8 games to play if you love the Shin Megami Tensei series

NS Shin megami tensei The series is famous for its punitive turn-based battles, demon recruiting, and dungeon crawling. Working through a game of Shin Megami Tensei can be an exercise in determination and stamina. These games are difficult, but when you win a particularly frustrating part of the game, you feel a sense of relief and accomplish a lot. Aside from the great gameplay, there’s almost always a woven philosophical story with multiple endings worthy of attention.

Related: All Shin Megami Tensei games, rated

One of the biggest draws is being able to recruit demons to your party and always have some awesome demon designs. With the launch of Shin Megami Tensei V and positive reception on the Switch, it’s a great time to find something similar to ease the itch of hardcore JRPGs if you’re looking for a new game to play. play.


Pokemon Sword Shield Gigantamax Hatterene Max Raid Battle

Pokemon is a classic monster-catching JRPG, but it’s not nearly as difficult as Shin Megami Tensei. Like in the SMT series, you use monsters in battle against enemies. However, instead of recruiting them, you capture them, and instead of merging them, the Pokemon will evolve.

Related: Pokemon: All The Grass-Starters ranked by cuteness

There is also the possibility raise Pokemon with lots to learn about that’s not too far from demon fusion. Pokemon games are more kid-friendly than the heavier themes found in the Shin Megami Tensei series, but the series isn’t afraid to tackle some themes like loss.

Etrian Odyssey

Etrian Odyssey II ds

Etrian Odyssey is a dungeon crawler game that isn’t as difficult as SMT but offers more difficulty than Pokemon or Persona. If you are looking for a challenge, the series is for you.

To beat the game expect to grind the levels, try different strategies to beat the bosses and die a lot. The series tends to focus more on gameplay than story and characters. You can even skip a group of characters and create your own instead to crawl dungeons.

Bravely Default 2

Screenshots of characters in battle in Bravely Default 2

Strong default is a JRPG throughout. Thanks to the unique combat design where you can either reserve turns or use your current turn plus up to four future turns at once, things rarely go stale. While it’s not quite the same as SMT’s Press Turn system, where extra turns are rewarded for uncovering weakness, it still offers something new that will appeal to those who prefer a little more strategy. for their turn-based games.

Bravely Default also has a significantly lighter tone and can be easier to get caught up in since the story isn’t nearly as heavy as SMT.

Digimon Story: Cyber ​​Sleuthblank

Digimon has existed for a long time, and although continuously has Compare Pokemon and Digimon, it’s popular in its own right. Cyber ​​Sleuth tries to bring the series into more suitable territory with an updated combat system.

The game draws inspiration from both the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series and offers a fun turn-based combat system with a bunch of Digimon. If creature collecting is your thing, the complete version of the game boasts over 300 Digimons to acquire and train.

Shin Megami Tensei: Demon’s Survivor

Devil's Survival Battle

SMT Devil Survivor Battle against a wendigo

Devil Survivor is a spin-off of the main SMT games, and even though it has the SMT moniker, it’s distinct enough to warrant a spot here.

Although the story is not nearly complicated, philosophical and dark, the battles in the game can be tough and difficult. Thanks to the wide variety of demons to recruit and merge, there’s plenty of fun to be had, despite the challenge. SMT stories often take place in an apocalyptic world, but Devil Survivor is still in a world much like ours is being invaded.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore

Tokyo Mirage is a fever dream. The game is a cross between SMT and the Fire Emblem series with elements of Persona also included. It has a battle system very similar to SMT with guests from Fire Emblem characters that can be summoned in battle.

It sounds a bit ridiculous in theory, but it was successful enough to earn a Nintendo Switch port with all the DLC plus extra content. The biggest draw for SMT fans here is the combat system that involves rotating party members, with weak points to exploit.

Fire symbol: Three houses

fire icon three houses fight caspar punch

Fire symbol: Three houses There is a large number of characters that can be recruited. While not quite the same as recruiting demons in SMT, it does offer a wide variety of roles as well as unique characters and personalities to use in the game’s tactical battles.

Related: The game to play if you love fire symbols: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses also offers a wide range of difficulty if you want to challenge yourself, and like SMT, a complicated story with multiple endings and different consequences based on the choices you make throughout the adventure. save your own. There’s even a tough choice with permanent death if you’re feeling particularly masochistic.

Persona 5 Royal


Although it is much more popular and mainstream than SMT, Persona is a spin-off of the demon recruiting series. In SMT battles are often fought with a team of monsters and protagonists side by side, and in the Persona series each character can summon and battle their own Personas.

Both games have darker themes and storylines with some of the villains are really despicable and features turn-based combat systems, all of which revolve around exploiting your enemies’ weaknesses to earn extra turns to kill your enemies. It’s easy to fall in love with Persona if you’re a fan of SMT, and they also have some design similarities between Personas and Demons.

Next: Review of Shin Megami Tensei 5: Unforgiveness in the best possible way

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