Remembering 2008: The Biggest Games That Turn 10 This Year
Created by GameSpot Staff on
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (July 10, 2008)
When Persona 4 first released, it didn't get much recognition. Sure, it had its hardcore fans, but this JRPG released on the outdated PS2 was overlooked. Only in the years following its release was Persona 4 recognized as one of the greatest RPGs on the PS2, if not of all time.
A unique element to Persona is its balance of participating in everyday life while simultaneously dealing with supernatural elements that make up its more traditional RPG gameplay. Participating in every day of a full calendar year lets you experience the daily life of a Japanese high schooler and get an intimate familiarity with the characters. The game focuses heavily on your party member's personal struggles, mirroring what many teenagers go through. Back in 2008, I was the exact same age as the main character, and I was able to see many of my own insecurities represented in the game. In a medium where power fantasies and fantastical heroes are the norm, to see a group of characters go through the same anxiety I had right then created an attachment that no game has ever been able to match.
In the decade since its release, Persona 4 has gotten the recognition it deserved with numerous spin-offs and an enhanced remaster for the PS Vita, which would be my recommended version to play. Its sequel, Persona 5, has made vast improvements to the series formula and a cast of characters that stand on their own. But as great as that game is, it's still no Persona 4 for me. The circumstances in which I played Persona 4 will never be recreated. It was there in a time when I needed it, and that's why it's one of my favorite games of all time. -- Jean-Luc Seipke