Persona 5 is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus. The game is chronologically the sixth installment in the Persona series, which is part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan in September 2016 and worldwide in April 2017. It was published by Atlus in Japan and North America and by Deep Silver in Europe and Australia. An expanded version featuring new content, Persona 5 Royal, was released for PlayStation 4 in Japan in October 2019 and worldwide in March 2020.
Persona 5 takes place in modern-day Tokyo and follows Joker after his transfer to Shujin Academy due to being put on probation for an assault of which he was falsely accused. During a school year, he and other students awaken to special powers, becoming a group of secret vigilantes known as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. They explore the Metaverse, a supernatural realm born from humanity's subconscious desires, to steal malevolent intent from the hearts of adults. As with previous games in the series, the party battles enemies known as Shadows using physical manifestations of their psyche known as the Persona. The game incorporates role-playing and dungeon crawling elements alongside social simulation scenarios.
Persona 5 was developed by P-Studio, an internal development studio within Atlus led by game director and producer Katsura Hashino. Along with Hashino, returning staff from earlier Persona games included character designer Shigenori Soejima and music composer Shoji Meguro. Preparatory work began during the development of Persona 4, with full development beginning after the release of Catherine in 2011. First announced in 2013, Persona 5 was delayed from its original late 2014 release date due to the game not being fully finished. The game's themes revolved around attaining freedom from the limitations of modern society, while its story was strongly inspired by picaresque fiction and the party's Personas being based on well-known literary outlaws and rebels.
Persona 5 was met with critical acclaim, with praise given to its visual presentation and art direction, cast, gameplay, and music. The game is considered to be one of the greatest role-playing games of all time and was nominated for and won multiple awards. The game shipped over three million copies worldwide by the end of 2019, making it the best-selling entry in the overall Megami Tensei franchise. Several other media, including two spin-off games, Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight and Persona 5 Scramble, as well as manga and anime adaptations, have also been released. The game's cast has also made appearances in other games, such as Joker appearing as a playable character in the 2018 crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.