I can't get behind the P3 train at all. Probably everyone who likes it better, or its story better, thinks that way only because they played it first, a good 10 years or so before P5. That game aged horribly, the gameplay is extremely repetitive and boring throughout the whole game, the soundtrack is good but has a couple of overused songs that get old very fast and then you have to endure them for the whole game. The game is grindy to an unhealthy degree, and yeah, the story is good, but nowhere near as good as P5 imo - it kinda feels like a prototype of a Persona story given what came next for the series. Thematically, it's really basic, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's just not as exciting. Many of the cutscenes are awkwardly executed, too, which didn't help. And don't get me started on the multiple "time to hit on girls" segments scattered across the game.
I liked Persona 3 quite a bit, by the way. The final boss was awesome. But comparing it to Persona 5 is like comparing The Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Nah, I played P4 before P5 too and P4 doesn't come close it.
P3 has obviously more limited gameplay inside and outside of battles, and P5 is leaps and bounds more beautiful graphics wise.
But P3 story, music, atmosphere and specially social links are better.
If P3 was remade today P5 would have nothing over it, all it have is due to being newer.
P5 is still a masterpiece and its not because P3 is better that it takes anything away anything from P5, but even P3 being a product of its age its still a better game than P5.
P3 is pure magic.
You absolutely lost me on the social links thing. There was a grand total of 1 social link I cared about in this game, everyone else was incredibly boring, it all felt like filler content. The social links stories are so barren, and splitting them in 10 parts makes them very annoying when each part feels like you're watching 5% of an anime episode. The Star confidant was really good and I really cared about him, everyone else ranged from forgettable to obnoxious. It's not even remotely comparable to Persona 5.
The story of Persona 3 might be good on paper, but when executed the pacing is atrocious. At the start of the game you're basically told you gotta fight these Shadows and you're given no decent reason to do so. You're told by the characters that they're dangerous, but the game never shows you what the danger is until way later on. It stays that way for dozens of hours. It gets a little better halfway through the game when more interesting characters are brought on (Aigis is amazing), but even then the main plot remains very boring until the last 25% of the game or so. From that point on it's really good, but even then, the game continues to drip-feed heavy story portions scattered here and there in between long-ass chunks of weeks you're forced to burn on filler content or grinding.
The music and atmosphere are pretty good, but I hate how the game has individual songs for each area and then forces you into specific areas during specific moments of each day, because it means the music is constantly changing. After School starts and you get the school music for a few seconds, then it's the exploration music for a few seconds while you're doing some social link grinding, then it's the dorm music for a couple of seconds before you go out into the street again, then the exploration music for half a minute while you go do some social stat grinding. Rinse and repeat. Every single day. It'd be a lot better if it was like in Persona 5, where the music changes based on the time of day, because then you could actually listen to the full songs rather than just the opening 10 seconds a million times each.
And then the gameplay. You call it "limited", and you're right. It's a really pretty word, too. Persona 3's gameplay is fucking trash. Period.
About playing P4 before P5, it's not really what I meant. What I meant to say is that people are largely biased towards their first Persona game, and 3 seems to have been your first. To be fair, 5 is my first, so there's that, but I think it's leaps and bounds better than the games that came before it and its massive commercial and critical success is proof enough.