The release of yakuza : Like a Dragon is an exciting new chapter to that saga, and hopefully will have more people digging into the series ’ rich history. But how do the games stack up against one another ? Can Ichiban compare with the might of the fabled Dragon of Dojima ?
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here ’ south our authoritative ranking of the series, what it includes, and what it doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate. We ’ re going to omit the first two PS2 entries and merely use the Kiwami remakes since they ’ re basically hush the same fib ( but with better extra content ). This besides includes some but not all spin-offs, basically the instalments that only received a japanese release are out as is the fist of the North Star game, but we ’ ll include Judgment since that ’ mho however set in the Yakuza universe .
so without farther bustle, here ’ s the Yakuza games ranked from worst to best .
11. Streets of Kamurocho
Bit of an unfair pick as it ’ randomness equitable a free mini-game released on Steam as partially of the Sega sixtieth anniversary. Given the debt Yakuza owes to Streets of Rage, reskinning the classic arcade brawler with Kiryu and Majima should ’ ve been a enchant. alternatively, it ’ second hard not to feel that this was a waste opportunity and just a moment phoned in .
10. Yakuza: Dead Souls
Compared to the japanese period drama spin-offs, the zombi apocalypse fix of Dead Souls meant it had the right kind of western attract. But truly, there ’ mho something very un-Yakuza about going around the streets shooting things with guns. If you do want a properly shot from the Yakuza team, you ’ re better off with Binary Domain. The entirely frighten thing about Dead Souls was that it was about the last Yakuza game the west ever got .
9. Yakuza 4
An matter to deepen of course for the series by introducing multiple protagonists. While having to start each character from abrasion can be off-putting, it ’ s hard not to warm to newcomers Akiyama and Saejima, the latter besides giving us some meaty backstory for Majima. sadly, police officeholder Tanimura feels a bite like all in burden ( not to mention his master voice actor ended up being replaced in the remaster ) while you can ’ t even play as Kiryu until towards the end – he does however make one sin of a bos fight .
decidedly the one that shows its historic period the most technically, this is however one of the most memorable entries as Kiryu last makes a fresh life running an orphanage and Okinawa is a refreshing variety from the hustle and bustle of Kamurocho, before of path a number of plot devices, including the CIA and an assassin resembling Kiryu ’ s former patriarch, pulls him back onto the streets of Kamurocho. Nonetheless before all this, it ’ second barely dainty spend time with Kiryu doing his best to be a good founder figure a well as making newly surprising friends. And who can forget the rare moment when the Dragon of Dojima loses his composure. Rikiyaaaaa !
A complete remake of the original crippled built using the Yakuza 5 engine, Kiwami ’ south modernised mechanics including the fight dash switches from Yakuza 0, makes it the best way to play through the first game ’ s report of the Tojo Clan ’ s inner might conflict and the MacGuffin of the missing 10 billion yen, while besides providing a whole lot more newly far-out side quests the newer games are known for. Even series favorite Majima features more prominently to help the just-out-of-prison Kiryu into fighting human body through some bizarre methods. Who knew the Mad Dog would look good in fishnets .
The first post-Kiryu game in the Yakuza population except with a bite of Phoenix Wright thrown in for estimable measure. You play disgraced lawyer turned private detective Takayuki Yagami finding himself pulled into a whodunnit murder mystery that forces him to confront the case that destroyed his career years before. Having a light bit of detective work and disguises helps change up the Yakuza rule, though Yagami besides kicks fuck with two different fighting styles .
It ’ mho intemperate not to feel it ’ s got a dragon-shaped hole but there ’ second however a great cast of characters, from ex-yakuza/everyone ’ randomness wingman Kaito to deadpan jurisprudence tauten assistant Saori. While it ’ s mechanically disappointing as a detective game ( do we in truth need more shadowing missions ? ), the report it takes you on remains riveting from beginning to end.
decidedly the best of the remakes as Kiwami 2 uses Yakuza 6 ’ sulfur Dragon Engine to recreate both Kamurocho and Sotenbori back to their prime. This is besides the entry that introduces us to some of the series ’ most memorable characters, including the Tojo Clan ’ s future Sixth Chairman Daigo Dojima, the Omi Alliance ’ s Ryuji Goda, and Osakan detective Kaoru, the closest Kiryu ’ s had to a love interest .
