Eight Yakuza games are arriving on PlayStation Plus this year, letting you step into the shoes of the bottom-kicking, problem-solving, rights-respecting Kazuma Kiryu.
Yes, he starts out as a Yakuza, but.. actually, we’ll avoid any further spoilers. All you need to know is that the Yakuza games are absolutely fantastic. These action adventures sport awesome storytelling, superb side-quests, excellent combat and when it matters, real heart.
Now, the whole story-so-far is coming to PlayStation Plus, though which games you get depends on the tier you’re on. The games will be released throughout 2022; the latest entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon (the first not to start Kazuma Kiryu) is available on August 2nd as part of PlayStation Plus Essentials August line-up.
Apart from Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the games are being released in chronological order (or at least, chronological groups) so you can experience Kiryu’s story from beginning to end, with the first few arriving in August. Here’s when you can get your hands on each game, as well as the PlayStation Plus tier you’ll need to be on to play them:
- Yakuza 0 – August (PlayStation Plus Extra / Premium)
- Yakuza Kiwami – August (PlayStation Plus Extra / Premium)
- Yakuza Kiwami 2 – August (PlayStation Plus Extra / Premium)
- Yakuza 3 Remastered – 2022 (PlayStation Plus Premium)
- Yakuza 4 Remastered – 2022 (PlayStation Plus Premium)
- Yakuza 5 Remastered – 2022 (PlayStation Plus Premium)
- Yakuza 6: The Song of Life – 2022 (PlayStation Plus Extra / Premium)
If you’re wondering what the heck “Kiwami” means, it’s Japanese for extreme and, in this context, it indicates that Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2 are remakes of the first two Yakuza games. Yakuza 0, on the other hand, is a prequel to the orginal Yakuza.
So, no, you’re not getting the original Yakuza and Yakuza 2, both of which launched on PS2, but you’re getting an even better version, with more story. Speaking of story, while Kiryu is arguable the most important character, later entries introduce additional playable protagonists, just to mix things up and offer a different perspective.
Whether you actually complete each game is up to you – there are so many side-quests and pursuits you can spend ages just messing around in one of the in-game arcades. But if you’ve never explored the Yakuza series’ neon-bedecked world, you’re missing out on a treat.
Of course, then there’s the Judgement side-series and.. hey, where are you going?