With the beloved Yakuza spin-off Judgment finally making its way to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S earlier this year, its sequel (Lost Judgment) is this time getting a simultaneous worldwide release on September 23.

Today, the first reviews have been published for the game, and they're looking good. We've also had a chance to take a look at it, scoring it an "excellent" 9/10, and calling it "perhaps the best entry in the [Yakuza] franchise so far."

Here's what the critics are saying about Lost Judgment:

Pure Xbox (9/10)

"Yakuza games have been arriving thick and fast over the years, but Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio still hasn't lost its touch. It's hard to think of another series with such regular entries that manages to constantly evolve at this level."

"The team's first attempt at delivering a simultaneous worldwide release for the series is a gamble that has paid off and perhaps offers the best entry in the franchise so far."

TheGamer (4.5/5)

"Lost Judgment delivers another fantastic thriller that ups the ante when it comes to its intricately woven plot and interesting cast of characters, all while making you question where the line is drawn between the law and true justice. And when all is said and done, you can sit and celebrate with some sushi."

GamesRadar (4.1/5)

"Lost Judgment proves a sequel can feel overtly iterative and still succeed. There are relatively few changes to be found from Yagami’s original outing outside of increased depth to an already-bombastic combat system, but that’s no bad thing when what came before was so enjoyable."

Video Games Chronicle (4/5)

"So yes: another obscenely overstuffed trip through the mean streets of Japan. But one with better mysteries – perhaps the biggest one being how on earth the team turn such massive, mad adventures around on a yearly basis."

IGN (7/10)

"Despite its intriguing whodunnit premise, Lost Judgment’s main story fails to sustain its suspense all the way to the finish and its detective methods remain only slightly less superficial than those of the previous game. However, its meaty undercover side stories set in and around the Seiryo High School kept me playing for hours and hours well after the main story credits had rolled..."

GameSpot (7/10)

"The story is compelling with an endearing cast of characters, the sheer amount of stuff to do is astounding, and there's still an inherent joy that comes from pummelling the city's delinquents into the ground. But it's hard not to feel disappointed that you still feel like a passenger when it breaks away from the Yakuza mould."

Lost Judgment's average review score is still being calculated on Metacritic at the time of writing, but it looks like it'll sit somewhere around the 80 mark. It's worth noting the majority of reviews have been for the PS5 version for now.

Will you be trying Lost Judgment on Xbox Game Pass this week? Let us know in the comments below.