What’s the first picture you get when someone asks you about SEGA’s Yakuza franchise?
The eccentric yet gorgeous Japanese, the badass living inside the character of Kiryu Kazuma, or the exciting beat ‘em up fighting style?
Well, if I was talking about myself, I’d say – everything!
The Yakuza series has been the golden goose of SEGA for a while. And the new addition – Yakuza: Like A Dragon – has carried on with the baton perfectly.
But, is it the best game the franchise has ever produced?
Let’s find out.
Ranking The Top 5 Yakuza Games!
Unlike any other story-based game, nearly every installment of the Yakuza series has hit me on a personal level. Hence, making a “best five” wasn’t too easy for me.
Yetr, I’ve somehow managed to cram my favorite titles in this section. But, if you’re against any of my choices, feel free to comment your thoughts below.
Oh, and before I forget, all of these games are available on the pirate bay for free.
5. Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life
Depressing, emotional, and somewhat nostalgic – Yakuza 6 marked the conclusion of Kiryu Kazuma’s canonical storyline. But, let’s talk about the gameplay first.
To develop this one, SEGA used their brand new Dragon engine. Hence, the spike in both the graphic styling and gameplay was quite evident.
Everything felt smoother and much more realistic than before. And, the beat ‘em up style was astoundingly enjoyable in this title. And, the storyline…
Well, it talked about Kiryu entering fathership while struggling to forget his former lifestyle. It’s a lot more humane than the previous games – with focusing more on story than fighting.
And, I loved it!
4. Yakuza Kiwami 2
Although most people loved the story Yakuza Kiwami wanted to tell, they absolutely detested the gameplay. And, SEGA listened to them and improved the same in Yakuza Kiwami 2.
The gameplay, especially the crude fighting sequences felt much smoother than before. And, Kiryu also started using more and more new moves, which was pretty exciting too.
The storyline of the game, too, felt less convoluted from almost every viewpoint. And, before I forget, the game has the best boss-fights ever. So, keep an eye out for that too.
Yes, it’s not really a full-fledged Yakuza game. However, the game is an absolute masterclass, no matter how I see it. In this title, you play as a lawyer-turned-detective whose unnatural drive for justice and truth reels you right in the plotline.
And, God, I love it!
However, unlike the previous games mentioned here, this one doesn’t really follow too much of the fighting persona. Instead, it focuses on character building and progressing the storyline properly. The only issue – the game doesn’t really follow a traditional detective gameplay.
2. Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Yakuza: Like A Dragon, in essence, is a breath of fresh air in the whole Yakuza franchise. It comes with a goofy yet truthful character in Ichiban, who is entirely different from Kiryu.
Besides, unlike the previously-celebrated beat ‘em up style, Yakuza: Like A Dragon featured a more strategic, turn-based fighting style. And, it’s pretty amazing, in my opinion.
The game also features a brand new setting that shifts the whole franchise to Isezaki Ijincho. And, the substories of the game are quite interesting as well.
1. Yakuza 0
I didn’t play the 2005-version of Yakuza, so Yakuza 0 was the game that introduced me to the series. And, it’s a masterpiece from every accord.
To begin with, the graphics of the game, for a 2015-installment, is amazing. The game is very detail-oriented as well, especially in the portrayal of the 80s’ Japan.
And, the game also marked the beginning of Kriyu’s nemesis, Goro Majima, who went on to become a much more popular character than Kiryu, himself.
So, What’s Your Choice?
Whatever I’ve written in this article is my own opinion, nothing else.
And, I’m pretty sure you might consider something else to be your favorite one from the series. So, now, I’d like to hear from you. Comment down your favorite Yakuza game in the section below. And, I’ll reply to you as soon as I can.
Till then, have a good day and keep