Universal acclaim - based on 47 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
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  1. An outstanding achievement in gaming. There’s no question that this is going to be one of my top games of the year, and any fan of JRPGs should be playing it when it’s released next week.
  2. 100
    What really sets Persona 4 apart, though, is its endearing, relatable cast.
  3. 100
    I can't recommend this innovative experience highly enough, and from first time visitors to the Velvet Room to jaded MegaTen fanatics, Persona 4 is an absolute must buy.
  4. Look, folks. If you have any interest in RPGs, you need to play Persona 4. Period. It’s one of the best titles available on the PS2. In fact, it just might be the console's swan song.
  5. Atlus managed to combine the best of what already worked well with fresh new ideas and tweaks, and the end result is a fantastic role-playing game -- definitely a shoe-in for RPG of the year. Unless you dislike the genre, do not, under any circumstances, miss Persona 4.
  6. 100
    The truly stunning thing about Persona 4 is that it just doesn't have any glaring flaws. Even though it doesn't stand up to the graphics of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, the clever art style makes up for that. Those who despise reading large blocks of text in games will be pleasantly surprised by the solid voice-over work applied to almost every conversation.
  7. 100
    P4 is constantly enveloped by an aura of dire urgency.
  8. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    If you're a role-playing freak who hasn't given this series a shot, I'm comin' to take your nerd card. [Jan 2009, p.88]
  9. 100
    If you only buy one more PlayStation 2 game before retiring the trusty system to that dusty closet, make sure this is it.
  10. If you enjoy RPGs even in the slightest, you must own Persona 4. It is quite possibly, the greatest PS2 title ever made.
  11. 100
    Persona 4 is the Playstation 2’s new king of JRPGs and is awesome sending off for the system. Every single man, woman and child who has any interest in the story or has even the tiniest interest in the RPG genre has to check it out.
  12. If Persona 3 could be considered the Godfather of RPGs, then Persona 4 could be considered the Godfather II.
  13. While Persona 4 manages to be the very definition of a hardcore Japanese role playing game, and possibly one of the better (if not best) role playing game that came out in 2008 as well.
  14. Atlus has really created something special with Persona 4, because it still maintains the freshness of Persona 3, while also being different and in many ways superior.
  15. Everything — from the story to the combat system to the dungeon crawling and Social Links — has been improved. Considering that Persona 3 was already an excellent game, Persona 4 is a true standout.
  16. 94
    Among the cookie-cutter sequels and half-hearted remakes, Persona 4 is a near flawless example of the perfect balance between "falling back on what works" and "pushing the genre forward." That said, I wholeheartedly recommend it as one of the best RPG experiences of the year.
  17. With a play time between forty and fifty hours, different difficulty levels, and multiple endings, Persona 4 will keep you hanging on for quite some time.
  18. Persona 4 is a well-crafted game dense with content that achieves a compelling balance between traditional RPG dungeon crawling and, shockingly, what can actually be considered role-playing. In its 60-plus hours you’ll experience a tight, well-structured story, and the liberty to freely develop characters and progress at your own discretion.
  19. Persona 4 is not just as good as its prequel: it is even better. With a much more intriguing plot and a solid gameplay Persona 4 is a great RPG which lasts long and offers lots of contents and optional features along with a really enjoyable battle system. Fans of the genre must truly purchase such a brilliant masterpiece.
  20. 92
    This is undoubtedly one of the best role playing games recently made, and a must buy for PlayStation 2 users, although unfortunately it is in English.
  21. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of the series. It really is one of the best RPGs I’ve played in quite a long while, and even though the competition is thin, that doesn’t stop Atlus’ latest effort from being a clear-cut winner.
  22. Pelit (Finland)
    Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 finally makes its wonderful EU debut after a long wait. Atlus manages to combine ordinary high school setting with the weird and enthralling shadow world, this time behind TV screen in mysterious world the heroes explore. Working on your social links is oddly addicting, and combat system with plethora of Personas to choose from and create is well made and polished. While the story overall might pale a bit compared to Persona 3, in almost every other way Persona 4 is better. [May 2009]
  23. One of those rare games that have such a nonchalant, organic, and artful message about humanity that it feels improper to dissect and analyze each of its parts without recognizing the strength of its narrative sum. It shows that a game doesn’t need nonstop, high-flyin’ action or an epic “save the world” theme for it to have lasting impact and purpose.
  24. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is a true gamer's game. Atlus has outdone themselves again and proved that they are at the leading edge of role-playing.
  25. 90
    Everything from the battle system and the dungeons that you fight through to the social links you develop and friend interaction that you do on your "off hours" has been radically improved in this game.
  26. This stylish role-playing social-simulation game packs a great story, realistic characters, and dozens of hours of enjoyment.
  27. If you don't want a heaping pile of Japanese culture, or don't like an odd or off-putting story, then maybe you should stay away. Otherwise, Persona 4 is a superb (if long) RPG, and probably the last great PS2 game.
  28. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    This is probably Atlus USA's best work yet, with a script full of lively, natural-sounding dialogue and a cast of talented actors who take that dialogue and run with it. [Feb 2009, p.72]
  29. Atlus' latest game for PlayStation 2 is with no doubt a masterpiece for this console. It takes the genre far away from what we're used to seeing nowadays. It's not the best JRPG so far, though, but it has all it takes to become an instant classic. If you're willing to enjoy a never-ending game with a immersive story and a lot of characters to deal with, do not hesitate, this is your best choice.
