Persona 5 is Atlus’ royal flush. It’s among the top-rated RPGs in recent history, and the expanded edition, Persona 5 Royal, sets the bar even higher. This high-school hijinks JRPG diverges from the typical fantasy settings of the genre to tell an expansive, meaningful story that anime fans will love.
Persona 5 leaves PlayStation Plus on May 11, but if you’re intrigued by the game’s premise and arresting visuals, it’s worth starting now. This isn’t a game you can blow through in a weekend — a full playthrough can easily take more than 100 hours. (Trust us, it’s worth it.)
All the Persona games start with a similar premise. You’re the new kid in town — more specifically, a transfer student looking to make friends. However, Persona 5 twists the trope on its head.
This time, you’re a criminal. Well, allegedly. Time turns back, and the story unfolds from the beginning of a long chain of events leading up to the protagonist’s “imprisonment.” It’s a refreshing change from the lengthy tutorials and exposition of other RPGs.
Persona 5’s story unfolds in a nonlinear fashion, starting at the end, going back to the beginning, and jumping between moments in time. This lends cinematic flair to an otherwise simple premise.
It’s also a story of a team of troubled teens — all charming and multi-faceted in their own way. When you’re not exploring dungeons by night, you’ll be deepening your relationships with your friends, teammates, and peers through the game’s Confidants system. The stronger those bonds become, the more powerful you’ll be against the Shadows that threaten the world.
Persona 5 reinvigorated turn-based combat in RPGs, which had largely fallen out of fashion at the time of its initial release in 2016. Use savvy strategy and exploit enemy weaknesses, and you’ll be rewarded with bonus damage and cinematic eye-catches that make each battle feel rapid-fire and unique. Dungeons can be quite long and intense, but the visuals and storytelling should help alleviate the grind. (Don’t even get me started on the music.)
That said, if you tend to zone out with games that involve a lot of reading and slow-burn plot twists that develop over dozens of hours, this might not be the game for you.
Sony hasn’t specified why Persona 5 is leaving PlayStation Plus. It’s also the first game to leave the service, which makes the situation even more unusual. Once Sony adds a game to its subscription library, it typically stays there. It isn’t like Xbox Game Pass where games rotate in and out on a monthly basis.
Persona 5’s departure could be related to Persona 5 Royal’s upcoming anniversary in April. Neither Sony or Atlus haven’t mentioned anything about Persona 5 Royal replacing it or something similar. In its recent blog post, Sony encouraged subscribers to download Persona 5 so they could continue to play it with their PlayStation Plus subscription, even after it’s out of the library.
Persona 5 leaves PlayStation Plus on May 11, 2022. Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal are available for purchase on PS4 and PS5.