There are many great Yakuza games to choose from. This article will help you find the best one for your needs and budget.

The best yakuza story is a game that has been around for quite some time. It is the first of its kind, and it is still one of the best games to get into.

The Yakuza series by SEGA has been around since the PlayStation 2 days. However, in recent years, the formerly small Japanese brand has gained a worldwide following. As a result, a new generation of players across the globe is finally discovering the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios’ library. This is due in large part to the release of Yakuza 0 on PlayStation 4 in 2017, which generated a fresh surge of interest in the franchise.

Because of the wave, you’re undoubtedly searching for the greatest Yakuza game, inquisitive and ready to take up Kazuma Kiryu’s tale and see what all the (well-deserved) buzz is about.

But, maybe more importantly, you’re undecided about where to begin with the series. This rating guide will analyze each Yakuza game in order to determine which ones are the best.

Minor spoilers for the whole series will be included in the guide.

What is the Yakuza, exactly?

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga
Source: nme.com

Yakuza is often referred to as “Grand Theft Auto in Japan,” which may be deceptive. The Yakuza games, on the other hand, are not open-world, instead focusing on a fundamental criminal concept that is shared with the Rockstar series. So, what distinguishes the Yakuza franchise from others?

The Yakuza games are heavily story-driven, with a lot of cutscenes and conversation. Except for Yakuza: Like a Dragon, each game stars Kazuma Kiryu, a behemoth of a guy who is constantly engulfed in the current drama in the Japanese criminal underworld. However, in some of the games, Kazuma isn’t the sole playable character.

Although different locations appear in a few of games, the series is mostly set in a fictitious red-light district called Kamurocho. The settings are usually open, although they vary somewhat from popular perceptions of an open world. So, although you are free to wander the streets of the setting, you are unable to get into the next vehicle and drive out into the distance.

Each game is jam-packed with pop culture allusions and has a gameplay loop that will keep you captivated from the start. Each book exposes you to a wonderfully detailed urban setting, and the tales are full of high-stakes drama. After that, there’s the battle. the color red

Fighting is a big part of the Yakuza games, which use a conventional action-based combat system. With unrestricted mobility, mild and heavy strikes, blocking, evading, and combinations, it’s fairly typical. There’s also an unique ‘heat’ system that builds up while the characters fight and may later be released in dramatic moves. The assaults are savage, turning a solid-but-not-amazing battle into quite a show.

It’s also worth noting that the plots sometimes touch dark subjects with a lot of bloodshed. However, the Yakuza series as a whole provides engrossing (basically) action role-playing games with strong core narratives, well-developed characters, and hilarious side missions with alternative storylines.

Let’s take a look at the greatest Yakuza games, from worst to finest:

Yakuza: Dead Souls is the tenth installment in the Yakuza franchise (2012)

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

Yakuza: Dead Souls is a video game developed by Yakuza.

  • Kazuma Kiryu and Shun Akiyama have returned, accompanied by Goro…
  • New destruction is about to be unleashed. Use the brand-new heat-snipe to wreak havoc on your foes…
  • With an all-new 3rd person perspective, the Yakuza series takes an intriguing new turn…
  • From zombie table tennis to dating with a gorgeous woman, a full Tokyo experience awaits you.

PS3 (Playstation 3)

30-40 hours is the average duration.

Kiryu, the powerful, stoic pacifist, is the most famous character in the Yakuza series, but the Kamurocho location is arguably the most famous. It’s based on Kabukicho, a Shinjuku neighborhood that serves as a virtual home for the franchise’s devoted fans. After that, SEGA released a non-canon spin-off in which the lovely quiet suburb was overrun by zombies.

Kiryu’s melee dominance is replaced with machine guns and assault rifles in Yakuza: Dead Souls, but that’s about as far as the game deviates from the mainstream. Exotic goofballs and very intimate tales still abound in the city. However, they aren’t as memorable as the majority of the series’ other elements.

