Every Persona Game Ranked

Every Persona Spin-Off Ranked

There is an entire treasure trove of games in the Persona series that even some of the most dedicated fans haven’t touched. While the series began as a spin-off of Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei franchise, it has since created its own set of spin-off games. The beauty of these extra games is that they expand on the main series with new stories, characters, and gameplay. Find out which are the best with every Persona spin-off ranked below.

My love for the Persona series expanded to the spin-off titles after them. As such, I tried every game on this list below and beat most of them. While some are beloved experiments with the franchise and characters, others feel more like cash grabs than anything else. See where your favorite spin-off in the Persona series lands with every Persona spin-off ranked on this list.

Bottom Line Up Front

The best Persona spin-off game does precisely what Persona first did more than 25 years ago: branch off from its respective parent franchise and do something unique and intriguing. This could be with the characters, the gameplay style, the art, the progression loop, and so on.

The best example of this is Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’s recent remastered collection on modern platforms. It combines the original Arena and its Persona-infused sequel with refined graphics and some of the best 2D anime-style fighting games and stories you’ll find anywhere.

Selection Criteria

Coming up with the best Persona spin-off game was surprisingly one of the easiest rankings I’ve done in recent memory. It was mainly due to the drastic differences between each of the games, both in terms of gameplay and quality.

Here are the selection criteria I used to come up with this list:

  • Persona Love: This is a list of spin-off games from the Persona series. So it better have some love for the core Personas that make up the franchise, right? The best games integrate the Personas in some way, be it you summoning them or even fusing them in the game.
  • Character-Focus: Without a doubt, the best part of the Persona series isn’t the Personas but the characters. If a game doesn’t pay homage to this with intriguing characters or fun takes on existing characters, it didn’t rank highly on this list.
  • Unique Gameplay: A spin-off game generally means that it has taken what was established before and twisted it in some way. This is doubly important for gameplay, so while turn-based is fantastic and beloved in Persona, I want to see a spin-off game try something new.
  • Quality: I want to see risks from a Persona spin-off game, but I also want to see it nailed with quality in tow. This is a tricky line to balance between experimentation and high-quality design and gameplay, but the best spin-offs manage it quite well.
  • A reason to come back. I’m not a gamer who likes to replay games unless I absolutely adore them from top to bottom. There are only a few games I can count on my two hands alone that I have replayed, most of which are Persona games. These spin-off games have to give some reason or hook at least to want to come back and play them again.

All Persona Spin-Off Games Ranked From Worst to Best

Without further ado, it is time to break down and rank all Persona spin-off games from worst to best. You will find that the first spin-off game only came out in just over a decade ago, but since then, Atlus has come out with so many spin-offs that they now outnumber the mainline games.

I ranked eight spin-off titles below using the selection criteria above. Note that I didn’t include any of the extra versions of the mainline games, such as Persona 5 Royal or Persona 3 Portable. But what I did include as an honorable mention is a game that is, technically, part of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise but was most definitely built as a Persona spin-off experience.

Honorable Mention: Soul Hackers 2

ps5 Soul Hackers 2

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: August 26, 2022 (worldwide)
  • Genre: JRPG, dungeon-crawler, monster-collector
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Technically, Soul Hackers 2 is a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei series, just like Persona. However, this 2022 JRPG from Atlus is only similar to its predecessor in name alone. By and large, it is a Persona spin-off game in everything but the title.

Soul Hackers 2 features a turn-based combat that is taken straight from Persona 5 and mixed up with some unique features of its own. In addition, it promotes a character-driven story about a cast of people trying to stop the futuristic world from its impending doom and gloom.

The Japanese cyberpunk aesthetic is fantastic, while the characters are fairly decent, especially as the story goes on. The gameplay is reminiscent of the older Personas with its dungeon-crawling nature and restricted form of summoning the familiar Personas you know and love.

While it doesn’t reach the heights of the last three mainline Persona games, it has a soundtrack that rivals even that of Personas 4 and 5. No, it isn’t an actual Persona spin-off game like the others below, but it had to be mentioned, at least for those looking for a Persona-like game to play that also happens to be developed by the same company.

8. Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight

Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight

  • Developer: P-Studio (the Persona series studio at Atlus), Atlus
  • Release Date: May 24, 2018 (Japan), December 4, 2018 (worldwide)
  • Genre: Rhythm, Music
  • Platforms: PS4, PlayStation Vita

The main problem with this first entry on this list and the following one is the blatant cash grab they are. While I will be the first to admit that video games are a profit-focused business, Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight is one of the most apparent cases of this.

A music and rhythm-based game that takes the cast from Persona 3 and puts them in a dancing competition, it is an excuse to have players spend money to dance to their favorite songs from Persona 3. 3 is my favorite game in the series. Still, its soundtrack isn’t necessarily the reason why. There are some hits, but only a few here and there.

That isn’t even the main issue, though, as Dancing in Moonlight is a copycat of the earlier spin-off Persona 4: Dancing All Night. However, it lacked any of the intrigue and fun surrounding that game, like its story mode and bonus content. Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight is a barebones attempt to show some love to the Persona 3 fans out there, but I see through it.


  • You get to dance to the solid but not groundbreaking Persona 3 soundtrack
  • Most of the Persona 3 character favorites are here
  • The rhythm gameplay is generally decent


  • This is the worst example of a Persona spin-off cash-grab situation
  • There is almost no reason to keep coming back
  • It is a shameless reskin of Persona 4: Dancing All Night without all of the content from it
  • Where are the Strega playable characters?

7. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight

Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight

  • Developer: P-Studio, Atlus
  • Release Date: May 24, 2018 (Japan), December 4, 2018 (worldwide)
  • Genre: Music, rhythm
  • Platforms: PS4, Vita

If it weren’t clear from the previous entry on this list, here’s another opportunity for me to remind you of what a forgettable Persona spin-off game looks like. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight was developed simultaneously as the last entry and released accordingly.

It’s almost like the whole Pokemon Scarlet & Violet or Red & Blue situation, but without all of the fun and in-depth content that those games have. The difference here is that Dancing in Starlight focuses on the cast of Persona 5, which inherently makes it a more appealing game by a thin margin.

Some would argue that the Phantom Thieves are better characters (which is partially true), but the real draw is the intense popularity and love for this group. Not to mention, Persona 5 has an outstanding soundtrack that is leaps and bounds better than 3’s, which gives it some bonus points. However, it is gameplay and content-wise the exact same game as Dancing in Moonlight but with a thinly veiled disguise, so don’t let it fool you.


  • I can’t deny that the Persona 5 soundtrack is catchy and one of the best in gaming.
  • The Persona 5 cast is the most loved in the series, so dancing with them is exciting.
  • It retains the same solid music gameplay


  • There is almost no extra content to enjoy here, so have fun for a couple of hours, and that’s it
  • It doesn’t contain more recent Phantom Thieves characters like Sophia or Kasumi
  • Like Dancing in Moonlight, it’s mostly a copycat version of Dancing All Night without the best parts

6. Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Persona 4 Dancing All Night

  • Developer: P-Studio, Atlus
  • Release Date: June 25, 2015 (Japan), September 29, 2015 (North America)
  • Genre: Music, rhythm, visual novel
  • Platforms: Vita, PS4

While Persona 4: Dancing All Night comes right after the last two entries, the gap between them couldn’t be more expansive. This is the first game on this list that I genuinely recommend for you to check out if you love the Persona series. I’m a massive music game fan, mainly for mobile, and this is one of the best console experiences you’ll find in the genre.

The button prompt gameplay is simple and clean, while the soundtrack from Persona 4 is hard to beat. While I’ve never been a massive fan of the characters from Persona 4, compared to the other games, they are at least worth checking out in this experience.

This is due to the breadth of content that Persona 4: Dancing All Night has. There is unlocking some hidden characters that exist, a surprisingly lengthy story mode that involves a visual novel-style presentation, and its nature as a pseudo-sequel to the primary Persona 4 experience. If there’s a music Persona game to play, this is the one that is worth your time and money.


  • The best music-themed Persona game out there
  • The Persona 4 soundtrack is hard to beat
  • There is a surprising amount of content, including a fun visual novel-style story


  • The Persona 4 cast may not be the most widely appealing set of characters in the series.
  • The music gameplay is relatively simple in nature

5. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth

  • Developer: P-Studio, Atlus
  • Release Date: June 5, 2014 (Japan), November 25, 2014 (North America)
  • Genre: JRPG, dungeon-crawler
  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

It’s a disgrace that Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is still locked on the Nintendo 3DS to this day as the only spin-off on this list (besides its sequel), not on modern platforms. It is a reminder of what the Persona series used to be while bringing it into the modern light.