  30. Persona is a RPG with a strong story, a decent battle system and interesting characters. It is also a lot of fun to upgrade your Persona’s and other abilities. The game starts a bit slow, but is really hard to let go when the story unfolds. Persona 4 is a game that will bring back life in the good old PlayStation 2.
  31. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is a sublime RPG. There isn't much wrong if we look at the fundamentals or the overall feel of the game. Even the fact that the game appears on the obsolete PlayStation 2 doesn't affect the quality of the game says enough. And on top of that, the game will be in stores at a reduced price and with a free soundtrack. Nothing less than an instant buy.
  32. 90
    While fans of Persona 3 can rest assured that they will find a thoroughly enjoyable experience in Persona 4, in many ways it feels like a move sideways for the series rather than a step forward.
  33. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    A creative, compelling experience. [May 2009, p.100]
  34. PSM3 Magazine UK
    A triumph. [May 2009, p.77]
  35. 90
    Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 offers a unique and unforgettable Japanese RPG experience that even succeeds at being significantly different from what Persona 3 offered. Persona 4 is the kind of game that will win back gamers who grew tired of the genre a long time ago.
  36. In Persona 4, Atlus have achieved the summit of what an RPG should deliver, confirming the series as one of the finest exponents of the genre on any system.
  37. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is the last great JRPG we'll ever see on the PlayStation 2, and one of the best on this platform, with an almost perfect combat system and a very beautiful graphic section.
  38. Two utterly different genres merge to achieve something really special - for the fourth time. A must-have for any gamer passionate about J-RPGs.
  39. If you’ve never played Persona 3, then it’ll be overwhelmingly fresh entry to the RPG genre. If you’ve actually played Persona 3, then there have been more then enough changes to warrant a revisit through the world of Inaba.
  40. The interplay of the simulation and combat elements form an addictive cycle that makes it easy to immerse yourself in the surreal world of Persona 4, but it isn’t for everyone. The game implements a deliberate and regimented structure, requiring a lot of planning, repetition, and level grinding.
  41. 80
    Aside from some minor quibbles, it’s beautifully made – an addictive game, an involving story, and a gorgeous piece of artwork all at once. While not perfect, Persona 4 is one of this year’s best RPG and another example of how even old hardware can still run some of the best games.
  42. Powerful rather than perfect, then, Persona 4's a status ailment rather than a killing blow - it's not going to bowl you over with one strike, but it will quietly gnaw away at you until you succumb.
  43. 80
    Persona 4 has its flaws. Some carried over from Persona 3, and some of its own creation. Initially it’s hard to look past these and the game feels a shadow of its predecessor.
  44. The Japanese role-player grows up, with a fantastic mix of traditional gameplay and daring plot.
  45. Persona 4 has unique style and shows a great balancing between arcade and simulation. Despite some light gameplay issues, this episode will make almost every fan more than happy, mostly for the great narration... Technically outstanding and well localized, this could really be the Playstation 2 swan song.
  46. games(TM)
    We hope Atlus takes its time to deliver a more compelling and intelligent game with the next Persona, as the series has some remarkable potential. [Jan 2009, p.126]
  47. 68
    As a swan song to the PS2 Persona 4 isn’t the highest note and all the bizarre characters, storylines and Personas you unlock can’t change that. But if you don’t mind grinding too much then there is some enjoyment to be had.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2008
#1 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 938 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Feb 5, 2012
    Shin Megami's Persona series exemplified with it's latest iteration. Each character possesses real problems and are for the most part relateShin Megami's Persona series exemplified with it's latest iteration. Each character possesses real problems and are for the most part relate able and enjoyable. There have been many recent spinoff's including manga and anime iterations. It seems that although this game has a more niche appeal than the more mainstream games such as FF have it is still an amazing peice Full Review »
  2. ERB
    Jul 25, 2013
    I love this game.Best PS2 game I have ever played.I love this game.Best PS2 game I have ever played. Full Review »
  3. May 25, 2013
    I feel like I am the only person who just didn't get this game. I enjoy a great engaging story line but I just did not find it with this.I feel like I am the only person who just didn't get this game. I enjoy a great engaging story line but I just did not find it with this. Forget that it took me 5 hours of real game time to actually have my first battle because the introduction took so long but I really didn't find this game enjoyable. I didn't like having to take on part time jobs or join clubs, it felt like I was being forced into these things when I really wanted to go out and kill something. Then the game gives you a guilt trip if you don't actually engage in these extra activities. I didn't like being forced to follow a calendar, or have to figure out when I am supposed to do XYZ, and if I miss the time then you supposedly miss a major event. Ain't nobody got time for that. I tried my hand at this game several times, I really tried, and I just couldn't continue with it. I suppose I am just the other side of the bell curve in this game because everyone else seems to love it. I didn't enjoy it. I felt I should post my review only because it has so many positive scores I wanted it said that not everybody enjoyed or connected with this game. I certainly didn't. The bottomline for me is the story was quite interesting, thats where the 3 points come in, but delivery and execution of this game left much to be desired. The wait to actually do something like combat other than walk around and talk to people was just too long for me. If I want to socialize I'll do it with real people. As a side note I am a major RPG fan, played through many a JRPG and RPG alike, this was the first one I did not enjoy. For those that loved this game, more power to you. Full Review »