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Nobody in this thread has mentioned Shin Megami Tensei, and I feel obligated to.
You've probably heard things about SMT. Things like "it's really hard" and "it's dark and moody edgy Persona."
Both of these are false. The worlds of Shin Megami Tensei are of the Weird variety, in the literary sense. Demons came and caused the apocalypse, but you still have jocks, queers, scumbags, sluts, thugs, bootlickers, and everyone in between. All those demons? Turns out that since they're memetic life forms, they're just people in disguise. Everyone has a personality, even if they're bit characters with one line of dialogue. No mainline Shin Megami Tensei game could be considered edgy in the Shadow the Hedgehog sense; the tone is somewhere between Devilman and Devil May Cry.
As for the difficulty, it's overstated (in basically the same way as Dark Souls), but every game in the series will bust your balls. Every game has a trick to it, and once it clicks it's like any other JRPG. Unlike most JRPGs, buffing, debuffing, and status effects, can't be ignored. Neither can weaknesses and resistances, where regular mooks can reflect an attack and let you kill yourself or your demon.
First three games (1, 2, If...) are dungeon crawlers. They're only translated on SNES, so don't expect super smooth 3D, but it works. They all play similarly to one another, with tweaks added in 2 and If.... 1 and If... are standalone, while 2 is a direct sequel to the canon route of the first game. Surprisingly fast-paced, but make sure to bring some graph paper.