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Change YoY: =   My Rating: 9.2 / 10

This was, at least for me, the true swansong of the PS2, the last truly great game the system saw before the next generation of consoles took over the market completely. By the time Persona 4 was released in Europe, the PS3 had been out for over two years, this being the last new game I bought for the aging console (not counting later digital purchases on PS Store, obviously) before I moved on to the next console generation as well. It's a good thing that the console went out with one of its finest games ever, in fact, for me personally there are only three games I've ranked higher from the PS2 library.

I hadn't played any of the other Persona (or even Shin Megami Tensei) games before this one, but I was immediately intrigued by its unusual setting for a Japanese RPG, which are generally dominated by fantasy and sci-fi worlds. Beyond the setting, the story immediately hooked me with its murder mystery setup, and I very quickly got into the characters and their personal stories and wanted to find out more about them. The music by Shoji Meguro is excellent, and I found the battle system quite a lot of fun too. However, the game isn't without flaws, though only one of them is significant enough to mention. Namely, the overlong dungeons and their rather dull, repetitive design is the one element that prevents me from putting Persona 4 any higher on my list. It wasn't just once or twice that the game really tested my patience with the dungeons I had to complete so I could progress with the story, though every time it was precisely that story and the characters that carried me through those lowpoints because I badly wanted to find out what happens next.

Persona 4 is one of the games I really need to back and replay at some point, as it's been over a decade since I last played it, meaning it's definitely due for a new playthrough at some point soon.