Persona 5 Tactica Review

Persona 5 Tactica Review
The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that while the game is good, it probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point. We suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future. Maybe ever. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: November 17, 2023
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC
  • Genre: Tactical RPG
  • Similar Games: Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, Mario + Rabbids
  • Price: starts at $59.99

SEGA and Atlus have been riding the Persona 5 train hard, and for good reason. When Persona 5 was first released back in 2016, it received overwhelming praise from critics and players alike, with some calling it one of the best JRPGs ever made in the last console generation. It went on to spawn a “Royal” version and even a Musou-style offering called Persona 5 Strikers. It’s now 2023, and we’ve got time and space for one more (heh) spin-off.

Persona 5 Tactica, as the name suggests, is a tactical RPG that takes the best parts of the series and transforms it into something reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. It’s a seemingly great fit, as both the characters and the world feel like they would work well within the confines of a grid-based title. Paired with the power of Persona’s IP, it’s almost a surefire hit.

Can this latest Persona 5 release take our hearts once again?

Persona 5 Tactica takes the grid-based approach to tactical RPGs and puts in beloved characters like Joker, Morgana, Ann, Makoto, and the rest of the gang as playable chess pieces. It doesn’t drastically overhaul the formula, but it excels at implementing familiar Persona mechanics in a way that not only makes sense but is fun to play as well.

In a nutshell, players will take control of three characters from the Persona 5 series across the various “Kingdoms” in the game, each with its ruler, and do what they do best – liberate and free the oppressed and bring justice to evildoers. Levels are mission-based and are composed of various conditions to overcome such as beating enemies in limited turns; fairly standard tactical RPG trimmings.

The standard game loop in Persona 5 Tactica will see players plan out their strategy at Leblanc Cafe, a familiar and welcome sight to fans of the series. During this time, players can prepare for the upcoming battle by purchasing equipment, upgrading skills, and even visiting a familiar room, which we’ll get to later. There are a bunch of confusing menus here, with some items falling outside of where you would normally expect them to be, so it could take a bit of time to remember where everything is when it shouldn’t.

That said, you’ll mostly be switching through menus in between battles, so it goes without saying that there’s no free roaming in the game nor is there any map or area to explore. The only “roaming” you’ll get to do is during battles, and even then, it really isn’t even considered as that.

persona 5 tactica tyrant marie

Characters in Persona 5 Tactica can move around levels, taking advantage of obstacles and terrain to shield themselves from enemy troops. Attacking takes on three forms: first is a melee attack that knocks enemies back or into each other and repositions them, second is with the use of their signature firearm, and third is via Persona, which has various skills at their disposal. Each attack has its use case, and players will have to figure out what works best during the many situations they’ll find themselves in.

Dealing damage to enemies can result in a “One More” attack, basically giving players another shot at bringing the pain. This is an integral part of Persona 5 Tactica as it sets characters up to further reposition themselves again but also activates the Triple Threat technique, which is similar to the “All Out” attack from Persona 5 that deals massive damage to everyone caught in the area.

The addition of this Triple Threat attack in Persona 5 Tactica is a shining example of how it uses the normal mechanics and systems of the genre and tweaks it to serve the overall theme of the game. Being a party of three, these characters can form a triangle area that deals damage to anyone caught in it, emphasizing the planning of attacks well and highlighting the importance of positioning, both of which are hallmarks of the genre. It’s really powerful when used right, decimating groups in one fell swoop.

That said, it does feel that Persona 5 Tactica favors gun and melee attacks over actual Persona use. During my playthrough, I hardly felt the need to use any Persona-related skill, as most, if not all, missions can be handled with the smart use of firearms and melee attacks. At the same time, the levels aren’t too imaginative and interesting, but they serve the purpose of having players make use of the main features of the game.

persona 5 tactica akechi

Each of Persona 5 Tactica’s characters has various specialties that will make players want to take them in battle, depending on their approach. Characters like Yusuke and Joker provide a boost to gun attacks, while Ann and Morgana boost SP for more Persona-casting action. If you love using melee attacks, bring Makoto and Haru along for the ride! It’s not essential to bring along a synergistic trio, but it does make life easier.

