10 Games Like Yakuza | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 More Games With Great Crime-Oriented Storytelling!

The Yakuza series is known for delivering great beat ”em-up experiences with thoughtful storytelling. Each game opens up Yakuza’s world and gives players enough activities to participate in. From fighting baddies to exploring its many streets and shops, you’ll be immersed in the number of things you can do and experience with the Yakuza series. It’s one of Sega’s best series to date and it doesn’t look like it’ll be ending anytime soon.  

If you’ve finished playing Yakuza and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks.

Of course, for all the games we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link, so you can check out our full thoughts on that and see if it’s something you want to invest your time in.

So without further ado, we present 10 games to check out if you’re looking for a game like Yakuza.

Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5 is the latest entry in the Grand Theft Auto series (at the time of writing) and is well-beloved by the fandom. Like the Yakuza series, Grand Theft Auto 5 is a great action-adventure title with an expansive world and delightful gameplay mechanics. In it, players can freely explore the fictional city of Los Santos. Los Santos is well-designed and lively as you’ll love visiting stores and interacting with citizens. 

The game’s narrative is compelling and revolves around organized crime and gritty scenarios like Yakuza. In it, you’ll follow three protagonists who become embroiled in heists and criminal activities. This parallels Yakuza’s Kiryu, as you’ll assist him in navigating the treacherous world of crime, loyalty, and honor.

In addition to giving players opportunities to engage in delightful minigames, Grand Theft Auto 5 is a delightful open-world title with plenty of things to keep you occupied. 

Sleeping Dogs

Before becoming something unique, Sleeping Dogs was once a new entry to the True Crime series. However, delays and budget issues led the game’s development studio to turn it into something unique and fascinating. Like Yakuza, Sleeping Dogs gives players the opportunity to explore urban settings filled with colorful NPCs, detailed streets and shops, and memorable landmarks. 

Furthermore, Sleeping Dogs revolves around the idea of organized crime like Yakuza. You’ll assume the role of Wei Shen, an undercover cop who infiltrates the Triads in Hong Kong. Like Yakuza, players will enjoy seeing Wei get roped into multiple criminal activities that emphasize aspects like loyalty and morality.

On top of having fun combat and an assortment of side activities for you to indulge in, Sleeping Dogs is worth trying out if you need a break from the Yakuza series. 


Judgment is another title published by Sega that delivers a unique take on the action-adventure genre. This game’s set in Kamurocho, an iconic location from the Yakuza series. Kamurocho is as well-detailed and lively in Judgement as it is in any of the Yakuza games. From its well-designed streets to the various NPCs you can interact with, Yakuza fans will appreciate Judgement’s take on Kamurocho. 

As for protagonists, players assume the role of Takayuki. He’s a private investigator who must unravel many mysteries involving murder and corruption. Judgment’s intertwining stories with its handling of loyalty and justice are reminiscent of the Yakuza series’s narrative style. Expect some lighthearted scenarios sprinkled in for good measure though.

If you adored playing through Yakuza and observing Kiryu, then you’ll develop a fondness for Takayuki and his journey in Judgement. 


Bully is an incredible open-world game developed by Rockstar Games. This game delivers a compelling atmosphere, hilarious dialogue and activities, and a splendid take on academy life through the eyes of its likable protagonist, Jimmy. In it, you must help Jimmy navigate through the ups and downs of Bullworth Academy by completing numerous tasks. 

Like Yakuza, this game features multiple crime-oriented side missions and fun-filled activities for you to participate in. From boxing local jocks to throwing marbles down streets to make people trip, this game contains everything you need to become Bullworth’s greatest menace.

If you’re looking for a school-themed game with gangs, trouble-making delinquents, and endless shenanigans, I’d recommend giving Bully a chance. 

Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs may look different from Yakuza on the surface, but it shares many notable similarities with Sega’s beloved crime series. For instance, Watch Dogs and Yakuza give players a chance to explore rich locales with beautiful scenery and colorful NPCs. Watch Dogs’ take on Chicago is wonderful and immersive. From its crowded streets to its authentic pedestrians, you’ll adore exploring it. 

Furthermore, Watch Dogs delivers a storyline that delves heavily into topics such as justice and crime. You’ll control Aiden, a skilled hacker whose out for revenge in a city rooted in crime. Aiden’s journey leads to many interesting revelations and dramatic segments that’ll leave you hooked and craving more.

If you’re looking for a game with a Western edge to it, Watch Dogs is worth trying. 

True Crime: Streets of LA

True Crime: Streets of LA is a quirky but fun crime game that bears a resemblance to Yakuza in ways. Like Yakuza, it falls under the action-adventure genre and gives players a taste of what life is like in the criminal underworld. While True Crime’s setting and cultural contexts differ from Yakuza, many will notice both games’ similar take on interactive settings, crime-focused stories, and handling of complex relationships.

For instance, True Crime’s setting is as lively as Yakuza’s. In it, you’ll roam the streets of LA, engaging in various activities and encountering diverse characters during the protagonist’s journey. You’ll play as a cop in this game, leading to many comical and dramatic circumstances. Whether you want to check a pedestrian for firearms or drugs or play through the game’s storyline is up to you to decide though.

While Yakuza’s controls, graphics, and storyline outshine True Crime: Streets of LA by a mile, this is a game worth checking out for its spin on open-world crime titles alone. 

Shenmue (Series)

Before Yakuza, Shenmue was one of Sega’s well-known action-adventure titles. Like Yakuza, this game features a narrative that tackles ideas involving revenge and crime. It follows Ryo, a young martial artist seeking revenge for his father’s death. Like Kiryu, Ryo must confront dangerous adversaries while unraveling his locale’s complex mysteries. 

Yakuza and Shenmue feature a mix of exploration, combat, and immersive side activities. They provide players with realistic environments with fun NPCs. In Shenmue, you can participate in many everyday activities or perform labor work for Ryo’s homeland’s citizens. These side activities will enhance players’ experience with the game and make the world feel rich and authentic.

Despite having some mechanical differences from Yakuza, Shenmue’s a great alternative for those looking for something familiar and refreshing. 

Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row: The Third is an over-the-top action title with a compelling cast and narrative. Like Yakuza, this game provides players with a delightful world to explore. You can freely navigate its fictional city and participate in many criminal-themed activities from high-octane missions to causing trouble in its overworld. Players will adore this level of freedom as it’ll help them stay immersed. 

Further, Saints Row: The Third’s narrative delves into topics involving criminal organizations, personal motivations, and loyalty. In it, you’ll assist its street gang leader protagonist through a dilemma involving multiple criminal factions. The scenarios our protagonists get involved in are as over-the-top and dramatic as Kiryu’s endeavors in the Yakuza series.

On top of giving players multiple activities to participate in from helicopter chases to tank battles, Saints Row: The Third is a wacky and entertaining crime-themed game that’s worth purchasing. 

Binary Domain

Binary Domain is a futuristic third-person shooter game that’ll provide players with an immersive gaming experience like Yakuza. Firstly, both games focus on narrative-driven adventures that emphasize character development and relationships.

In Binary Domain, players must traverse a world where society’s plagued by humanoid robots and corporate conspiracies. As you progress further into this game’s world, you’ll develop closer ties with your squadmates and make choices that’ll shape the game’s ending and their relationships. Similarly, Yakuza hones in on the intricate relationships and honor system set within the Japanese criminal world. Further, these games prioritize exploration and world-building. 

Binary Domain features many glorious locales from dense cityscapes to weird industrial zones. Each locale will make players feel tense, cautious, and curious. On top of having some fun side missions and providing players with thought-provoking questions about life and AI, Binary Domain is a fun shooter with enough depth to keep you invested. 

The Warriors

The Warriors is a fancy video game based on the 1979 film of the same name. It shares many notable similarities with Yakuza from its handling of loyalty and honor to its exploration of complex human relationships. In it, players control a gang member who must traverse through the raging streets of New York City. You’ll clash with rival gangs and police forces during your quest. 

During your travels, the protagonist will adopt a deeper understanding of brotherhood, trust, and the consequences of criminal activities. Like Yakuza’s cast, the Warriors’ characters are memorable and fun to observe. They all have glorious personalities, backgrounds, and combat styles that help them stand apart from each other.

With its gritty take on New York City and fabulous character-driven segments, The Warriors is a fun crime game that’ll appeal to Yakuza fanatics. 

So there we have it, our 10 video game picks to keep you busy after playing Yakuza.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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