Since the first Resident Evil game was released in 1996, the series has become one of the best-selling franchises of all time, selling over 117 million copies, as well as spawning a billion dollar movie franchise, but the less we say about the live-action movies the better. With over 25 games now released in the series, let’s take a look at the best of them. Here are the top 5 best Resident Evil games of all time.
5. Resident Evil Village (2020)
Resident Evil Village is the newest game in the series, releasing in May 2021, which follows on from the story first told in Resident Evil 7. Like RE7, Resident Evil Village is a first-person game and continues the story of Ethan and Mia Winters, as they head to Europe to escape the horror they experienced in the previous game. The game will perhaps be best remembered for “The Tall Lady”, who became a meme earlier this year. I wasn’t a huge fan of Resident Evil 7, so was very hesitant going into Village, but the game turned out to be a great experience that I have replayed over and over again.
4. Resident Evil 4 (2005)
While Resident Evil was already a successful franchise before Resident Evil 4, it was this game that took it to the mainstream. Diverting away from the survival horror style of the original games, Resident Evil 4 really set the standard for third-person action games, some of the elements are still seen in games today. Despite not connecting itself to the Resident Evil universe much outside of Leon and Ada being main characters, the gameplay itself is fantastic. Resident Evil 4 has become one of the most ported games of all time, releasing on the PS2, GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, mobile devices, and there’s even rumors it will be coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in the future.
3. Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019)
Ever since the Resident Evil 1 Remake was released in 2002, fans had hoped that Resident Evil 2 would be next in line to receive the remake treatment. 17 years later we finally had our dreams come true when Capcom released the Resident Evil 2 Remake. Bringing survival horror into the modern age, Resident Evil 2 Remake took everything we loved about Resident Evil 2 and added modern gameplay mechanics. One of the key focuses of the game is Mr X, a tyrant that stalks you throughout the game, including sections where he will continuously follow you through the RPD.
However, the game does have some flaws which keep it out of the top spot. The original game had A and B scenarios for both characters, giving players four unique stories to play through. Capcom also added B scenarios to the Resident Evil 2 Remake, but they were very lazy, with only the opening section being different, but once you get to the first boss of the game it becomes an identical experience to the A scenario. Another criticism is that neither Claire or Leon’s story really connects with each other outside of a couple of small cutscenes. Had these issues been addressed, there is no question that this would be the greatest Resident Evil game of all time, but despite the negatives, the positives far outweigh them and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
2. Resident Evil 1 Remake (2002)
With the release of the GameCube, Capcom was finally able to give fans the Resident Evil they originally wanted to. Due to the hardware limitations of the PlayStation 1, the graphics didn’t age well and a lot of the game’s content had to be cut. Resident Evil 1 Remake features around 30% more content than the original 1996 game, including a brand new story arc featuring Lisa Trevor. For a game released in 2002, the graphics still hold up really well today, thanks to the beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds and excellent use of atmospheric lighting. The game is one of the scariest games in the series, with new additions such as the Crimson Heads providing a new mechanic to shake things up.
1. Resident Evil 2 (1998)
Shortly after the release of Resident Evil 1 in 1996, Capcom set out to work on the sequel to their new survival horror game. The original Resident Evil 2, dubbed by fans as Resident Evil 1.5, was scrapped when it was around 60-80% complete and the team went back to the drawing board. This move paid off for them as what we eventually got was a true masterpiece in every sense of the word. Resident Evil sees the T-Virus outbreak make its way to Raccoon City, shortly after the events of the first game. The game follows Leon Kennedy, a rookie police officer who came to the city for his first day on the job, as well as Claire Redfield, the sister of Chris from Resident Evil 1. The two unexpectedly encounter each other and set out to tackle the zombie apocalypse together.
The story from the first game is greatly expanded, with many more characters, including the player discovering the origin of the outbreak, as well as two new tyrants that hunt the player throughout the course of the game. Although newer players might struggle to get used to tank controls, the game is certainly worth putting the time into to figure them out. I don’t really believe many games deserve a 10/10 score, as faults can usually be found in every game, but I honestly can’t find anything to criticize the game about, it is as perfect as a game can get.