Interested in the Yakuza series but unsure of where to start? You can count on us. In addition to the PS4, PS5, Steam, and Xbox Game Pass, the franchise is now available on more platforms than ever before. As a result, now is a better time than ever to start playing the well-known action adventure game.
You play as Kazuma Kiryu, the main character in the Yakuza games, who goes on an emotional odyssey through the sordid underbelly of Japan. The world of the Yakuza involves a lot of violence and money-making, but it also has a lot of enjoyable things, like singing karaoke, eating at restaurants, and playing Sega’s classics in arcades.
It’s hard not to see Yakuza as an adult series at its core. However, at times it may be downright amusing. This movie always manages to be both harsh and bonkers at the same time, which always takes us by surprise.
Yakuza 2005 (PS2, PS3)
Sega created and published the PlayStation 2 action-adventure game Yakuza. Ten years in prison for something he didn’t do, Kazuma Kiryu is the protagonist of this narrative. The criminal underworld is on the prowl for 10 billion yen, which was taken from the Tojo family and is now being sought after after he is freed. Haruka, an orphan being targeted by the clan, is found by him. Kiryu vows to protect her because she is believed to have the secret to their missing money. Kamurocho, Tokyo’s Kabukicho area, is recreated in the game.
Finally, you play from the perspective of a third-person character. In the end, it was primarily a beat’em up. Several short-lived events also took place. As a result, Event, Adventure, and Battle are all intertwined in the game.
Yakuza 2006 (PS2, PS3)
Yakuza 2 was released for PlayStation 2 in 2006, but was only released worldwide in 2008.
In the second entry, Kiryu’s narrative continues. He’s assisting the Tojo Clan, a gang he once belonged to, keep ties with the Omi Alliance, a Western-based criminal organization. He finds that a Korean mob is collaborating with Omi to defeat the Toja Clan as he travels.
Yakuza 2 is reminiscent of its predecessor in terms of gameplay. Gamers’ suggestions led to significant advancements in the combat engine. Thus, the experience improves.
Cliches in anime character portrayal were discouraged by the director of voice recordings. The sense of tension and suspense is lost when characters exchange insults and threats in cartoon-like cadences. The composer considered it added to the series’ specific tragic sense not to adopt an overdone acting technique. It was a direct response to the negative reception of the first game’s use of English voice actors in North America and Europe (the PAL region).
Yakuza 2009 (PS3, PS4)
Compared to the previous Yakuza games, Yakuza 3 has a more sinister tone.
Yakuza 3 first appeared on the PlayStation 3 in 2009. In 2010, Sega released the game in North America and Europe for the first time.
The Mornin Glory Orphanage in Okinawa is now administered by Kazuma Kiryu. A business arrangement with the Toja Clan goes south, and his family of nine is left to fend for themselves. To stop his former allies from destroying Kiryu’s home, he heads to Tokyo’s seedy underbelly.
Some new gameplay mechanics are introduced in the third game. To begin with, you have the option of playing in first or third person. There are ten “Revelations” scattered across the open world, which are items that reveal new abilities when collected.
Twelve chapters and a prologue make up the main plot. Chapters are preceded with a cinematic, known as a “event scene,” which can be viewed in the Gallery mode later. It is only possible to skip these sequences if you enable the scene-skipping option in the menu, which by default is disabled. According to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), Yakuza 3’s cutscenes clock in at 295 minutes.
Yakuza 2010 (PS3, PS4)
The Yakuza, the Tojo Clan, and the police are engaged in a turf battle. It’s a voyage of heart, power, honor, and experience that he’s on.
New playable characters can be swapped out at any moment in Yakuza 4. Characters that can be controlled in this game have appeared in earlier iterations. Shun Akiyama, a loan shark, is a relatively recent addition. The five main characters are all involved in the clan war and trying to find a way to end it.
Finally, the gameplay remains the same, but there are a number of new mini-games to choose from. Fishing, massages, table tennis, and NPC karaoke duets are just some of the activities available. As with playable characters and NPCs, there are friendship and loyalty systems.
There is a distinct fighting style and special move for each character due to the physical differences between them: Kiryu uses powerful blows from Karate and Boxing, Akiyama uses quick attacks from Taekwondo, Saejima uses slow and powerful grappling techniques, and Tanimura employs defensive techniques from Aikido and Jiu Jitsu that he learned in police academy.
