Metascore
86

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. 100
    Persona 3’s unusual take on the RPG formula takes some getting used to, but it’s well worth the small amount of effort it requires to become acclimated. If you’re tired of the same old RPG shtick, but still want a compelling story and addictive gameplay, look no further.
  2. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    100
    Spellbinding stuff with lashings of imagination: well worth top marks! [Feb 2008, p.76]
  3. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is one of those rare games where every single element comes together to deliver something truly special.
  4. 96
    I loved Persona 3. It delivered an experience that was both novel and familiar, and with the exception of the anime cutscenes and some of the voice acting, did so with excellent quality.
  5. Play Magazine
    95
    Games like Persona 3 are the reason we play games. So, I can't say this enough. Play it. [Aug 2007, p.62]
  6. 95
    At the end of the day, Persona 3 is an engaging title that truly pushes genre conventions in an exciting way. [Sep 2007, p.82]
  7. Persona 3 is one of the most polished and enjoyable PS2 titles I have ever had the joy of playing and reviewing.
  8. 95
    I spent quite a bit of time hanging out in the Velvet Room fusing new Persona.
  9. With a terrific storyline and characters, a difficulty that's challenging but not classically MegaTen hard, and a stupid amount of stuff to do in the game, it's impossible not to recommend this game to anyone who love RPGS. And most who don't.
  10. If it isn’t the ‘true’ definitive RPG of the PS2 generation, it’s certainly one of the top.
  11. Persona 3 is, despite that complaint, one of the best RPGs on the PS2, and in fact, on any console. It has characters you'll care about, a combat system that's easy to get into but hard to master, enough of a difficulty curve that you'll feel like you're working for your victories, and a truly bizarre and memorable soundtrack.
  12. With an intriguing story, varied and fun gameplay, awesome graphics, a catchy soundtrack, and tons and tons of stuff to do, Persona 3 is easily one of the best RPGs to come out for the PS2 this year, if not the best, period.
  13. 90
    We can't recommend Persona 3 highly enough, although a lack of even an option for controlling your whole party directly is a real shame.
  14. 90
    A story telling masterpiece.
  15. PSM Magazine
    90
    Regardless of whether or not you like RPGs you should pick it up, because it's one of the most enjoyable games we've played in a long time. [Sept 2007, p.70]
  16. Hardcore Gamer
    90
    Don't overlook this game based on descriptions alone, because you'll be missing out on an experience that is unlike anything else. [Sept 2007, p.58]
  17. Persona 3 does the franchise proud. The only "problem" that might make someone think twice about jumping in is the focus on character interaction over combat, but if that isn't a problem for you, you'll enjoy Persona 3 a lot.
  18. This game is a lot of things: thoroughly unique, frequently challenging, and sometimes quite disturbing. But most of all, it's a fantastic experience on many levels.
  19. Blending some unlikely, arcane ingredients into a flavorful and original epic, Persona 3 is a rare supernatural delicacy.
  20. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    90
    It's idiosyncratic, heart-warming funky and one of the most refreshing RPGs to appear on PS2. [Mar 2008, p.102]
  21. Granted, there will always be those for whom story-led gaming and turn-based battles are a complete turn-off, and for those people, Persona 3 is unlikely to be a Road to Damascus experience. For the rest of us, though, this is one of the finest RPGs on the PS2 - and that, in itself, is a huge accolade.
  22. AceGamez
    90
    The RPG and turn-based elements might put you off those who aren't fond of the genre, but the game excels in storytelling, story arcing, animation and character building so well that it's worth taking a chance even if you're not a fan.
  23. Games Master UK
    90
    Another reason not to put your PS2 into retirement just yet. [Apr 2008, p.85]
  24. Persona 3 can be summed up in words like quality, fun and scope. With dozens of hours of play, high production values and good visuals, Persona 3 is one of the best games available for the PS2.
  25. It’s by no means a perfect game and it’s stuck in an over-populated genre, but it’s just so enjoyable and refreshing that it really doesn’t matter. Persona 3 is yet another must have for JRPG fans, as the PS2 slowly shuffles itself out of the limelight.
  26. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    88
    P3 proves RPGs don't need big budgets to be all-around awesome. [Sept 2007, p.96]
  27. Overall, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is one of the most impressive RPGs to be found on the PlayStation 2 console in quite some time.
