Fans of JRPG games know the Persona franchise as one of the most popular on the market at the moment. The series, which initially debuted in 1996 with Revelations: Persona for the first PlayStation console, has now expanded to a well-loved franchise with six entries in the main series and multiple spinoffs.
If you're new to the games, though, you may be confused by some of the titles and what order to play them in. What's the difference between the more recent games, Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal?
What's the difference between 'Persona 5' and 'Persona 5 Royal'?
Many of the games in the Persona franchise will release a second version of the newest installment before the next one comes out. For example, Persona 3 was followed by Persona 3 FES, and Persona 4 was followed by Persona 4 Golden. Again, this happened with Persona 5. The original game was released in 2016, but Persona 5 Royal was then released three years later in 2019. But what's the difference between these games?
Persona 5 Royal is basically the same game as Persona 5, but it comes with a variety of new content that expands on the original game. It's more than just a DLC that adds a new chapter to the pre-existing game — instead, Persona 5 Royal features two new characters (Kasumi Yoshizawa and Takuto Maruki), an extra semester in the school year with new events, new cut scenes, and much more.
Basically, Persona 5 Royal is an expanded version of the original game, and if you're between playing the two, Persona 5 Royal will give you an entirely different experience than the original will. While the two follow the same general storyline, the second has more content than the first and will be a much more fleshed-out experience. If you have the option between playing one game or another, many fans would recommend playing the most recent game.
Is 'Persona 5 Royal' a sequel?
Technically speaking, no, Persona 5 Royal is not a sequel to Persona 5. That being said, because it is a game that builds on the content originally in Persona 5, you could argue that the game is a sequel to its predecessors, Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden.
Fans of the franchise have argued that the game deserves a proper sequel, as the follow-up title, Persona 5 Strikers, didn't necessarily pick up on plot points from the previous game and build on them.
There have long been talks of Persona 6 being in development from Atlus, though at this time the studio has not confirmed another game in the Persona franchise. While this doesn't mean that there won't be another game in the well-established series, it will likely be another few years before the game hits consoles, depending on when (or if) the studio announces the game's development.
For now, you'll just have to go back and replay the other Persona games while we wait for more information.