Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

Hot off the success of Persona 3, Atlus went right back to the well to deliver Persona 4.  Taking everything that made its predecessor a sleeper hit and improving upon it in every way,  Persona 4 left it’s mark as one of the most engaging and unique RPGs/sims of recent memory.

The battle system was streamlined and less unforgiving this time around, and also gave you full control over your party members. Personas, which are demons that each character is able to summon forth in battle, are more varied and their weaknesses are less likely to end up leading to untimely deaths. The persona fusion and social link syetms are there and better than ever, and this is where the sim elements factors in. As a high school student you attend class, make friends and form relationships. The power of your relationships, or social links, determines the power of your Personas.

The plot is highly original, following a group of high school students as they try to solve the mystery behind, and prevent murders that are taking place in their town. They venture forth into the ‘Midnight channel’ to explore the victims’ psyche and try to uncover the shadow lurking within. They uncover a few twists before reaching an ultimately satisfying ending.

With our powers combined...

Last but not least, the soundtrack stands out as one of the best in recent memory. Featuring a combination of J-pop, rock,  jazz, hip hop and classical, it hits all the right chords. It incorporates vocals particularly well into most of the tracks, never feeling like it takes you out of the moment. It’s subtlety allows it to blend  in with the rest of the BGM.