Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden are still must-have JRPGs

Two of the greatest Japanese role-playing games ever made have finally arrived on modern high definition gaming systems as Atlus has brought Persona 3 Portable and persona 4 golden on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One (and, in Portable‘s case, PC). While it’s easy to be intimidated by their length – both are over 60 hours each – they still offer two of the best experiences of their kind and are well worth the investment.

Fortunately, these classics haven’t been altered too much, as Atlus has instead focused on adding solid quality of life improvements instead of overhauling everything. For example, players can switch between any of the five difficulty levels at any time, which was not a luxury in previous versions. It’s great because there are some tricky boss fights that can be quite difficult without being at the right level or having the right characters. There’s also the ability to quickly save at any time in a dungeon rather than having to reach a designated save point, reducing the stress that save points often bring and the annoyance associated with finding one. Players can even now rewatch Social Link moments in Golden via a photo album, a little touch for those who want to relive those moments in a more practical way.

Even though both have been slightly modernized, new players should, as backward as it sounds, check out persona 4 golden first. A remastered version of the PS2 hit, it features one of the most memorable character casts in any game, a highly satisfying combat system, and a story revolving around a dark murder mystery in a small Japanese town. While the opening hours start off a little slow, the world and character building all pay off once players travel to its Ghost World, where players will battle all manner of demons while solving the supernatural case.

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Same Persona 3 Portablethe oldest of the three modern Personage inputs that are now playable on all modern systems, have aged gracefully. The story is a little crazier than Persona 4 and 5‘s more grounded narratives, as there are sci-fi elements, such as androids, and high stakes, global threats. Despite these turns, its darker themes still resonate today and Portable refines its gameplay and features to look more like Persona 4so it will not look like a step backwards in any way.

This applies to each of these ports and they all feel varied and different enough that it never feels like a retread of the same ideas. The weather has also been kind to these entries, as they stand out enough from each other and from the gaming scene as a whole. The little tweaks made here have only cemented them among the best RPGs of all time and made them more convenient to play.


Disclosure: The publisher provided PlayStation 4 copies for our Persona 3 Portable and persona 4 golden characteristic. Played on version 1.00.

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