I know you‘re eager to jump into the stylish world of Persona 5. And who can blame you? This modern JRPG classic has earned nonstop praise from players and critics alike. With its anime visuals, catchy acid jazz soundtrack, masked high school rebels, and addictive monster collecting/dungeon crawling, Persona 5 stands out as a marvel of the genre.
But before you rush to download it, you probably want the full details on whether or not it‘s included free with a PlayStation Plus membership. As your gaming guru, let me walk you through everything you need to know.
A Quick PlayStation Plus Explainer
Sony offers a few different tiers of PlayStation Plus with varying perks and prices. Here‘s a handy chart so you can see the differences:
|Tier||Monthly Price||Main Features|
|Essential||$9.99||Online multiplayer, 2 monthly games, exclusive discounts|
|Extra||$14.99||Essential benefits + catalog of 400+ PS4/PS5 games|
|Premium||$17.99||Extra benefits + game trials, game streaming, classic PS1/PS2/PSP games|
Only Premium lets you access those nostalgic classic PlayStation games. But none of the current tiers permanently include Persona 5, sadly.
The Temporary PlayStation Plus Collection
When the PS5 first launched back in 2020, Sony provided a special collection of "greatest hits" PS4 games that new owners could download and play immediately. It was a cool way to show off their new console with some of the best games from the previous generation.
This PlayStation Plus Collection originally contained 20 banger titles like:
- God of War
- The Last of Us Remastered
- Uncharted 4
- Fallout 4
- Monster Hunter: World
- Mortal Kombat X
And for a time, it also featured the one and only Persona 5. So early PS5 adopters with PlayStation Plus got to experience this highly-regarded JRPG at no extra cost. But in May 2022, Sony removed Persona 5 from this collection with no explanation. Rude!
All About Persona 5, Baby
Now that you know the sad tale of Persona 5 getting booted from the PlayStation Plus Collection, let‘s take a deeper look at what makes this game so dang special:
Stylish anime visuals with slick menus and UI. Dripping with attitude.
Flashy characterized portraits and cutscenes made to look like a living manga or anime.
Super suave character designs, with the heroes wearing masks and costumes straight out of a heist film.
An infectious acid jazz soundtrack perfect for doing homework or cruising Tokyo streets.
Voice acting in both English and Japanese to match your preference.
A group of misfit students use alter-egos to explore the Metaverse and reform society‘s corruption.
Mature themes examine abuse, injustice, inequality, and standing up to oppression. Heavy stuff.
Will they succeed in their rebellion against the world‘s distorted desires? Play to find out!
Fuse dungeon crawling in the Metaverse with slice-of-life simulation in Tokyo.
Capture Personas (manifestations of your psyche) to use in turn-based battles against Shadows.
Bond with Confidants during your school days to unlock new battle abilities.
Infiltrate Palaces and navigate puzzles to steal corrupted Treasure at the core.
94 on Metacritic, making it one of the highest-rated JRPGs of the decade!
Won multiple Game of the Year awards from outlets like IGN, GamesRadar, and RPG Site.
Fans and journalists alike fell head over heels for its "cool" factor and style.
So it‘s easy to see why Persona 5 has developed such a diehard following who obsess over every detail of its world and characters!
Expanding the Story with Persona 5 Royal
In 2020, Atlus released Persona 5 Royal, an expanded definitive edition of the original game stuffed with a treasure trove of new content:
Some Notable Additions:
A new character named Yoshizawa joins as a playable Phantom Thief
An entire third semester extends the story past the original ending
New cutscenes provide more insight into beloved characters
Fresh Personas, events, music, and quality-of-life improvements
Streamlined mechanics reduce grinding
Rebalanced difficulty increases accessibility
Updated visuals and audio take full advantage of PS4 power
The Thieves Den offers fun mini-games and extras to uncover
So you get way more game, way better game, all for minimal extra cost. Of course, this Royal version isn‘t free on PlayStation Plus either sigh.
Limited-Time Free Trials for Persona 5
While Persona 5 currently isn‘t included in PlayStation Plus, there have been some temporary promotions that let subscribers play it for free:
A 4-hour trial of Persona 5 Royal launched globally on PlayStation Plus Premium in November 2022. This let gamers experience the intense opening chapters.
In Asia, the original Persona 5 was available to stream via Premium for 3 months up until September 2022.
