I Guarantee You People Will Be Talking About Persona 5 Way Longer than Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV released in November of last year to much success in regards to sales and received mostly positive review coverage, there's no doubting that. However discussions around the game died down over the months since release, and the only reason anyone is discussing Final Fantasy XV is the upcoming DLC and updates that aim to give us a more complete story.
Meanwhile Persona 5 just launched this month and is receiving critical acclaim from press and fans alike, it's being heralded by many as one of the best JRPGs ever made and could be the new standard for the genre going forward. I believe Persona 5 will be discussed for years to come because of the new bar it raised, far longer even than Final Fantasy XV.
Don't get me wrong -- I still think Final Fantasy XV is a solid game with an extremely interesting development history, I even made a video review for it on my channel discussing my full thoughts on the game after clocking in well over a hundred hours into it.
I do think Final Fantasy XV will be remembered... But for all the wrong reasons, so let's discuss and break down these reasons and why Persona 5 over all is a more memorable experience.
Final Fantasy XV's Bizarre Approach to Telling Its Story
Persona 5 in terms of overall story, even within the first few hours of playing it, is more memorable than anything within the first few hours of Final Fantasy XV. Square Enix took a very bizarre approach to the plot in XV by creating an “expanded universe” of media -- from an anime detailing the main cast of character's backgrounds and how they all met, to a movie setting up the plot of the game itself.
I wouldn't even say this is optional content either, if you don't watch Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV you're going to be missing key context within the story of the game itself, the same applies to the anime. Meanwhile Persona 5 just simply put; has a story to tell within the confines of the game itself, crazy concept right?
Long term will this will also make Persona 5 all the more memorable simply because the story itself is contained within the game. By the time I was wrapping up Final Fantaxy XV and reached the end of the game, I was so lost and confused with what was going on due to the absolute cluster-fuck the story turns into once the credits were rolling -- I simply didn't care anymore.
Persona 5 is Unforgettably more Stylish
Final Fantasy XV is a gorgeous game in its own right, but Persona 5 just bleeds style in everything it does, from the moment you start the game up for the first time you're greeted with an incredible animated intro.
To the highly stylised main-menu of the game, the first moments of starting the game up and being introduced to your playable character and his background; with a mood and tone that seems like a Lemony Snicket style A Series of Unfortunate Events spin off -- and it's fantastic! Even to the highly stylised UI, characters, and monster designs, Persona 5 is a game that will still hold up 20 years from now on aesthetics alone.
All Flash, No Substance
In terms of over all combat and gameplay, Final Fantasy XV's combat can be best summarised as flashy and cool to look at at its best, but mechanically it's extremely shallow.
You essentially hold down circle or B to attack and switch weapons or use magic on the D-pad or change the direction of the right analog stick to change up combos, it works -- it's functional -- but there are so many games out there have much better action RPG combat or weapon based combat in general.
Meanwhile Persona 5 takes a much more traditional turn based approach, but it's so highly stylised with animations for different actions. So much so that in my opinion they're on par with the action-heavy animations you can perform in Final Fantasy XV's combat.
The turn based gameplay in Persona 5 is without a doubt in my mind the best in the genre from what I've played so far. Some may say turn based RPGs are archaic and outdated (which is an opinion I wholeheartedly disagree with) -- but let me ask you this: would you rather play something a bit outdated in terms of gameplay design but is perfection within the genre itself? Or would you rather play something more modern in design -- but with gameplay overall that is serviceable at best compared to other titles within the genre? I know what I'd pick and more importantly, I know damn sure which I'd actually remember years from now.
Giving Value to Your Time
Both Final Fantasy XV and Persona 5 can easily consume over a hundred hours of your time, if you aim to beat them. You'll waste plenty of hours in Final Fantasy XV doing hunt quests and fighting giant monsters, catching frogs, fishing, and exploring the world of Eos in general.
But the key word here -- is waste. Final Fantasy XV will waste plenty of your time, I can't help but think of how many countless hours I spent wandering around the vast open world, setting the controller down to check twitter on my phone as I drove somewhere, or did another fetch quest on the other side of the map and waited in loading screens as I fast travelled from place to place.
The difference in the hundreds of hours you may spend with Persona 5; is that it values your time. Each passing in-game day on the calendar is integral, whether it's missions or heists that have a deadline you need to meet, giving an actual purpose to the grinding you may need to do, or the different activities you do throughout the day. From interacting with friends, exploring Tokyo, or even seemingly mundane things like studying or doing laundry.
All of it has a purpose and builds towards your character and gives them more skills and abilities to unlock, Persona 5 so far has never once made me feel like I'm wasting a single minute doing something within its world, it holds my attention for every minute I play it.
While Final Fantasy XV is good... Persona 5 is great, and that means that we will all be talking about it for far longer than we did with Final Fantasy XV.
But for those of you that have played both, what do you guys think? I'd love to hear your opinions on both games, so let me know in the comments below!