What order do I play the Yakuza games (I want to play them by release date, not story order)?

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NTM

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There are just enough Yakuza games that it confuses me as to where to start. To be clear, as I state in the title, I want to play them in order of release date, not chronological story order. So, I understand Kiwami is the remaster of the original PS2 game, so I'm starting there, after that where do I go? Replace the original PS2/PS3 games with whatever remaster came out on PS4 because I don't want to go back to previous-gen consoles. Are all games on current-gen? See, I don't even know. Anyways, thanks in advance.

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blackichigo

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#2  Edited By blackichigo

Zero, kawami, kawami 2, 3, 4, 5, ( 3 4 and 5 are getting released on the current consoles in a collection but 3 in said collection is out right now) and 6. I have no idea what you mean by you want to play them by release date when you say you don't want to go back to the PS2 or PS3. At this point you can damn near play them all on a PS4 with the exception of 4 and 5 but they should be coming sometime this year or the beginning of 2020.

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imhungry

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Assuming we're ignoring the spin-offs like the zombie game, it's fairly straightforward.
Kiwami (remake of 1)

Kiwami 2 (remake of 2)

Yakuza 3, 4, 5

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 6

In fact, the order is right on the franchise wiki page on this very video game website. The remaster of 3 on the PS4 has just been released and the remasters of 4 and 5 are coming later this year and early next year respectively.

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someoneproud

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By release and substituting in remasters you get:

Kiwami > Kiwami 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 0 > 6 if you're willing to go back to PS3 for 4 & 5 or wait a few months for the re-releases (dead souls is also in there after 4 but it's neither canon, on PS4 nor very good).

All of them are available on PS4 except 4&5 which can be purchased as part of a PS4 triple pack (3,4,5) but don't come out until October and early 2020 respectively.

There's not much reason to leave 0 'till after 5 imo seeing as it's a prequel and doesn't spoil anything really from the other games (also it's very good)

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VongolaGearX

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also there's judgement which is a spin-off that takes place after 6 and before 7 that is completely seprerate from the main series besides the setting

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theuprightman

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I would start with 0, then the kiwami games, k1 is ok, k2 is better but 0 is fantastic, I am not sure I would have become so obsessed with the series if I had started with K1.

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Efesell

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If you wait until February then everything thus far will have been released on current gen platforms.

Also, and I say this with tremendous love for the franchise, you will not be able to play all of these games in sequence without becoming sick of them.

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Zeik

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Kiwami may be a remake of Yakuza 1, which came out first, but it chronologically came out after 0 and makes direct callbacks to that game, so you really should play 0 first.

Playing 0 before Kiwami 2 is a must, because the new content in that game is a direct continuation of story threads introduced in 0.

So just play 0 first and then play them I order from there.

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Efesell

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Yeah I hadn't thought of that. If you really insist on playing in release order and not chronological then you can't sub in Kiwami without muckin' up some story beats. You'd need to go back to the PS2 release.

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OurSin_360

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If you really want to play them in order you should start with the ps2 games then play the remakes after 5 IMO. Yakuza 1 is a bit rough but 2 holds up pretty well actually.

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NTM

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@someoneproud: Thanks. That's the answer I was looking for.

@vongolagearx: Yep. That recently came out right? I'd play that too probably.

@efesell: Not that it matters (I'm just not going back to previous-gen systems to play Yakuza) but why do you say that? Do they add in story to Kiwami that's not in the original? I'm only playing the PS4 versions of the older games, so if I have to wait I'll wait. I'm currently playing Kiwami. I didn't need to purchase it myself since it was a PS Plus game at one point. I'm really enjoying it so far.

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@ntm: There are side quests in Zero that get follow ups in Kiwami & Kiwami 2, nothing major but it makes more sense if you play Zero first. It also ads more context to the first game. Prequels can tend to over explain things but there are relationships in the first game that are quite under explained.

Theres also some stuff in Kiwami 2 where you can play as Majima that features characters from Zero which doesnt make much sense if you havent played it.

It's not the end of the world if you play Kiwami before Zero, in a weird way you might be better off not playing Zero and Kiwami back to back as they're very similar mechanically. Story wise though it's the best option.

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Cybexx

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#13  Edited By Cybexx

They added a bunch of Majima stuff to the Kiwami games that was not in the PS2 games and that stuff references the story from Zero. Kiwami 2 especially does this as mentioned.

Ryū ga Gotoku Studio basically reworked Zero as the new canonical start to the series. I would definitely recommend against going back to the PS2 games as a method of experiencing the series in a pure release-order form because the combat controls were out-dated at release and they have only gotten worse with time.

Yakuza 0 would normally be the game I would recommend playing first since it is probably the best game in the series, you'll know if you think it is worth playing through the rest of this (very long) series of games if you enjoy 0.

But since you already started Kiwami I don't think there is much harm in finishing that game first. I would recommend maybe playing 0 after that before Kiwami 2. Yakuza 0 is also part of the Playstation Hits games right now so it is $20 USD/CDN.

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takayamasama

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I would very strongly recommend starting with 0. It was designed to be both a prequel and an on wrap for new audiences, and the Kiwami 1 and 2 games have a lot of touch backs to 0 built in. It's always absolutely amazing and enhanced ones experience of the future games. In all honesty, if I had started with Kiwami 1 instead of 0, I would have been pretty disappointed. I think Kiwami 1 is great but it's still very much a PS2 game that was redone, but the emphasis from Yakuza 0 made Kiwami 1's story beats very, very extreme and wonderful.

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NTM

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#15  Edited By NTM

Thanks for the replies. Anyways, I'm just going to use this thread to post my thoughts on the series as I go. So far, Kiwami is excellent. I love the writing, it's funny but also somewhat authentic feeling and even minor characters are written in a way that makes me feel for them. The world is really great; I love the city nightlife vibe and also being able to go into a bunch of places which lends a lot of variety and again, authenticity. I generally hate mini-games like this, but they're all pretty fun, from pool to batting at the cages. The places you shop at are also nicely detailed. The game, at least where I'm at now taking place during Christmas is also a plus; I always like that. The numerous side tasks, which aren't random but seem like they are, are also well done. I've already said it, but I'm really enjoying the game. It's great. It's a game I find hard to put down honestly. The combat is fun, but it's not amazing. It's good enough to hold stuff together as it seems that's in large part what you're doing to get through things.

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NTM

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I just bought the entire series (minus the spin-offs) and damn, that's 150 dollars. I'd say 'down the drain', but that implies that I made a mistake (maybe I did, I don't know). So much for saving money. I think Kiwami is excellent and keeps getting better so I made the jump to purchase all of them right now. Kiwami, despite it not coming out this year, is my favorite game of the year so far. Maybe second, I grew to enjoy The Division 2 quite a bit. Still, Kiwami is one of those games that permeates my mind even when I'm not playing it, and one that I wake up wanting to play and to be honest, there hasn't been a lot of that this entire generation.

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stanek1

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#17 stanek1  Online

I actually agree about playing Kiwami 1 before 0. I recently did that and it made 0 better. Also whatever you do play 6 last. You can play judgement whenever

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psmgamer

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I started with Kiwami before starting 0 as I got Kiwami first. I have Kiwami, 0, 4, 5 and just need 6, 3 and Kiwami 2.

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NTM

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I beat Kiwami 1. It took me 38 hours to complete. It was really good throughout. On two now and for the hour I've played of it, it's even better in most areas. Since I'm only an hour in I'll have to see how side missions and stuff compares, but on a technical level, their 'new' engine is a generational leap ahead and helps create a more immersive experience. I like the world of Kamurocho, but now that you don't have loading screens as you enter and exit shops and those shops are so well detailed, it just enhances the experience. Plus, I love seeing the differences between the then and now, and how it's expanded upon as you can now enter areas you couldn't in the prior game.