But these were just short teaser trials. No ongoing free access…yet!
Is Paying Full Price for This Game Worth It?
You might see Persona 5 Royal selling for the full $60 and get tempted to wait for a sale. I get it, we‘ve all got a dwindling gaming budget!
Let me put it to you straight: even at full price, Persona 5 is absolutely worth every penny. Here‘s why:
It‘ll take around 100 hours to complete a single playthrough. That‘s like 100 hours of entertainment for ~60 bucks!
The intricate gameplay systems have nearly endless depth with tons of Personas to collect and optimize.
Multiple endings and New Game+ mode give you reasons to play again and again.
JRPGs of this caliber are rare, making Persona easily a top 10 PS4 game.
For comparison, going to see 10 movies at the theater would cost you the same $60 for like 30 hours max of entertainment. Persona 5 Royal gives you 3-4x that playtime!
Catch It on Sale If Needed
I think Persona 5 is worth paying full price. But hey, sales are awesome too! Here are some tips:
The original Persona 5 is a PlayStation Hits title for only $20 permanently.
Royal has gone 50% off during recent PSN sales events. Just add it to your wishlist!
Physical copies can be found used at GameStop for as low as $15-20.
So paying full freight isn‘t your only option. But you might need to be patient for deals to roll around.
Should You Play Persona 5 or Persona 5 Royal?
If given the choice, I‘d strongly recommend picking Royal over vanilla P5 for first-time Persona players. Here‘s why it‘s the definitive edition:
10-20 more hours of game time
Entirely new arc improves narrative pacing
New characters like Yoshizawa liven up the cast
Dozens of refinements reduce tedium and grinding
Royal enhances and expands an already phenomenal experience in almost every way. It‘s the easy choice for newbies.
That said, you‘d still have an amazing experience with original Persona 5 if Royal isn‘t accessible. The core story and gameplay totally stand the test of time.
Getting a Refund From PlayStation If You Don‘t Like It
Let‘s say you take my advice and buy Persona 5. But after playing a bit, you decide it‘s just not vibing with you. No worries, you can get a refund directly from PlayStation if you act fast!
To Get a PSN Refund:
Request it within 14 days of buying.
Play less than 2 hours total.
Didn‘t download on PS5.
Provide reason for dissatisfaction.
So give it a solid chance, but don‘t feel locked in if Persona isn‘t your cup of tea. PlayStation‘s got your back.
Could Persona 5 Return to PlayStation Plus Someday?
While I‘d love to see Persona 5 come back to PlayStation Plus, Sony hasn‘t given any hints one way or another.
On one hand, Persona and PlayStation have a long history together, so it seems reasonable Sony would want to keep enticing new players to the series.
But on the other hand, PS Plus game offerings change all the time, so Persona 5 may be gone for good. I wouldn‘t hold my breath.
My optimistic side says maybe we‘ll get Royal as a monthly PS Plus game down the road. But no guarantees, sadly!
How PlayStation Plus Compares to Xbox Game Pass
Your other option for "free" games is Xbox Game Pass. At a glance, Game Pass generally offers way more games upfront than PlayStation Plus.
However, PlayStation Plus provides new monthly games to offset titles leaving the service. So it really comes down to your platform of choice.
Persona 5 Royal is playable on PlayStation and Switch, but not Xbox. So PlayStation is your only choice for console access currently. But the upcoming PC version opens the door for Xbox inclusion!
The Verdict: This Game Belongs in Your Collection!
Alright, let me drop some straight talk: Persona 5 is a mandatory experience for any JRPG fan. The story, style, characters, and demon collecting gameplay make this an instant classic brimming with unforgettable moments.
Buy Royal if possible for that juicy extra content.
Wait for a sale if needed, but don‘t sleep on this game!
Give it 10+ hours before judging the admittedly slow start.
Play on PS4 or PS5, whatever you got. Both are great.
Difficulty is adjustable if you find it too challenging.
For my money, Persona 5 Royal stands tall as one of the very best RPGs you can play on PlayStation today. There‘s truly nothing else quite like it.
So get out there and make some irreplaceable high school memories with the Phantom Thieves! Just be sure to budget accordingly, since this 100+ hour experience deserves a spot in any gamer‘s library.
Let me know when you finally play it. I can‘t wait to hear which waifu you romance!