Yakuza: Kiwami is the ninth installment in the Yakuza franchise (2016)

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

PlayStation 4 – Yakuza Kiwami – PlayStation Hits

  • With Kazuma Kiryu, the PS2-era brawling gameplay is improved for the current generation…
  • Newcomers and those who began their Yakuza journey with Yakuza 0 will be…
  • The “Majima Everywhere” concept is completely unique to Kiwami, and it allows the series’…
  • Kiwami has been completely rebuilt, with all new HD assets and unique Japanese content…

PlayStation 3 (Japan only), PlayStation 4

20-30 hours is the average duration.

Yakuza: Kiwami is a remake of the first Yakuza game, which was published in 2005 on the PlayStation 2. It introduces Kazuma Kiryu, the franchise’s protagonist, as a young Yakuza officer before he is blamed for the death of his best friend.

Kiryu is released from prison 10 years later to discover that the Yakuza environment has altered dramatically. Then he sets out to reclaim his rightful position in the world.

Majima Everywhere is a new gameplay concept introduced by Kiwami. It’s a one-of-a-kind gimmick for the game, and it’s a great way to give Goro Majima, a fan-favorite character, extra screen time.

Majima appears at irregular intervals, pushing Kiryu into more dangerous battles. It’s a heartfelt game that clearly demonstrates why it created the long-running Yakuza franchise.

Yakuza: Kiwami is a recreation of the original Yakuza game, so it’s not a terrible spot to start your Yakuza adventure.

Yakuza 4 is number eight on the list (2011)

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

Yakuza 4 is a PlayStation 3 game.

  • Get lost in Tokyo’s notorious “sin-city area” as you wander and battle your way through…
  • Discover and enjoy Tokyo’s adult nightlife, which includes hostess bars, karaoke, and more.
  • Video arcades, golf and bowling, batting cages, and other activities are available.
  • Play as all four characters in a complex and twisted criminal tale.

PS3, PS4, XBOX ONE, XBOX 360, XBOX (Yakuza 4 Remastered)

30-40 hours is the average duration.

Yakuza 4 was the franchise’s first game to include several playable characters. The narrative revolves on four main characters: Kazuma Kiryu, an escaped criminal named Taiga Saejima, a slick loan shark named Shun Akiyama, and a streetwise policeman named Masayoshi Takemura. Each main character has his or her own combat style and extra activities. This includes their own narrative arcs for being a part of the larger tale.

The tone and narrative of the game may be a little confused at times, owing to the divided emphasis. However, if you can get beyond the small flaws, you’ll be rewarded with some of the classic Yakuza jewels at the heart of the story.

Yakuza 4 isn’t the best place to start since it has a lot of recurrent characters and narrative ideas, which may be daunting for beginners.

Yakuza No. 7 (2012)

PS3, PS4, XBOX ONE, XBOX 360, XBOX (Yakuza 5 Remastered)

40-50 hours is the average duration.

Yakuza 5 is probably the greatest game in the series in terms of accessible material. It has several playable characters, similar to Yakuza 4, with Kazuma Kiryu joined by returning protagonists Saejima and Akiyama, as well as a new character, Tatsuo Shinada, a disgraced baseball star. Again, each of the four characters has their own unique combat style, extra activities, and narrative connections.

Haruka Sawamura, Kiryu’s adoptive daughter, is the game’s fifth playable heroine in Yakuza 5. She does not, however, engage in street brawls. Instead, she competes in rhythm-based dance contests with other up-and-coming popstars.

Yakuza 5 is not a good place to start if you’re new to the series. The sheer quantity of material with such a large cast of characters may be daunting, even for experienced players.

Yakuza 3 is number six on the list (2009)

PS3, PS4, XBOX ONE, XBOX 360, XBOX (Yakuza 3 Remastered)

30-40 hours is the average duration.

Yakuza 3 was the first game in the Yakuza franchise to be released on PlayStation 3. It was a new beginning for Kiryu, who now ran his own orphanage in Okina, a wonderfully sunny beach. The game has a very different feel to it than its PS2 predecessors, owing to its slow-paced opening hours.

