Which Persona 3 Version Should You Play?

I recently covered the difference between the Persona 4 version (click here to see it). But there are multiple versions of Persona 3, which can make the decision to play the game more challenging. Here is a breakdown of the differences.

Persona 3

Persona 3 is the base game that was released on the Sony PlayStation 2 in 2006. It features all the content needed to enjoy the game. Though it is the one with the least content. I haven’t played this version. But from the information online there is no benefit to getting this version if you can own the other two.

I’ve done a review of this before, however for a quick summary. The main character moves to a new city. On the way to his temporary dorm, the main character experiences the extra hour. This hour takes place between midnight and 1 AM. During this hour, normal people are turned into caskets. The school that the main character enrols in turns into a dungeon full of shadows. As the game progresses you unlock the ability to use Personas that can help you defeat the shadows.

It’s a great story with an amazing cast. It is well worth playing. But this may not be the best version to play. So is Persona 3: FES any better?

Persona 3: FES

Persona 3: FES is the enhanced version of the original game. The developer estimates that this provides an extra 30 hours of gameplay to enjoy. 

Persona 3: FES comes with a new epilogue called The Answer, set a few months after the events of The Journey (Persona 3 original).

The Journey also comes with new features, such as new Personas. Tweaks to Personas’ stats and social links. Changing the availability of some of the social links. A hard mode was also added for those who found the base game too easy.

Main character fighting multiple shadows
The perfect turn-based combat.

The Answer, the added epilogue, has only one difficulty which is comparable to the main game’s hard difficulty.

The Answer plot spoils the ending of Persona 3 and starts a whole new story with the same cast minus one key member.

Persona 3: FES is available to play on either PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3.

Persona 3: Portable

Persona 3: Portable is a version of the game stripped down so that it is able to be played on the PSP. Unlike Persona 3: FES, only the base game is included in this version. There is no The Answer epilogue.

Another drawback is that the developers had to strip back a lot so that it could keep under a maximum file size. This includes a reduction of animated scenes. Outside of the dungeons, the player interacts with the world using point and click. Rather than moving a character around the scene.

Persona 3 portable point and click mechanic
No need to run around in the Portable version, just click.

In my personal opinion, the point-and-click aspect is more convenient than running around trying to find characters. This saves you a lot of time. But doesn’t allow you to be as emersed in the game.

The only other good feature of Persona 3 Portable is the fact that it is portable. But there are whispers that the full-fat Persona 3:FES version may be coming to the Nintendo Switch.

This was the version I first played (Here’s my review) and learning the other versions is so much better. I will be eBay hunting for a good purchase of one of the other versions.

Which Game Should You Play

Persona 3: FES is the best version of the Persona 3 games to play. However, it is very difficult to get hold of especially in the UK. I checked eBay listings and people were selling this game in the £100+ range. Atlus needs to either port it to Steam or Nintendo Switch. The next best option is to get Persona 3. It has all the animations and graphics that make the game look very polished.

Persona 3: fes ebay listing
So expensive.

Persona 3: Portable should be a last resort. If you don’t have access to PlayStation 2 but do have access to a Vita or PSP then you can play this. It was my first exposure to Persona 3. And from researching the other versions I feel left out. 

So which game did you end up playing? Are you hoping for a new release?

Brendan Freeman
Brendan Freeman

A new dad, who loves his video games. he's been playing games since he was 2. He likes RPGs and racing games.

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