Ranking the Resident Evil Titles, Presumably Not to Many People’s Liking
I love Resident Evil, sometimes. It’s my favourite survival horror series, and one that I have a lot of nostalgia for. I don’t have such a difficult relationship with any other series, where I have games I absolutely adore, but then also games I think are a detriment to the series that forgot what series it’s actually part of.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, especially now that the Shadows of Rose DLC is out, so here’s my list of Resident Evil titles from favourite to least favourite.
There are some spoilers, so beware!
Resident Evil Remake
This is it. I don’t think it’ll ever be surpassed. This is the ultimate survival horror game, and the best Resident Evil game. The original on PS1 is also fantastic, but Remake stands as a fantastic example of how to remake and enhance a game. Lisa Trevor is one of my favourite RE characters, and she was only introduced when the game was remade here. The puzzles, characters and mansion are iconic. Your first encounter with a zombie? Chilling.
Resident Evil 4
Also a classic, Resident Evil 4 blends action, scares and humour in a way that not many games have succeeded at before or since. I’m very excited for the remake too, and I’m glad it seems to retain some of the over-the-top action and one-liners from the original, but it looks different enough that the original will always be worth a playthrough. RE4 is home to some fantastic set pieces, and I still quote “your right hand comes off?” to this day.
If there was a weaker point to RE4, it’s generally any of the Krauser related content. I’d not be surprised if it’s gutted from the remake. The game doesn’t need it, and it always felt a bit awkwardly slotted in, but if Capcom wants to rework it so he fits in better, then I’m all for it.
Resident Evil 5
I’m not even sorry. Resident Evil 5 is a terrific co-op game, and Sheva is one of my favourite characters in the series. It’s a huge shame that she hasn’t returned, because she’s such a great partner who deserves more time in the limelight. RE5 is ridiculous, like with the infamous boulder punching scene, but the game at its core is just fun. It doesn’t slow down, the boss fights are great, and it’s such a tight experience that can be played alone or with someone else. RE5 sold gangbusters, and it deserved to.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
I’m a big fan of this, although maybe not as much as other people are. I think the gameplay is kinda clunky, especially the movement, but the way they adapted a PS1 game to the current day is nothing short of miraculous. The atmosphere and characterisation are spot on, and it’s one of the scariest games I’ve played. Something about Mr. X just terrifies me — maybe it’s the stomping and relentless pursuing? I’m not sure, but he’s a damn sight scarier than whatever happened to Nemesis in his own remake.
Resident Evil: Revelations
What a banger. Resident Evil: Revelations reminds me of 4 in the way it blends action and frights, but it replaces the humour for fan-service. Rachel’s design is ridiculous, more so when she’s infected. It was great seeing Jill back in the limelight, although Capcom still found a way to shoehorn Chris in as a playable character! I enjoy playing as him, and he was a better character here than he has been in the Village days, but damn, Jill is more than capable of carrying a title on her own. