The Resident Evil Titles I Fell In Love With
My love for Capcom’s Resident Evil games goes back to the Fall of 1999 when my older brother brought home a copy of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. I didn’t know it at the time, but as I watched him play I was actually falling in love with my favorite franchise in gaming. Since then, Resident Evil has evolved into a juggernaut of the action/survival horror genre. It’s usually the first franchise that comes to people’s minds when you mention survival horror games. With the advent of Resident Evil 3 Remake on the horizon, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at my favorite games in the series.
Before we start, I’d just like to reiterate that this is MY list and only MY list, based on the games that I have played in the franchise. Now let’s begin.
10. Resident Evil: Dead Silence
That’s right!; the first game on my list is a port of the original PS1 classic to the Nintendo DS. Since I wasn’t old enough to play the original release of the game, this was really the only option I had. It ended up being great for me in the long run because it gave me a reason to get a DS (besides for Nintendogs and Super Mario DS) and I could experience Resident Evil on the go. It was also a superb way for people like me who had never played the original to experience it in all it’s *glory*. Resident Evil: Dead Silence also introduced me to the original lore of the games that I was never familiar with. At the time, it was great, but looking back on this game I can see why it doesn’t even exist on the series Wikipedia page. The small screen(s) of the DS and the downgrade in graphics definitely makes this less appealing as the years have passed.
9. Resident Evil 6
Let me start off by saying I don’t hate this game, at all. However, I don’t think it’s very good either. At the time of its release, I loved it and I played through every single campaign. I even enjoyed some of the online multiplayer as well (turns out playing as a zombie can be quite entertaining). But when I look back, this is the only main series game I find myself never going back to.
When you boil it down, this is as far as you get from survival horror: it’s just a straight-up action/adventure game. That wouldn’t be a bad thing either if it was done better, but unfortunately Resident Evil 6 comes up short in that category too. This game is packed to the brim with content, has huge action set pieces and QTE’s galore, but it fails to deliver consistent genuine thrills. I think Leon’s campaign is the best of the four and I think the Jack’s campaign is definitely something to look at, everything else just falls flat and becomes a mediocre 3rd person shooter. If you’re a fan of the series and haven’t played it, I’d say check it out, all others really need not apply.
8. Resident Evil (Remake)/Resident Evil 0
Maybe it’s not fair to lump these two together, but honestly: that’s how I feel. These games came out so close together I didn’t really have time to play any other games between them back in the day. Resident Evil remake was exactly what fans were looking for in the new generation of consoles and it delivers. This game isn’t a port with a new coat of paint and updated textures, this is a full-on new game rebuilt from the ground up. There are new areas, new enemies and sweet lord those Crimson Heads. One day I’d like to sit down and replay the HD version of this game on Steam, but adulting is really coming down on me these days.
Following Resident Evil Remake, we had Resident Evil 0. This game was a companion piece and a prequel to critically praised GameCube remake. The zapping system allowing you to switch between the two protagonists is a great addition to the gameplay and makes for some “mind bottling” puzzles. On top of that, the story in this game really helps flesh out some of the more confusing aspects of the Resident Evil Remake. In that, it just explores more of the lore and other parts of the game’s area that Resident Evil Remake didn’t touch upon. I’d recommend this one to just the most devoted of fans, but if you liked the Resident Evil Remake don’t hesitate to give this one a shot.
7. Resident Evil Outbreak
Relax, everyone put your pitchforks down and let me explain! I know that this game is mediocre at best. The missions are far too long, there is literally no story to follow or compelling characters to latch on to, but I think that’s what makes it unique. See, when I picked this game up back in the summer of 2004 (on sale), it was not what I was expecting at all. Truly I think the two things that stand out for this game are the structure and the online multiplayer.
First, let me just say that what I mean by structure is really the anthology nature of the mission layout. Picking a character and having to go through each mission starting fresh every single time was a real game-changer for the series. Selecting a new character before the start of every mission was definitely something we’d never seen before either and it was refreshing.
However, the one thing that makes this game really stand out above the rest is this little fact right here: it was the first Resident Evil game to feature online cooperative multiplayer. Yes, you and your friends could play through an entire scenario in a 4 player cooperative setting, with on caveat: no voice chat. At the time it was a big swing and a miss for Capcom and they certainly learned their lesson going forward.
6. Resident Evil 5
Coming off the back of the industry-changing Resident Evil 4; Resident Evil 5 had a lot to live up to. For me, it didn’t disappoint in the slightest. This game was everything I could’ve asked for following RE4. At the expense of scares and suspense, Capcom upped the action to ridiculous levels. Do I need to mention the boulder punching? For a 15-year-old boy in 2009, this game really did have it all. Unfortunately, this game was met with a lot of negative press due to unfounded allegations of racism. However, I don’t think that had any effect on the game’s sales due to the fact that at one point this was Capcom’s highest selling game. Years later, I can see why this game caught as much flack as it did, but for the time it was exactly what I wanted in a Resident Evil title.
5. Resident Evil 2
Back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, just before the launch of the 7th generation of consoles, I was busy catching up on games I missed during the prominence of the Nintendo 64. One night at blockbuster, I saw this title sitting on the shelf and just by the box art alone, I knew I had to play it. To my surprise, this was not the action/zombie shooter that the back of the box described (or at least my limited intelligence at the time perceived). It was my first introduction to the survival horror genre, and it was wonderful. The unique style of having two main characters (Leon and Claire) that play through an A and B scenario which dictates different events, item placement and outcomes. It was really something that changed the face of the genre and I’ll never forget it.
4. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Now, I know this game obviously came out after the 1998 smash hit that was Resident Evil 2. However, this was the first game in the franchise I was introduced too as a whole. I remember my oldest brother came home with a Playstation and a few games, one of them being Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. I’ll never forget watching over his shoulder as the games action packing opening unfolded. Watching him play as Jill with fixed camera angles and tank controls as his mowed down zombies using the starting assault rifle. What was so great is that I had never seen anything like this at all up until this moment and it really shook me to my core.
I can still remember hearing Jill’s footsteps as her boots hit the ground in the empty streets, the moaning of the creatures of the night and the city streets that had been absolutely devastated by the outbreak. When it came time for me to play this game, I remember feeling so accomplished after completing it. It was the first game of this kind that I had actually completed from start to finish with no walkthroughs at such a young age. Man what a different time, here’s to you Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, may your charm never where off!
3. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Ah yes, Resident Evil 7. Now, I know a lot of people are not fans of how the latter half of this game plays out. To their credit, there is an abrupt shift in the survival horror tone of the game to a more action horror tone somewhere 2/3’s of the way through. For me though, Resident Evil 7 is everything the series needed to make the true come back it deserved. This is the first time in the main line series that we had a First Person Perspective and a completely original, stand-alone story. New characters, new creatures and new environments far away from the confines of Raccoon City. There is a slight nod towards the end of the game towards old characters, but it feels forced and so unnecessary.
The new gameplay mechanics mesh flawlessly with the classic staples of the franchise. RE7 was also the first in the series to debut on its very own game engine the; “RE Engine”. As a matter of fact, I actually played this game when it came out for about the first 5 hours, turned it off and never came back to it cause I was so scared. I had never really experienced anything like it. Eventually (about 2 years – whoops!) I came back to the game and finished it with my head held high. Overall, RE7 is a fantastic entry in the series and really rejuvenated what felt like a series that was way passed it’s prime.
2. Resident Evil 2 Remake
What more needs to be said about Resident Evil 2 Remake? It’s stylish, it’s fun and most importantly scary as all hell. This is what I would call the perfect blend between new and old. RE2 Remake takes a lot of inspiration from past entries in the series, but also works to make them it’s own. First of all, gone are the tank controls and the fixed camera angles. RE2 Remake focuses on over the shoulder view and slow but strong foes. The zombies in this game are absolutely relentless, more so than any other title in the series. The tone of the game and spirit of the game are captured beautifully. Even in the slightest moments and changes from the original game feel like they could’ve been that way all along.
Gah, I love this game! Like RE7, eventually this game picks up in the action department during the latter half, but to great avail. The two campaigns between Leon and Claire are different enough to keep things interesting, but similar enough to not be overwhelming. There’s a lot to offer here along with the 2nd run mode, the 4th survivor mode and some additional DLC that really keeps you engaged for quite sometime. Seriously, if there’s any game to play on this list that is the most accessible at the time of writing this, Resident Evil 2 Remake is it.
1. Resident Evil 4
Was there ever any doubt? This is the game that not only redefined survival horror and action games: it redefined the way games were developed in general moving forward. Prior to the release of this game, no one had ever head of an “over the shoulder” perspective. The strides Resident Evil 4 made to create a perfect dynamic of horror and action while also innovating the presentation of both still holds up today. I’ve beaten this game countless times on multiple different difficulties. I never get tired of this game. Resident Evil 4 takes Leon S. Kennedy out of RPD and into the mountainous region of Spain, where the President’s daughter has been kidnapped. When returning RE2 protagonist Leon arrives, all is not well. From this point forward, I obviously don’t want to spoil anything, but to say the least: it’s quite a ride. You’ll be blasting your way through demonic villagers, members of the occult and I’d be lying if I said the Regeneradors didn’t still scare me to this day. As a matter of fact, this game takes my top spot for the greatest game of all time – which is subjective so calm down.
Well that about wraps it up. Looking back on this franchise, theres so much to love and so much to be thankful for. From the high of RE4, to the low of RE6 and everything in between, I think it’s safe to say that there is something for everyone here. If you’re looking to be scared or if you’re looking for an action/adventure that would make Michael Bay seem tame, the Resident Evil franchise has it all! If you liked this article and want to check out more, please like and subscribe to all of our social media to stick with us for all things Nerdy!