Atlus Co., Ltd is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company based in Tokyo. Founded in April, 1986, Atlus acts as subsidiary of Sega and known for its Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, and Etrian Odyssey series among others. And within a lot of games in the company’s arsenal are these top 7 Atlus masterpieces that you shouldn’t miss as a RPG lover.
7. Gungnir (PlayStation Portable)
Gungnir, or also known as Gungnir: Inferno of the Demon Lance and The War of Heroes is a tactical RPG for PlayStation Portable developed by Sting Entertainment and published by Atlus. It is Episode IX of the Dept. Heaven series and was released in Japan in 2011, after two years of development.
Gungnir begins in the year 983 and takes place in the empire of Gargandia, a country populated with two races: the upper-class Daltania and the peasant Leonica. Because of certain incident called the “Espada Massacre”, a group of Leonican aided by Daltania symphatizers has form a resistance army called Esperanza, until one day the leader named Giulio met Gungnir the demon lance that changed his life.
6. Dragon’s Crown (PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4)
Dragon’s Crown is an action RPG developed by Vanillaware for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 in 2013. It was published in Japan and North America by Atlus and in PAL regions by NIS America. A port ofr PlayStation 4, Dragon’s Crown Pro, was released by Atlus in 2018. Players navigate environments from a side-scrolling perspective, choosing from six character classes.
The story begins with the adventurer arrives in Hydeland and gets involved with fights against surging monster attacks from ancient sites across the land, and a political coup attempted by the Prime Minister against the next heirs, siblings Vivian and Dean, following the disappearance of the king. The key of the story is about the Dragon’s Crown, an artifact that was imbued with the power to control dragons.
5. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (3DS)
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan is a dungeon crawler RPG developed and published by Atlus in 2012 for Nintendo 3DS. The game is the sequel to Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City and the first in the Etrian Odyssey series to be released on Nintendo 3DS.
For centuries, the tree Yggdrasil has been a contant presence in the lives of the people of Tharsis. The player is the latest explorer arriving in Tharsis on an adventure to seek the ancient tree. The player discovers a sealed-off, fallen empire with more advanced technology whose prince wishes to awaken the Titan known as Heavenbringer. After corrupted by the Heavenbringer, player must save Tharsis by defeating the prince and the Titan.
4. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (DS, 3DS)
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor is another series from Shin Megami Tensei universe which was developed by Atlus for Nintendo DS and later ported to 3DS. It uses tactical RPG mechanism unlike the other series. We will control the main protagonist with his friends who was trapped in modern-day Tokyo infested with demons. With a device called COMPs, we will have to survive in 7 days before apocalypse.
Although it is included in Shin Megami Tensei universe, its gameplay is different with the usual Shin Megami Tensei series such as Persona series. As what a tactical RPG should be, we will move our characters in square grid. Each of your character can carry up to two demons to assist them in battle. There is also battle feature called Skill Crack which will allow you to steal enemy demon’s abilities.
3. Radiant Historia (DS, 3DS)
Radiant Historia is a RPG co-developed by Atlus and Headlock for Nintendo DS. The game was released in Japan in 2010 by Atlus and in North America in 2011 by Atlus USA. An expanded remake for the Nintendo DS entitled Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology was released in 2017 in Japan and was released in Europe and North America the following year.
The game is set on Vainqueur, a continent divided between the warring nations of Alistel and Granorg. Alistel soldier Stocke is chosen to wield the White Chronicle, a tome capable of navigating multiple timelines, so he may prevent Vainqueur’s desertification. Stocke and his party explore Vainqueur, fighting enemies along the way on a grid-based battlefield using a turn-based system.
2. Disgaea (DS, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PC)
The first DIsgaea game or also known as Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is a tactical RPG developed and published by Nippon Ichi Software for PlayStation 2. A PlayStation Portable version was released entitled Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness. Later on, the game was also released on Nintendo DS and PC platform entitled: Disgaea DS and Disgaea PC.
The story of Disgaea opens with Laharl, the main character, rising out of an open coffin in his room. After explained by Etna, one of the castle vassals that he has been sleeping for two years, he vows to reclaim the throne after knowing his father’s death. After several events in the game, Laharl becomes the Overlord of the Netherworld, thus leading him to protect his kingdom from both demons and humans.
1. Persona 5 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 is the sixth installment of the Persona series. This game was developed by Atlus (P-Studio) for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It was released in Japan first in 2016, and worldwide in 2017. The Japan and North America version was published by Atlus while the Europe and Australia published by Deep Silver.
This game basically revolves around troubled high school students which consist of the main protagonist and his compatriots. These teenagers realized that they are living in a corrupted and dangerous world, so in order to seek freedom and justice they formed a group called Phantom Thieves of Hearts. With the assistance of Personas, they try to change the adults by entering their hearts.
Read also: Top 7 Square Enix RPG (Non-Final Fantasy)
Atlus has become one of the best game developers in this world, especially with its Persona series. But as you can see above, there are a lot of great games aside from Persona series. I have played Radiant Historia on Nintendo DS before, but I’m really intrigued to try Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor as it is recommended by many players as one of the best tactical RPG we can find.
So which games are your favorite Atlus masterpieces? How many of Atlus games have you played so far? Please share your thoughts below.