You faggots always shit on it and never give an actual explanation for why it's "bad". Yes the encounter rate is too high but the battle system itself is fine. You have to play smart and actually think to get through battles quickly. You get rewarded for having good positioning and for having personas/weapons with the right element you need to win. Even when it does become an auto-battle simulator, the game gives you a ton of different auto-battle options, which if you're smart you can use effectively to get through all non-boss fights in one or two turns. Getting new personas is easy and isn't the slog it is in 2 and skipping animations make battles last seconds.
Oh and the encounter rate can be fixed by getting Estoma which is trivial to get on any demon. If you think Persona 1 is bad JRPG gameplay then you should never play the old SNES SMT games.