When it comes to naming the greatest franchises of all time, Resident Evil will no doubt come up one too many times. This is a franchise that has, since the early ‘90s, been releasing major blockbuster hits. To date, there are 10 core Resident Evil games. However, the booming success of the franchise has inspired three times as many remakes and spin-offs over the years.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at all the Resident Evil spin-offs of all time. Most have fallen short of fans' expectations. Others simply scratch the surface of all we know the Resident Evil franchise is capable of. But, believe it or not, there exist Resident Evil spin-offs that are so good they might pass for actual mainline titles in the series. From genres cutting across different fabric layers to games, both as old as the early 2000s and new as late as mid-2021, here are the five best Resident Evil spin-offs of all time you might want to set some time aside to explore.
5. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011)
Remember when three-dimensional technology was the “it” thing? Tons of games quickly worked their way around this new tech, wanting to be the first ones atop the hill. Well, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D reached the top of that hill. Not only three-dimensional-wise but also being the first in the Resident Evil franchise to launch on the Nintendo handheld device.
In truth, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D was an expansion based on the events in the Resident Evil 4 and 5 games. Plus, “The Mercenaries” itself is a pretty popular playable mode in the franchise. It’s not surprising that Capcom wanted to transform “The Mercenaries” into a standalone spin-off game. Many developers have done the same over the years.
However, as a consequence, most gamers were not too happy about the lack of fresh content. Aside from a few new objectives, everything else was pretty much by the book. But regardless of its faults, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries' mere 3D transformation into this new all-around experience alone is enough to put this game high on our radar.
4. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009)
Following Umbrella Chronicles was Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles and boy was it a sequel for the books. The two games are pretty similar in their sequences. However, The Darkside Chronicles reinstates the events in Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica in the best way possible. That’s through creating an entirely new original story.
I feel like that’s the only way to continue capturing your audience. Otherwise, the other gameplay elements like pacing, characters, and visuals are often a copy-paste save for some upgrades here and there.
Even with upgrades, The Darkside Chronicles understood the assignment, making sure the new narrative tightly infused the work put into the upgrades. Together, the game plays elegantly in a way that isn’t usually the case with other titles.
3. Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica (2001)
Soon after Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Capcom picked it up with Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica as the next game in the Code: Veronica spin-off series. I’ll admit, it’s pretty hard to pick one from the relatively amazing games in Code: Veronica.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica branched off from the main series to tell a side story that needed to be told. The events were so crucial to the franchise as a whole that they went on to influence the events in Resident Evil 4 and 5. However, Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica takes the win here simply for following up a great game, and upgrading its plot’s complexities further.
Unfortunately, Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica was only released in Japan and Europe. So, Americans never got to play it. Production stopped afterward. But if the fan uproar for a remake is anything to go by, even decades after the series came out, Code: Veronica remains an underrated game that shouldn’t be ignored any longer.
2. Resident Evil: Outbreak (2003)
How was escaping Racoon City for you? Resident Evil: Outbreak was such a delight to play. It was the first attempt at online multiplayer survival horror. The premise was also intriguing. Each player is a survivor with unique skills. Find a way to work with others to survive a zombie-infested city, because what’s Resident Evil without bloodthirsty zombies?
The puzzles you needed to solve in this game were intense. Not to mention the barely half-baked AI companions that were near useless at the time. There was so much going on, certainly much more than Resident Evil 2 or 3 could dream of. The power of the internet was just coming up. The only thing that Resident Evil: Outbreak did wrong was being released ahead of its time.
1. Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
When Resident Evil: Revelations came out, no other game could compare. Now, it may seem a little dull to play. The game was so good that its original handheld mode got remastered to feature in consoles. This was the best decision ever because the sequel, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, proceeded to have no hardware restrictions holding it back.
Resident Evil: Revelations is now featured on almost all consoles. It infuses a compelling, tightly-woven story. Fan-favorite characters received their well-deserved writing, and Chris and Jill even got their reunion wish granted after Resident Evil 5 paid no mind. To top that off, the game sticks to its guns with the franchise’s co-op experience fans have come to love.
Perhaps it’s the overwhelming success that the first game received. That’s why the second is so good. Still, they both feature a decent story. The sound design, graphics, and fast-paced action are pretty good. This one is easily a must-play for anyone in need of some reminiscing.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our five best Resident Evil spin-offs of all time, ranked? Are there more games we should know about? Do let us know down in the comments or over on our socials here.