The history of the Yakuza series is almost as intriguing as the criminal organization it is based on. Firstly, Sega launched the PlayStation 2 version of the series, but due to poor marketing, subsequent releases were not even given an English dubbing. The franchise is mainly a 3D fighting game that focuses on the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia, and how Kazuma Kiryu manages to become entangled in a complicated web of criminal activities and political matches. More platforms than ever, including the PS4, PS5, Steam, and Xbox Game Pass for consoles and PCs, are now accessible for the franchise. Thus, now is the best time to start playing the well-known action-adventure game.
How to Play the Yakuza Games by Release Date
You’d need to dust off your outdated PlayStation 2 to play the original game. However, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2, newer remakes of the original two games, are available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. You can also play them if you have a PS Plus Premium subscription.
- Yakuza (PS2) – 2006
- Yakuza 2 (PS2) – 2008
- Yakuza 3 (PS3) – 2010
- Yakuza 4 (PS3) – 2011
- Yakuza: Dead Souls (PS3) – 2012
- Yakuza 5 (PS3, PS4) – 2015
- Yakuza 0 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – 2017
- Yakuza Kiwami (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – 2016
- Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – 2018
- Yakuza 6 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – 2018
- The Yakuza Remastered Collection (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – 2019
- Yakuza: Like A Dragon (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC) – 2020
- Lost Judgment (PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S) – 2021
How to Play the Games in Chronological Order
As with the Marvel and DC universe, Yakuza games do not proceed in chronological order. Even those who have played the Yakuza franchise could find its timeline confusing. You must begin with Yakuza 0 to complete the games in the release sequence.
- Yakuza 0
- Yakuza Kiwami (a remake of Yakuza on PS2)
- Yakuza Kiwami 2 (a remake of Yakuza 2 on PS2)
- Yakuza 3
- Yakuza 4
- Yakuza 5
- Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
- Yakuza: Like A Dragon
- Lost Judgment
It should be noted that in the spin-off game Lost Judgment, created by Ryu ga Gotoku, players follow Takayuki Yagami. It has a similar gameplay structure to the Yakuza games, with a fighting system reminiscent of Yakuza 0, side missions to accomplish in addition to the main, and an investigative mode where players search for clues and evidence of a crime by examining crime scenes.