The Yakuza franchise has been around since the PlayStation 2 era, but it was until recent years that the series’ popularity would jump to become the centre of mainstream attention. It’s all thanks to Yakuza 0’s Baka Mitai that more and more fans would join on to experience Kazuma Kiryu’s adventures. Thanks to Yakuza 0’s commercial success, it paved the way for Judgement, and Like A Dragon to make an entrance into the franchise.
You may be wondering how many titles are there, but worry not anymore. This list will feature all the Yakuza games ever released. Starting from the latest entries to the original releases in the franchise. We hope that this will list will help you discover the whole set in one article.
Like A Dragon Ishin! is a remake of the original Yakuza Ishin originally released exclusively in Japan. This revamp comes packed with all of the essential enhancements that make the game feel vastly different from the original.
Everything has been upgraded, from the fighting and aesthetics to the voice acting. And, as with every Yakuza game in the series, Like A Dragon Ishin has a slew of authentic sidequests and mini-games for every Yakuza fan to enjoy.
Lost Judgment is the sequel to the original critically acclaimed Judgment released back in 2019. It puts you in the shoes of a private detective Takayuki Yagami investigating a suspect criminal accused of both sexual harassment and murder. Amidst investigating, he’ll discover that there’s more than that.
The gameplay in Judgment is pretty similar to Yakuza 0 and Kiwami. Yagami has three fighting styles under his belt. He can perform powerful kicks that send enemies flying home or execute special attacks that obliterate his foes. Compared to Kiryu, Yagami is quicker and deadlier. However, to break free of the same formula, Lost Judgment incorporates stealth sequences, platforming, and times when you have to catch a suspect before they flee away. And of course, there are plenty of mini-games and side quests to keep you hooked for hours to end.
Release Date: October 17-19, 2020
Developer: Empty Clip Studios, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Platform: PC (Steam-Microsoft Store)
Timeline: Part of Sega’s 60th-anniversary celebration-Not canon
Streets of Kamurocho is Sega’s love letter to the Streets of Rage fanbase. The aforementioned is a promotional freeware beat’em up video game developed by Empty Clip Studios in collaboration with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Unfortunately, it was available for a limited time only. Those who were lucky managed to get their hands on it before the anniversary ended.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon broke free of the traditional beat ’em up gameplay to follow a different approach. The aforementioned, unlike previous entries, is a turn-based video game in the style of Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy XIII.
The story of Like A Dragon casts you in the role of Ichiban Kasuga who has been betrayed by his former boss. Ichiban then goes on a quest to uncover the reason behind his betrayal. He won’t go into this quest alone. He will meet with powerful allies that will prove to be valuable.
Despite the transition from the beat’em up gameplay, to a turn-based one, Yakuza: Like A Dragon proved to be a commercial success selling more than enough to warrant the continuation of Ichiban’s saga.
The Yakuza Remastered Collection is a compilation of three incredible instalments from the series; Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5. For those who missed out on previous instalments and want to delve deep into the series for the first time ever, this collection has all you need. It’s been remastered to fit modern standards, with improved visuals, sounds and the ability to pick through 3 different games.
Judgment is a Yakuza spin-off that casts you in the role of private detective Takayuki Yagami as he roams the fictional city of Kamurocho, fighting vigorous thugs and yakuza while investigating and accomplishing certain missions. Unlike the Yakuza franchise where you had to plunge into the world of the Japanese Mafia, Judgment focuses entirely on investigating murder cases and tracking down anyone responsible.
The gameplay in Judgment feels fresh and easy to master. Yagami is faster and more potent thanks to his martial art techniques. His acrobatic kicks, tough fists, and special attacks all work in his favour in order to defeat anything that he deems a threat.
We can only hope that the PC community will one day get the chance to experience Judgment and the sequel in the foreseeable future.
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku
Platform: Android | iOS | PC
Japanese Title: Ryū ga Gotoku Online
Ryû ga Gotoku Online is the first entry in the franchise to introduce Ichiban Kasuga as the new protagonist. However, Kazuma Kiryu also returns as the man in a side story while retelling the events of the original Yakuza.
