With the recent release of Like a Dragon: Ishin!, we think it's time to properly rank the games in RGG Studio's beloved Yakuza / Like a Dragon franchise. And, as always, we want your help in creating a definitive list.
Determining the series' best games won't be easy, though. This is a property that's managed to maintain a fairly high standard across just about every release, and so agreeing on an out-and-out champion is a tall order. We imagine that fans of the franchise will have loads of different opinions on which games flaunt the formula best.
It'll also be interesting to see which games end up with the most user ratings. There's no question that Yakuza 0 was the catalyst for the series' popularity explosion back in 2017 — but there have been plenty of great instalments since.
In any case, you'll find a list of every Yakuza / Like a Dragon / Judgment game below, but only going as far back as the PS4, for the sake of clarity. Just click the star icon next to the game, and give it a score. When we've got enough ratings, we'll publish a full ranking article at a later date.
So, without further ado, rate the games you've played, and then tell us all about your favourite titles in the comments section below.
Yakuza 5 is my favorite game of all time the later games haven't matched it's cheer Insanity
Every single Yakuza game is atleast an 8/10 for me. Kiwami 2 has got to be my favourite though, 0 has the best story.
Played them all apart from Ishin and Dead souls. My favourite was 5. It was so varied. My worst was 4. They had not yet got switching between the characters down and, frankly, the characterisations were not great. I found it tedious story wise.
From the spin offs, FotNS was my least favourite. Lost Judgment was much better than Judgment, the combat and story was better.
Like a Dragon. Sorry, not feeling it yet. And this is from someone who loves turn based combat. Again, just not into the characters yet. Maybe it just takes some time.
Saying all that, even the worst in the series is better than the majority of games released.
@Amusei Yeah I was adding my own scores and I realised that the series has an average of at least 8/10. Seriously consistent quality.
@thefourfoldroot1 Totally agree with your last sentence. Even the weaker games (for me personally, that's 4, Kiwami, and maybe Lost Judgment) are still more interesting than the vast majority of bigger budget releases today.
Here to preach the good word of Yakuza 0.
0 is my favourite out of the ones I've played so far (0, 1 Kiwami and 2 Kiwami). 0 has the advantage of being the game that got me into the series, but it's also great in terms of story, gameplay, and side-content.
I would say they’re all at least 7’s but after a few years to sit on it, Like a Dragon is a 10.
I generally can’t complete Yakuza games and don’t even love turn based combat but this thing stuck with me. The game is utterly bizarre in every way and somehow the characters are so awesome and it makes the battle system a blast. No clue why still but it’s a 10 for me dawg.
I'm quite shocked that I played every game except ishin. I guess I'm a big fan...
@thefourfoldroot1 i felt the same way about like a dragon. I love turned based games and I wanted to love it but the turned based combat made the game too long and slow for me.
They are all masterpieces so far! I'm currently playing through the series (started at 0, currently playing 5). So far 0 and Kiwami 2 are tied as my favorite, and 3 is my least favorite.
I felt like 0 was a 10, with like a dragon getting a 9. I gave everything else an 8 except lost judgment and Ishin - both of which i own, but haven't played yet.
Such good games. Pure fun and escapism.
Might not be everyone's fav Yakuza but Song of Life was the only one I gave a 10. Everything else I gave 9s or 8s with Yakuza 3 being the only exception with a 7. A little disappointed not seeing the original 2006 Yakuza and the 2008 sequel Yakuza 2 not here from the PS2. Also the wacky but still alright fun Yakuza Dead Souls on PS3 not here too. I'd have given the PS2 original a 10 too
Judgement can get in the bin, watered down rubbish.
Yakuza 6 should be getting more praise then it gets from the community when the “best of” question gets asked. It was outstanding!
@Beerheadgamer82 bro fist 👊
@Beerheadgamer82 It looks like for the sake of clarity they are only including PS4/5 titles so the rankings list doesn't read two versions of almost every game (though I would argue they should combine the listings for PS4 and PS5 ports if that's the incentive).
Need to get back into this series. Played some of the originals back on the PS3. Nothing since. I already have LAD, Y0 and Kiwami just haven't got round to them.
I think the side content in 0 is some of the most fun, varied and hysterical in the more recent entries and sets it apart from the other games i've played, never mind the soundtrack! The Majima side content in Kiwami is great too.
0 - 10, Kiwami - 9, Kiwami 2 - 8, LaD - 8
Best to worst:
Not played Lost Judgment or Ishin yet. Also how stupid does that spelling of JudgEment look.