I also think due to the new animation system and physics, the combat feels more impactful. The ragdoll is a bit extreme, but it's pretty funny so it's not much of an issue. The only downsides are that the frame rate is no longer a 60fps and AA isn't great, nor are the incidental NPC details, but it's not a huge issue. The writing and voice work is really great in my opinion, and I think, for what little I've put in so far, the sound design is slightly better overall than what was in the first, and what was in the first was really great as well. I'm impressed and kind of surprised actually. It's going to be weird going into three and/or 0 after this, but I'm sure I'll enjoy those too.

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Zeik

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@ntm: Don't play the Majima side-story if you want to avoid big ol' spoilers for 0.

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NTM

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Why does it seem, at least as far as I've ever read/seen, no one really mentions Yakuza 3? Also, I'm going to play 0 after three. Still on two. Loving it. I love that these games have smaller, yet well-detailed environments with interesting, oftentimes funny things to experience.

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Efesell

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#22  Edited By Efesell

@ntm: Well...the most noteworthy thing about Yakuza 3 is how long it takes to get started.

The only genuinely great thing to come from it is this review.

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cikame

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I started at 3, which helpfully contains a movie which details the events from the first two games.

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@ntm: Yakuza 3 was my GOTY in 2010, it wasnt my first Yakuza game but in a weird way it was what got me into the series. (I saw a trailer for the japanese version and thought it looked amazing and went on to play the PS2 games) It was a huge step up graphically and mechanically over the PS2 games, as you would expect. (although some games dont advance that much switching generations) I didnt care that some content was cut, I was just happy that I didnt have to learn japanese to play it. (since Sega didnt seem interested in localizing the game for a long time)

I still prefer it over Yakuza 4 & 5, which while good, suffer from pacing issues due to how they handle multiple protagonists. I also enjoyed Okinawa as a location and thought it contrasted Tokyo nicely.

Also, as a fan of the Shenmue games the begining didnt seem that slow to me and if you've already sat through hour long cutscenes and dialog sequences in the first two games i'm not sure why that would bother anyone in the third game.

So yeah, i'll defend that game, you're right though, it might be the black sheep in the franchise.

(not counting Dead Souls, which I wont defend)

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Efesell

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@boozak: For me it's the part where the hours of cutscenes and dialog in the previous games feel like they're going somewhere.

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BoOzak

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@efesell: Story wise it's intentionally slow since he's seemingly escaped the Yakuza, cutscenes and dialog dont only have to exist to force feed you exposition. It just seems odd to me in a franchise that likes to take it's time and often has diversions in the main plot that dont really advance the story, that the Okinawa section is what broke some people.

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Efesell

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@boozak: Maybe it's just that segment does feel a whole lot like Shenmue and that's why I don't like it.

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Zeik

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@boozak said:

@efesell: Story wise it's intentionally slow since he's seemingly escaped the Yakuza, cutscenes and dialog dont only have to exist to force feed you exposition. It just seems odd to me in a franchise that likes to take it's time and often has diversions in the main plot that dont really advance the story, that the Okinawa section is what broke some people.

I think 3's biggest problem there was front loading so much of that and putting such a huge barrier to accessing the meat of the game. I don't mind long cutscenes once I'm invested in the game and have already had time to actually play it, but even as someone who plays a lot of video games largely to experience their stories, I still get impatient when you front load too much of it.

I felt similarly about MGS4. I wasn't really there for the gameplay, but I still got bored sitting through all those long ass cutscenes before the first mission. (Although that also could just be because the story wasn't that good.)

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#29  Edited By TechnoSyndrome

1, 2, 3, 4, Dead Souls (non-canon), 5, 0, Kiwami, 6, Kiwami 2, Judgment

The Kiwami games incorporate story and characters from 0, so if you're actually going to play in release order you have to go back to the PS2 versions.

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