Top 10 Games by ATLUS Games [Best Recommendations]

Atlus is a game development company incorporated in Japan. With it's North American office localizing all of it's games, Atlus has become quite well-known globally with many popular hit series heard of in the Western world. Most of the known titles are RPGs with captivating stories in addition to their dynamic and fast paced gameplay. Atlus also chooses to expand on existing franchises, furthering and developing on it's premise than creating new series. Hence, spinoffs and related games are common in their list of developed games. Here we have top 10 games by Atlus.

10. Disgaea

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 2/PSP/Nintendo DS
  • Publisher: Atlus/Nippon Ichi Software
  • Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
  • Release Date: January 2003/August 27 2003 (JP/NA)

As Laharl rose out of an open coffin, he was promptly informed by one his vassal, Etna that he had been sleeping for 2 years and that his father, the previous king had died, leaving the throne open. Laharl vows to seize the position of king once more and set off with his other vassals to the castle of Vyer. After slaying Vyer, Laharl was shocked to learn that his father was still alive. After his numerous conquests over others, Laharl became the undisputed Overlord of the Netherworld. But his journey did not end there, as the arrival of a group of humans arrive thereafter, their intentions mostly unknown...

Disgaea is largely a tactical role playing game. Most of the game occurs on a square grid where players plan their attacks on enemies. It is kind of like chess in which different characters possess different abilities and skills. Naturally, victory is determined by the annihilation of either forces. Players can also conquer a square grid or throw enemies into friendly grids at the risk of destroying every unit in that grid.


9. Persona 4 Arena

  • System/Platform: Arcade/PlayStation 3/Xbox 360
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: Atlus/Arc System Works
  • Release Date: July 26 2012/August 7 2012(JP/NA)

Taking place after 2 years of Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4, Persona Arena takes place in the same town of Inaba as the original game. The new world consists of different sets of arenas based on the original Yasogami High School. After witnessing an advert on the P1 Grand Prix tournament, Yu Narukami, Chie Satonaka, Yosuke Hanamura and Yukiko Amagi sets off the explore the meaning behind the tournament but inadvertently gets trapped in the arena, forced to fight projections of themselves and their friends. Not knowing where the source for the tournament, they happen to chance upon a girl named Labrys. They suspect that her missing shadow was the cause of the tournament and attempts to solve the mystery behind the tournament.

Persona 4 Arena is a fighting genre game. Like any other fighting game, the different buttons on the controller determines specific actions. In addition to standard fighting, the characters are also able to summon their Personas to aid them in battle. By chaining together actions and controls, players can string together complicated combos to deal massive damage to their opponent. The most difficult combo input is also a One Hit KO move that will instantly kill the other party should the attack connect. To use it however, along with Personas, an SP gauge is present to regulate the amount of special attacks that can be dealt as well as saving up enough SP for the ultimate move.


8. Radiant Historia

  • System/Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: November 3 2010/February 22 2011 (JP/NA)

Vainquere was once known as a great empire. However, that much is all in the past. Due to the misuse of the Flux power, the centre of the continent was reduced into dunes of sand creating a desert where inhabitation was impossible. Through desperate attempts, the remnants of the old empire fled north with several other remainder fleeing elsewhere. The once united nation was now divided into five different factions where they constantly wage war with each other. The Kingdom of Granord has managed to temporarily stall the desertification of the continent through a mystic ritual. But who knows what will happen to the continent as the war wages on.

Players assume the control of Stocke, a leader of the intelligence team of Alistel sent to infiltrate Granorg. His team was soon wiped out and he was severely wounded. As he faded out of consciousness, he soon finds himself in the land of Historia where he meets two queer children - Teo and Lippti. They granted him the power to move between the time continuums. The shift between different time zones is a unique feature of the game where each and every decision are critical in developing the story. Though seemingly unrelated, they eventually lead back to the overarching storyline, showing that every action chosen by the player will have their own separate set of consequences. The unorthodox story presentation gives a whole new look on the themes of time travel and parallel universes which blends well into the story of Radiant Historia.


7. Megami Tensei

  • System/Platform: Famicom
  • Publisher: Namco/Atlus
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: September 11, 1987 (JP)

Akemi Nakajima is a high school computer programming prodigy. He created a program to bring forth demons from Makai in order to exact revenge on his classmate. However, things did not go as planned and he unleashed numerous demons into the world. Fortunately for Akemi, his newfound friend, Yumiko Shirasagi is actually the incarnation of Izanami himself and together the battle against the army of demons unleashed. However, the journey ahead of them is anything but easy as the great demon Lucifer has conjured a massive labyrinth of 6 levels, each with it's respective powerful guardians...

