Persona 5 is the sixth installment to the JRPG series named persona. It was released in September of 2016 to Japan and released worldwide on April 4th of 2017 for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Persona 5 follows your protagonist (canonically named Akira Kurusu for the manga and Ren Amamiya for the anime adaptation), who was wrongly accused of attacking a man. He is sent to live with a family friend for one year on probation. Only a few days after his arrival, he discovers the power to enter the world inside people’s minds (called palaces) and change the hearts of criminals to make them confess their crimes by stealing their palaces’ treasure (the cause of the target’s distortion. This cycle continues throughout the year, adding teammates as you continue changing hearts.
On March 31st of 2020, Persona 5 Royal was released. Persona 5 Royal is a remake of Persona 5 that includes new confidants, a new party member, changes to palaces and boss fights, and a new palace to explore.
Remakes of Persona games are not new to Atlus. Persona 1 and Persona 2 had their games ported to systems and made changes to characters for the west. Persona 3 and 4 had remakes to their games meant for Sony’s handheld systems (PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita). Persona 5 is a strange case. The remake was made for the same system as its original. It feels a bit unnecessary looking back.
However, the strange origins of Persona 5 Royal should not stop you from buying this game. If you have not played Persona 5, play through Persona 5 Royal instead. The story has not changed and Persona 5 Royal has fixed some infuriating parts of the original (despite some fixes to a poor boss fight bringing new problems). Characters have been expanded upon and new ideas of happiness are brought into the mix.
Persona 5 Royal did spark that sense of satisfaction the original was able to bring, yet it will never be to the same degree. Despite this, it is a proper remake and worth the time, as long as you were either a big fan of the original or have never played the original.