Yakuza 0 is my favorite but Kiwami 2 is a close second. Love all the games, though, and the Judgment spinoffs as well.
Ranking them I'd go... 0, 2/Kiwami 2, Like a Dragon, Lost Judgment, Judgment, 5, 6, 1/Kiwami 1, 3, 4. Can't rank Ishin yet as I just started it, having a lot of fun so far.
I'm still working my way through the whole stack slowly but surely. Hard to squeeze that, VR, and HFW in all at once....but working on it!
I just absolutely love the series, every step of the way. It doesn't have many weaknesses. Personally I'd say the weakest elements are Kiwami 1 with Majima Everywhere being a good idea but ends up being nothing but pure grind and gets annoying after a while as he just becomes a damage sponge that's not fun or interesting to fight in the S ranks... And 7/LaD like others said the sheer amount of random encounters with the slowness of turn based games becomes kind of a drag. I'm sure they'll fix that in 8, but it needed a DQ11 type QoL update to accelerate the grind. Since it wants to be DQ so much you'd think it would have copied the QoL improvements, lol
If time wasn't so limited I'd go through each one and platinum them,I have played kiwami 1,2 and zero but do have the rest in library just too many games and so little time but amazing games nonetheless
@Beerheadgamer82 If Song of Life didn't have such a disappointing antagonist, had more to do in Hiroshima, didn't have Goro missing from the story for whatever reason, and brought back more of the heat actions I'd have given it a 9 but I still loved the game. Still easily one of the best Yakuza games.
Literally rolled the credits on Kiwami 2 and hour ago so I'll be super interested to see how this poll plays out.
@Amusei Except Kiwami 2's chapter 12!
Wtf was going on there!
I honesty think one of the writers let his sugar highed pre-pubescent child write that chapter!
I'm a Yakuza 5 apologist. Maybe it's the trauma of having spent years praying for it to come over to the West. Five cities in one game, including three new ones? Plus a snowy mountain village? Come now, how could I resist? Yakuza 0 is a solid 2nd best. Everything else got an 8 or 9.
Couldn't bear scoring any of these lower than an 8. Please add Dead Souls though, it is ultimately part of the series - if Ishin and the Judgments are there, you can't exclude Dead Souls.
I love all of them. Like some others have said there isn't really a bad game in the series. Sure there is difference in quality between them but I love them all.
My top 3 would be lad, 0 and lost judgment.
@ZoSo Refreshen my memory, it's been a while 😅
Yakuza 0 or 5 is highest, yakuza kiwami or 3 is lowest. Everything else is up for debate.
Also fist of the north star exists and is a good one.
0/5 are the best in the series.
3 is easily the low point.
@Amusei The Osaka Castle! It's one of my favorite parts, it's so bananas I had to remind myself I wasn't playing a Warriors game.
It's like having to pick a favourite child. Yakuza Kiwami holds a special place though since it was my introduction.
@Amusei Giant golden castles, samurai and ninjas!
All the yakuza games i play have been amazing.i do enjoy yakuza 0.and yakuza like a dragon a lot.word up son
No Yakuza Dead Souls? Its not a great game, but admittedly I had some "dumb" fun with it.
Like A Dragon has become my new fave. I love that ragtag bunch of characters and the general sweet nature of Ichiban. Loved the turn based combat too.
I would find it a bit difficult to rank each one neutrally, because each one has a schtick that the others don't. One has dance battles, another has a real estate simulator, then there's Majima everywhere, and the list goes on. So if I were to break everything down and categorically rank every one of them, I'd find that I probably loved them all equally, but for different reasons.
@ZoSo That part was awesome, I love when they go all out with the crazy stuff
@Broosh You're right, it's so hype
If zero doesn’t get 1st I’ll be mad 🤬🤬🤬
@BeerIsAwesome I agree with your statement, as an example for me is Yakuza 3. Considered to be one of the worse games and after playing through on hard mode I thought it should be renamed Blockuza, but the story was so humble and the Osaka location was such a chill place to run around, also one of the first games that made me cry. Objectively the game isn’t great on its own merits but if you’ve played 0-Kiwami 2 pre-hand the story hits especially hard and makes the game special.
Play and platted 0,kiwami,kiwami 2 judgment and fist of the North Star (i count it)
Almost platted 3 but 3 is by far my least favourite, the enemies block so much it sucks.
0 is best for me
Zero, Ishin, Lost Judgment, Like A Dragon and Kiwami 2 are all 10/10 for me.
