Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Feb 14, 2014
    I suppose the biggest problem I had with this game was that I played Persona 4 first. Because of that I feel my experience of the game was notI suppose the biggest problem I had with this game was that I played Persona 4 first. Because of that I feel my experience of the game was not what it could have been.

    It is clear that this game is the game before Persona 4 as all the same mechanics are there, just in a far more raw form. I did really want to like this as much as I did P4, but I just could not get past the flaws that I think I wouldn't of noticed had I not played P4 first.

    Story wise it is on par with P4. The narrative is deeply engaging, but perhaps a little too transparent at times.

    Most of the characters are well developed and interesting, however not as flushed out as in P4. I never felt any deep connection to any of the characters, at least not to the same degree as I did for the P4 cast. I suppose it could be because there are perhaps far too many character and your time is spent to spread out to really feel a strong connection to each individually.

    Combat is practically the same as P4 however clearly an earlier stage. The inability to directly control anyone except the main character is deeply annoying at times. If anything, it helps you appreciate the P4 system even more.

    In game visuals are on par with P4 but the Anime cut scenes are clearly inferior.

    Soundtrack is OK, but doesn't feel as ...... personal as P4's.

    To round up. I know this sounds like me bashing on the game, but in truth I'm not. P3 is a fantastic game and if not for it, P4 would never have been. I just wish I could go back and play them in the right order.

    A great game, that is a little rough around the edges, but worthy of any JRPG fan's collection.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 29, 2013
    Excellent music and great characters make this game truly satisfying from beginning to end. The game can be extremely unforgiving if someoneExcellent music and great characters make this game truly satisfying from beginning to end. The game can be extremely unforgiving if someone wants to get 100% completion on their first play through but, do not let that deter you. The boss battles are very challenging and the combat is fluid and makes leveling up less of a grind.10/10. Full Review »
  3. May 2, 2013
    ATLUS always impresses me with their games. This one is no exception, in fact, this is probably my favorite RPG as of right now. All theATLUS always impresses me with their games. This one is no exception, in fact, this is probably my favorite RPG as of right now. All the attention to detail and things to do besides just explore and grind in the tower make it a stellar experience with tons of replay value. Full Review »