Persona 3 FES Portable Reload versions differences explained
Image via Atlus

What Are the Differences Between the Persona 3 Games?

Persona 3 is one of the most important Atlus games, as it introduced many of the popular mechanics and features recent games like Persona 5 Royal are known for. Unfortunately, there are four different versions of the classic JRPG if you include the original and the Reload remake. So, with all of the various Persona 3 versions, what are the differences between each of them?

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Persona 3 Explained

When it comes to Persona 3 differences, there is almost no reason to play the original. Released for PS2 in 2006, this version is the most barebones of the bunch. You can only play as the male protagonist, and there are no welcome quality-of-life features like controlling other party members. This is the only iteration of the Persona 3 I don’t recommend to any player.

Persona 3 FES Explained

Persona 3 FES was the second version of the game that was also released for the PS2. The key difference here is the addition of The Answer. This playable epilogue lets you play as Aigis and explore a new dungeon. There are some nice quality-of-life features as well, which makes it a favorite for some players. It’s worth checking out for The Answer epilogue, at least.

Persona 3 Portable Explained

Mad Can't Romance Junpei Social Link Persona 3 Portable
Image via Atlus

This edition of Persona 3 was released for the PSP. It brought the beloved JRPG to a portable format for the first time, but with some concessions. Most importantly, you couldn’t freely explore outside of dungeons, and The Answer epilogue was absent. In exchange, though, players have the option to play as a female main character, enjoy more social links, and work a part-time job.

Persona 3 Reload Explained

aigis social link persona 3 reload
Image via Atlus

The most recent edition of this beloved game is Persona 3 Reload. The long-awaited remake isn’t quite what some fans wanted, but it puts a modern Persona 5-style spin on the classic game. Unfortunately, it lacks some social links and the entire female protagonist option.

If I had to recommend a version for players to check out, I would suggest Persona 3 Reload for now. It is the most modern version of Persona 3, so it will be the most welcoming to newcomers. After that, I suggest playing through the female protagonist’s path with the remastered version of Persona 3 Portable.

Persona 3 Portable is available for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Persona 3 Reload comes to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on February 2, 2024.

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Cody Perez
Cody is a writer who has been sharing his love for video games and anime since his high school days in 2012. When he isn’t writing about the latest JRPGs and anime series, he can be found in Final Fantasy XIV, occasionally playing some Call of Duty, or lurking on Twitter @SoulcapCody.