On a personal level, Resident Evil is my favorite franchise of all time. There have been many highs and lows, but that doesn’t prevent us from loving the zombie filled(Los Ganados? Las Plagas? Poisoned Hillbillies?) game series. So here is our ranking of the series up to this point.
In case you didn’t know: Resident Evil is a survival horror, sometime survival action franchise from Capcom. The series’ first entry, Resident Evil, launched in 1996 on Sony’s Playstation console. Since then, there have been a total of 23 releases across just about every gaming platform to date. It has been developed into multiple styles, ranging from it’s original straight survival horror style to a third person action style.
Note: We’re only including the main line games, and a couple of the spin offs.
10.)Resident Evil 6- Ahh, we hate to start this list on a bad note, but this was the lowest point of the series. Capcom had just come off of 2 straight commercial successes in RE4 and RE5, and decided they wanted to give fans a taste of both of those worlds. They took the survival horror aspect of 4, and the action aspect of 5 and combined them into a disjointed and shallow campaign. The campaign consists of 3 separate stories, each intertwining with one another as you go along. We will give a special shout out to the moment Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy meet each other. The hype there can’t be understated. Also, they used a man fellating a giraffe as the logo that the internet will never forget(you can’t unsee it).
9.)Resident Evil- RE1 was a game changer, plain and simple. It did something that had never been done before. Looking back, it’s certainly dated, and we just feel as though the series has improved upon what was presented here. Great start though!
8.)Resident Evil 5- RE5 tends to be one of the more controversial games in the series. It was the first game to really sway from the formula that had made the series a success up to that point. It shed the survival horror theme for a more action based campaign. The game follows Chris Redfield as he traversed through Africa to investigate the locals that have come down with some sort of mysterious sickness. Much of the game takes place in broad daylight. We loved 5, but we can see why it rubbed people the wrong way.
7.)Resident Evil 0- Released in 2002, Capcom decided to go back to the past(Samurai Jack) with Resident Evil 0. This is where we feel as though Resident Evil really started to hit their stride with updating many of the clunky game designs that plagued the first few entries.
6.)Resident Evil: Code Veronica- I can remember walking 45 minutes to an hour as a teenager to the local Barnes and Noble with my brother to read the strategy guide for Code Veronica, so this one holds a special place in my heart. The campaign centers around Claire & Chris Redfield as they investigate the international dealings of the Umbrella Corporation. It didn’t change a lot mechanically from the previous titles, but the story was compelling and the different environments kept it interesting.
5.)Resident Evil 3: Nemesis- Frequently touted as one of the best in the franchise, Resident Evil 3 could be interchangeable in the top 5 of our list. The story follows Jill Valentine as she tries to escape from the hell hole that Raccoon City has become. This entry introduces fan favorite villain ‘Nemesis’ who likes to pop in at various times through out the game to make your life even harder.
4.)Resident Evil(remake)- The remake of Resident Evil ranks high on our list for a few reasons. It took the already great story and atmosphere of the original and gave it a shot of modernism both graphically and development wise. It added certain story elements(Lisa Trevor) that made it feel like a while new game. That on top of the obvious graphical improvements rank this one at number 4 for us.
3.)Resident Evil 7: Biohazard- The second soft reboot of the franchise brought the franchise back to life(see what we did there?) in 2017. The series gets away from the mainline story arc of the Umbrella Corporation(or does it?) and instead focuses on the smaller, more intimate story of Ethan Winters as he travels to the swamps of Louisiana to find his missing wife Mia. RE7 ditched the traditional third person view for a first person perspective that made for the first truly scary campaign in the franchise. This entry has us very excited for the future.
2.)Resident Evil 2- This was a hard decision for me. Resident Evil 2 could very well have been our number 1 choice. RE2 was my introduction to the series, at age 11. To this day, I play this game and still harken back to the days of sitting in front of my Dad’s TV terrified at what might be around the next corner(probably a licker). RE2 changed the way I thought about games as a kid, and made me a life long fan of the franchise and survival horror games in general. Leon and Claire are still my favorite characters, and RE2 will always be #1 in my heart.
1.)Resident Evil 4- There’s a reason that Resident Evil 4 has been re-released on every single console in existence since it’s original release on the Nintendo Gamecube. That reason is that it is a really, really good game. This was the first soft reboot in the series, where it ditched the ‘tank controls’ of the first few entries and instead moved to an over the shoulder third person perspective. The game centers around Leon Kennedy as he travels to Spain to rescue the President’s Daughter, Ashley Graham. It was also the first game to leave behind the traditional zombies in favor or a new infected enemy ‘Las Plagas.’ We can’t deny the juggernaut that is Resident Evil 4, it is a true masterpiece, and will probably be ported for years to come.
So how does your ranking look? Let us know, and look for our full review of Resident Evil 2(remake) early next year!