@Beerheadgamer82 loved the small town feeling of Song of Life, kinda reminded me of Shenmue wandering the back streets of suburban Yokosuka.
@GorosBat Just the entire setting is a joy to walk around. So while it doesn't get the best rep of all the games, it does still being something unique to the series in it's own way.
For me, Yakuza 0 and 5 are the ones deserving a 10, followed closely with Lost Judgment and Yakuza 6 with a 9. I haven't finished Ishin yet, but from the time I've spent I suspect it will be a strong 8 or 9.
I rank Judgment at 8 purely because of the gameplay that is grindy as heck, particularly against the street gangs towards the end. The story is actually one of the strongest in the series.
Kiwami 2, Like a Dragon (7) both deserve an 8 due to their engaging stories, despite the not-so-satisfying conclusion. I was not a fan of Yakuza 4 because I felt that the game became a drag on the parts of Saejima and Tanimura, despite how interesting their characters are.
Yakuza 3 was ambitious at best, but it was not that good, and similarly, Kiwami 1 is also so-so because of how lackluster the sidestories are. Both deserve a 6.
I'm definitely not going to vote in this, as I've literally just started playing Judgement this week, as it seems like the easiest way in to the series for me, being that I enjoy detective/noir stuff, and general criminal law/courtroom drama with added punch-ups and over the top action (shout out Eddie Flynn)
So far, it seems pretty decent, (I wasn't expecting such a long introduction chapter) maybe a bit repetitive in how fights go, and combat is maybe slightly awkward to get used to at first, mostly camera and movement control and whether to R1 strafe more or less. It usually takes me a while to get my head around these things to see what feels best though. I also think I was trying to press combo buttons too fast, thinking I had to be really up tempo to keep up, but it seems to flow a little better with a little more delay in inputs. Aiming wall grapples is hilarious at times too, as I fly through the air towards nothing but the disappointment of my failed manoeuvre 😁 all that said, I've got the itch where I just want to get back to the game and see more, and I've not even started any of the notoriously time sinky content from the series yet. Apart from winning a stuffed cat from a claw grab machine, to be fair 😸
I'm also now warming to the idea of trying the turned based combat of Like A Dragon too, especially as it always looked like the most appealing game fun wise, simply by looking like it's absolutely bats*** crazy 😁
I shall soon be a part of the Yakuza loving family here, I'm sure 😆
@BeerIsAwesome Yeah, there’s just something so humble about this game, probably the fact that Kiryu is running the orphanage and he gets to know all the kids and just helps out the town in general. They could almost get away with taking all the actual Yakuza stuff out and just about the orphanage and it would still be a good game.
Yakuza 0 and Kenzan are my favourites, followed closely by 2.
Let me make it easy for you.
If Yakuza: masterpiece
Else: not masterpiece.
I’ve only played 2 of them, but Yakuza 0 and Like a Dragon are both amazing games.
I need to play the rest of the series. But just so many games between Switch and PS5 and so little time.
Well if I want to include a spiritual predecessor to Yakuza, Shenmue 2 was a great game back in the early 00s lol. It has aged poorly though.
Yeah, the blocking in the first 10 or so hours of 3 is infuriating. Once you get some skills it’s not really an issue though. Not as bad as 4 for me.
The combat in judgment is a weak point nobody really mentions much. Running around wall jumping with R1 is indeed just awkward. Lost Judgment improves on it immeasurably but in ways I can’t put my finger in. Just overall control I think.
DEFINITIVE RANKING BY ME (OFFICIAL BEST LIST)
Yakuza Kiwami 2
Yakuza Like A Dragon
Like A Dragon Ishin (subject to change)
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
All of this list is liable to change whatever day you ask me.
@GorosBat I think a lot of people will rank their first experience with Yakuza very highly, since the games are kinda similar and will lose some of its freshness after a while. My first was Yakuza 3, and I absolute loved it!
Never played a Yakuza game, but want to get into action. I don't feel like I want to go through all of them, but I don't want to miss good ones either, so which one should I start with, and which ones should I pick next?
I definitely agree with people saying they're all high quality. Even some of the dated/ less than stellar entries are charming and have great moments like 3 and 4. Overall, the Kiwami remasters, Judgement, 7, and the Kaito files were all standout. However the way 6 brought things together and to me nailed a 7 game arc will always be close to the top. I would love 1 to 2 of these games per year to play.
My first favorite Yakuza game isn't here. No Dead Souls on the list.
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