Yakuza is a series that’s been around for quite a while, but has remained incredibly niche with its cult following. This year saw a lot of that change, however, with the release of Yakuza 0, a PS4 exclusive that still remains one of the best of the entire year. Yakuza can be an imposing series to try and get into, but Zero provides an opportune spot to jump right in, as it functions as a prequel to the entire series.
You play as two different characters, Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima, who both have inexplicable ties to the Yakuza and both end up embroiled in a conspiracy to control an empty plot of land in Kamurocho, a fictional area of Tokyo. The game takes place in the 1980s, dropping players into a fascinating world of crime drama and wacky characters, with an extra dose of over the top action. In the spirit of the series, Yakuza 0 manages to be incredibly endearing and heartfelt while also managing to stay action-packed. It deftly weaves its themes and toning together, transitioning from emotional to off the wall crazy at the drop of a pin.
With tons of substories, a lengthy main story, and a wealth of sidequests there’s plenty to keep you occupied for tens of hours. It’s the absolute best place for anyone to try out this hidden gem of a PlayStation series, while also giving longtime fans new context on the characters and world of Yakuza.