Persona Q is essentially a first-person dungeon-crawler that is challenging and deep in its gameplay, reminiscent of the very first Persona title in the series. At the same time, though, it features the mapping and quality of life features from the Etrian Odyssey series that make it actually fun to play, unlike its predecessor.

The best part is you get to enjoy mapping out all of the various dungeons in this school alongside the casts from Personas 3 and 4, plus a couple of new faces. There are Personas to summon and use in the turn-based strategic battles and engaging bosses to fight. While I prefer its sequel a little more, there is something to love about this Persona-like game.


  • A Persona game with an old-school touch and a modern twist
  • The first-person dungeon-crawling Persona gameplay is exhilarating with the mapping feature
  • The casts of Persona 3 and 4 in the same game are welcome
  • The new characters are solid additions to the mythos


  • It is legally locked to a dead console, unlike other Persona spin-off games
  • The gameplay was in need of some refinements even at the launch

4. Persona 4 Arena

Persona 4 Arena

  • Developer: Arc System Works, P-Studio, Atlus
  • Release Date: March 1, 2012 (arcade), July 26, 2012 (consoles in Japan), August 7, 2012 (North America)
  • Genre: Fighting game, 2D, visual novel
  • Platforms: Arcade, PS3, Xbox 360

This is where it all started in the spin-off department. Up until this point, Persona games were restricted to mainline titles and re-releases. But it all changed in 2012 with a bold but fantastic risk of taking the Persona gameplay and characters and translating it into a 2D fighting game, of all things.

This certainly wouldn’t have been my first choice for a gameplay style of a spin-off Persona game, but it worked out wonderfully in the end. The 2D gameplay is smooth and full of glorious effects that make solid use of the characters’ Personas and signature skills.

The best part, though, is the storyline that follows the casts of Personas 3 and 4 investigating Labrys, a mysterious sister of Aigis. It is one of the best character-driven storylines in all of the Persona series and one you shouldn’t miss. The only reason it isn’t higher on this list is that Persona 4 Arena on its own isn’t the prime game to check out these days.


  • The 2D fighting gameplay is some of the best in its genre
  • The risky maneuver for this spin-off changed the Persona series forever
  • Labrys’ story is one of the best in the entire franchise


  • The presentation is a bit outdated today
  • There is a much better version of this game that you can play on modern platforms, so not worth checking out anymore.
  • The story follows a somewhat repetitive nature.

3. Persona 5 StrikersPersona 5 Strikers


  • Developer: Omega Force, P-Studio, Atlus
  • Release Date: February 20, 2020 (Japan), February 23, 2021 (worldwide)
  • Genre: JRPG, hack-and-slash, monster-collector
  • Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC

Atlus took another risk with Persona 5 Strikers, taking a plunge into a new genre for the series with a hack-and-slash Dynasty Warriors-like action RPG. In the process, it has become one of the best spin-offs in the series by being so much like the mainline Persona games while forging its own path at the same time.

It is pretty much a direct sequel to Persona 5, featuring the Phantom Thieves on another adventure through the Metaverse and all across Japan to take down some new villains. The ability to see more cities in Japan like Osaka, Kyoto and others is a massive bonus over the mostly restricted Persona 5.

In addition, the action combat is simple but fun enough to keep dungeons engaging, despite their repetitive and somewhat dull nature. But the most exciting part about Persona 5 Strikers is the fact that you can still visit the Velvet Room, collect Personas as you usually would, and explore. While it doesn’t have the side content like jobs and Confidants, it still has some new members of the Phantom Thieves who are well worth meeting.


  • This is an excellent way to extend your time with the Phantom Thieves
  • The storyline is a direct sequel to one of the best JRPGs in existence
  • The new Phantom Thieves members are solid
  • The action gameplay is unique to the series
  • You still have the opportunity to fuse Personas, as always


  • I don’t necessarily want to replay this game after beating it once
  • The action combat is a little too simple at times
  • The dungeons aren’t always the most fun to explore

2. Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth

Persona Q2 New Cinema Labyrinth

  • Developer: P-Studio, Atlus
  • Release Date: November 29, 2018 (Japan), June 4, 2019 (worldwide)
  • Genre: JRPG, dungeon-crawler
  • Platforms: 3DS

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth took small but integral changes to improve its gameplay over the original. Still a first-person dungeon-crawling experience, the most notable change was incorporating the Persona 5 cast, joining the members of the previous two games.

