Welcome back to the rundown of Resident Evil games. In part 2, I bring you the remaining 12 games and a whole host of classics (You can check out Part 1 here).
12. Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Had I created this list a while back, Revelations 2 would have been so far down it. I absolutely hated the game. I’d foolishly bought it to play online co-op with a friend before realizing there was no online co-op. There was local co-op where the screens get reduced to tiny blobs and one of you gets to point at stuff. Hooray.
It took me a long time to like this game and to actually give it a chance. That came when I rebought it on the Switch. It’s not quite the classic Resi I crave but it goes a long way to merge the new and the old. Ignoring the co-op makes the game much better as the secondary characters can’t really fight and don’t use guns at all. They act as support, pointing out enemies and finding secrets. Playing in single player it added an element of strategy as one character could blind an enemy and the other could then attack easier.
It also heralded the proper canon return of everyone’s favorite beard, Barry Burton. Once again he has some classic lines and I just love him. Apparently, it also stared Claire Redfield, even if the character model we were given looked like a waxwork model from a do it yourself Madame Tussauds.
The story is a bit mad and to me, it seems to be a way to shoehorn Albert Wesker back into later installments. It’s classic B movie once again.
There was also the return of the fantastic raid mode. Improved over the original this horde like mode will always be a fun time sink.
11. Resident Evil: Revelations
The first Revelations game came to the Nintendo 3DS back in 2012. Once again it was Resident Evil on a boat and an attempt to marry the styles of old and new. It was also a lot of fun.
Being on handheld, it presented itself in shorter episodic chapters completed with a “Previously on Resident Evil Revelations” section at the end of each chapter. It did feel like a TV show and was a good fit for the portability.
While it’s since been ported to everything as is par for the course for Capcom, it was a technical marvel at the time. A proper Resident Evil game on the go. As I mentioned above, the raid mode is fantastic and was perfect for a quick go on the bus.
I finished this game in one complete sitting, it took about 12 hours the first time and I had a blast, although the less said about the 3DS’ camera controlling circle pad add on, the better.
10. Resident Evil 4
Have you stopped screaming at your screen? Good, let me begin to justify myself. I like Resi 4. Honestly, I do. I even imported it at the time and finished it before it even released in my country. I own countless copies of it over various formats. I’d even be willing to bet that I own more copies of it than any of you reading this.
The problem I have with 4 is it brought the beginning of the series’ downfall and took it away from the classic series that I loved. This is why it’s so far down my list. It’s not because I don’t enjoy the game, it’s just I prefer the others. If 4 is your favorite game that’s fair enough. You’re wrong but fair enough.
The beginning village in 4 is fantastic. I’m sure most of us have flashbacks hearing that chainsaw for the first time. It was frantic, tense and scary. Exactly what a Resident Evil game should be, even with the changes. Unfortunately, after that, the game becomes much less scary for the most part, especially once Leon has access to an ever-increasing arsenal of weapons. Ashley is also extremely annoying and the second part of the game becomes a huge escort mission. The worst kind of mission.
Once again, the story is crazy, one of the craziest ones, complete with a Napoleon-esque dwarf.
I would have much preferred the direction 4 was originally going in before it got scrapped and restarted. That said, 4 is still a great game despite my misgivings and should you have missed it, it available on pretty much every console ever.
Special mention goes to the Merchant. Quite possibly one of the best characters after Barry Burton. Just ridiculous.
9. Resident Evil 2 Remake
I’m aware this will be another polarizing position on my list. I wanted to love this game so, so much. I still do, but I have major issues with it. First off, the positives.
I wanted this to be fixed camera angles and to play like the REmake. It didn’t, and I accept that. Times have changed and the over the shoulder control scheme we get here works really well. The game looks and feels fantastic, the zombies and lickers on display are brilliant. It really feels like the best blending of old and new that Capcom has come up with.
My main problem with 2 is Mr. X and he’s the sole reason this game isn’t higher up my list. In the original, he was only present in the B scenario. That made him feel fresh and terrifying. He could be almost anywhere, ever ready to burst through a wall and scare the living daylights out of you. In the remake, he just is everywhere. Following you around wherever you go in portions of the game. This just took the fear away for me. He wasn’t scary at all. Instead, he just became an annoyance like a fly hovering around your food. There’s one puzzle in the library where you have to use a jack on something and at this point, it descended into a Benny Hill sketch as I had to keep running back to it, crank it up a little and run away, all the while
Mr. Annoying Mr. X was chasing me.
For me, had they just stuck him in the B scenario and used him a bit more sparingly, this game could have been almost perfect. Doing this would also have made the two scenarios feel different. It’s a shame and I’m hoping to see Capcom do better on the inevitable Resi 3 remake.
One last point, the interactions between Leon and Claire just make no sense at some points in the game. It feels like there were plenty of story beats and character development we didn’t get to see.