Speaking of characters, Persona 5 Tactica introduces Erina, a new cast member whom the Phantom Thieves will meet during their first mission. She is the leader of a rebel force opposed to the rule of Queen Marie, the oppressive ruler of the Kingdom. During a chance meeting with Joker, both parties vow to help each other as they rid these Kingdoms of injustice. Erina is quite the addition to the cast of Persona 5 Tactica. She’s brave, spunky, and isn’t afraid to put herself out there for her cause. She’s definitely a lovable character that makes a good fit in the world.

persona 5 tactica flag of freedom

Persona 5 Tactica also introduces a charge mechanic, rewarding players who choose to not attack during their turn. While charging, characters gain special properties for their next attack, like an increase in knockback range or an automatic crit for the next attack, leading to an instant One More situation.

But what’s a Persona game without Personas? Throughout the many missions of Persona 5 Tactica, players can gain Personas without the need to capture them like they usually do. Once in possession of these Personas, players can choose to fuse them to create more powerful variants in the Velvet Room, supervised by returning character, Lavenza.

Personas in Persona 5 Tactica aren’t as integral compared to the mainline game as enemies don’t have specific elemental weaknesses, but each spell in the game has unique properties that add more depth to gameplay. Garu can push back and sweep away enemies, while Agi and Bufu can burn and freeze, and some can inflict status ailments.

I’ll have to say though that there are times when I never even used or thought about using a Persona during battle. Despite characters being flexible enough to equip a Sub-Persona that allows them more skills apart from their usual main Persona, this system isn’t well-integrated enough to the point that you need to rely on them to advance.

persona 5 tactica brigantine blitzkrieg

Characters also have unique skill trees that can be upgraded using GP, a resource you can pick up in limited quantities by activating party discussions while at Leblanc or by finishing Quests, a mission type that challenges players to finish certain scenarios with a tight requirement (reach the end marker in one turn, etc). These are challenging scenarios that will require careful thought and planning, but the rewards are certainly worth it because GP is pretty hard to come by!

Skills under these skill trees don’t really result in unique builds but serve to reinforce the already established playstyle that each of the characters already has. While some skills overlap between party members, these skills are set up in such a way that players can still use a combination of any character they choose without feeling crippled during battle, even though character progression is a bit on the thin side.

These are but little tweaks to a familiar formula, and they really strengthen Persona 5 Tactica with its own personality and unique twist that not only elevates the experience but also makes it stand out in a sea of tactical RPG titles.

persona 5 tactica cover system

Persona 5 Tactica somehow manages to avoid the lull that most tactical RPGs fall into with these smart features. Battles are exciting, although a good chunk of the missions are way too easy for my liking, and the chibi art style is a great direction for the game. The UI and visual effects are reminiscent of Persona 5, which is always a good thing.

When it comes to the voice performances and the soundtrack, what else can we say about Persona 5 Tactica? If you’ve come to expect rocking tunes and an electric style, the game doesn’t disappoint. It oozes style and confidence, and even the English voiceovers are fantastic and can hold their own against their Japanese counterparts.

With these good points, Persona 5 Tactica does falter in some aspects as well. Its narrative is campy and paper-thin, so don’t expect anything to the extent of the mainline titles. It also feels like the Persona 5 charm is treading on thin ice already, especially after a recent re-release for the current-gen consoles along with the Strikers spin-off.

There’s also the lack of side activities that the series is well-known for, and that’s missing from this game. This results in a title that is a mostly one-dimensional and purely tactical affair, and while the battles in itself are fun, albeit less challenging than I expected, fans of the series may look for more only to find nothing else.

What we liked:

  • Chibi art style lends itself perfectly
  • Great translation of familiar systems like “One More” that blend well with new mechanics like Charging and Triple Threats
  • Awesome soundtrack and great voice performances

What we didn’t like:

  • Limited party of only 3 members
  • Some characters won’t get a chance to shine
  • Campy and paper-thin narrative
  • Personas aren’t as useful
  • Difficulty is a bit on the easy side

Verdict: Buy it!


Persona 5 Tactica is a serviceable effort that translates Persona 5 into a competent tactical RPG that is easy to pick up and play. With a charming chibi art style and lovable (but overly familiar) characters, every map and challenge is a joy.

Persona 5 Tactica has a wealth of systems and mechanics that work well together, elevating the experience and giving the genre a fresh twist that’s more than just the usual. Paired with series staples such as One More and Persona fusions, all of these form a cohesive effort that is brimming with personality and fun.

That said, it is a “lighter” take on the genre. It isn’t particularly difficult or challenging, and Personas aren’t particularly useful enough, unlike the mainline titles. Even then, Persona 5 Tactica is a serviceable spin-off that fans may enjoy before the inevitable move to the next mainline Persona game.

*Persona 5 Tactica was reviewed on a PS4/PS5 and PC with a review code provided by the publisher.

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