Yakuza Timeline: Which One Should We Play First?

The chronological order of Yakuza, SEGA’s game franchise, isn’t necessarily confusing, but it’s good to know how to proceed to get the most out of the narrative. With several games from the series coming to PS Plus, there’s nothing better than introducing a new world to the gaming world, right?

Sony published a post on the PS blog detailing the major improvements to each artwork. Below you will find a brief explanation of each story.

(Source: PS Blog)

Chronological order of Yakuza

Yakuza (or Yakuza Kiwami)

To the surprise of a total of zero people, Yakuza’s chronological order begins with the first game. Here, players learn the story of Kazuma Kiryu, the deputy head of the organization, and get to know the characteristic gameplay of the franchise – which has undergone minor changes in the remake.

Yakuza was an exciting start to the new series, no doubt leaving a mark on those who were lucky enough to play it. The game left such a lasting legacy that it received a full PS4 remake in 2016 called Yakuza Kiwami.

Yakuza 0

It is a prequel to the series where fans will learn more details about the past of several Yakuza characters. But why is it positioned after the first game? easy. There are characters that you need to know beforehand to understand the story better.

Yakuza 0 is a prequel to Japan’s economic boom of the 1980s and marks a new beginning that takes the story back to basics. You control the stoic and reliable Kiryu and his ever-unpredictable antagonist, Goro Majima, who are caught in a conflict between opposing factions to seize control of an area called the “Void Land”.

Yakuza 2 (or Yakuza Kiwami 2)

This time, the story takes on epic proportions and involves a war between Yakuza clans. Two cities are available for players to explore, and Kiryu returns with a host of gimmicks – NPCs that aid in combat.

The violence is the star of the show, with a deeper fight than the first. Battles are more immersive thanks to AI partners, NPCs to share weapons, more variety of combos, underground pickups, and more powerful attacks.

Yakuza 3 (or Yakuza 3 Remastered)

The sandbox style of the Yakuza series was established in the third game of the franchise. The big news was Cyberware’s head and face scan character models.

Other new features such as natural in-game combat transitions, “revelations”, fun photography-inspired side activities and first-person mode add originality to this advanced experience. Yakuza 3 also innovated with the availability of downloads, making an already feature-rich game even bigger.

Yakuza 4 (or Yakuza 4 Remastered)

With four protagonists (Masayoshi Tanimura, Shun Akiyama, Taiga Saejima, and Kazuma Kiryu), the key word for this game was exploration. The quartet undertook their missions separately, complicating the narrative, but came together spectacularly.

Each character plays differently, with their own fighting style and goals. And, as the series has become a tradition, Yakuza 4 also gave its cast special karaoke and dating mini-games.

Yakuza 5 (or Yakuza 5 Remastered)

There are five cities to explore in Yakuza 5, which in addition to Tokyo had Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo. In the fifth game of the franchise, a fifth character was added to the narrative. For those more in the know, the “Baka Mithai” meme came out of this.

Yakuza 6 Life Song

The end of Kiryu’s saga came shortly after the release of Yakuza 0. With improved visuals thanks to the Dragon engine, players explore Kamurocho and Onomichi. According to a PS Blog post, the new mechanics and narrative “guaranteed an explosive conclusion to Kiryu’s final chapter.”

Yakuza: Like a dragon

According to the chronological order of the Yakuza, this game will have no problem playing first than the others. Ichiban Kasuga, the new protagonist of the series, took on a murder he didn’t commit to prove his loyalty to the clan. After being betrayed by his old family, he takes revenge on those who sent him to prison.

Protagonist Dragon Quest After Love Like a Dragon will use turn-based JRPG combat for the first time in the series. Interestingly, this idea came from a 2019 April Fool’s joke, but it worked to make this title incredibly unique. This radical change makes this game a great entry point in the world of Yakuza, and today it is considered one of the best in the franchise.

Available now on PS Plus are Yakuza 0 (Extra), Yakuza Kiwami (Extra), Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Extra) and Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Essential). The remaining games will arrive by the end of 2022.

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