that flows in the typical Japanese way of story telling like Light Novels.

    Tartarus, the main gameplay feature was fun at first but as you progress in the tower, it becomes more and more tedious by the second. In the end, I forced myself to complete the game.

    Bosses have a terrible gameplay design, for example the ones under the Millitary base, you have to kill the 2 bosses in the exact same turn or the one that wasn't killed will revive the other one ON FULL HP. No, they don't warn you about that, they never tell you about it until the first revive happens.

    One of the bosses even relies COMPLETELY ON LUCK. That's bad game design.
    He uses a move that spawns a roulette in front of you and you spin it and stop it.
    Whether you damage him for some small amount or he 2-3 shots you, that's up to luck.
    Whether you get debuffed or he gets debuffed, that's up to you..
    Oh, did I say that there' s another boss fighting besides that guy? Yeah, 2 enemies at the same time.
    Not only you have to rely on luck but you also must simultaniously fend off that other guy who has an attack that can one shot you if you have an Ice based Persona. or leave you barely alive on about 30 hp if you don't.

    The whole game is riddled with badly designed bosses and the pacing of the story is bad. A story sequence happens and you're left with a whole month of free time before the next one.
    Either you grind which is boring, or do Social Links, which are just unfleshed dialogues that get the other characters attached to you. The characters seem to start loving you way too quickly. You go and say hi and you already got a girlfriend... (It's an over exaggerated example, chill.)

    I started with the P3P version of Persona 3 so I was happy that I get to walk around at first... but as soon as the novelty wears off you realize how **** tedious it is, constantly having to walk in a boring world just to advance the story a bit or do Social Links. You would wish for P3P's hub.

    Also, an additional -1 point for containing The Answer which is hands down the worst additional content I've ever played in any game.
    You play as the most boring character in the entire cast as the protagonist, Aigis and the whole thing contains **** enemy design and is extremely long for the little story it offers, you can just look it up on YouTube. Did I mention the whole thing is just grinding? Yes, THE WHOLE THING!
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 24, 2017
    This game is creepy, and i love it. This game make me born in RPG world. Just make me feel alive. Persona 3 is masterpiece of Shin MegamiThis game is creepy, and i love it. This game make me born in RPG world. Just make me feel alive. Persona 3 is masterpiece of Shin Megami Tensei series. JUST PLAY IT, PLEASE. Full Review »