Megami Tensei sets the standards for the it's spinoffs such as Persona and Shin Megami Tensei. While the newer games incorporates many new elements to spice the game up, the foundation upon which the battle system is based upon has never been replaced. Similar in all of the games is the feature of procuring powerful demons and then managing them via training and fusing. Battle takes place on a turn based basis, giving players the opportunity to plan their attacks and anticipate enemy movements. This unique feature of Megami Tensei's is highly intricate and detailed for it's time, making it one of the main reasons for the games success due to its intricacy and complexity. Players will never feel that they are being redundant in fusing the same demons as the demons take up the respective skills of each other when they are fused.


6. Etrian Odyssey

  • System/Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: Atlus/Lancarse
  • Release Date: January 18 2007/May 15 2007 (JP/NA)

Etrian Odyssey is a dungeon crawler, role playing game. Like most dungeon adventure games, the game offers the player the choice of different classes of characters - each unique and with a different skill set. The player will have to battle through hordes of monsters through random encounters. In addition to random instances of monsters, more powerful AI controlled monsters known as Field On Enemies will appear, tracking the player's movements. The layout of the game is presented in a turn based sequence, allowing the player to plan ahead and anticipate both monsters and Field On Enemies movements.

A unique feature to this game however and it's selling point would be the element of cartography. Players will have to annotate on a small map and maintain it as they travel further into the dungeon. This aspect of the game provides realism to the theme of dungeon crawling to the point that symbols are also provided to mark key landmarks. The different character classes, map drawing and well-balanced array of monsters all contribute to the success of the Etrian Odyssey franchise, taking the cool spot of No. 6 on this list.


5. Demon Souls

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 3
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Release Date: February 5 2009/October 6 2009 (JP/NA)

King Allant XII of the Kingdom of Boletaria was a greedy and power hungry man. Due to his meddling in harnessing the souls of those that brought success to the kingdom, he awakened a demon known only as the Old One. Awakened, Old One covered the whole kingdom in a fog which many called the 'Deep Fog'. Many have braved the fog but none have returned. One such warrior managed to breach into the kingdom but was soon slain as well. Given a chance for redemption, he has to hunt all the demons of the lost kingdom of Boletaria and eventually free the kingdom from the fog. Now, his quest begins.

A blast from the past, Demon Souls incorporates medieval and dark fantasy themes. The difficulty of the game has not deterred fans of the game to finish the game. Failing a quest merely means being tutored in the art of succeeding the quest in the future. The fine subtleties of the game fighting mechanics allows players to identify the traits of the demons and then defeat them in the end. Demon Souls precedes Dark Souls but the game is highly similar to the latter, a successful and well-known global game. Demon Souls has also inspired many other great works such as Berserk and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Due to its influential nature, we have little objection in ranking this Atlus game high on this list!


4. Trauma Center: Under the Knife

  • System/Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: June 30 2005/October 4 2005 (JP/NA)

Set in the year 2018, medicinal technology advanced so much that diseases such as AIDS and cancer have since became eradicated. Derek Stiles is a new and inexperienced doctor at Hope Hospital. It wasn't long into his training however that he soon realised that he has a latent ability known as the Healing Touch, a miraculous ability from Asclepius that allows him to operate on patients with blinding speed. However, the threat of bioterrorism looms in the state of the US putting him and his skills as a doctor to the ultimate test. Known as GUILT, Derek will have to operate on diseases that were never seen before.

Trauma Centre is a medicinal simulation game and a good one at that, in our opinion. Players assume the role of Derek Stiles, a doctor at Hope Hospital. Despite it's relatively old age, the game places a lot of emphasis in emulating medicinal procedures such that you will really feel like a surgeon. Different surgical tools will be available to the players in treating different medical complications such as tumours, viruses and cuts. Using the Nintendo DS's stylus technology to its advantage, it allows the player to work freely on a body adding realism to the gameplay.


3. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

  • System/Platform: Nintendo DS & 3DS
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: Career Soft
  • Release Date: January 15 2009/June 23 2009 (JP/NA)

One of the best games to start off in the tactical role playing genre, Shin Megami Tensei puts you into the shoes of a second year high school student, whose life is suddenly turned upside down when the world is invaded by an onslaught of demons.

Following the invasion of demons whose sole purpose seem to be hunting humans, the greater Tokyo area is put under quarantine, and everyone within is cut off from electricity and food. An all out struggle for survival begins. In the midst of this chaos, the protagonist discovers that he can summon friendly demons - through a device created by his cousin - to battle the other hostile demons. He also unleashes the power to see how many days a person has left till his death. The protagonist sets off on a mission to to gather allies, and uncover the conspiracy behind the demon invasion.

Shin Megami Tensei stands out proudly amongst it's peers in terms of game play. Through interacting with various playable and non-playable characters, you can change the story into six possible alternate endings. Players can also partake in short battles that do not affect the storyline at all. Despite this the game doesn't feel cluttered or complicated. With a great storyline and unique art style, this game remains as one of the must-try in the tactical RPG genre.


2. Catherine/Katherine

  • System/Platform: PS3 & Xbox 360
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: February 17 2011/July 25 2011/February 10 2017 (JP/NA/EU)

A strange series of mysterious deaths amongst young men has caused confusion amongst the local population where Vincent Brooks lives. Vincent was just about to get married to his lover of 5 years - Katherine McBride after much persuasion on her end. Contemplating his decision over the Stray Sheep, he was approached by a mysterious woman who only identified herself as Catherine. This was the start of his infidelity and his recurring nightmares. Just who is Catherine and what was the cause of the nightmares and it's relation to the series of deaths that have been happening.

Catherine is a puzzle-adventure type game in which players assume the control of Vincent. During Nightmare mode, players must ascend flights of stairs while at the same time avoid and push away obstacles. At the end of every stage, a boss battle ensues before the player is transitioned into a more peaceful scenario and where the story can develop. In Day Mode, players will have to maintain the relationship between Katherine and Catherine and converse with Vincent's friends as well. Due to the two sequences of the game, players will be mentally stimulated to continue the game and the story. The avant-garde style of the story is also a main reason for the game's overwhelming success, dealing primarily on fidelity and the psychological state of one's mind. The game has managed to clinch several awards and has even managed to outsell Marvel vs Capcom in the same year. Catherine remains as one of Atlus's most successful title and we more than enough reasons for leaving it here at the number two spot.


1. Persona 5

  • System/Platform: PS4
  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: September 15 2016/April 4 2017 (JP/WW)

Persona - the apparition of a mythical being based on your personality and inherent dispositions. When wielded correctly, it can be used as a weapon. Now set, in modern Tokyo, Persona 5 sees the existence of new group of fighters, the Phantom Thieves of Hearts rebelling against a parallel realm known as the Palace. The Palace is a universe formed from the combination of human hearts. The objective of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts? To remove corruption from the hearts of humans and free the city from its evils. Life as a rebel for our high school protagonist has just begun.

The Persona series has since its creation been critically acclaimed, earning many awards and accolades. This sequel is no different, succeeding it's predecessors with new and improved art as well as a more intricate battle system. For those new to the series, the game balances between battle and developing social relations with other in game characters known as Social Links. Both segments intersects with each other and improving one aspect equates to an improvement in the other as well. With a complex gameplay system as well as an equally complex but interesting storyline, it is no wonder that Persona 5 is ranked highly on numerous game critic websites. The new and improved graphics is a bonus as well, and we rank Persona 5 and the Persona series as the best games that were released by Atlus.


Conclusion

Atlus games has certainly released many exhilarating titles for gamers and is quite reputable in the video gaming industry as well. From franchises such as Persona and individual games such as Catherine, Atlus has never failed to impress gamers with their titles, most of their more known games hitting the top of the charts. With that being said, which of the Atlus games from the list have you tried already? If you're a diehard fan of Atlus, how long have you been chasing the franchises of some of their games? How much would you be willing to recommend this company to your friends? Leave us a comment and we will see you next time!

Araragi

Writer

Author: Araragi

Writing from a little island known as Singapore. It is through my articles that I want to show that the world of anime reaches out beyond the boundaries of Japan. From different age groups to individuals coming from different walks of life, everyone and anyone can be a lover of anime. To quote from Kingdom Hearts, 'There are many worlds out there, but they share the same sky.'

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