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The 15 Best Atlus Games, According To Metacritic

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  • Posted on 01st Apr, 2022 06:18 AM
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Atlus Games has produced a wide variety of titles over the years. Here's a look at some of the developer's best games, ranked according to Metacritic!

p>Atlus began operating in 1986. They are known most for their Shin Megami Tensei series besides being an all-around great publisher for obscure and or weird RPGs. In 2013 Sega bought them out, making fans cringe at the idea, wishing it would not affect their development cycles or game decisions. Thankfully, the worse has not happened and Shadow the Hedgehog 2 has not been greenlit by them.

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These fifteen games are in order as they appear on Metacritic from the lowest-ranked game to the top, but there are some caveats. Most notably, even in instances where the publishing rights to a game belong to other companies elsewhere in the world, a game is still eligible for inclusion if it was published by Atlus in North America. Now then, onto the games!

Updated March 27, 2022, by Ritwik Mitra: Nowadays, most people know Atlus for their flagship RPG franchise Shin Megami Tensei and its spinoff - which is arguably even more popular than the main series - Persona. However, the celebrated studio actually has many amazing games under its belt, some of which have received critical and commercial acclaim across the board. The best of the bunch are listed down below, where they've been ranked according to their Metacritic scores.

15 Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (80)

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was developed by Atlus and published by Nintendo for the Wii U. Even though it is barely in the name, this is a crossover between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei.

A bunch of pop stars get what are essentially Persona, which are represented by famous characters in the other series such as Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening, to thwart evil. It is a weird crossover to be sure, but a great one nonetheless.

14 Catherine (82)

Catherine was developed by Atlus and published by them in Japan and North America for the PS3 and Xbox 360. It has the same visual style and vibe of the Persona games since that team had a direct hand in this.

It mixes that series’ social adventure game aspects and blends them with a block puzzler. The combination is bizarre and the puzzle aspects may not wow anyone. Thankfully they aren’t that difficult because the story is worth seeing it through.

13 Dragon's Crown (82)

Dragon's Crown was developed by Vanillaware and published by Atlus in Japan and North America for the PS3 and PS Vita. This was a huge callback to arcade beat ‘em ups, specifically, the Capcom made Dungeons and Dragons games.

Choosing from one of several classes, players will take on missions alone, or with up to three friends online, or locally. Dungeons are littered with monsters, traps, treasure, and secrets. On top of it being a good time, the art is as gorgeous as one would come to expect from Vanillaware.

12 Trauma Team (82)

Trauma Team was developed and published by Atlus for the Wii. A game about operating on patients in a hospital may not sound compelling especially since mission types aren’t that varied and boil down to mini-games, but the narrative within is.

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It’s kind of like an anime version of ER, or to link it closer to games, similar in style to Phoenix Wright.

11 Etrian Odyssey 4: Legends of the Titan (84)

Etrian Odyssey 4 was developed by Atlus and published by them in Japan and North America for the 3DS. It may sound cliched, but this is the turn-based RPG equivalent to Dark Souls.

Every battle from the smallest foe to the biggest boss poses a threat if players aren’t careful. Trudging along dungeons can equally cause a bit of anxiety as traps are around every corner, and it’s up to players to fill out the map. It is not an easy game by any stretch, but nothing beats that sense of reward when something difficult is overcome.

10 Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (84)

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor was developed by Career Soft and published by Atlus in Japan and North America for the DS. This is just as stress-inducing as Etrian Odyssey 4, but instead of a turn-based RPG, this spinoff to the main series is a tactical RPG.

Japan is being invaded by demons, and it’s up to a plucky young group of teenagers to save the day via a mysterious app on their phones that allows them to ally themselves with demons.

9 Shin Megami Tensei 4: Apocalypse (84)

The Shin Megami Tensei series is full to the brim with truly brilliant games. Shin Megami Tensei 4: Apocalypse is no exception to this rule, and it's a shame that the game hasn't made it past the handheld on which it was launched.

As a result, many players without a Nintendo 3DS have been unable to experience the sheer brilliance of this JRPG. The hard-as-nails combat and amazing story is a joy to get through and makes for a great experience indeed.

8 Shin Megami Tensei 5 (84)

The latest mainline entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series has absolutely wowed players with its amazing combat, brilliant visuals, and gripping story. The fact that it's available on a home console means that the series can finally flex its muscles properly.

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Shin Megami Tensei 5 is easily one of the best JRPGs of the modern generation, and doesn't shy away from letting players know that the difficulty of this title would not let up, no matter what. Persona fans will be in for a rude awakening if they feel that Shin Megami Tensei 5 is pretty much the same... because it's definitely not.

7 Radiant Historia (85)

Radiant Historia was co-developed by Atlus and Headlock and published by them in Japan and North America for the DS. It is a fairly typical turn-based RPG, but one with a killer hook: time travel. Yes, Chrono Trigger did this before, but not to the lengths of this game.

Doing anything along one of the many timelines will affect the future and or past. Players will constantly pass back and forth in the hopes of solving the next puzzle. There is a lot of depth to it, so it can be confusing without a guide. The 3DS port helps out better with that aspect.

6 Persona 4 Arena (86)

Persona 4 Arena was co-developed by Arc System Works and Atlus and published by them in Japan and North America for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Who would have ever thought the Persona franchise would have made for a great fighting game?

Probably no one, but low and behold this beautiful gem. The craziest thing about it, besides the amazing animations, is that the story is pretty decent for a fighting game.

5 Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (89)

Persona 3 has received several versions, as is the norm with most Persona games. The updated FES version on the PS2 still does not allow players to control their party members, but is still a blast to play through regardless.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES features all the content of the main game along with an epilogue that expands on what happened after the rather morose ending of the original version. While the expanded story's quality might be up for debate, there's no denying that this version is easily the best way to experience Persona 3... provided players can gain access to a PS2, that is.

4 Demon's Souls (89)

Demon's Souls was developed by FromSoftware and published by Atlus in North America for the PS3. Interestingly, the publishing rights were part of the reason why FromSoftware had to rename the series for its sequel: Dark Souls.

Technically, even though this was published by Atlus, who took a great risk in bringing it over, Sony owns the rights to the name as much as they do Bloodborne. Will either of them get a sequel? All signs point to yes, but when is the real question.

3 Persona 5 (93)

Persona 5 was developed and published by Atlus in Japan and North America for the PS3 and PS4. Some people consider Persona 4 is better from a cast and story standpoint, but the visuals, improvements to the mechanics, and overall gameplay make this just as good.

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It’s really like fighting over which precious diamond is the best. All one needs to know is that this is an excellent and long RPG that is absolutely brimming with style.

2 Persona 4 Golden (93)

While Persona 3 and 5 focused on lifestyle in the big city, Persona 4 took a more localized approach with the small yet invigorating town of Inaba. The close-knit nature of this area coupled with the relatively light-hearted nature of the plot turned Persona 4 into an absolute masterpiece.

So, it's a massive achievement that Persona 4 Golden took everything established in its predecessor and enhanced its quality to a massive extent. The fact that this game still holds up in recent times after being released on Steam shows just how much people love this enhanced and definitive edition of the original game.

1 Persona 5 Royal (95)

Speaking of updated editions, it would be impossible not to mention the immense quality of Persona 5 Royal. It was almost like Atlus heard each and every wish that fans had about the game and integrated it into a brilliant updated release that fans simply couldn't get enough of.

Persona 5 Royal features all the goodness of the original game, along with various quality-of-life improvements and another semester with a totally original plot of its own. This, coupled with the integration of Kasumi and a different version of Akechi as playable characters, turned the game into an absolute masterpiece.

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