All Persona 5 Endings Ranked Worst To Best

All Persona 5 Endings Ranked Worst To Best
Which ending makes it to the top spot?


Persona 5 has multiple endings, and there are even more if you are playing through Persona 5 Royal. Arguably, there are at least fourteen endings, but some of these are very similar to each other, so for the sake of an interesting article, we shall detail the seven possible endings of Persona 5 Royal but highlight some of the other possibilities too.

Spoilers ahead, though I have tried to limit these!

 

Ending Rank #7 - Original Bad Ending 1 - Fail to meet a Palace deadline

Fail to meet a Palace deadline video 0:00-7:02

There are multiple endings within this outcome, but they are all very similar, so I will highlight the general idea. Each Palace you go through will have a couple of deadlines. These are dates you need to have completed things by. The first is finding the Treasure. Once you have got to the Treasure, the next deadline is sending a calling card to the ruler of the Palace and owner of the Treasure. Once you send the card, the team will automatically go into the Palace, complete it, and it will no longer be available for exploration/grinding.  

If you miss a deadline, it’s game over. Each ruler has a real world counterpart, and whilst they don’t know exactly what you’re up to, you have clearly messed around with their lives, and they will give you the deadline, based on something that could happen in reality. In each case, you will be arrested, but the difference is the charge, and in some cases Sojiro will react in a different way. There’s even a way that he can get himself arrested (fail Futaba’s Palace).

Each of these outcomes are very short, and are a total letdown. Sojiro knew you’d mess things up, Sae knows there’s way more to the story, Igor overestimated you, and you have egg on your face for missing the deadline that is in big, colourful capital letters on your UI. The only interesting part is the cutscene in which we see someone put a gun up to the protagonist’s head and pull the trigger. Why would someone kill him? You’ll have to retry the week and prevent another game over to find out.

To get the fail a Palace Bad Ending, players must:

  • Fail to reach the Treasure of a Palace two days before the real world deadline
  • Fail to send the calling card a day before the real world deadline

 

Ending Rank #6 - Original Bad Ending 4 - Taking the God of Control’s deal - Bad

Taking the God of Control's deal video 12:21-16:16

Towards the end of the game, the player finds themselves at a crossroads. They have changed the course of the country, and made an impact upon the world. However, their friends are forgotten by everyone, and the protagonist has had to face a fate worse than death. A god has revealed that they are controlling humanity, and it seems impossible that The Phantom Thieves could jump so far as to take on a literal god, especially whilst they are at their lowest.

The god offers a deal to the protagonist - let them continue to rule over humanity, and The Phantom Thieves are remembered as heroes for restoring the world to how it should be. It seems like a poor deal. What’s really in it for the protagonist? If you decide to accept, Lavenza will tell you that you are a real Trickster, and there’s a shot of the protagonist wickedly delighted at the conclusion, but it’s a bad ending thanks to the fact you literally turn your back on everything you’ve built up. However, a real Trickster would know that they could use this opportunity to get everything they could ever want. They have the fame, so now comes the riches and other perks that come with it. Devious.

To get the God of Control Bad Ending, players must:

  • Complete all Palaces by their deadlines
  • Reject the deal offered by Sae Niijima
  • Accept the deal offered by the God of Control and affirm their choice a second time

 

Ending Rank #5 - Original Bad Ending 2 - Fail Shido’s Palace

Fail Shido's Palace video 16:16-16:55

This ending differs from that of the other failed Palaces, in that the identity of one of your enemies is revealed in that time. That character creates your downfall, and you are arrested as the leader of the Phantom Thieves. The foe casts a devilish grin across the screen as they proclaim, “This game is over.”

It’s a much shorter ending, similarly to any other failed Palace, but it feels more like you truly failed, and that you have really messed it up. You had already fallen far down the rabbit hole, and discovered that there was so much more at stake than you ever imagined. It’s a very disappointing end to the story, but it’s way too easy to prevent it from happening. So just don’t fail, unless you really want to see it.

To get the Shido’s Palace Bad Ending, players must:

  • Complete all Palaces by their deadlines
  • Reject the deal offered by Sae Niijima
  • Fail to meet the deadline of Shido’s Palace

The interesting thing about this ending is that it will still play, even if you have reached the treasure of Shido’s Palace, but not sent a calling card. You still fail the Palace in the same way - you missed the deadline - but there’s a pretty big event (let’s call it that) that happens before you reach the treasure that means this ending should be impossible…

 

Ending Rank #4 - Original Bad Ending 3 - Sell out your teammates - Bad

Sell out your teammates video 16:55-23:35

This ending is rather meatier, in that it has a lot more to explain - if you take Sae’s deal, then a whole heap of exposition is gone, and you nearly miss out on the most exciting scene of the entire game. So the devs added it in anyway, just with a different context. It’s certainly not a hero’s end - the opposite, in fact. Though, if you’re willing to turn your back on your teammates, it’s what you deserve!

This ending is tense and quite exciting, but it’s clearly a bad one. Sae can’t hide the disappointment that you are not the clever Gentleman Thief she supposed you were, and Igor’s telling off will make you feel all the shame. It feels like a real ending, even if it is only a game over, and you can redo.

