Persona 5

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Persona 5 Game Poster Image
Mature, violent RPG shows lots of style, mild plot issues.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Empowerment to explore, extend trust with new people is commendable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You have ability to be kind, generous, even selfless, but this is in context of doing harm to others, both physical, psychic.

Ease of Play

Great deal of magic systems with an almost Pokémon-level of ambition. It's daunting, intimidating at first glance, on top of other "normal" role-playing game conventions you're expected to juggle.

Violence

Cartoony geysers of blood but nothing gory, disturbing, disgusting. Players use variety of weapons, magic abilities to eliminate monsters.

Sex

Lewd jokes, language used to refer to women, rape, intercourse.

Language

Every curse word you can imagine spoken frequently.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

You befriend a doctor who, to make a buck, sells drugs to underage children, nudges them into trying experimental medicines.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Persona 5 is the latest installment in the action role-playing game (RPG) series. The Persona series remains fascinated with teenage drama, mysterious crimes (especially murders), and young protagonists having to grow up too fast. While the game focuses on fighting monsters with a variety of weapons, and there are occasional geysers of blood, combat is cartoonishly presented, which limits the impact of battle. There's a lot of lewd commentary about rape, women, and sex, as well as frequent use of every kind of profanity imaginable in the dialogue. Characters meet a doctor who sells drugs to kids and tries to get them to participate in experimental drug trials. Needless to say, the content is not for young audiences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byYu Sensei April 28, 2017

The profanity section is wrong!

The game is meant for 15+. This review is too harsh and the only worst swear word it can progress in this game is "F**K". It's much tamer than o... Continue reading
Uncle Written byClayton J. April 24, 2017

Lewd elements to the game - but still safe for older more mature teens.

Fantastic game for older teens, not quite as good of a story as Persona 4, but there are still great characters who have a strong sense of justice in the game.... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bywizardortitan April 6, 2017

Slightly more mature then Persona 4; still okay for mature teens.

While Persona 5 does get into mature thematic material and start on a darker tone then Persona 4 did, the only thing here that isn't common in PG-13 movies... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byStar Wars lover02 August 23, 2017

Best

Ok I love this game and thus is off topic but I played persona 4 golden At the young age of 8 and finished it. 3 times actually. Persona five has more cursing.... Continue reading

What's it about?

Trying to effectively recount the story of PERSONA 5 is hard. You play as a high schooler who, after trying to place an attempted rapist under civilian's arrest, is sent to live with your uncle. Rumors about what really happened spread around the school and marginalize you, leading you to form a tightly knit group of friends of other outcasts and people similarly dogged by exaggerated rumors. You all band together as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts vigilante group to engage in battle in the cognitive realm -- an alternate dimension where the twisted desires and tormented wishes of others manifest physically. As time goes on, you discover a massive conspiracy that you have to stop before it destroys the world.

Is it any good?

There's a lot going into this complex RPG that can absorb your time completely, but some missteps lightly tarnish this mature game experience. In reality, Persona 5 is a dungeon-crawler, social simulator, and time-management headache all wrapped up in one package. This is what the Persona series always has been, and part of what makes this latest entry excel and shine so much more are, curiously, very tiny touches. For example, the game's user interface has a funky '70s aesthetic (including the soundtrack), adding a much-needed splash of style and grace to the simple act of level grinding, managing items, and even buying weapons. The game always plays with your screen's real estate -- borders swirl and sway, picture-in-picture events occur suddenly, and so on. It's a game that is truly fun to play and watch.

Though appropriate to its being a teenage drama, the game takes itself very, very seriously. It thinks its story is far more interesting and complicated than it is: Large sections grind to a crawl when cut scene after cut scene occurs in succession, hammering on a plot point that occurred only a moment before. This may be the biggest strike against the game, when everything else has such an eye toward presentation and mindfulness of the player. The combat is fun, the open-ended nature of the world when it finally does open up is fun to poke around in, and the sheer variety of playing in the Persona realm and out in the real world is fun. The cut scenes are always optional, but you will be lost without them. If you can take the bad with the good, Persona 5 is a funky good time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Talk about the act of playing a video game that takes place in a virtual high school. Why would playing a game set in a familiar location be interesting or exciting to players?

  • Families can talk about sex and gender in video games. Why do you think some characters make comments about sex, women, and rape? How do these comments make you feel? Does this add to or detract from the gameplay?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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