For over 25 years, Resident Evil has been Capcom’s flagship series, going on to sell over 100 million copies across over two dozen games. The most recent release, Resident Evil 4 Remake, has proved there is still a lot of gas left in the tank and fans are eagerly awaiting news on the upcoming Resident Evil 9 and rumored Resident Evil 5 Remake. With the spooky season drawing near and Halloween fast approaching, now is a perfect time to dive back into the world of survival horror and explore the best and worst that the Resident Evil series has to offer.
14. Resident Evil 6
I am so excited for the day when Capcom remakes Resident Evil 6 so they can do things right because this game should have been so much better than it was. Resident Evil 6 features a stacked cast of iconic characters including Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Sherry Burton, and Ada Wong, but not even they could save this game. By 2012, Capcom was firmly in the action mindset when it came to Resident Evil games, largely removing all horror from the series. Resident Evil 6 does everything it can be separate itself from what made the series great, instead taking inspiration from games such as Call of Duty and Gears of War with its mechanics, making it a very confused and cluttered mess. Hopefully, one day soon Capcom will do Resident Evil 6 justice.
With a few tweaks and changes, Resident Evil 0 could have been one of the best games in the series. Originally scheduled to be released on the Nintendo 64, Resident Evil 0 was delayed by four years and released on the GameCube instead. Set as a prequel before the events of the first game, Resident Evil 0 follows Rebecca Chambers as she gets separated from the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team and ends up on a train full of the undead. As a game and story, it is a great game, but its mechanics let it down. Resident Evil 0 lacks the traditional item box, instead having the player just drop items on the floor, this can make things incredibly annoying as a lot of backtracking is needed. The zapping feature that allows you to switch between Rebecca and Billy can be quite annoying too and the game would have benefited from just having one character be playable, similar to how Resident Evil 5 works.
12. Resident Evil 3 Remake
Following the success of Resident Evil 2 Remake, which brought the classic survival horror game into the modern era, fans were understandably excited to see what Capcom had in store for the next entry in the series. However, Resident Evil 3 Remake didn’t quite live up to expectations. The original Resident Evil 3 is often hailed for its branching gameplay choices and the very menacing Nemesis that would constantly be a threat and chase you from room to room. Unfortunately, this was all missing from the remake along with many iconic locations, instead opting for a very linear experience that felt worlds apart from the original. Resident Evil 3 Remake felt more like DLC for Resident Evil 2 Remake, not a fully-fledged release. It is fun for what it is, and it is best to treat it as its own game and not compare it to the original otherwise you will be disappointed.
The game that started it all. In 1996 Capcom revolutionized the survival horror genre and ushered in one of the most popular series’ of all time. Originally starting its life as a remake of Sweet Home, a movie tie-in NES game that is often called the first survivor horror game, the game eventually morphed into Resident Evil, or Biohazard as it is known in Japan. Although the series quickly went from strength to strength leaving the original game in the dust, Resident Evil set a strong standard for the series to build upon. It is strange to think that if the game remained a Sweet Home remake then we would have missed out on over 25 years of classic games.
10. Resident Evil Village
When Resident Evil Village was first revealed in 2020, the internet immediately blew up after seeing the tall vampire lady, also known as Lady Dimitrescu. Resident Evil Village serves as the second and seemingly final chapter of Ethan Winters’ story, continuing from the events of Resident Evil 7. Since its initial release, Resident Evil Village has seen new DLC content that transported players into the future to play as Ethan’s daughter Rose, which could be a sign of where the series is going to go in the next installment.
Resident Evil Code Veronica follows on from the events of Raccoon City, with Claire Redfield heading to Europe to find her brother Chris, one of the protagonists from the first game. The game saw the game shift to full 3D for the first time, evolving beyond pre-rendered backgrounds. Resident Evil Code Veronica was the first entry in the series on the 6th generation of consoles, originally being a Dreamcast exclusive before eventually moving to the PlayStation 2 following the discontinuation of Sega’s final console. Code Veronica is a game that people either love or hate, but one thing we can all agree on is, that a remake of the game would be great to see, although it is looking unlikely as Capcom glossed over this period of the series by moving from Resident Evil 3 straight to Resident Evil 4, which takes place six years later.
8. Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 brought the series to the 7th generation, released on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 in 2009. Although it did improve upon many aspects compared to Resident Evil 4, there was one aspect of the game that let it down which has contributed to it not being remembered as fondly, forced co-op. Chris Redfield is joined by Sheva, who can be played by another player otherwise she will be controlled by the game. The forced co-op did ruin the game in ways, especially when controlled by the CPU, with Sheva often wasting healing items and not being great at saving her partner. It will be interesting to see whether Capcom chooses to keep the co-op aspect in the future Resident Evil 5 remake or whether it will become a solo campaign.
Five years after the lackluster Resident Evil 6, Capcom returned the series to its roots and went full survival horror, but this time as a first-person game moving away from the traditional third-person perspective. The result was the scariest entry in the series that is still very creepy and tense to play, thanks to the terrifying Baker family. Although the series has returned to third-person for the recent remakes, the main series has remained in first-person and it will be interesting to see whether this will be the direction it will stay in as the next installments release.
6. Resident Evil 3 (1999)
Resident Evil 3 saw the conclusion of the Raccoon City outbreak that began with Resident Evil 1 three years prior. The game is best remembered for introducing Nemesis, a fearsome tyrant that follows you throughout Raccoon City, even chasing Jill from room to room. Resident Evil 3 is unique for its branching style of gameplay, with choices that affect the next part of the story, including different locations and battles. Some people don’t enjoy the most as much as it can be confusing and more difficult than the previous two entries, but it is worth playing to experience the fall of Raccoon City and end the first chapter in the Resident Evil series.
Resident Evil 4 at number five will likely ruffle some feathers, especially if this is the game that was your gateway in the series. Following Code Veronica, Capcom shifted gears entirely and moved away from survival horror, instead focusing on a more action-orientated experience for Resident Evil. Leon Kennedy returns and is now working for the government and he has been tasked to rescue the President’s daughter Ashley. Resident Evil 4 is not only a masterpiece, but it set the standards for action games which were seen throughout the next decade. It helped usher in mechanics such as Quick Time Events which, for better or worse, were seen in hundreds of games in the years since.
4. Resident Evil 1 Remake
When it comes to remakes, 2002’s Resident Evil 1 Remake set the gold standard and became the measuring stick that all remakes have been compared to since. Capcom built upon the original 1996 game and improved upon it in every way. They didn’t stray from the original game but enacted their vision that they weren’t able to achieve back in 1996. Resident Evil 1 Remake featured new areas and a different layout to the original map, new enemies, and new storylines, all while staying faithful to the original.
For many, Resident Evil 4 is the pinnacle of the series, with it selling more than 12 million copies and it was the first game in the series that many people played. Following the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes in 2019 and 2020, all eyes were on Capcom for the announcement of the Resident Evil 4 Remake. The game was finally released in 2023 and was everything players could have hoped for. Capcom remained faithful to the original while eliminating some of the flaws and enhancing the positives. And with the new Separate Ways DLC recently being released, this has become the definitive way to play Resident Evil 4.
2. Resident Evil 2 Remake
Following the release of Resident Evil 1 Remake in 2002, all eyes were on Capcom to see whether the second game would receive the same treatment. Unfortunately, they remained radio silent for 17 years before finally releasing Resident Evil 2 Remake, and it could have been for the best. In the time that had passed, gaming had evolved and allowed Capcom to produce one of the scariest horror games of all time. All of the charm and magic is still present from the original game but brought into the modern age. The original layout and overall story haven’t changed from the original, but it brings a fresh twist to such an iconic game. Resident Evil 2 Remake does feature some flaws, such as lazy B scenarios, but most can be overlooked due to how excellent the rest of the game is.
When it came to choosing the number one Resident Evil game it had to be Resident Evil 2, but which one? In my opinion, the original edges out over the remake, despite both being fantastic. Building upon the groundwork that Resident Evil 1 set two years prior, the next entry improved upon the original in every way. Resident Evil 2 brought two new characters to the game, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, with Leon going on to become the most popular character in the series. It also features four unique scenarios, offering a lot of replayability. There is a reason why Resident Evil 2 became one of the most demanded games to be remade by fans.