Yakuza 2012 (PS3, PS4)
Unlike previous installments, this one features a brand-new graphics engine. In addition, the game features five playable characters and five locations in Japan.
There is a new battle brewing between the Omi Alliance and Toja Clan in this story. Kiryu, now a taxi driver, returns to his old clan to end the long-time struggle once and for all.
Yakuza 4-style action is on display here. Bigger open-world towns, improved performance and graphics are among the upgrades.
Playing style is similar to prior games, with a few minor tweaks. Like previous games, there is an Adventure Mode and a Combat Mode to the gameplay. A variety of side diversions, including mini-games and classic games like Taiko No Tatsujin, are available to players in Adventure Mode. More spaces to explore can be found in cities that are substantially larger than in prior games, allowing players to explore more of their surroundings. Combat Mode is considered to be more fluid than in prior games, which required a transitional change when encountering foes in adventure mode. “dramatically” enhanced controls have also been attributed to the game’s fighting mode tempo.
Yakuza: Dead Souls 2012 (PS3)
There is no connection between Yakuza: Dead Souls and the main storyline.
Dead Souls was released on PlayStation 3 in 2012. There has never been a worldwide spin-off of the series before this one.
After Yakuza 4, this is a non-canon side tale. It’s set after a zombie outbreak in Kamurocho district. Residents are saved by a group of four local guys, including Gojo Majima and Kazuma Kiryu.
The game is a shoot-em-up title with zombies as the primary enemy. Everything in this game is really densely packed in. Pace accelerates drastically as the game progresses due to larger and more hysterical action set pieces and opponents.
Yakuza 2015 (PS3, PS4)
Yakuza 0 is a third-person action-adventure video game that takes place in an open universe. Kamurocho and Sotenbori, two fictionalized recreations of Tokyo’s Kabukicho and Osaka’s Dtonbori neighborhoods respectively, serve as the setting for the game. Both Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima appear throughout the story, and the player can switch between them at any time.
Playable versions of Sega arcade games such as Out Run, Super Hang-On, Space Harrier, and Fantasy Zone are included in the game, as well as a variety of other minigames that may be accessed by walking about Kamurocho and Sotenbori. It is possible to gain Completion Points by meeting certain goals, such as eating all the food at the restaurant or getting the best score in a minigame. These points can be used at a shrine to gain further benefits, such as unique items or character improvements.
Both Kazuma Kiryu and the game’s recurring character Gojo Majima may be controlled. At certain intervals during the main tale, the game switches between the two perspectives. Combat styles are interchangeable for each character in the same way.
Finally, the game introduces Completion Points, a special currency. Tokens can be earned by completing side tasks and minigames. These tickets can be exchanged for further rewards at an unique shrine.
Yakuza 2016 (PS4)
For the first time in the series, Yakuza Kiwami has been updated.
Yakuza Kiwami is an updated version of the original Yakuza video game. For the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, it was released in 2016. Windows and Xbox One versions will be released in 2020.
The plot and characters are nearly identical to those from the original game, and no new developments have been made. Still, the label has a new graphical engine, new textures, new character models, and new animations to work with, as well.
Furthermore, the remake does away with the original fighting mechanics. As a result, it’s more like Yakuza 0 in that the protagonist can switch between four different fighting styles while engaged in combat.
New gameplay mechanism called “Majima Everywhere” also included. Gojo Majima is commonly introduced to challenge Kiryu to a fight.
Yakuza: The Song of Life 2016 (PS4)
Kiryu’s saga comes to a close in Yakuza 6.
Yakuza 6 had its PlayStation 4 premiere in 2016 and has since been updated for Xbox One. In 2018, it was seen by people around the world.
The main character Kazuma Kiryu makes one final appearance in this game. The anti-hero learns that his adopted daughter is unconscious after three years in prison. Kiryu is determined to track down the truth about what happened to Haruka, so he sets out across the country.
Like other Yakuza games, this one’s gameplay is very similar. Open-world beat ’em up featuring character progression elements in arcade style.
Dragon Engine’s updated physics engine is what makes this game stand out from the rest. Character and fight animation/mechanics were completely reworked in this version.
