When you’ve got a game series that had been around for 20 years, you’re bound to wind up with a lot of interesting characters. Whether they power through adversity or cause it themselves, the casts of the Persona franchise always have something unique to bring to the table. In honor of the long-awaited release of Persona 5, here are our picks for the series’ Top 10 Characters and their Personas.
SPOILER ALERT FOR BASICALLY EVERY PERSONA GAME. IF YOU HAVEN’T PLAYED THEM AND CARE ABOUT HOW IT GOES, THIS ARTICLE SPOILS DEATHS AND TWISTS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
10. Sho Minazuki and Tsukiyomi (Persona 4 Arena Ultimax)
Being the lead villain in a fighting game usually means that you get the least amount of development, especially in a game with over fifteen characters to pick from. Luckily this turned out not to be the case with Sho Minazuki. The guy’s backstory ties into both Persona 3 and Persona 4, as he was unlucky enough to both be one of mad scientist Shuji Ikutsuki’s test subjects and a secret stalker of the Investigation Team during the Inaba murders. Sho came out of both experiences with a penchant for puns, a nihilistic worldview, and a second soul known only as Minazuki. Weirdly enough, while Sho doesn’t have a Persona (he prefers to use a pair of blades to dice the competition), Minazuki does. Tsukiyomi looks like something right out of P3, with heavy moon theming and a dark color scheme, while inheriting design elements from P4 with its kickass long coat and stripes for days. It’s safe to say that this two-faced fighter is a cut above the rest.
9. Koromaru and Cerberus (Persona 3)
UM? A cute little DOG gets to use a Persona and you expect me to NOT PUT HIM ON THIS LIST??? Think again, buddy.
Koromaru might be a dog, but this pup’s got personality. He’s extremely loyal and so sweet, but he can be a little sass master if he doesn’t get his way. He even loves to watch TV shows and movies! In Persona 3 Portable, you’re actually allowed to develop a bond with this lovable canine companion by taking him on nightly walks. And he actually packs a real punch in battle too! He’s super fast, and he’s able to use his custom angel Evoker to summon Cerberus, his cool three-headed dog Persona. His fierce dedication to Shinjiro and then later Ken show resemblance to Hachiko, a dog of the same breed who waited for his master to return on a train long after the man passed away. We even see him wearing Ken’s old hoodie long after he grew out of it! What a cutie! Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?!
8. Maya Amano and Maia (Persona 2)
Maya Amano is a goddamn trooper. How else could you describe her? In Persona 2: Innocent Sin, she was locked away in a shrine as a kid by her childhood friends in an attempt to keep her from moving. The shrine then proceeded to get set on fire, because of course it did, and she only survived with the help of her “guardian spirit”/Persona, Maia (original name, huh?). Then, when she meets up with said friends again years later, she gets caught up in a lot of supernatural nonsense involving rumors, tarot, and monsters. Then she gets stabbed by a mystic spear and dies. Poor lady can’t catch a break, can she? While she gets to be the protagonist of Eternal Punishment for her troubles, Maya still gets put through the trauma conga line throughout all of Innocent Sin. Despite the universe putting her on its shit list, Maya somehow keeps an upbeat attitude and a cheery demeanor no matter what life throws at her. It’s honestly kind of admirable. Maya shows us that even through the worst of times, we should all think positive.
7. Aigis and Paladin (Persona 3)
Being an android created to be an Anti-Shadow weapon is not the only thing that propelled Aigis onto this list. Aigis has a wealth of deep character development that can be mostly rooted into the story of Persona 3 itself. At the start of her introduction she is very mechanical. The one thing that is clear is her devotion for the main character and her objective. In her time spent with SEES she begins to become more human even if only in behavior. The added Social Link in the FES and Portable versions of the game only enhance the changes she undergoes. Alongside Aigis’ growth there is her Persona. Based off of Greek Mythology, Paladin comes in to battle with supportive abilities to boost party members and provide some physical punishment when needed.
6. Jun Kurosu and Chronos (Persona 2)
Misguided and deceived are likely the best words to describe the path that lead to Jun Kurosu becoming the Joker, one of the antagonists of Persona 2. It was his place in this role and in the story that was intriguing. He was not only Joker, the leader of the Masked Circle, but one of the original Main Party members. First he was friends with party members, then he became the antagonist, and then he wound up joining them by the end. It is a bit of roller coaster that is not a route often seen. Including within these games. Then of course, his Persona, Chronos. This version being the upgraded version, but looking into the connected mythology of Cronos that is connected to this persona allowed for seeing some connections to that ancient history and Jun’s own.