8. Resident Evil Zero
Zero is somewhat the black sheep of the Resident Evil family. Originally released as a GameCube exclusive, this prequel tells us what Rebecca Chambers was up to before the mansion incident. Turns out, quite a bit.
The game starred Chambers and newcomer Billy. These two characters had to work together using a newly implemented zapping system, which meant switching between the characters to get stuff done, often leaving one somewhere, taking control of the other and going somewhere else in order to help by doing things such as sending keys down a shaft, etc. It was a novel system that added something to the standard formula.
The other big change to the classic formula was the item boxes. Here they were gone completely. If you had too much stuff you would simply drop it on the floor and it would remain there until you picked it up. It’s a method that makes much more sense realistically, although this is a game about mutant zombie bioweapons so realism has pretty much been left at the door.
I enjoyed Zero. In fact, I bought a GameCube specifically to play the exclusive Resident Evil games on it. They didn’t stay exclusive but how was I to know. The trouble with Zero is it came at a time people were starting to bore of the classic gameplay (not me) and despite the zapping system, it didn’t really bring anything new to the table. The enemies weren’t particularly inspiring and the monkeys were just annoying.
I really like it, though I can see it’s not to everyone’s taste.
7. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
It’s not Resident Evil. It’s in first person. It’s copying Silent Hills. To the people who say this, I say shhh. Silent Hills was amazing, at least the P. T Demo we got for it was. It’s a crying shame we haven’t been given the full game but as I’ve said, this isn’t Resident Evil’s first foray into the world of the first person perspective. In fact, the original game was initially being designed from this viewpoint before it had to be changed. Capcom have also said they started from this point before they saw P. T. Whether or not that’s true I don’t know, what I do know is 7 is a fantastic game wherever they got the inspiration from.
That said I do understand why some people don’t like the viewpoint and feel it’s too much of a departure for the mainline series. I don’t agree though. To me, 7 feels pretty close to the first game. It sees the return of the classic series puzzles, tension, and claustrophobic atmosphere. This time it’s less Night of the Living Dead and more Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Once again, the story is a little out there. It starts pretty well but descends into the sort of oddity you’d expect from Resi. It does help that 7 took a bit of a step back from the main characters. This decision made it feel a bit fresher.
The main villain, Jack, does suffer from some of the same problems that I’ve mentioned for Mr. X. Not quite as much but he did lose his ability to scare me as the game went on. The only other main issue with this game is the lack of enemy variety outside of the main family. The zombies are replaced with the molded, a scary enemy in themselves but one that could have benefitted from more variety.
The final boss fight is pretty terrible but overall I loved this game. I’ve yet to try it in VR but even with that, I wouldn’t be able to place it higher on the list due to my love of the classics.
6. Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 probably doesn’t deserve to be this high up the list I can accept that. It has the same problems as 4, multiplied by 10. It’s too action oriented, it’s too bright, and it doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil game of old. It’s also the Resident Evil game I have probably put the most hours into.
Once again, I’m part of the problem but this time I have actually played to the finish and put countless hours into the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions. And I have enjoyed doing so.
If you play this game as a solo experience, it wouldn’t have even made it into Part 2 of this article. I didn’t play it solo with the terrible AI companion. Why would I do that to myself? Each time, I played it online with a different friend making the experience that much more enjoyable. Should there be a terrible moment, we would both laugh at it. Should there be a difficult moment on the hardest difficulty, we would suffer together.
It’s this camaraderie, and mainly talking rubbish, that made me put 5 so high up the list. It’s not the best game by any stretch of the imagination. There are some quite laughable moments. Any game that includes boulder punching cannot be taken seriously but just the fact I could take this game at face value, not take it seriously, and have a good laugh with friends while doing so means it’s more than worthy of taking such a high spot on this list. After all, isn’t that what gaming is all about?
5. Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
The very reason I bought a Dreamcast. Seems I’m a sucker for buying new consoles just to play Resident Evil on. Look, at the time, I believed in exclusivity. What can I say? I was a fool.
This game retained all the classic Resident Evil tropes albeit with a fresh lick of paint. The fixed camera angles would now follow your character to a degree making things feel slightly different whilst also being the same.
Code Veronica was originally set to act as a sequel to 2 with Claire Redfield finally getting to find her brother, Chris. At this point, Nemesis was to be a spin-off game. That didn’t happen exactly as such but we were treated to two brilliant games.
It’s just a classic Resi game in all sense of the word. I find it to be one of the more difficult games in the series, not that that’s a bad thing at all, quite the opposite. Survival horror isn’t meant to be a walk in the park. Guess what? Story-wise it’s crazy, which is par for the course. This time we got to see the return of Wesker, setting him up to be the series’ main villain along with the creepy Ashford family.
The game would later come to the PlayStation 2 as Code Veronica X with added cutscenes and more Wesker but personally, I prefer playing on the Dreamcast. There’s just something about that control pad.
