Halloween is fast approaching, which means it’s time to turn the lights off, gather around your screen, and scare yourself senseless with some amazing video games. Maybe no gaming series has done more for the horror genre of gaming than Resident Evil.
Since the release of the first Resident Evil in 1996, Capcom has constantly reshaped and reinvented the horror gaming genre. From claustrophobic mansions, to the sprawling Raccoon City, to the bayous of Louisiana — we went through it all to rank every Resident Evil game ever made.
16. Umbrella Corps
Umbrella Corps is just not a Resident Evil game. This multi-player based tactical shooter is a spin-off of Resident Evil – technically. We say “technically” simply because this game basically had nothing to do with RE. It was a shooter game lost in a flood of shooter games. Props to Capcom for trying something different but this one didn’t pan out.
15. Resident Evil Survivor (Series) & Resident Evil: Dead Aim
Resident Evil is known for their atmospheric, tense, strategic gameplay. An on-rails, lightgun game does not typically mesh with any of the core strengths of RE games. For the style of game, the Survivor and Dead Aim games are pretty solid. But it’s not really what the RE series is all about.
14. Resident Evil Gaiden
Most fans of RE probably haven’t even heard of Gaiden. The Game Boy Color exclusive landed with a thud. THE GBC was a great handheld, but the limitations of the console made creating a RE game for it difficult. Instead of the usual tense gameplay that includes clastrophic hallways and heart-pounding gun play, Gaiden gave players a top-down view with a funky shooting mini-game.
13. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was given over to developers Slant Six Games, the company best known for their SOCOM series. And like many of the games lower on this list, it just didn’t play like the expected RE experience. Operation Racoon City felt more like a SOCOM game than it did RE, which is why it ranks so low on this list.
12. Resident Evil: Outbreak (Series)
The first Resident Evil: Outbreak was a really cool concept. Depending on which title, players could choose one of several survivors in a situation, and then they would need to work together to complete objectives and survive. The issue? There was absolutely no way to talk to the people with whom you were playing. The gameplay itself was actually pretty okay, though.
11. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Capcom decided that the mini-game from RE 4 and 5 deserved its own full-fledged version on the Nintendo 3DS. It went as well as you would expect. Some enjoyed the game, but it largely felt unfinished; a prototype for a better game. The game was bare-bones, and the combat was repetitive. Conceptually, Mercenaries has a lot to offer, especially graphically, but the execution was flawed.
10. Resident Evil: Zero
Resident Evil: Zero was a solid release when it first came out for the Nintendo Gamecube. However, it has aged like a sandwich you’ve left in your locker. Zero added item boxes in the game for storage. This was a holdover from when the game was being made for the N64, but it remained when it got shifted to Gamecube.
This is the first game on the list to actually feel like a Resident Evil game – but it never really had a chance with its development cycle switching from the N64 to Gamecube.
9. Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 does a lot of things well. The story was pretty good, the co-op play was fun, and Capcom really leaned into the absurdity of some of the action set pieces. The issues come with this game straying further away from the roots of the series. This was an action game through and through – not the survival horror fans of the series fell in love with.
If you’re looking for a game to only semi-engage with and have some fun with friends, RE6 is a good pick. If you’re looking for the authentic RE experience, look elsewhere.
8. Resident Evil: Revelations (Series)
The first RE: Revelations did a masterful job of combining the old school survival horror of the early games in the series while mixing in the newer action-orientated mechanics. Though the shooting was tight, players also needed to scavenge for resources on the cruise ship setting, striking a good balance.
Though Revelations 2 leaned more into the action than survival horror, it was still a typically campy and fun RE game to play with a friend. Though the second in the series had some technical flaws, it was an enjoyable game that fans of the series can enjoy.
7. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Though it wasn’t the original plan for Resident Evil 3, Nemesis ended up being an excellent addition to the pantheon of RE. The constant tension players felt knowing that Nemesis could decide to appear at any moment was truly exhilarating. The game is short for RE, and the graphics have not aged well. Can we just get the remaster please? In any case, this is a game all horror fans should play.
6. Resident Evil: Code Veronica
Some gamers will tell you that Resident Evil: Code Veronica is the best RE game ever made. Though we disagree, those believers have plenty of evidence to back up this claim. Code Veronica did everything the series had already done and ramped it up. Terrifying? Check. Amazing visuals and sound? Check. Amazing story? Check. It also shared some of the issues that plagued the series – control was not RE’s strong suit. Code Veronica is a must for true RE fans.
5. Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 was not the typical RE game. The scares were greatly diminished, Chris Redfield looked like he was taking some supplements that would get him banned in professional sports, and it took place in an all-new locale. That being said, RE5 is genuinely one of the tightest co-op shooters you can find. The game looked fantastic. It was quick moving and had a surprising amount of replay value.
It might not be the “true” RE experience, but RE5 is a fantastic game. If you want to play a game with your buddy on the couch, Resident Evil 5 is still one of the best to pop into the console.
4. Resident Evil
Capcom/Rely On Horror
The game that started it all. When it was released in 1996, there had never been a game like Resident Evil. Fusing horror, puzzle-solving, action, and more cheese dialogue than you know what to do with, the first RE was a landmark in gaming. This game would inspire countless other zombie games and films up until the current day.
When you replay a game made in 1996, there are bound to be some issues. RE has not aged the most gracefully, but any true fan of zombies needs to know they owe a debt of gratitude to Resident Evil.
3. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
After 20-plus years of approximately the same type of game, Resident Evil needed a refreshing way to tell their stories. Enter Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The first-person perspective changed how Capcom could play with scares. The brand-new story that had no connection to previous characters in the series gave Capcom a blank slate to tell a legitimately unnerving story. The graphical leap from RE6 to RE7 meant that Capcom could make some truly disgusting visuals.
Boss fights were tense. Gunplay was panicked. Jump scares were scream-inducing. RE7 might be the best modern horror game made, period.
2. Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 is in the discussion for greatest sequel in gaming history. Gameplay, puzzles, scares, sound and level design were all spot-on in RE2. Moving from the claustrophobic corridors of a mansion to the entirety of Raccoon City gave Capcom a playground to do whatever they wanted. And it worked. The best addition might have been the “Zapping System,” which presented different scenarios and puzzles for the different characters. That gave the game a huge amount of replayability.
While the positives were accentuated, the flaws were minimized. The story was far less cringe-inducing than the first RE, and the voice-acting was improved. The inventory and menu system were not yet refined to their fullest and can be a pain, but that’s a smaller issue.
Resident Evil 2 would be considered THE RE game if Capcom had not reinvented the series and gaming with ...
1. Resident Evil 4
When you started reading this list, you knew what was No.1.
Resident Evil 4 is widely regarded as one of the greatest video games ever created. There is nothing that can be said for RE4 that hasn’t been said already. It reinvented how third-person shooters were made, from the camera placement to aiming. RE4 is basically the archetype for modern TPS.
The controls are still smooth to this day. The AI is still challenging and terrifying. The character design is magnificent. The inventory system is still amazingly simple in its perfection. Resident Evil 4 is the greatest Resident Evil game ever made.
Top image via Capcom/Crea Cuervos
This article was written by Hotspawn. Hotspawn combines news, in-depth analysis, and how-to guides into one place to help you learn everything you need to know about esports.