Best Games Like Persona

Are you a fan of Persona? We definitely are so we made this list of all the best games like Persona to help you find your next game!

Despite being a spin-off to Atlus’ notoriously difficult Shin Megami Tensei series, Persona weaves visual novel and dating sim mechanics to tell a captivating JPRG story that emphasizes player-choice.

Since each entry encourages you to back and explore every narrative thread via New Game Plus, you can easily spend 100 or more hours on a single Persona game before you’ve seen it all.

In this list, we’ll highlight the best games like Persona to play in 2021, including the best games like Persona 5 and JRPGs like Persona on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

We’ll be updating this list with new titles in the future, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite games like Persona!

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First up, Dragon Quest XI is the latest entry in the extensive JRPG series created by Square Enix and has you playing as a young man who discovers he’s the reincarnation of an ancient legendary hero.

Similar to Joker’s introduction to Palaces in Persona 5, the hero finds himself exploring strange new lands with a team of adventurers in order to uncover the mysteries of his past.

Dragon Quest XI makes several refinements to the series’ turn-based combat that result in a more streamlined experience that’s easy to learn, but tough to master.

Lastly, just like Persona, the game is packed with side quests, mini-games, and other content that total for about 100 hours of gameplay or more depending on how you play.

While Fire Emblem is primarily a handheld Nintendo franchise, the series has returned to its console roots with the newest entry to date, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, releasing for the Nintendo Switch.

In it, you take on the role of professor at a prestigious academy belonging to one of three factions: the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions, and the Golden Deer.

Like Persona, Three Houses switches between turn-based battling and a dynamic social sim component that sees you managing your pupils’ academic activities and training sessions.

The game encourages you to get to know your students by providing plenty of ways to interact both on and off the battlefield.

Playing up the visual novel aspects of Persona, Trigger Happy Havoc is one of the best entries in the cult detective series Dangonronpa.

The story follows a group of students who get trapped inside a school and are forced to participate in a sinister game created by an evil pink bear.

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One by one, kids start getting killed off, prompting you to search for clues, interview key witnesses, and interrogate potential suspects before arriving at a conclusion.

Accuse the wrong person and everyone dies but guess correctly, and only the murderer gets punished, allowing the rest of the class to ‘graduate.’

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore was initially created as a crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem but ended up taking on a distinct tone and style that makes it feel like its own thing.

You control a party of modern-day teens tasked with managing their time between dungeon-crawling and musical performances that include singing, dancing, and acting.

Like Persona, the game introduces spirit-like companions to fight by your side, many of which are based on recognizable Fire Emblem characters such as Chrom, Tharja, and Virion from FE: Awakening.

Although you can snag a copy for Wii U, the best way to experience it in 2021 is via the enhanced Switch port which features additional songs, playable characters, and story content.

First released for the Wii and later ported to the Nintendo 3DS, Xenoblade Chronicles is a universally acclaimed open-world JRPG that may appeal to Persona fans.

In it, you play as a young hero named Shulk who bands with other characters to defeat an army of sci-fi alien robots known as the Mechon.

Similar to Persona, the game includes a bonding system that provides Shulk with special perks for spending time with certain NPCs.

We recommend picking up the Definitive Edition, which features updated graphics, remastered music tracks, and improvements to the game’s notoriously obtuse quest tracking system.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is the first entry in a new trilogy for the RPG series that was originally released in Japan for the PS3 and Vita before coming to the west in 2020.

In it, players are cast as a new student at a prestigious military academy where they’ll have to manage their time to participate in various social and academic activities.

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Like Persona, building relationships with peers allows your character to unlock new combat abilities that can quickly turn the tide of battles.

The Trails series also happens to do a great job when it comes to world-building and character development compared to other RPGs, a detail that Persona fans can appreciate.

If you want a game like Persona and don’t mind steampunk aesthetics, then consider looking into the Valkyria Chronicles tactical RPG series.

The entry we suggest starting with is Valkyria Chronicles 4, which swaps out Persona 5’s modern-day Tokyo setting in favor of a militaristic battlefield depicted in a gorgeous hand-drawn art style.

Combat is very different compared to Persona, consisting of two modes: Command, where players move units via an overhead map, and Action, which has you directing controlling soldiers on the ground.

