Best Yakuza Games of all time ranked!
Best yakuza game – Japanese developers created the crime-themed action role-playing game Yakuza. It’s filled with pop cultural references and side quests, like Sega’s Shenmue games. Takeshi “Beat” Kitano and Yoko Maki are just two of the many A-list Japanese actors in the series. Crime series has flown under the radar since its 2006 debut in the West, where it has been regarded mainly as a cult sensation.
Yakuza 0 altered all that, selling more copies than anybody anticipated and being nominated for many Game of the Year awards. Despite its relatively small audience compared to games like Grand Theft Auto, the best yakuza game is receiving the recognition it deserves in the West. Look back at the series’ top games and see where they stack up.
Even though the original best yakuza game didn’t come out in the West until 2005, the game’s criminal plot has held up quite well over the years. Being the first in the series, though, makes it somewhat of a hidden gem, even with the availability of the Kiwami remake.
The best yakuza game contains complete English voice acting, criticised for being too Westernised compared to the game’s original Japanese release (though the voice acting itself has been praised). Not only does this seem strange, but it’s also the first mainstream game in the series to be translated in this fashion. On the good side, Mark Hamill provides the voice of Majima, which is fantastic.
Yakuza 3 was the first game in the series to be published on the PlayStation 3, and it featured a fantastic tale that showed us a more sympathetic side of Kiryu, the protagonist, as he tried to give up his criminal ways in favour of managing the Sunshine Orphanage.
The entry’s progress has been slowed due to the rough upgrade to new hardware. Even worse, a major portion of the game’s ancillary material, including the hostess clubs and several side tales, was omitted. Despite several problems, Yakuza 3 has an exciting tale. The remastered version also includes the majority of previously excised material.
When comparing the two games, the enhancements made in Yakuza 2 are more apparent than they would be under normal circumstances. The game’s fighting is more fluid and quick, and there’s more stuff to explore that’ll keep gamers occupied for hours.
One of the best-developed plots in the series can be found in the sequel, which also included one of the finest antagonists, Ryoji Goda. It’s beginning to show its age, which is particularly noticeable when contrasted to newer releases.
Yakuza: Souls of the Damned
Several Yakuza spin-offs have been released in Japan over the years, but Yakuza: Dead Souls was the first to be released in the West (and we’re still waiting for many of the others to be localised over here). Although it takes place a year after Yakuza 4, it is not considered canon because of the game’s focus on a zombie epidemic.
If you’ve been searching for a fun zombie shooter featuring four of your favourite characters from the Yakuza series, your search is over. In this game, you may take control of Kiryu, Akiyama, Majima, and Ryuji, and you’ll find lots of laughs with the zombie killing.
When the PlayStation 3 was released, Yakuza 4 was one of the best games in the series. Exploration of Kamurocho, the game’s primary setting, is much more rewarding due to the city’s expansion and improvement since Yakuza 3’s release.
The game’s tale is recounted through the perspectives of four individuals, which may be disorienting to some players. The other three are Masayoshi Tanimura, Shun Akiyama, Taiga Saejima, and Kazama Kiryu. Yakuza 4 is a fantastic entry in the series, despite some complaints about the game’s introduction and concentration on new characters. (And gave rise to a whole new fangirl crush on Akiyama.)
Like the previous instalment, Yakuza 5 has many protagonists whose tales and viewpoints intertwine. While this may seem excessive, the novel is so well-written and coherent that the individual stories of the many characters seem fresh and familiar.
The best yakuza game spin-off Judgement offers viewers a detective drama based in the series’ signature Kamurocho neighbourhood. Unlike the 2012 spin-off Yakuza: Dead Souls, Judgement is an official part of the Yakuza canon. Despite being a standalone game separate from the core series, Judgement is a Yakuza title in everything but name, thanks to its investigative elements and new characters.
There’s a lot to like about Judgement, and it delivers an intriguingly dark plot to dig your teeth into, despite certain elements seeming a touch clumsy at points (like following people and the unnecessary key mechanism). What’s more, the principal part is played by Japanese pop star and actor Takuya Kimura.
Seventh, Yakuza Kiwami
The standard for how remakes of the classic best yakuza game should be handled has been established by Yakuza Kiwami, a remake of the original game. This is the definitive version of the first game in the series, with all the dialogue from the original cast re-recorded and new sequences added.
Based on the same game engine as Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami adds many features and content. The ‘Majima Everywhere’ side mission is particularly noteworthy since it involves Goro Majima following Kiryu across the game in various disguises, hiding places, and starting confrontations.
It was fantastic to see Yagami and Kaito return in such a badass fashion in Lost Judgement after the popularity of the original. In addition to the well-known alleys of Kamurocho, the Yakuza 8: Mark of the Dragon map of Yokohama is now available to gamers.
Lost Judgement addressed many of the concerns voiced by players of the first game while providing them with a more sinister murder mystery to explore. It’s an all-around upgrade over Judgement, and it even offered the fans a tiny treat with a handful of Yakuza appearances.
Yakuza 6: The Music of Death and Rebirth
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is the emotional climax to Kiryu’s journey in the Yakuza series. This episode is as intense as the story gets, as Kiryu cares for his adopted daughter’s kid Haruto while Haruka remains in a coma after being struck by a vehicle.
The three combat methods from Yakuza 0 are merged into one fluid style that is just as effective, but fans will miss them. The side tales, as usual, are a fascinating diversion that may lead to either humorous or very moving moments. Also, the increased emphasis on numbers and experience points will surely please lovers of role-playing games.
Yakuza Kiwami 2
The second-best yakuza game, Yakuza Kiwami 2, has been remade using the new Dragon Engine. This remake of Yakuza 2 with so much more material is the finest way to play what was already one of the best games in the series.
The ‘Majima Saga’ sub-story also provides a pleasant and organic method to connect the Yakuza Kiwami games to the precursor, Yakuza 0, for those beginning with the prequel.
3 Ishin, Like a Dragon
Ishin was first released in Japan in 2014 and has consistently received high praise as a great entry in the series. Western audiences have been clamouring for localization for years, and this year’s remake-remaster hybrid made their wish come true. Ishin is a unique offshoot of the series because of its focus on ancient Japan.
There are several recognisable faces in the best yakuza game, but they’re all played by new people. The protagonist, for instance, has Kiryu’s appearance but is based on the historical samurai Ryoma Sakamoto of Japan. RGG Studios revamped the plot and redesigned the characters for this release, which also has cameos from other games in the series.
To Ride a Dragon, Vol. 2: Yakuza
Since Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the most recent game in the series, it also serves as a symbolic conclusion to the Yakuza period. RGG Studios decided to take a risk with this game, shifting the focus to a more traditional role-playing game style, complete with turn-based combat, customizable character classes, and a dedicated party. Like a Dragon not only expanded the game world to include Yokohoma but also added a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, to the Yakuza franchise in place of fan favourite Kiryu.
The Score Is: 1 vs. 0 for the Yakuza
Being a precursor, the brand-new best yakuza game is an ideal entry point for newbies to the Yakuza franchise. It’s also among the finest games in the series, and because of it, the franchise won over many new fans. Playing as Kiryu, the series’ primary protagonist, players explore the protagonist’s early days in the Yakuza with a young Goro Majima before the latter’s Mad Dog days.
Visiting and playing vintage Sega arcade games like OutRun, Super Hang-On, and Space Harrier inside Yakuza 0 makes it a strong contender for the title of finest ’80s-themed videogame ever developed. All series devotees should mark their calendars to play this game. It’s based in the same world and tells a similarly styled narrative, but it could contain the series’ most complex plot yet.