Capcom’s best-selling franchise has been making its rounds for almost twenty-five years now. And, since then, we’ve not only seen a range of subcategories to the horror genre, but also a whole reel of movie remakes and media references, too. Sort of like the go-to zombie franchise; Resident Evil has always been the series under every horror fans breath for every time a new flesh-eating rival comes to fruition. There’s a strong bond that Capcom has established with its player base, and it’s unlikely that the iconic series will ever see the bottom of the podium, either.
Of course, not every entry in the series can aim for platinum status, and some have often fallen flat at the first hurdle. I mean, we can’t say that any Resident Evil game has ever gone unnoticed, but there definitely are bigger and better chapters out there that do tend to leave others in the shadows. And, it’s those specific games in the timeline that we’d like to look into. From a list of more than twenty-five instalments, here’s hoping we can pluck out the five greatest in the series.
5. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Before having to endure Jack randomly waltzing through brick walls in BioHazard — we had the likes of Nemesis in Resident Evil 3. Usually dropping in spontaneously at the least expected moments, the gigantic mutant always managed to cause our hearts to skip several beats — even with cubed PlayStation One graphics. But then, even without the stalking brickhouse tracking our every move, Resident Evil 3 still brought the heat with its eerie setting and cutthroat dynamics.
Taking on the role of Jill Valentine in a decaying Raccoon City, players must navigate the bustling streets and alleys filled with flesh-eating zombies. But, it isn’t just the dead to keep an eye out for — as Nemesis, the bioweapon forged from Umbrella aims to stalk and destroy you as you beckon for an escape. That could mean that at any corner, any street, or any room — he could be waiting to strike. So, in case you missed it — we suggest you tuck in for a gloomy night of nailbiting drama with the big man himself. Either way — Nemesis definitely has a place on this list.
4. Resident Evil 4
Taking the scope away from zombies and plastering it onto the parasite-riddled villagers; Resident Evil 4 looked to switch up the pace with its sixth major instalment. Unlike previous games in the series that focused more around narrow hallways and dreary mansions crammed with slow-walking neck biters, Resident Evil 4 possessed a more open-world feel, with much more to feel paranoid about. With hordes of infected villagers owning all sorts of sinister weaponry, you, the unfortunate player, are left to uncover the mystery of the outbreak. Oh, and annoyingly having to rescue the president’s daughter, too.
Tiptoeing through the muddy villages in Resident Evil 4 always made for terrifying entertainment. Even when having to dodge a swinging chainsaw from the psychopath with a paper bag on his head. Everything about the fourth game in the timeline felt somewhat fresh — unlike anything we’d seen before in the franchise. And, thanks to the success of the game, those parasite dwellers went on to become a regular addition in later releases. Fantastic. More chainsaws to dodge.
3. Resident Evil 7: BioHazard
Throwing us back into the bleak ambience of hollow corridors and creaking chambers; Resident Evil 7 aimed to return survival horror to the new spool of releases. Taking inspiration from the early games in the timeline, BioHazard looked to focus on gripping narrative and nightmarish encounters with insidious characters fit for a slasher flick.
As Ethan, we are tasked with searching for missing wife, Mia, in the very depths of a Louisiana plantation. However, upon entering the enormous plot of land, Ethan soon encounters the disturbing Baker family who have adopted Mia as one of their own. Unfortunately, it’s the parasite clawing away at the families mentality that transforms them into much more than your average household. With twisted minds and aggressive traits, the Baker’s make it one heck of a task trying to escape. The things we do for love though, eh?
2. Resident Evil
Escalating the zombie genre to inspirational heights in 1996 was no other than Resident Evil. As the first game to an incredibly ambitious platform, fans were able to uncover the many winding secrets that Capcom had to showcase. Even with some pretty dreadful voicework, this first chapter proved to be a worthy entry to the survival horror universe.
Taking place in the outskirts of Raccoon City during the initial T-Virus outbreak, players are able to take ahold of S.T.A.R.S member Chris Redfield for a night of fear and treachery. With the remaining survivors of the nearby mansion succumbing to the virus effects, the player is left to scour the hallways in search of clues behind the Umbrella experiment. However, with a traitor in the ranks, Chris is left to face not only the dead — but also the double agent lurking between the shadows.
1. Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
Capcom struck gold with Resident Evil 2 way back in 1998, so it sort of made sense for them to sprinkle some modern-day dust over it twenty years later. Of course, by remaking the old favourite, Capcom never really needed to reinvent the wheel in terms of mechanics. It just needed to iron out a few details and produce what fans loved about the PlayStation hit decades ago. By doing so, current-gen gamers are able to relive the nightmares of Raccoon City all over again. Joy.
With Chris Redfield on a mission to uncover Umbrella’s T-Virus in Europe, Raccoon City is left behind in ruins. Only, for oblivious cop Leon Kennedy — the antics of the city are mere stepping stones that only lead towards a much darker secret waiting to be discovered. Just what is it that lies within Raccoon City HQ? Is there an escape to the zombie-coated city?