Yakuza: Online is a free-to-play Gacha video game released exclusively in Japan. To play it, one needs to have a VPN installed on their PC/mobile phone. Similar to other gacha games, this one features memorable characters from the franchise, including Goro Majima.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a remake of the original Yakuza 2 released back in 2006. The remake didn’t change anything in the story. In fact, it brought more content to the table, and what’s more the visuals were massively improved compared to Yakuza 2. On the other hand, the gameplay was altered to play similarly to Yakuza 6.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 sees you playing as Kazuma Kiryu being pulled back into the Yakuza realm. Kiryu is called back into action when Terada is assassinated by an organization. A new conflict arises and it’s up to Kazuma Kiryu to prevent this conflict from escalating into a bloodbath.
The Song of Life is the last entry featuring Kiryu’s adventures and marked the introduction of a new protagonist. The story in Yakuza 6 is epic and wholesome at the same time. Kiryu is released after being imprisoned for three years for his past crimes. Hoping to have a peaceful life after being released, he learns that Haruka is in a coma, and a conflict has sparked in the Yakuza world. But what makes Yakuza 6 wholesome is that Kiryu gets to act as a caring godfather for Haruto.
As you would expect from a Ryu ga Gotoku game, Yakuza 6 is, by every definition in the book, a masterpiece. Everything about it will spark joy in your experience, including the karaoke, the fight scenes, the story, and the visuals. Definitely, a recommended entry to not miss in the franchise.
Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the original Yakuza released back in 2005. What makes the remake worth the shot is the ” Majima Everywhere ” introduction. Basically, after Kiryu gets out of prison, he sadly loses his dragon spirit. Majima notices that, and to bring Kiryu’s missing spirit, he will teach him the hard way. Kiryu will encounter Majima literally everywhere: stores, empty corners, disco dancing places. Not only that but, Majima also knows how to hide inside a trash bin, or under the sewers. So, whenever Kiryu passes by, Majima will show up.
In Yakuza Kiwami, Kiryu has 4 different fighting styles under his belt: Brawler, Beast, Rush, and traditional Dragon style from the original Yakuza game. If you want to master these styles, you better use a gamepad because A REAL YAKUZA USE A GAMEPAD.
Yakuza 0 ignited the franchise’s popularity and brought it to the mainstream table. Thanks to Baka Mitai memes, the franchise managed to capture the attention of many, including those who were looking for a similar game to Sleeping Dogs. Little did they know that the aforementioned is much superior while the latter not holding a handle against it.
This entry in the series was the first to introduce Majima as a fully playable character along with Kiryu. It gave both of these characters their own combat style. Hence, the ” Battle Style ” system was introduced. It came as a shock, but I think the guys at SEGA could’ve been influenced by Devil May Cry’s combat style. Who knows, it could be.
Mastering these battle styles can prove to be a challenge, especially when using a keyboard and mouse. That is why A REAL YAKUZA USE A GAMEPAD.
Kiryu has never killed anyone before. Wrong, he did, and he did relentlessly in both Ishin and Kenzan. Not with his fists, but with a katana and a freaking gun. However, despite featuring Kiryu as the main protagonist, the game is sadly considered a spin-off and was released exclusively in Japan.
When it comes to the story, Ishin is set in the Bakumatsu period between 1853 and 1867, and it features influential figures in the era. The plot is pretty similar to previous entries in the franchise, except this time it takes place in the samurai era instead of the Japan-modern day.
Yakuza 5 is one of those entries where Kiryu was a total badass. Well, he always was, but in this one? He was the Guts from Berserk. For the first time in the franchise, the aforementioned included five places across Japan. It also introduced new playable characters such as Shun Akiyama, Taiga Saejima, and most importantly Haruka.
Shortly after the release of Yakuza 5, it was followed by Yakuza Ishin then the prequel, Yakuza 0. All of these three games proved to be successful and it kind of upped the franchise’s popularity to a new level. However, the franchise still owes it to Yakuza 0 for boosting the series’ recognition beyond expectations.
Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition is a definitive remaster of the Yakuza duology which was released originally on the PlayStation 2. Quite sadly, this collection was released exclusively in Japan on the Wii U and PlayStation 3.
The visuals have been improved, with the game having less blur in comparison to the originals. Additionally, loading times have been lowered drastically, offering a smooth experience for those who missed previous instalments in the series.