To get Sae’s deal Bad Ending, players must:

  • Complete all Palaces by their deadlines
  • Accept Sae’s deal in confirming the identities of your teammates, and confirm your choice

 

Ending Rank #3 - The New Bad Ending - Persona 5 Royal only - Bad

Persona 5 Royal Bad Ending video 4:57-8:35

There is a rather sweet and happy bad ending to Royal. There is a very good reason for this, but I don’t want to go too far into it. The reason this lovely ending is a bad one, is because it’s a false reality. You meet with your friends, and all of the things that led them to the path of justice and reform of society are either retconned, or never happened. If you get this ending then you have failed to live up to the values and intentions of The Phantom Thieves, and have forgotten the reasons you are playing this part in the first place.

Indeed, when you watch this ending after knowing all of the above, and its contexts, it feels rather uncomfortable. I don’t know if I would ever feel happy living a lie, and this is the biggest lie of all. Sure, you get some nice things out of it, and so do your friends, but it’s like an uncanny mystery, akin to the first few episodes of Wandavision. It looks so right, but feels so wrong.

To get the New Bad Ending, players must:

  • Complete all Palaces by their deadlines
  • Rank 9 with the Takuto Maruki Confidant - Councillor - by mid November
  • Rank 8 with the Goro Akechi Confidant - Justice - by mid November (ideally the 17th)
  • Rank 5 with the Kasumi Yoshizawa Confidant - Faith - by December
  • Reject the deal offered by Sae Niijima
  • Tell Akechi that you want to keep your promise with him during Shido’s Palace
  • Reject the deal offered by the God of Control
  • Accept the deal offered by the new antagonist either in their Palace, or when you return to meet with them and they offer one last time.

 

Ending Rank #2 - The Original Good Ending - Good

The Original Good Ending video 8:35-12:21

The original vanilla good ending is a joyous and funny bow on top of the gift. It’s the cherry on the cake, or the whipped cream on the cocoa. Nothing much is said, and there is no set up for anything else. It’s simply a happy conclusion where the group gets to celebrate their victory together. The only hint that there is anything left undone is the fact that the police are still monitoring the protagonist’s moves, but Morgana manages to shake off that last chain, and the kids are free, out of the city, and hanging out together.

It’s a sweet ending that includes a lot of funny lines, and each character has a small send off that is very appropriate. Most interestingly, the protagonist takes off his glasses, a metaphor from the beginning, and smiles warmly. Whilst Persona 5 has its Royal counterpart, it also has more spinoffs and related media than any other Persona game, and it is world-renowned. A closed ending is not exactly necessary, as there have been subsequent follow-up stories, but for a first playthrough it’s very satisfying.

To get the Original Good Ending, players must:

  • Complete all Palaces by their deadlines
  • Reject the deal offered by Sae Niijima
  • Reject the deal offered by the God of Control
  • Fail to Max the Dr. Maruki Confidant if playing Royal

Interestingly - if you’re playing Royal - if you Max Sumire and Akechi but not Dr. Maruki, you will fail to unlock the third semester, the final Palace, and therefore the True Ending. This means that if you are playing Royal, you basically miss a whole chunk of the game. Bear this in mind when choosing your options.

In the vanilla version of the game, as long as you reject the deals that would steer you away from your Phantom Thief core values, you will reach the Good Ending.

 

Ending Rank #1 - The True Ending - Persona 5 Royal only - Best

The True Ending video 0:00-4:57

This is the ending that was added to the Royal version of the game, and as such, calls itself the “true” ending. A similar thing happened with Persona 4 Golden. New Confidants are included through the story, and that means that some of the original game’s story and dialogue are changed to fit around the new inclusions.

The developers listened to the fans, and added Goro Akechi as a Confidant. There are also two new characters - Sumire Yoshizawa and Dr. Maruki - and all three of these new Confidants are essential in getting to the True Ending.

This ending is quite a lot different from the original ending, and feels rather more wistful and longing. I was almost a little disappointed, but it meant that a return to Persona 5 Strikers satisfied the need for more Phantom Thievery and character interactions.

The term bittersweet has been used by many players to describe this ending. The core team all end up going their separate ways, but each of them has a drive and passion to create a fantastic life for themselves. Ultimately, it is a reminder that we should not rely on others for happiness and stability, but strive to find those things for ourselves first.

To get the True Ending, players must:

  • Complete all Palaces by their deadlines
  • Rank 9 with the Takuto Maruki Confidant - Councillor - by mid November
  • Rank 8 with the Goro Akechi Confidant - Justice - by mid November (ideally the 17th)
  • Rank 5 with the Kasumi Yoshizawa Confidant - Faith - by December
  • Reject the deal offered by Sae Niijima
  • Tell Akechi that you want to keep your promise with him during Shido’s Palace
  • Reject the deal offered by the God of Control
  • Reject the deal offered by the new antagonist
  • Reject the deal offered by them again
  • Tell Akechi that you will be stopping the new antagonist’s plan

The main difficulty with getting this ending is making sure you have ranked each of the new Confidants to where they need to be, but this can totally be done, as long as you meet with these Confidants whenever you possibly can. Akechi requires some Charm and Knowledge stats, so make sure you are working on these if you are on a first playthrough. It can be frustrating when the Confidants are not around, and you feel the pull of time on your collar, but fear not, you will get there!

Special mention goes to the first Bad Ending, which you can get by rejecting Igor’s request of becoming a Trickster at all. This is before the game even begins, and will send you back to the menu without a second thought. You need to be ready to walk this path, you see!

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Emily has been to space, to other worlds, to the past, and to the future, role playing with a sassy mouth as she goes. A natural leader, Emily is here to share her love of RPGs
Gamer Since: 1993
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Baldur's Gate 3
Top 3 Favorite Games:Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Assassin's Creed 2


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