The reviews are in for JRPG Persona 5, and according to critics, 2017 continues to dole out incredible games.
Persona 5 is currently sitting on an OpenCritic score of 93, and has more than its fair share of perfect 10s from outlets around the world. Notably, VG247's Alex Donaldson is calling it the best JRPG in a decade.
Those scores see Persona 5 tied with Undertale and Uncharted 4 for the eighth highest score of all-time on OpenCritic.
Ahead of it: Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Journey, The Last of Us Remastered, Flower, GTA V, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Here's the game's pitch, as per Atlus:
Persona 5 is a game about the internal and external conflicts of a group of troubled youth who live dual lives. They have the typically ordinary day-to-day of a Tokyo high-schooler – attending class, after-school activities and part-time jobs. But they also undertake fantastical adventures by using otherworldly powers to enter the hearts of people.
Their power comes from the Persona, the Jungian concept of the “self”; the game’s heroes realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by literally ripping off their protective mask and confronting their inner selves do the heroes awaken their inner power, and use it to strive to help those in need.
Ultimately, the group of Phantom Thieves seeks to change their day-to-day world to match their perception and see through the masks modern-day society wears.
Persona 5 is a standalone title, so you needn't have played its predecessors. Critics are praising the game's bespoke dungeons, stealth mechanics, writing, and soundtrack, among other things.
It’s not often I sink 120 hours into a game in just two weeks, and usually doing so feels like an absolute chore pushed through solely for work purposes. Honestly, I really didn’t mind spending almost all day, every day, for multiple weeks being a magic Japanese school boy.
The writing is up to the Persona series usual high standards. It’s a slow burn of a game, the kind of game you need to be willing to sit down and focus on to experience properly rather than just rushing through dialogue. While some are going to be annoyed by the sometimes glacial pacing, I personally loved the day to day flow the same reason I tend to enjoy my first few weeks with an Animal Crossing game.
This game will take many, many hours of your time. In exchange, you’ll get a terrific, pulpy story told with style to spare. Persona 5 took nearly 100 hours of my time, and I gave it gladly.
It successfully pushes this series to new heights of polish, allure and charm. It has a few blemishes, enough to distract a bit from the intriguing and weighty themes that the game wrestles with. But even through the rough patches, Persona 5 doesn't give up a drop of its colorful personality.
Persona 5 simply bleeds charm and attention to detail throughout. Opening any tab on the game's main menu comes with a custom animation of Joker performing feats of finesse. Loading screens make cute, subtle references to certain activities—like pink hearts effervescing in the corner when you're on a date with a Confidant. When the plot's tension got to be too much for me, I could take a burger-eating challenge at the local restaurant or just go fishing. Each activity has its own unique, goofy rules and rewards.
Persona 5 manages to differentiate itself not only from the rest of the market, but its own franchise in a lot of standout ways. It still has the rigid backbone of a JRPG, but the organs, skin, and soul are teeming with more personality than most of us could even dream up.
Persona 5 is unconscionably sublime. Every beat, every subtlety, every movement of the camera - it all translates into a kinetic masterpiece, strung together with the best visuals this side of Atlus. Persona 5 won't change your mind on JRPGs if you lack a taste for the genre, but if you're in any way a fan, well - Why the hell are you still reading this? Go forth and damn well purchase.