[This post was originally posted on 10/20/2016 and was most recently updated 5/18/2018, with an “Alternatives” section added to each entry reflecting newer releases and potential alternate entry points.]
If you’re a big JRPG fan, you’ve probably heard of Shin Megami Tensei. Atlus’ demon-summoning RPG series has been around for nearly 30 years under its original Megami Tensei moniker. In the US, however, its releases were sporadic at best and often underwent heavy localization to fit Western sensibilities. It wasn’t until the 2007 release of spinoff title Persona 3 that the series started gaining traction in America. Since then, the series has become a staple of the genre in the West. Most titles make it to our shores are some of the most anticipated releases in their windows.
That said, it’s a rough series to get into. There are countless spinoffs, sequels, and genres across the series. That’s why I’m here! I’ll help you dip your toes into the series, with recommendations based on what kind of game you’re interested in as well as a quick rundown of what to expect in the series as a whole.