Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Image
Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 116 Ratings

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  • Summary: In Persona 3, assume the role of a high school student, who was orphaned as a young boy, and has recently transferred to Gekkoukan High School on Port Island. Only days after he arrives at the school dorm, he is attacked by a Shadow. The assault awakens his Persona, Orpheus, his only chanceIn Persona 3, assume the role of a high school student, who was orphaned as a young boy, and has recently transferred to Gekkoukan High School on Port Island. Only days after he arrives at the school dorm, he is attacked by a Shadow. The assault awakens his Persona, Orpheus, his only chance at defeating this creature of the night. He soon discovers that he shares this special ability with other students at his new school. From them he learns of the Dark Hour, a hidden time that exists between one day and the next, swarming with Shadows that have been slowing claiming victims known as The Lost - poor souls who have inexplicably been turned into walking zombies. Under the supervision of school chairman Shuji Ikutsuki, he joins his new friends in confronting this evil threat... With your school as the primary battlefield, you are forced to juggle between two lives: student by day, defender against evil by night. And your greatest challenges await you on the eve of each full moon. [Atlus] Expand
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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. Persona 3 is one of the most polished and enjoyable PS2 titles I have ever had the joy of playing and reviewing.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 52 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 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. Expand
  2. Jun 9, 2012
    10
    A downright fantastic game! I loved every minute...even when it was somewhat repetitive. The story, the characters, there is nothing that IA downright fantastic game! I loved every minute...even when it was somewhat repetitive. The story, the characters, there is nothing that I didnt love about this game. Even when other characters would be mad at me I was entertained...albeit a little hurt. This game really shows you how important it is to form bonds, even though we are not all out to save the world. The story kept me going and I was sad to see it end. The persona system itself is genius and the social links just add to the fun. I HIGHLY recommend this game. Expand
  3. JohnM.
    Aug 20, 2007
    10
    Few times in my gaming career have I been so drawn into the world of a game. Persona 3 engaged me on so many levels: challenge, story, depth Few times in my gaming career have I been so drawn into the world of a game. Persona 3 engaged me on so many levels: challenge, story, depth of character, consequence of choice. All those things merge into an experience that surpasses its individual parts. Looking at each piece individually, everything seems fairly tame. A random, turn based dungeon crawl? A text-choice slice of life game? Anime cut scenes? Nothing by itself would amount to anything special, but together its really something every RPG fan should experience (moreso if you are an anime & RPG fan...this IS an interactive anime movie). The dialogue is clever, the voice acting is brilliant, easily on par with the current, excellent dubbings going on in the world of anime, and the characters are very intriguing. The pace is brilliant as well. Just when you start to wonder if there is anything more than random dungeons in the game, you are rewarded with extremely clever missions outside Tartarus (which hold up or surpass many of the setpiece dungeons in non-random dungeon crawlers). Not to say that the random dungeons themselves aren't fun. If you have a hankering for old school, seat of your pants, 'I wonder if I have enough heal potions to reach the next save point' gaming, this is it! But when you realize that you get that, and all these other things going on at the same time that you realize this game is special. On top of the great mechanics (which will be instantly familiar to Shin Megami Tensei veterans), you have this synergy of story, character, and atmosphere. They manage to spin even the ludicrous into the story in a way that doesn't make you cringe (like why does a 255 story tower appear in place of your school every night?) The protaganists approach it in the same manner you probably would, a definite WTF? approach. Even design choices such as having all AI party members works so well that I'd be hard pressed to play the game without it. It may be annoying at times when Junpei buffs you instead of smacking the bad guys, but those times when you are desperate, and one of your teammates saves you (I live to hear Yukari shout 'hang in there!' when she heals me :) ), it just adds to the bond you feel with your virtual buddies. At its core this game is a finely balanced game of resource management and dungeon crawling. But the atmosphere and story do such a good job of covering that up that you never notice. You reap the excitement from the challenging dungeons, and you are emotionally invested in the story and characters all at the same time. I'm sure I'm already approaching (or over...) the limit of how long these reviews can be, and I haven't even touched on how clever the scheme of working in schoolwork and dating into this game is. I will just say that those things too add to the sense of emotional investment in the game as a whole. After a single play through, this game has become arguably my favorite RPG of all time (a lofty post previously held by Suikoden 2). And the best thing is, the game feels infinitely re-playable! There are so many paths you can't follow due to limited time (its a long game, over 50 hours, but it goes very fast) that you could play it a second time and see tons of new content. And I must admit that I want to see what happens when I give into tempation in that one mission where .... oops ....sorry can't go on, that would be a spoiler :) Expand
  4. May 2, 2013
    10
    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. Expand
  5. NathanT.
    Jan 6, 2008
    9
    I've ALWAYS hated japanime games but this one did something different. It had a great story, excellent characters and the balance act I've ALWAYS hated japanime games but this one did something different. It had a great story, excellent characters and the balance act between school and Tartarus was fun. Downsides are that it's repeptitive and has bad music. So what? This game is the first JRPG to ever interest me and I like it. You will too. Expand
  6. Feb 14, 2014
    9
    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.

    Overall:
    A great game, that is a little rough around the edges, but worthy of any JRPG fan's collection.
    Expand
  7. ChrisP.
    Sep 2, 2007
    5
    I've been a huge fan of the Shin Megami Tensei series until now, but Persona 3 has changed that. While absolutely brilliant at times, I've been a huge fan of the Shin Megami Tensei series until now, but Persona 3 has changed that. While absolutely brilliant at times, the game is far longer than it should be and completely flounders near the end. There is simply not enough content to fill 300 calendar days; before the game is even half over, all of the non-combat stats will be maxed out, leaving you with nothing to do during the Evening and Late Phases during the days you choose not to go to Tartarus. Since the entire month's worth of quests, bosses, and exploration can be completed in two days (and frequently just one), too many phases have to be skipped to no benefit. This wouldn't be that big of a problem if the load times were not so bad, but they are. Furthermore, by the end of the game, even the daytime phases will be wasted. There are too many restrictions as to what S-Link threads you can do on what days, so once you complete a few, you may be left with nothing to do on certain days of the week. Lastly, the last few hours of the game are drawn-out, cliched, ridiculously easy, and offers none of the vital explanations necessary to truly understand the game. The FES expansion released in Japan explains a lot, fills in some of the gaps, and gives the game another difficulty, but, as the game currently stands, the moments of brilliance are too spread out to justify the 70+ hour investment. It isn't ALL bad though; six or seven bosses can be a bit a difficult, some of the music is outstanding, and the S-Link stories are awesome. However, they are not enough to compensate for the terrible endgame. Expand

See all 23 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#10 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007