Kiryu is ultimately drawn back to the Yakuza life that he is frantically attempting to leave behind, as one would anticipate. Unfortunately, due to cultural differences, the game’s transfer from the Japanese environment to the Western beaches saw a significant amount of material deleted. In the west, this may make the game seem oddly organized and a little declawed.

Yakuza 3 is a good location to start your Yakuza adventure since the narrative is simple. However, you might start with some of the better, more contemporary games first.

5. Yakuza: As if You Were a Dragon (2019)

34%

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

Day Ichi Edition of Yakuza: Like a Dragon for PlayStation 4

  • Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt in Tokyo,…
  • He never loses faith and faithfully serves his sentence before returning to society to…
  • Confused and alone, he sets off on a quest to learn the truth about his…
  • Like no other, you’ll be able to engage in dynamic RPG battle. Change between 19 different jobs…

PS4 and PS5 are the platforms available.

60-70 hours is the average duration.

The most noticeable departure from the series’ conventional gameplay is Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Instead, it tells a brand-new tale of Ichiban Kasuga, a zany and colorful protagonist caught up in a complex political scheme.

It’s a full-fledged RPG with turn-based combat, equipment, leveling up, and even party members. Ichiban is accompanied by a fantastic cast of supporting characters, each with their unique set of talents and powers. Furthermore, it has an addicting job system that enables you to customize the party to your liking, providing you with numerous opportunities for advancement as you build the perfect squad.

Because it differs from the previous chapters in the series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is an excellent place to start. As a result, your perception of what the series is about may be skewed.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is the fourth installment in the Yakuza franchise (2018)

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

PlayStation 4 – Yakuza 6: The Song of Life – Essence of Art Edition

  • Enter the “Dragon Engine” and explore the Yakuza universe like never before.
  • Minigames like karaoke, batting cages, darts, hostesses, and the SEGA… have all been updated.
  • RIZAP Gym, Cat Cafe, and Clan Creator are just a few of the new features…
  • Get away from the rush and bustle of city life and indulge in some touristy activities in…

PS4 (Playstation 4)

30-40 hours is the average duration.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life concludes the tale of Kazuma Kiryu, the beloved long-running protagonist. Kiryu, who is approaching 50 years old, is once again forced to take matters into his own hands when his loved ones are in danger.

Thanks to the new Dragon Engine, it was arguably the most aesthetically beautiful game in the series when it was released in 2016. However, unlike the previous Yakuza games, Yakuza 6 does not have numerous protagonists. Instead, in an extremely intimate ending to the tale, it focuses only on Kiryu.

Because Yakuza 6 is the last chapter in Kiryu’s story, it would be a bad place to start. It has a much greater effect on characters who have walked with Kiryu through his difficulties leading up to this point in his life.

3. Making a decision (2019)

48%

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

PlayStation 4 – Judgment

  • Dual Audio: At any time, players may choose between the Japanese and English voiceover tracks…
  • Dual Subtitles: Depending on which audio track is chosen, the subtitles alter —…
  • Localization Pedigree: The localization of Judgment was done in-house by…

PS4 and PS5 are the platforms available.

40-50 hours is the average duration.

Judgment is a pivotal game in the series, resembling a Yakuza game in every aspect save the title and plot. It’s set in Kamurocho’s streets, and it stars Takayuki Yagami, a down-on-his-luck investigator who takes on a horrific murder investigation. The plot has nothing to do with the other Yakuza chapters in this guide. Except for a few more (but underused) investigative tasks, the gameplay structure is virtually similar.

Judgment is arguably the best game to play if you’re new to the Yakuza series since it’s a solo experience that lets you get a sense for the concept without committing you to the lengthy Kiryu tale.

Yakuza 0 is the second game in the Yakuza series (2016)

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

PlayStation 4 – Yakuza 0 – PlayStation Hits

  • Kazuma Kiryu, a junior yakuza, is the protagonist of this hardboiled crime drama…
  • Fight Like Hell: Kiryu and Majima both have three devastating attacks…
  • Many of the interesting characters will come into contact with Kiryu and Majima…
  • Enjoy the original Japanese voices as well as the updated English text.