It had a much tighter focus, both in its gameplay and story. With a more centralized plot about the Persona 5 cast as the main characters in this film-centric story, it felt more engaging and exciting. At the same time, the gameplay was refined quite a lot to make it easier to understand for newcomers and overall less frustrating.

The dungeons were much more intriguing, too, with their varied environments based on movie-style areas, while the new characters were once again fine additions. Persona Q2 is a spin-off that feels like its own Atlus series in a way that can stand on its own two feet, which is rare for a non-mainline Persona game.


  • This is one of the few spin-off games that feels like its own standalone, high-quality experience worth playing.
  • The improvements from the first game were smart and welcome
  • The gameplay feels refined and more acceptable for newcomers
  • This is the only game where you can see the casts of all three Persona games working together


  • Some might argue that Persona Q2 lacks some of the complexity and challenge of the first game
  • The more focused story meant less focus on the Personas 3 and 4 members

1. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (Remastered Collection)

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Remastered Collection

  • Developer: Arc System Works, P-Studio, Atlus
  • Release Date: November 28, 2013 (original version), March 17, 2022 (worldwide)
  • Genre: Fighting, 2D, visual novel
  • Platforms: Arcade, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Switch, PC

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is how you do a sequel right for a Persona spin-off game. Note that for the purposes of this list, I am mainly talking about the remastered version of the game that includes both the original Arena and the remastered Ultimax for modern systems.

That is an intense amount of value and exceptional gameplay in one moderately priced package. But even on its own, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is an impressive improvement over the first game in nearly every way, except for its story, but the collection comes with both, which makes up for it.

The gameplay refines it with additional features like the Shadow characters and a slightly better presentation. This was enough to make it one of the best fighting games of the past decade, even to the point where it’s still used in a variety of competitions to this day.

Though the story isn’t as good as the first game, the branching nature with a mysterious flowchart of character perspectives is fascinating and unique and teaches the player how to use most fighters along the way. Speaking of which, the additional fighters from Persona 3 and 4 make this the premier place to play as all of them at once. At least until a possible Persona 5 Arena in the future.


  • One of the best fighting games in recent memory
  • The changes and improvements from the past game are vital to its success
  • The additional characters are welcome
  • The remastered version comes with the first game and its excellent story


  • Ultimax’s plot is not nearly as good as the original
  • The singleplayer modes are a little too long
  • Still has no love for playing as the Persona 3 protagonists (somewhat understandable plot-wise but not really)


Question: What is the Darkest Persona Game? 

Answer: The darkest Persona game isn’t on this list. That game would be Persona 3 with some horrifying, gut-wrenching, and surprising twists and themes. However, Persona 4 Arena has its own shockingly dark storyline worth checking out.

Question: Which Persona Series is the Best?

Answer: I imagine you are speaking about the spin-off series. There aren’t many, but I would say that, ironically, I think the Persona Q series is a little bit better than the Persona Arena sub-series. I prefer the overall gameplay of those games while acknowledging that Arena Ultimax is still the best individual spin-off game.

Question: How Many Persona Spin-offs are There? 

Answer: There are eight spin-off games in total at this time. This excludes the re-releases and expanded versions of the mainline games. It also doesn’t include the times that characters appeared in other games that weren’t Persona-related, like the crossover events in various mobile games like Another Eden.

Dive Deeper Into These Persona Spin-Off Games

The Persona spin-off games show that this series has so much life beyond the core experiences. So, even when you are done with the likes of the 100-plus-hour journey of Persona 5 and the others, there is still so much more for you to experience in the side projects, too. If there is one game on this list that you have to play, it’s Persona 4 Arena Ultimax on modern systems.

The addition of the original game’s story, along with all of the refinements of the excellent 2D anime fighting game, make this the best Persona spin-off so far. Even if you aren’t a fighting game fan (like me), there is a lot to enjoy in spending time in this canonical sequel to Persona 4. And if you are a fighting game newcomer like I was when I first played it a decade ago, be sure to check out my breakdown of the Persona 4 Arena star, Labrys, to get you started.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top