Persona 3 Reload review for PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Platform: PC
Also On: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

I’d like to start this review off by saying I was incredibly thrilled when ATLUS/SEGA announced a remake of one of my favorite games of all time, and quite possibly my favorite ATLUS game. Persona 3 remains at the top of my JRPG favorites, and without a proper “definitive” version, Reload stands to address any issues with previous iterations of the title. For anybody new to the series or even starting with Persona 3 Reload specifically, the original release has 3 versions. You can play the original Persona 3, Persona 3 Portable (now on Steam/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch), or Persona 3 FES. The biggest complaint from players was how each version had something different or had varying quality of life features. Luckily, Reload presents us with our answer for what the “definitive” version of Persona 3 is to play.


In this all new version of P3, ATLUS has outdone themselves. The game looks incredible. The visuals are top notch and improve on the style we saw them use in Persona 5, and not to mention how smooth everything is. I mean, if you’ve seen trailers, you’ve probably seen that slick menu transition with Makoto Yuki dropping down in the water. If that doesn’t scream “Hey look how stylish this game is!” I don’t know what does! And that’s before we even get to the music.

The music is completely remade for Reload and my lord it is incredible. Persona 3’s original soundtrack was already my favorite of the modern three games, but Reload completely knocks it out of the park. Atsushi Kitajoh absolutely nails the new compositions and the rearrangements of Shoji Meguro’s original work. From the opening theme to the battle themes to the overworld themes, you will never have a moment of dullness. Lotus Juice even comes back to redo his original lyrics! Of course, that doesn’t mean he only came back to remake older songs, as you can expect to hear him on plenty more tracks!

I’ve talked enough about visuals and audio, so let’s go over gameplay. If you’ve played a Persona game, you’ll be right at home with Persona 3 Reload. If you’re new to the franchise, it’s a turn-based RPG consisting of four party member slots, with plenty of options of members, each with their own niches to fill on your team. You may have someone who specializes in Fire damage, someone who is a great physical attacker, or somebody excellent at applying debuffs to give you an edge in battle. The closest comparison I can think of is Pokemon and their stat spreads.

ATLUS made sure to bring a whole group of quality of life improvements and changes to Persona 3 Reload, including some features from Persona 5 that made that game a blast. Baton Pass is sorta back, but not in the same way Persona 5 Royal handles it. Instead of changing party members and giving yourself an attack buff, you’re just passing your extra turn to a party member to hit another enemy’s weakness. There is another new “super attack” mechanic I won’t spoil, but it’s a great addition to the game. Skill cards return from Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4/Golden, and Persona 5/Royal, so you can build some super Persona of your choosing should you be so inclined to do so.

Overworld gameplay is akin to that of Persona 5. You’re given full freedom to explore the world, you’ve got full camera control, and you’re free to do whatever you want with your free time. You’ll spend your time going to Tartarus, spending time with your Social Links to learn more about them and unlock new Persona fusions, masquerading as a regular high school student, and going to various shops/part time jobs to acquire more money and gear throughout the game. For those familiar with Mementos from Persona 5, you’ll be relatively acquainted and prepared for the challenge that Tartarus faces.

I’ll address something I know a lot of fans, myself included at first, admittedly, were concerned about when we saw the first trailer for P3R: the new voice acting. It is with immense pleasure that I can say the new voice cast is incredible. I was excited to hear them even though I was so used to the original casting, especially Yuri Lowenthal as the main protagonist. Now, Makoto is voiced by the one and only Aleks Le, who you may have recently heard as Luke in Street Fighter 6. Everyone brought on to this project sounds amazing, and I’m so glad to see new life breathed into the characters I’ve loved since the original release back in 2006 on the PlayStation 2. The charm and personality the characters have now keeps some of the flavor of the original, but also breathes new life into them. Absolutely S-Tier casting in Reload, and I loved every second I spent with the gang.

Coinciding with the voice acting, let’s talk about the story! And by talk about the story, I mean tell you what I think of it because I’m absolutely refusing to engage in spoiler talk. You’ll have to play the game yourself to experience it! Like I mentioned at the start, Persona 3 is my favorite ATLUS game. I adored the story through and through in the original, and I am happy to say that Reload is no exception. It even adds more on top of the original game! The struggle of SEES against the Dark Hour, the looming threat of Tartarus, and other things I won’t name is even better in this remake. Without a doubt, I cannot recommend it enough.

To anyone wondering if you should pick up Persona 3 Reload, it is absolutely my most anticipated game of this year, and it’s releasing at the start of February. Granted, again, I do love the original, but still. Reload is a phenomenal game, one of the best JRPGs I’ve ever played, and an absolute joy. Every minute I put into it I was having a blast. It is a culmination of everything ATLUS has learned over their decades of game development, and yet another excellent addition to their list of incredible games. ATLUS proves once again why they’re such a titan in the industry, and I sincerely hope as many people pick this up as possible. You will not be disappointed!

Note: Atlus provided us with a Persona 3 Reload code for review purposes.

Score: 10