What is the right chronological order to play Yakuza?
There has never been a better time to enter the universe of yakuza, one of the coolest, craziest and funniest series in games. After all, the Sega franchise is available in its entirety both on Xbox Games Pass as in the catalog of PlayStation Plusallowing subscribers to download and play all titles.
And that’s where the doubt comes in: with so many games with different names and numbers, there is a ideal order to enjoy the Yakuza series? The answer is yes. And we’re going to show you now where you should start venturing into the series of the iconic Kiryu and Goro.
Playing Yakuza in Chronological Order
Originally released at the time of the PlayStation 2, the Yakuza series received a nice upgrade with remakes and remasters that left all games with a more pleasant look and compatible with the most current games. The good news is that literally every game has these higher versions, and they are all available now for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Next, you can see the exact order in which you should play Yakuza to get the most out of this fun series:
Although not the first game in the series, Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the first title starring Kiryu. In this Action RPG, which takes place in the year 1988, the protagonist and Goro Majima are at the beginning of their careers in the organization.
After being accused of committing murder and surviving his own death, Majima is now in charge of a cabaret but still plans to move up a few positions in the organization. Kiryu is in a similar position, having been unfairly framed for the death of his boss.
With its plot unfolding between the years of 1995 and 2005, Yakuza Kiwami is the remake of the first game in the series and follows the story of Kiryu, who now takes the blame for the murder of the head of the Dojima clan to protect a friend. The boss was killed after trying to rape Yumi, the boys’ childhood friend. After spending 10 years in prison, the protagonist now sets out in search of the missing 10 billion yen, a treasure that the entire criminal underworld is looking for.
As the remake was released in response to the prequel’s success, Yakuza Kiwami makes a lot of references and even continues certain elements seen in Yakuza 0.
Yakuza Kiwami 2
Continuing the plot of the previous game, Kiwami 2 is set in the year 2006 and once again follows Kiryu, who now travels to Osaka with Daigo Dojima. The protagonist suggests that Daigo should take over and rebuild the Tojo Clan and then negotiate a peace agreement and prevent a war with the Omi Alliance. For that they will have to deal with Ryuji Goda, son of the head of the alliance, who doesn’t seem interested in the affairs of the Tojo Clan.
Yakuza 3: Remastered
Three years after the previous game, in 2009, Kiryu is retired from the Yakuza and opens an orphanage to care for children whose parents died at the hands of the organization. Unsurprisingly, of course, he ends up needing to return to a life of violence to help his friends.
Yakuza 4: Remastered
With four playable protagonists, Yakuza 4 is set in 2010 and has neat gameplay, but leaves something to be desired in terms of story. The plot seems a little more disjointed when compared to the previous games – but still the game is a lot of fun.
Yakuza 5: Remastered
Set in 2012, the fifth game once again follows Kiryu, who is one of five playable characters. He once again ends up getting involved with the Tojo Clan, who are again trying to avoid a war. In addition to the dangers of life in the organization, our protagonist now has another concern: he fears that his activities will impact on his daughter Harula’s career as an idol.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
In 2016, Kiryu discovers that Haruka has had a child and sets out to find the child’s father. He ends up getting involved with the local Yakuza families and finds himself once again surrounded by the group’s dangerous criminal life. This title marks the departure of the character as the protagonist of the series.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
In the year 2019, Ichiban Kasuga (our new protagonist) is released from jail after spending 19 years in prison in place of his boss, who saved his life when he was still a teenager. Upon leaving the prison, he realizes that his companions are not waiting for him, and he is subsequently involved in a dispute between the crime syndicates in Ijincho. Unlike previous titles, Like a Dragon abandons the action and embraces the JRPG genre, with turn-based battles.