Yakuza 2017 (PS4)
Open-world action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a remake of Yakuza 2. When compared to Yakuza Kiwami’s previous remake, Kiwami II follows Yakuza 2’s plot structure while incorporating new gameplay features and enhancements from later titles along with new narrative components to clear up plot points that were unclear in the original release and better connect the game to others in the franchise. Kamurocho, Tokyo and Sotenbori, Osaka are two fictional Japanese districts modeled on the real-life sites Kabukicho and Dtonbori in Tokyo and Osaka, respectively. However, there are new moves and cinematic ‘Heat Moves,’ which are modeled on the combat seen in Yakuza 6. Goro Majima, a recurring antagonist in the series, is now playable in a new story mode called “The Majima Saga.” While Yakuza 0’s Cabaret Club and Yakuza 6’s Clan Creator are back, so are New Japan Pro-Wrestling stars Keiji Mutoh, Masaharu Chono, Riki Choshu. Genichiro Tenryu, and Tatsumi Fujinami from Yakuza 6.
As a result, despite the fact that the plot is the same, the game and its surroundings are not. New gameplay mechanics and story elements fix the game’s weak plot points as well, of course.
Aside from a few new moves and cinematic “Heat Moves,” combat is largely the same as in Yakuza 6. Finally, a story scenario allows players to take control of Goro Majima, a reoccurring foe.
Yakuza 2020 (PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S)
This Yakuza game follows in the footsteps of previous Yakuza games by allowing players to take up side-quests (known as sub-stories in-game) to receive additional prizes and to participate in side activities like karaoke. Dragon Kart, a new side-activity in the game, is a kart racing game with gameplay similar to other kart racing games.
The battle system is a huge shift from prior Yakuza games. Yakuza: Like a Dragon contains a real-time turn-based RPG (which was the result of an April Fools joke back in 2019 that was so well received that they retooled the gameplay from its old real-time beat ’em up mechanics) type combat, with a four-person battle team. This is a return from the previous Yakuza games in that characters, unlike traditional turn-based RPGs, can use close surrounding items such as bicycles to attack foes (if the items are near the enemies) or can kick surrounding items to their target. As the plot continues or through the completion of sub-stories, players can also call on numerous party assistance to enhance the group or destroy opponents. After completing the game, players can continue to explore the environment. For the Japanese version of the game, a new game plus mode with additional difficulty settings was published as paid downloadable content; however, it is included as standard in the Western release.
Jobs, a character class system like to those seen in other RPGs, work in tandem with the new RPG-style fighting system. Any party member’s job can be changed to better suit the group’s play style. There are currently two paid content-based positions that are currently available.
Are Yakuza Games Available on Xbox Game Pass
In the Xbox Game Pass program, you may have spotted Yakuza (PC and console). The ones that are now available are as follows:
- Yakuza is a zero-sum game.
- Yakuza Kiwami Yakuza
- Yakuza 2: The Second Chapter
- Yakuza 3: The Phantom Pain
- The Yakuza 4
- The fifth installment in the Yakuza series has arrived.
- The Yakuza 6
- It’s like a dragon compared to the Yakuza
I’d like to emphasize that these are among of Microsoft’s gaming service’s top offerings.
Which Yakuza game should I start with?
Yakuza Kiwami is the best place to begin if you’re worried about losing out on anything in Yakuza 0. Those unfamiliar with the action game genre may find it easier to pick up the basics in that remaster.
Does Yakuza need to be played in order?
For the complete Kazuma Kiryu, Goro Majima, and Kasuga Ichiban saga, we recommend starting with Yakuza 0 and working your way up to every subsequent game in the series.
What Is The Yakuza Remastered Collection?
A collection of Yakuza remasters (2019, PS4, Xbox One, PC). Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is out now, and Microsoft has announced that the Yakuza Remastered Collection will be available on Xbox Game Pass, allowing you to enjoy every Yakuza game on Xbox consoles for the first time.
Yakuza is exactly the kind of story and game that I enjoy… But, and this is a problem, I have no idea. Whether all of the games have been digitally remastered, which ones have and which ones haven’t and the like… I’m at a loss.
Someone, please, break things down for me like Barney and tell me what to play in what order, and if there is an HD remake available.