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I'm new to the Persona series, so I wanted to know if the Persona video games have any relationship to the previous games. I went to other sites but they didn't give me a clear answer.

Can I play Persona 5 without playing the previous games?

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    As per anime.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/415 and the help center, we allow story questions about anime-style games (but not gameplay questions). Persona 5 seems to fall into that category based on the overall style of the game and the fact that previous games in the series have had anime adaptations. As such I think the question is fine here though it might also be okay on Arqade. – Logan M Jul 31 '17 at 8:18
  • I know it's an older question, but this Arqade question is relatable; and a good read – Wondercricket Sep 18 '18 at 17:42
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I didn't play Persona 5 (yet), but I saw a friend's play for quite a stretch of the story so don't take my answer as 100% accurate, but every numeric entry in Persona are independent one from another. As usual in any long-running series, some easter eggs and cameos for the fans, but the core story should be fully enjoyable by itself.

It would be different if you asked for something like Persona 4 and Persona 4: Arena or Persona 4: Dancing All Night, as they are "in the same numeric entry" so those spin-off games take on the main Persona 4 story, and thus if you didn't play it, you will feel that you are missing a lot of information, but as pure numeric entries, just fine.

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Yes, you can!

Although Persona is a franchise, the games do not depend on each other being totally independent.

This is because even if all games in the franchise have the same essence, each game has a way of addressing this different essence based on its theme.

Already in the introduction, the game already explains everything you need to know about the basics of Shin Megami Tensei and how it will affect the functioning of Persona 5.

Note: My boyfriend is playing Persona 5 without having played the other games and is not having the slightest difficulty to understand the story.

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Having checked the Persona 5 synopsis in Wikipedia and having played Persona 4, the answer to your question would be, "yes, it is safe to play Persona 5 without having played the previous installments of the game".

The reasons for that is there are these differences between the 2 games.

  1. Protagonist and characters

    MC in Persona 4 is white-haired. The first person to join the team was the son of a department store owner, followed by a tomboy. Persona 5 MC is black-haired.

  2. Place setting

    Persona 5 was set in Tokyo. Persona 4 was in a small remote town.

  3. Story

    Persona 4 starts with a mysterious murder that happened during a foggy day and has to do with a TV channel that can only be accessed during certain midnights.

So, with at least those 3 reasons stated above, you can be sure that it is safe to play Persona 5 without playing the previous installments beforehand. Treat Persona series like the Final Fantasy series. Every title is its own game, although they do sometimes make references on its previous installment, such as recurring summons, monsters, equipment, names, etc.

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