I know Persona 3 FES is not my fav, but unable to choose between P4G and P5R, both epic awesome. P4G had cool music over P5R tho.
Depends on what aspect. P5/P5R's QOL and gameplay trumps the previous games, but storywise? Leaves a lot to be desired.
P4G had the best gang.
P3 FES was the better story with the 3. But really close with P4G for me.
Also, try playing P1 and P2 IS and P2 EP. The narrative is really good on those games if you like SMT/Persona games.
I haven't played Royal yet, but right now it goes: P5>P3 FES>P4G.
I prefer P5's gameplay/dungeons and overall theme the best, and I also like P3's darker tone and characters. P4G is fine, but it's "too adolescent" for me, and I'm not a fan of rural settings. That, and the plot is pretty much a copy and paste of JoJo Part 4 but worse.
I'd probably like Persona 3 more than 4 if they enhanced it to have full party control in battle like they did for Persona 4 onward. I think someone told me P3P for PSP had that option, though never played that one. But I am pretty split on these who being my favorite.
Persona 3 is objectively the best out of the three mentioned. It has good world building, good characters, an excellent plot with few plot holes and good logic, and good gameplay. Certainly P4 and 5 have better gameplay than 3, but I don’t rank it too seriously compared to the other criteria because that’s more a function of time than anything else (naturally, you’re going to see the weakness in previous games and improve on them), and personally I don’t play Persona games for their gameplay. There are plenty of RPGs out there with better gameplay. Basically, P3 has very few flaws, whereas P4 and P5—5 to a much larger extent—have a lot of problems with the world building and plot.
I almost stopped playing 5 completely during the first dungeon because Morgana's explanations of the world were so ridiculously stupid that I felt as if I were playing a game designed for 6-year-olds. The whole concept of treating the palaces like areas to be infiltrated and stolen from is completely arbitrary and only exists to aesthetically please the audience (I guess?). That said, once you can get beyond that initial road-bump, 5 is really quite good, and the new palace is one of the most amazing pieces of plot I’ve ever experienced in a video game. Too bad they botched the ending, which left a very sour taste in my mouth for a few days after finishing the game. Unlike P4G, where you get to reunite with your friends after you leave, you actually end up MORE distant from your friends in P5R. It’s pretty clear they wrote the Maruki ending first (where you accept his proposal) and then tried to write a contrasting ending to it as the true end, but it just doesn’t work or make any psychological sense given the bonds you’ve formed over the year.
P4G is a very solid game with the only problem being the world building. Similar to P5, the characters' reactions to this alternate reality—when they first experience it—are so insanely mundane that I had another urge to stop playing at the beginning: specifically the scene where you visit the liquor store after the incident with Saki. All of a sudden and for no apparent reason, Yosuke realizes he needs to accept his shadow . . . and then every other character after that does the same thing. Oh, and you can jump through TVs. (P3's Tartarus made way more sense to me because—unlike 4 and 5—nobody has any idea what’s going on, so the ridiculousness of the school transforming into a giant tower actually becomes acceptable. Like you, the characters are in shock and trying to understand what’s going on.) Despite all that, I do think P4 has the strongest cast of characters. I literally just finished playing the Steam version about 15 minutes ago. There’s something so different about P4 characters vs. P5—perhaps it’s just Yusuke (P5) being one of the worst developed characters in the history of RPGs. I’m exaggerating, of course, but seriously what the hell were they thinking. Anyway, the dialogue writers for P4 were fantastic, especially for Teddy.
At any rate, I love all the games, and I felt like writing this to solidify my own thoughts more than anyone else's. P3 isn’t even my favorite to play of the three—I’d say P5R probably, despite all the negatives I’ve discussed—but I can’t say that it’s objectively better than 3, because it’s not. 3 is just too solid of a game all around.
Oh btw don't sleep on Persona 3Portable. The Female route has better social link than male route. Rio and Saori is such an underrated gem and you can social link the male member of SEES unlike in Persona 3 where only female social link is available. Akihiko and Shinji link is awesome. Also we don't talk about Ken social link, that is just creepy as fk.
I guess P5R gets my vote, even though I think it harms the game as much as it improves it (particularly with the pacing).
P4G was fun, but the randomised dungeons were dull and the villain-behind-the-villain schtick got really old towards the end. I suspect that's a problem specific to the Golden version - the game feels like it has too many final bosses.
P3...honestly, I've never finished that one. I wanted to like P3P, but the cut-down exploration bothered me. I then tried P3:FES, but lost interest quickly. Both have really awful dungeons. The endlessly similar flaws of Tartarus simply aren't fun (it was Tartarus, right? I might be confusing the name with Persona Q1).
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