PlayStation 3 (Japan only), PlayStation 4

40-50 hours is the average duration.

Yakuza 0 is a prequel set in the 1980s and is a unique chapter in the franchise. It was the last Yakuza game before the series switched to the Dragon Engine, which was much more sophisticated. Despite this, it remains a fan favorite, and for good reason.

The narrative is divided between two playable characters: Kazuma Kiryu, 20, and Goro Majima, 24, who are all 20 years old. Both characters are attempting to carve out a name for themselves in the criminal underworld. On the one hand, Kiryu is confined to collecting money from hoodlums, while Majima is compelled to follow the strict instructions of his corrupt superiors.

Except for Judgment, Yakuza 0 is perhaps the greatest place to start if you’re new to the Yakuza series. This is where the Yakuza narrative starts chronologically, and the game does an excellent job of establishing Kiryu’s character.

Yakuza: Kiwami 2 is the sequel to Yakuza: Kiwami (2018)

Best Yakuza Game to Get into The Massive Kazuma Kiryu Saga

PlayStation 4 – Yakuza Kiwami 2: Standard Edition

  • Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a remake of the original Yakuza 2, but this time set in the Dragon…
  • Voice lines and sequences have been re-recorded to match the original as closely as possible…
  • Perform a broad range of gruesome (and funny) Heat Actions, and take on the challenge…
  • This time around, Kiryu isn’t the only one in charge of the show; Mad…

PS4 is one of the most popular gaming consoles.

30-40 hours is the average duration.

Yakuza: Kiwami 2 is a fantastic recreation of Yakuza 2 that utilizes the brand new Dragon Engine. The sole protagonist is Kazuma Kiryu, and the narrative centers around his effort to discover a plan that threatens the Tojo clan’s power.

The predecessor, Yakuza 2, almost polished the game design for the series’ future installments. Kiwami 2, on the other hand, takes this to a whole new level, giving you a familiar experience by today’s standards. This is unquestionably what makes it the greatest Yakuza game available right now.

Yakuza: Kiwami 2, which has a more clear narrative than Yakuza 0, is an excellent place to start. It’s also the most polished entry in the series. Furthermore, you can play it as a solo Yakuza experience, which is still quite entertaining even if you have no prior knowledge of the series.

Timeline of the Yakuza

There are eight Yakuza games in the original series, plus two remakes. Kazuma Kiryu is the protagonist in all but two of the eight. You should go through all seven games if you want to completely immerse oneself in the Kiryu story, but this isn’t absolutely required.

The mainline Yakuza games are organized chronologically, starting with Yakuza 0, when Kiryu is 2 years old, and ending with Yakuza 6, when he is almost 50. The following is the sequence:

  • Yokozuna 0 (set in 1988)
  • Kiwami is a character in the Yakuza franchise (remake of the first Yakuza, set in 2005)
  • Yakuza: Kiwami 2 is a sequel to Yakuza: Kiwami (remake of Yakuza 2, set in 2006)
  • Yakuza 3 is the third installment in the Yakuza franchise (set in 2009)
  • Yakuza 4 is the fourth installment in the Yakuza franchise (set in 2010)
  • Yakuza 5 is the fifth installment in the Yakuza franchise (set in 2012)
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is the sixth installment in the Yakuza franchise (set in 2016)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a video game created by Yakuza (set in 2019)

It’s now up to you to pick your favorite Yakuza game and put yourself in the shoes of our Byronic hero, Kazuma Kiryu. Enjoy!

Flickr.com is the source of this image.

The best yakuza game 2022 is a best-selling game that has been released in the year 2022. This game is available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Yakuza games can you play as Kiryu?

You can play as Kiryu in Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza 6.

Whats the best Yakuza game to start with?

Yakuza Kiwami is the best game to start with.

What games is Kiryu Kazuma in?

Kiryu Kazuma is the protagonist of Yakuza series.

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