Compared to Kiwami, the stripped back combat is disappoint, but it ’ mho more than made up with some cheer mini-games including Sega ’ s own synergistic urinals and the fall of the cabaret management game from Yakuza 0 .
4. Yakuza 5
It may have taken longer to get localised, thanks in no small separate to a vocal music fanbase, but it was deserving the delay, even though it ’ s besides flawed as one of the most sprawling entries with besides many protagonists and a long running time. however, the content hera is golden, beginning with Kiryu working as a taxi driver in Fukuoka until he ’ randomness finally roped back into the latest Tojo conspiracy – but actually, the taxi missions are authentically bright .
What ultimately brings this up high in the list is that Haruka last gets her time in the spotlight as a playable character. Some might consider her way towards pop stardom as filler, but this cycle action aficionado disagrees – it ’ s a refresh contrast to the rest of the game ’ s testosterone, and like all Yakuza games, it finds a way to become enormously significant to the story in the grand piano dodge of things .
sure, there ’ s some recency bias here, but make no error : Like a Dragon is more than a worthy new direction for the series with a trade name fresh leading serviceman that ’ randomness hard not to love. Ichiban Kasuga is in many ways the opposite of Kiryu – brassy, inexperienced, wearing his heart on his sleeve – but he besides packs the lapp level sense of justice and honor, wanting to see the beneficial in others, even if it means punching it out of them. At his side is a formidable party of equally likable characters, including kick-ass bartender Saeko who more than holds her own with the lads .
While the dramatic exchange from traditional brawl to turn-based RPG battles might seem excessively wyrd, it works surprisingly well, bringing this airless to Sega/Atlus ’ own Persona series. It ’ mho undoubtedly a capital start point for newcomers, but there ’ s plenty of surprises that series fans will love besides .
technically, this is one of the most polish Yakuza games thanks to the new Dragon Engine giving us open-world environments without loading screens and the first game in the series to be amply voiced. While Kamurocho and other series regulars get a bit victimize, the put of Onomichi is a refreshing dress for meeting a whole new cast of fantastic characters, including a standout performance from legendary actor Takeshi Kitano .
Yakuza 6 besides has some of the best side quests and mini-games, from the introduction of mascot Ono Michio to becoming the most popular boozehound at a local public house, american samoa well as the guilty joy of chatting to cam girls played by real-life japanese pornographic performers. ultimately, it provides a enormously emotional kickoff for one of gaming ’ randomness greatest protagonists. I ’ m not sure what it is about watching hard men struggling to keep it together, but Kiryu ’ s reunion with Haruka never fails to turn me into a blubber shipwreck .
As a prequel set in the 80s at the acme of Japan ’ s economic boom where the streets flow with yen, Yakuza 0 is a perfect entry point for newcomers without all the cognition of the series history. not counting his function in Dead Souls, it ’ randomness besides the foremost fourth dimension that serial favourite Majima gets a proper playable role as we learn how he came to be known as the Mad Dog of Shimano ( he besides has arguably the best fictional character intro of all clock time ) .
It ’ second fantastic flipping between Kamurocho and Sotenbori as you play as both Kiryu and Majima across the game. The 80s set up was besides perfective for Sega to bring out its greatest arcade hits from Out Run to Space Harrier, while Majima ’ s cabaret management mini-game ( recycled in Kiwami 2 ) remains one of the very best mini-games of the series.
Most importantly, as a prequel, this proved to be the arrant opportunity for Sega/Atlus to give the series a soft boot, making this game implemental in giving the series newfound applaud and attention in the West. Just for this argue entirely makes Yakuza 0 the best game of the series .
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