I had my MegaTen start with Persona 1 on the PS1, so I probably have a different set of expectations from the series than a lot of folks. As for my favourites, I really love SMTIV and IV Apocalypse for the 3DS, both Persona 2 games (at last check they were available on PSN still), and SMT: Strange Journey, both its original version for the DS and the Redux version for the 3DS. I don’t have a lot to back up my love for Persona(s) 2, I think I just came across them at a good time, but IV and Strange Journey are both really excellent entrees in the mainline series, and they’re both super accessible, so I highly recommend them (Apocalypse is something of a commentary/companion piece pseudo-sequel to IV, so I wouldn’t start with it). I might give SMT 1 and 2 a try on SFC Online and hope that my preschool child’s Japanese language comprehension is good enough to play them!
EDIT: I completely forgot to say that I’m interested in finally playing Nocturne too! I somehow missed it in the PS2 era.
I’m a little mixed on the later Personas. They’re absolutely gorgeous– especially 5– but 3 seemed great the first time I played it but I couldn’t get back into it later on when I picked it up for the PSP, 4 never really clicked for me at all, despite so many folks loving it, and 5… well, I got irritated by its 1990’s era queer phobic bits and didn’t really enjoy it.
Huh, it’s occurring to me that a whole bunch of the RPGs I’ve enjoyed over the last little bit are descendants of Wizardry! I’m not sure I would have expected to end up being the ‘Wizardry Dungeon Crawler’ person here at IC, but here we are!