• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Sep 5, 2006
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 58
  2. Negative: 2 out of 58
Buy On
  1. Yakuza vividly portrays modern Japan and its organized crime families, but it pulls its punches before delivering a truly great action game or a completely satisfying story.
  2. 71
    It's just a case of proportions - too much storyline and too much random battling - and if we're going down the route of size comparison, hands and shoulders need attention too.
  3. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    70
    No threat to "GTA," but it's not meant to be. Instead it's an absorbing role-playing adventure with plenty to keep you busy. [Sept 2006, p.74]
  4. 70
    The game has its weak points, and there's nothing strikingly original about the gameplay, but it's definitely an interesting experience for action gamers looking for a unique atmosphere and story.
  5. The story can weigh things down, but generally it drives the game along well enough. It's just a shame there isn't more to do in Tokyo itself.
  6. This game is what the phrase "close, but no cigar" was made for.
  7. A good game that never seems in danger of being great. It’s like exploring a slice of life in another culture; you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get but you keep trying to get something.
  8. The battle system had some potential, but is hampered by technical issues.
  9. But the core mechanics of Yakuza – fighting and futzing around in this collection of city bits – are simply too disjointed to bear up under the fifteen or so hours it takes to reach the payoff.
  10. Game Informer
    60
    Please, someone put a hit out on this one before it commits more crimes against gaming. [Sept. 2006, p.93]
  11. Killing bad guys is very boring thanks to the lackluster mechanics, which never evolve past mindless button mashing, and the cheap AI doesn't help matters. I still appreciate Yakuza for what it is, but I can't justify spending $50 for it.
  12. 60
    Yakuza also features one of the worst stealth-based sequences in all of video game history.
  13. 60
    If you're a sucker for Japanese gangster cinema, you'll likely be able to forgive Yakuza's many flaws long enough to get caught up in the riveting story line and cast of complex characters. But long before the end, you'll be sick of the repetitive combat that takes up far too much of Yakuza's gameplay time.
  14. It's just that while being a competent and perfectly enjoyable pick'n'mix of some of the best games of the last 10 years, Yakuza doesn't excel at any aspect it borrows. It isn't greater than the sum of its parts.
  15. AceGamez
    60
    I'm just supremely disappointed that it failed to capitalize on its intriguing premise.
  16. The attention to detail in Yakuza is extraordinary but the overall effect is like getting everything you wanted for Christmas and not being allowed to play with it.
  17. The only things that are shamelessly exposed are the game's feckless fisticuffs.
  18. Yakuza’s intricately plotted yarn is so lovingly rendered that sloppy action and shoddy localization only bring moderate dishonor.
  19. 50
    With Yakuza, Sega has once again shown the gaming world that, when it comes to establishing new concepts, they aren’t totally out of their element.

Awards & Rankings

43
22
#22 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2006
16
#16 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2006
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 91
  2. Negative: 7 out of 91
  1. May 26, 2011
    10
    this game does not have a name or the packaging like god of war or devil may cry that easily acttracts gamers and so it's often overlooked.this game does not have a name or the packaging like god of war or devil may cry that easily acttracts gamers and so it's often overlooked. And who can blame us,i mean who really cares about yakuzas (i know i don't) but after a friend recommended it to me i finally got the game and i was so glad i did. The story in this game can only be found in a great movie or a best seller novel for it's that damn good.it involves love,betrayer,honour and even tragedy.after taking the fall for his best friend,our hero gets out of prison only to find out his girlfriend is missing,betaryed by bestfriend and yakuza world in chaos.he must protect a mysterious little who would lead him to the truth. With awesome characters,great combat system,free roaming gameplay and great looking cut scenes i must say yakuza is a master piece. A game for only hardcore gamers,casual gamers be warned Full Review »
  2. Jan 4, 2015
    8
    Among the best games I have ever played. Fantastic story, great characters. Lots of optional and interesting side stuff to do. Gameplay isAmong the best games I have ever played. Fantastic story, great characters. Lots of optional and interesting side stuff to do. Gameplay is good. The combat relies on martial arts and whatever you can grab lying around. Unfortunately the English voice overs leave a lot to be desired for. In another words they are horrible. Full Review »
  3. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    this game is freaking awesome its a spiritual successor to Shenmue and man did it surpass shenmue already amazing story and a unique gameplaythis game is freaking awesome its a spiritual successor to Shenmue and man did it surpass shenmue already amazing story and a unique gameplay for an open world game like this was just genius if sega ever plans to make Shenmue 3 then they should leave it in the hands of the people who made Yakuza 1-5 Full Review »