Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES

Game review by
Jeff Paramchuk, Common Sense Media
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Excellent RPG with dark themes and imagery.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Teens discuss deep topics about life and death. Some characters aren't human, but are not treated differently because of their obvious differences.


To invoke a special move, characters use a device which looks like a revolver and shoot themselves in the head with it. There are many bloodless battles with fantastical creatures that are mostly cartoonish in nature, using a variety of guns, swords, and daggers. When characters die they seem to faint and simply vanish.


Some sexual innuendo, plus scantily clad female forms. One minor demon character resembles a penis. Teens discuss touching vital robot parts in a sexual way.


One headphone brand visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters eat and drink medical potions to restore health, but nothing illicit is mentioned.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this role-playing game (RPG) is rated M for good reasons. Mature themes permeate the game, with much talk about life and death, and there's some disturbing imagery, especially when characters seemingly aim weapons at their own heads and shoot to perform special attacks. However, the fighting (with a variety of guns, swords, and daggers) is with fantastical creatures and looks fairly cartoonish. Parents should also be aware that this game isn't an entirely new game, but a repackaging of Persona 3 with additional features and a new standalone story that can be viewed as a continuation of the game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCommonSenseGames March 25, 2014

Not Catered to Kids

I love this game as much as anyone, but it game was made for people who are high school age and older, and for good reason. It has a positive message overall, b... Continue reading
Adult Written bye20w21 May 1, 2021

Gives children great realization of the value of life and friendship.

This game is really good, and don't make the "violence" make you think otherwise, as the game doesn't really highlight the violence too much... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bysineytheotaku June 13, 2015

I Don't Know Why They Rated It For 16

I got this game when I was 13. I loved it, and understood every single event that went on in the game. The story is an allegory to the Bible stories like the Fa... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJorda873 March 16, 2021

My favorite JRPG of all time

I’m 13, 14 in a matter of days, and I first played this game at 12. But even though I’m quite young, I immediately understood it’s message and story. I totally... Continue reading

What's it about?

PERSONA 3: FES features not one but two complete games. Persona 3 in its entirety is present but enhanced with new quests, difficulty levels, and Personas. The main story follows an untitled boy who takes on the Shadows during a moment of time known as the Dark Hour. The Dark Hour comes but once a day, so during the other times your character must endure the daily ritual of a high school student, including down time where social interaction with fellow characters is not only encouraged, but rewarded with stronger attacks. The additional story takes place after the first is completed, but can be played at any time. In this adventure you assume the role of a character from the first who gains the ability to wield multiple Personas. This time around however, the game is almost purely a dungeon exploration game and much less emphasis is put on character interactions.

Even though the game features a party-based combat system, you only have control over the main character in each game, and the artificial intelligence takes over for the other party members. Different styles of play can be set for the party to offer support or all-out attacks. Enemy encounters are not random -- you can see each potential battle on the map before engaging the enemy, giving your character a strategic advantage and the opportunity to strike first. As with most RPGs, fighting increases your level, which leads to better weaponry and Personas to control.

Is it any good?

The sheer depth of Persona 3 is more than enough to satisfy rabid RPG players, and the enhancements made for this FES version make the title that much more appealing to those who missed the game on the first run. Yes, the addition of the entirely new game is an excellent bonus, but it's the outstanding storytelling and inter-personal interactions which make Persona 3 such a great title.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about average kids who discover extraordinary powers or links to fantasy worlds. How often does this theme appear in your favorite games? Books? Movies? What would you change about the fantasy world this character enters? There's much talk about life and death here. Do you think these kinds of deep discussions belong in games? Why or why not?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release date: April 22, 2008
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: M for mature
  • Last updated: May 1, 2021

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