My definitive answer is Persona. All of the persona series… I just can’t, this series is so good. A JRPG that is literally about human relationships down to it’s mechanics. Each game does so well in keeping their main theme going throughout the various relationships you form and having the player enter these relationships and come out a better person because of it. Growing up I was a sort of a lonely loner kid, I kinda didn’t belong anywhere but I also wasn’t unwelcome anywhere. I was just wandering around friendships but nothing really stuck for me. As a teen Persona 3 really helped me come to grips with relationships understanding that you get as much out of it as you put in but also that part of relationships is disagreements and pain and hardship and that the tighter the bond is the more is at stake.
Persona 3 was my first one and it deals a lot in death; our dread of it, our fear of the inevitable, our mourning the losses and remembering the good. It’s the first game where I felt the weight of the stakes as the game progresses because you form these wonderful relationships, Only to find out the world is ending, and you feel the weight of that as more and more people around you become catatonic as a form of herald sickness before the coming of the end-times. The Main characters always keep hope alive even in the most dire of circumstances where the game makes it obvious to you that there is no winning, much like in I Kill Giants.
Persona 4 was so much about truth, and while the main story revolves around the truth of a series of murders (in a detective sort of way), the stories actually center around the truths we keep hidden from ourselves. It takes the Jungian concepts of Shadow and Persona Literally and every character’s arch is about accepting those flaws we see in ourselves and loving ourselves and practicing radical self-love.
Persona 5 is about freedom and change. It’s an excellent text for today’s time where the youth is so active in trying to build a better future for ourselves. The stories revolve around characters freeing themselves from aspects of their live internal and external that have enslaved them and prevented them from living authentic lives. The main song features so much imagery about activism and working towards a better tommorow.
Here’s a sample:
Wake up, get up, get out there
Raise your voice against liars
Feed your anger like fire
Why does nobody want change?
Just imagine you’re out there
Swatting lies in the makin’
Can’t move fast without breakin’
If you hold on life won’t change
So much about that game is about depression, apathy and fear as forces that keep us from making the world a better place for ourselves and for others and is an active invitation to BE better and do something no matter how small.
I can’t persona is everything, it is love, it is life.