It’s a unique take on turn-based battling mechanics that branches off in some interesting ways throughout the Valkyria series, making for fun and engaging gameplay with the perfect amount of challenge.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon continues the series’ reputation for larger-than-life characters and a willingness to poke fun at taboo topics most games wouldn’t dare touch.

In it, you play as Ichiban Kasuga, an outspoken member of the Yakuza who embarks on a quest to become a hero after he’s betrayed by his former boss.

Gameplay diverges from the traditional beat ’em up combat found in most Yakuza games to turn-based battling with RPG mechanics and a party system similar to that of Persona.

Throughout the story, Kasuga encounters a host of eccentric characters from all walks of life who will often send him on bizarre quests or offer to lend their hand in battle.

If you’re a Persona fan, then there’s already a good chance you’ve played most if not all of the Shin Megami Tensei games at one point or another.

That said, maybe it’s been a while since you played SMT3: Nocturne or you haven’t had a chance to check out the HD Remaster since its worldwide release in 2021.

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The game follows a high school student living in modern-day Tokyo as he transforms into a demonic Demi-fiend following the Conception, an apocalyptic world event brought about by a mysterious cult.

Like Persona, Nocturne features a turn-based battling system that has you exploiting enemy weaknesses and recruiting demons you encounter throughout the world to fight alongside you.

Another notable entry in Atlus’ portfolio is Catherine, a puzzle-platformer hybrid with dating sim mechanics that will feel familiar to Persona fans.

In it, you play as a 30-something systems engineer named Vincent whose life revolves around daily social activities and intense nightmares.

During the day, you’ll go around interacting with people at the bar Vincent frequents until night takes over and he has to solve puzzles that reflect his true fears and desires.

There are consequences for every in-game action, resulting in numerous possible endings that incentivize you to replay the story multiple times.

Final Fantasy XV strays away from the traditional structure of previous entries, one that emphasizes real-time action-RPG combat mechanics.

It takes place in Eos, a fantasy world based on our reality, and has you playing as a young man on a quest to retrieve a magical Crystal after it’s stolen.

Like Persona, the game rewards you for bonding with your companions in various ways including unlocking new perks during battle.

You can raise your bond by hanging out with your buddies while cruising around the open world, casually roasting marshmallows by a campfire, and more.

Yet another standout entry in a long-running JRPG series, Tales of Berseria has you controlling a young woman as she seeks out revenge for her brother’s murder.

At the root of it all are enemies called Daemons which come from Daemonblight, a reflection of humanity’s negative emotions manifested into physical beings.

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In contrast to previous Tales games, it features a unique Linear Motion Battle System that lets players move characters as well as the camera freely around the arena during combat.

Considering the series has been around for about the same time as Shin Megami Tensei, it’s worth checking out for any esteemed JRPG or Persona fan.

Tokyo Xanadu first appeared on the PlayStation Vita in 2015 but was later ported to the PS4 in an enhanced and expanded version dubbed Tokyo Xanadu eX+.

Similar to Persona, it takes place in a modern-day Tokyo high school where teen students are forced to battle mobs of otherworldly enemies.

Each character is assigned a chapter dedicated to telling a piece of their story, with opportunities to bond with other characters scattered throughout.

The eX+ version introduces a new difficulty option, items, playable characters, gameplay refinements, and additional story content.

Ys: Memories Of Celceta was made by the same developer as Tokyo Xanadu and also saw its first release on PlayStation Vita before coming to Windows PC and PS4.

Similar to previous Ys games, you play as world-famous adventurer Adol Christin who wakes up with amnesia in a mysterious town filled with people claiming to know him.

With help from his seemingly newfound friends, Adol sets out to explore the surrounding wilderness and restore his memories.

Fans of Persona 5’s crafting system in particular will enjoy playing Memories of Celceta since it allows you to use items earned from battle to make new weapons.

Last but not least, The World Ends with You is a cult classic action RPG set in Shibuya, Japan that follows a group of deceased people given the opportunity to win a second shot at life by playing in the Reapers’ Games.

You control one of the participants as they encounter characters from all walks of life and form friendships with the other contestants throughout their journey.

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Combat was originally designed with touch-screen inputs in mind and sees you combining attacks with party members with the ability to raise their potency by completing various music-based mini-games.

The best way to experience the game in 2021 is through the enhanced Final Remix version for the Nintendo Switch which features updated controls and visuals in anticipation of an upcoming sequel.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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