  28. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is a surprisingly good RPG that is deep enough for veterans of the genre and yet accessible for newcomers.
  29. Pelit (Finland)
    87
    With an engaging story, great characters, top-notch production values and highly original game-system this is a truly unique RPG-experience. Respect, Atlus! [Mar 2008]
  30. Persona 3 is quite the interesting experience. It's not often one has to maintain a social life in an evil-battling RPG.
  31. If players can get through the first hour or so of tedium where there is very little player interaction, Atlus has provided another stunning RPG experience.
  32. 86
    You might well think that Persona 3 is a mishmash of very "Japanese" ideas, and you'd be right. But it's all down to the execution of these ideas and this game has managed to combine some very peculiar elements into a very delicious package.
  33. Persona 3 holds its themes together with solid gameplay and cool characters, and thoroughly rewards you for the time you invest. [Aug 2007, p.96]
  34. At times shocking and always intense, Persona 3 is not a game you are likely to forget.
  35. 85
    Delivers a refreshingly new take on the MegaTen concept while staying true to its roots. It's daring and innovative, yet not too unapproachable for roleplaying fans weaned on more traditional fare.
  36. In a world of generic RPGs with cookie cutter plots and characters, Persona 3 is like a breath of fresh air—a game that marches to a different drummer and is worth playing because of it.
  37. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    85
    Between an RPG and a variant of The Sims, Persona 3 is a title that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who craves for a different experience. The story is not only good but also intriguing and the amount of things that you have to do and manage can be a little overwhelming. [March 2008]
  38. 85
    One of the stronger PS2 titles to be released in recent memory, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is a must-have for any RPG fan who's looking for something a little different from what else is available.
  39. Persona 3 is an amazingly unique title for the Playstation 2. Even if you're not a fan of dungeon crawls, Persona 3 deserves your attention for its maturity alone. Gamers that are sick of typical JRPG settings will love the new atmosphere and relish the creepy style.
  40. But the story really does take too long to unfold, the battle environment is far too repetitive and often boring, you don't have as much control as you would like (only controlling one character isn't much fun), the soundtrack gets ridiculously repetitive at times, and there's no actual world map you can physically explore.
  41. 83
    Amazingly deep, with tons of replayability in both the dungeon crawling and social link directions, Persona 3 is an incredibly engaging title.
  42. PSM3 Magazine UK
    82
    Polished, completely original and as good as a lot of things that Square Enix have ever done. [May 2008, p.76]
  43. Shooting yourself in the head never looked better.
  44. So there you have it, Persona 3 soon warms up to be a memorable experience after a slow burning introduction. For those still hanging onto their PS2 before jumping into the next generation, it’s an essential acquisition for genre fans.
  45. 80
    Persona 3 is an RPG unlike any other, and one that really gets under your skin. When you’re not playing it, you’ll still be planning what you’d like to do when you are, and wondering just what your friends will get up to next.
  46. If you like games that step outside the bounds of normality – games that defy reality and present the strangest imagery imaginable – Persona 3 is your RPG. But if you prefer the lighter Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy style of games, stick with those. Persona 3 was not made for that audience.
  47. Persona 3 is a fairly unique game, in that it combines stale and tried elements to make them fresh. The presentation is good, and the environments are crisp. This is definitely a game only for the true RPG faithful.
  48. While dark and moody and supernaturally-tainted, Persona 3’s obsession with the day-to-day school humdrum of its main characters’ lives delivers some unique game play ideas, but also transform it into a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Recommended only for SMT fans.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#13 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Apr 14, 2017
    1
    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 »
  2. Mar 24, 2017
    10
    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 »
  3. Oct 1, 2016
    10
    Persona 3 is simply a masterpiece of the genre. It simply takes every element that makes Shin Megami a revolutionary series, and makes deeperPersona 3 is simply a masterpiece of the genre. It simply takes every element that makes Shin Megami a revolutionary series, and makes deeper its charm. It's not just about its astounding RPG environment, but that special care in the relationship between NPC 's, main and secondary characters, giving a bit of fun to the academic experience. The art, compared to others behind and beyond it, is second to none, and demonstrates that the series has a lot to offer. A must have for every RPG player, and a must have for every PS2 owner. Full Review »