Best Shin Megami Tensei Games On Switch And Nintendo Systems

Megami Tensei Franchise: A Look into the Best Shin Megami Tensei Games

Megami Tensei — also known as Shin Megami Tensei — has solidified its place as one of the longest-standing RPG franchises globally. Despite its origins dating back to 1987 on the Famicom, many gamers, especially in the West, are only now starting to explore this demon-summoning series. With various sub-series, revivals, and remakes, Shin Megami Tensei offers a deep rabbit hole for players to dive into.

Thanks to the popularity gained in the West, particularly through titles like Shin Megami Tensei III and Persona 3 on the PS2, Atlus’s star continues to rise. Among these, the Persona sub-series has emerged as a standalone entity. For those seeking traditional, challenging gaming experiences, what exactly defines the best Shin Megami Tensei game?

We’ve entrusted our readers to vote for their favorite SMT games. With the recent arrival of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, curiosity around this occasionally punishing franchise is at an all-time high. The unique blend of moodiness, philosophy, and weighty narrative in SMT sets it apart, making it an intriguing universe to explore.

For the purpose of this ranking, we’ve excluded Persona games, as they have evolved to become distinct entities despite sharing similarities in demons and gameplay mechanics. Instead, our focus remains on shedding light on how it all began.

While we acknowledge spin-offs like Devil Survivor and Tokyo Mirage Sessions, along with remakes, ports, and enhanced editions, our list only features games accessible in the West on Nintendo systems. Although the Super Famicom version of Shin Megami Tensei is available on mobile in the West, it has never received an official English localization for Nintendo systems.

This ranking remains flexible – Registered Nintendo Life users can rate the games out of 10 by clicking on the stars below. The list order, determined by NL User Ratings, is subject to change even after publication. If you’re ready, let’s delve into the rundown of the best Shin Megami Tensei games on Switch and Nintendo platforms, starting from the bottom…

Jack Bros. (Virtual Boy)

Image: Nintendo Life

Once you’ve got the hang of it Jack Bros. is a short game and it’s a shame that there aren’t more puzzles on offer. However multiple characters and two difficulty settings extend the life of a game that is a lot of fun to play already. It features great music and looks good too – though it doesn’t really gain anything from being on the Virtual Boy. Overall the game’s strengths help to make up for any weaknesses, making Jack Bros. an essential Virtual Boy purchase.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (3DS)

Best Shin Megami Tensei Games
Image: Nintendo Life

For Shin Megami Tensei or Persona fans, this is a no brainer — Soul Hackers is a fantastic entry in the series and you won’t be disappointed. Even better, it’s an excellent place for newcomers to jump in, with a relatively smooth difficulty curve and user-friendly hacks to help you out of tight spots. If you’re a hardened SMT fan then you might find the dungeons a little bland, but if you’re looking for a good place to start, or are a fan of deep, dark, story-driven dungeon crawlers with soul, the Spookies await your call.

… (remaining items follow the same format as above)