4. Resident Evil Remake
In all honesty, the remake of Resident Evil 1 is by far the better game. That doesn’t mean I found more enjoyment in it, as you’ll see soon. That said, it perfected the remake, giving us mostly everything we loved in the original whilst adding to it.
The Spencer mansion has never looked more beautiful. Even today the original GameCube version holds up as a good looking game. At the time, I was simply blown away by it. Seeing areas I’ve grown to know looking this good was something to behold. Add that to the new areas and we’re onto a winner.
New areas weren’t the only addition, we were also given new enemies. Most notably the Crimson Heads. New super zombies that would rise up from the rotting corpses of the standard zombies if you didn’t burn their bodies. The Crimson heads would then sprint full speed at you, swiping at your body with hunter like claws, doing some serious damage. They stand up to this day as some of the scariest enemies you encounter across the whole franchise.
Story-wise, the remake also saw quite an improvement, with the added character of Lisa Trevor bringing quite a sad feel to the whole proceedings.
To this day, this remake stands up as a great game and the perfect entry point to newcomers or those wishing to experience the old style.
3. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Just saying the name nemesis will bring terror into the hearts of series veterans. He was a relentless killing machine tasked with hunting down the player. He seemed to turn up at perfect times to add to the intense fear, not take away from the game and not feel like an annoyance. He was pretty cool.
Resi 3 acted as both a prequel and sequel to Resident Evil 2. The game followed Jill Valentine’s attempt to escape Raccoon City while the events of the second game played out elsewhere during the middle. We got to explore the Raccoon City Police Station once again while also exploring more of the city itself. It also featured the canon return of Brad “chicken heart” Vickers.
Nemesis made an early attempt to shake up the series and was much more action-packed than the other classic series entries. Obviously, there was the Nemesis to contend with as well as plenty of enemies. To top that off, some of the zombies were quite quick, maybe even as fast as the Crimson Heads. To help out with the added danger, Jill was given a dodge move, enabling the player to avoid attacks if timed correctly.
The game also gave us certain choices that would pop up at the bottom of the screen that would not only affect the immediate outcome but also the ending of the game.
Nemesis remains a classic of the series but not quite enough to get the top spot for me.
2. Resident Evil
The game that started it all. As I’ve said, as a game it’s worse than the remake but it holds a special place in my heart. It was a game that brought survival horror to the masses. Set in the Spencer Mansion, we were introduced to the world of Umbrella, bioweapons, illogical puzzles, and odd keys. It was amazing.
However, this title suffered from absolutely abysmal voice acting along with a bizarre live-action opening scene. For those of you that haven’t seen it, the game truly has some of the worst, cheesiest, B-movie style acting you will ever see or hear. And it’s for this reason I’ve placed it higher than the remake. I adore the voice overs. The amount of times I’ve watched a collection of them on YouTube is bordering on the insane.
Who can forget classic lines such as:
“Stop it. Don’t open, that door.”
“I’m going to find out what caused Forest’s death. It looks like he was killed by a crow or something!”
“It’s a weapon. It’s really powerful, especially against living things.”
“Don’t be a hard dog to keep under the porch, Barry.”
“We should start from the first floor, okay? And, Jill, here’s a lock pick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you.”
“That was too close! You were almost a Jill sandwich!”
“You’re right. Barry, thanks for saving my life!”
“Woah this hall is dangerous!!!”
And many many more.
1. Resident Evil 2
Despite some selections on my list being debatable, there can be no doubt that Resident Evil 2 is an absolute classic. It’s by far the best game in the series and it makes it into my top ten games of all time. The development of a sequel was scrapped quite some way into its completion, leading to what fans affectionately call Resident Evil 1.5. After that, Capcom truly delivered perfection.
Resi 2 just is the best Resident Evil game. It took everything that made the first game great and perfected it. There’s nothing that isn’t improved in the second game, even the voice acting (unfortunately).
What we got was the classic gameplay on a grand scale with a much more realized story. The campaigns for Leon and Claire were spread out over an A and B scenario, with each one feeling different enough to warrant more playthroughs and not feel like being extra for extra’s sake. You had to play both scenarios to get the full story. The way the B scenario shook things up felt just as fresh and scary as the first playthrough. Once they were out of the way, you could play the Hunk and tofu mini-games if you were good enough.
The game had plenty of fun moments and even easter eggs that were hidden throughout. It wasn’t until quite recently I found Mr. Beans car hidden in plain sight. Plus the way to unlock the extra outfits is just great.
I could talk for days about how great Resident Evil 2 is and why it’s the best in the series. I’ll keep it short and sweet. Seriously, just go play it. If you don’t like it, have a word with yourself in the mirror.
Long live Resident Evil 2.
And there we have it. The list is complete. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Argue your case for Resident Evil 4 if you must. I will not agree, but I’ll respect your opinion. Here’s to another 20 years of this series and the hope that both the remake of 3 and number 8 are brilliant games that get us talking. Oh, Barry, you’re so optimistic.