Persona 3 is perhaps best described as "Basically, Buffy The Vampire Slayer at a super fashionable Japanese high school." If you're anything like me, that description alone would be enough to make you want to play.
Note: This post originally ran on 5/21/2012. Seeing as how we've finally got confirmation that Persona 5 will be coming to the US in 2015, it seemed like it'd be fun to bump it up for anyone who missed it the first time around. It miiiight finally be time to replay Persona 3, too. Just saying.
I've been playing Persona 3 Portable essentially nonstop for the last month and a half, and the more I play, the more I realize: This game isn't just like Buffy, it practically is Buffy. Not only do both stories involve supernatural extermination set in a high school (Gekkoukan/Sunnydale) that doubles as a gateway for demons (Hellmouth/Tartarus), their respective casts of characters are practically a 1:1 match.
Don't believe me? Check it out.
Mitsuru Kirijo | Buffy Summers
Headstrong leader who makes tough decisions and broods a lot. No shortage of daddy issues.
Yukari Takeba | Willow Rosenberg
Shy redhead who starts out weak but becomes stronger and stronger as things progress.
Junpei Iori | Xander Harris
Goofball everyman, probably the most relatable character in the gang. Questionable taste in women.
Akihiko Sanada | Spike
White-haired badass, crush-object. Acts like a hardcase but is actually pretty lovable.
Shinjiro Aragaki | Angel
Dark-haired brooder with a tortured past. Everyone debates whether he is hotter than his light-haired counterpart.
Female Protagonist | Faith Lehane
Newcomer who upsets the balance of things. Lots of power, reckless. Questionable morals. Fools around with various other team-members.
Shuji Ikutski | Rupert Giles
Attentive father figure/squad supervisor. Has mysterious history with the Watchers/SEES. Doubles as school staff member. Wears glasses.
Fuuka Yamagishi | Tara Maclay
Magic-user who isn't worth all that much in actual combat. Enters the group a bit later on. Kind of annoying.
Aigis | Anya Jenkins
Non-human who joins the group and slowly learns what it means to be human. Awesome. Quite attractive for a robot/vengeance demon.
Ken Amada | Dawn Summers
Kid who turns up out of nowhere well past the point where anyone wanted to meet another new character. Whiner. Grating voice. Won't go away.
Natsuki Moriyama | Cordelia Chase
Non-magical mean girl who spends the early part of the story giving the protagonists crap. Eventually comes around around and starts acting cool before leaving forever.
Chidori Yoshino | Drusilla
Irritating mystical chick who talks in poetry. People make a big deal over her but it's impossible to see the appeal.
Takaya Sakaki | Warren Mears
Stupid asshole who whips out a gun and totally ruins everything. Sucks so much.
Mysterious Boy (Pharos) | The Anointed One
Annoying child/malevolent presence who shows up in the early goings and says mysterious BS about the end of the world.
Kenji Tomochika | Andrew Wells
Second banana who won't shut up. Makes questionable decisions for romantic reasons. Seriously won't shut up.
Koromaru | Oz
Early addition who is not-so-secretly the actual coolest member of the crew. Animalistic tendencies.
(Top image is a combination of official Persona art with a lovely piece by DeviantARTist Kristele, whose page you should definitely check out.)