Kurohyō 2: Ryū ga Gotoku Ashura-hen is yet another spin-off of the Yakuza series. Despite being related to the Yakuza franchise, it was unfortunately not developed by the Ryu ga Gotoku Studio. Syn Sophia is the actual developer. The latter is known for making some of the best fighting games such as EA’s Def Jam titles.
Although kurohyô was released exclusively for Japan, it managed to spawn a live-action adaptation that aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System back in April 2012. Not only that but also a manga that consisted of 3 volumes. The manga adapts the story of the original Kurohyō: Ryū ga Gotoku Shinshō released in 2010.
The gameplay is pretty similar to the original Yakuza titles, but the combat isn’t. The combat feels more like Def Jam: Vendetta if you ask me. The graphics are okay for a PSP title, not bad, and not mind-blowing either. If you want to play this game, you need to hunt the fan English patch in case you don’t understand Japanese.
Somebody must’ve been a great fan of Capcom’s Dead Rising franchise at Sega because that’s what Yakuza: Dead Souls feels like. Yakuza defending the world from nasty zombies. Surprisingly, the game comes packed with lots of fun.
Dead Souls casts you in the role of different known Yakuza members as they attempt to survive the zombie outbreak that caused the citizens of Kamurocho to turn into the walking dead. It’s up to Kiryu, Majima, and others to dig a bullet into their skull. I can only hope that Dead Souls ends up coming to PC one day. And if it sells, maybe SEGA can make a death-racing video game in the vein of Jak X? A dream come true.
Kurohyō: Ryū ga Gotoku Shinshō is the prequel to Kurohyō 2: Ryū ga Gotoku Ashura-hen. Both were released exclusively in Japan for Sony’s PSP.
The story casts you in the role of a youngster named Tatsuya Ukyo lost in the streets of Kamurocho and its citizens after being framed for an assault. As a result, he ends up dropping from high school to live the life of a thug.
With the success of past Yakuza titles, Sega didn’t have any intentions of stopping the making of new entries in the franchise. Back in 2010, Sega would release Yakuza 4, a new entry in the franchise starring Kazuma Kiryu and several new characters. Including, Taiga Saeijima, Shun Akiyama, Masayoshi Tanimura.
You’re back to Kamurcho, and problems are once again an obstacle Kiryu and his buddies need to solve. Many consider Yakuza 4 as their favourite entry in the series just because Shun Akiyama is a playable character. But personally, I think Yakuza 4 deserve a thumbs up for being the first game to introduce more than 2 playable characters with their own unique battle style before Yakuza 0.
Ryu ga Gotoku 3 is the first canonical entry in the franchise to hit the PlayStation 3 back in 2009. It cast you in the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu managing his own orphanage, living the good life, away from the Yakuza life. But shortly after, he’s slowly pulled into the Yakuza action he was desperately trying to leave behind.
The controls in Yakuza 3 are pretty clunky by today’s standards. The graphics are pretty manageable, but the gameplay? Holey kamoley. You’d better be prepared for what you’re getting yourself into because, at times, the combat is extremely frustrating.
Kenzan takes the crown for being the first spin-off entry in the franchise, and the first to give Kiryu a samurai look. Unfortunately, Kenzan was only released in Japan, but we do hope that one day Sega will finally decide to localize it outside of Japan.
In the meantime, while waiting for a miraculous Yakuza Kenzan and Ishin localization, you can play the games using a PS3 emulator.
Yakuza 2 is the original sequel to the first Yakuza game released back in 2005. Despite being released in an era when the PS2 was on its way out, it managed to sell according to expectations.
You play as Kazuma Kiryu is being pulled back into action. Kiryu is called back into action when Terada is assassinated by an unknown organization. As a result, a new conflict unleashes and it’s up to Kazuma Kiryu to prevent this conflict from escalating into a bloodbath that could cost too many lives.
The game that started it all. Toshihiro Nagoshi had a dream to make a game centring around drama, yakuza, and beating thugs. The idea came out after he realized that there weren’t any video games about Yakuza in Japan. At first, Sega was unsure whether that type of video game would sell, but in the end, Nagoshi managed to convince his boss to let him develop his own game.
Yakuza’s initial sales were poor, but shortly after, they would bomb to sell above expectations, so a sequel was greenlighted. Years after, the series is still on fire.
This marks the end of this article. Thank you for reading.
I'm just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games. My love for Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is like a truck and I recommend that you play it.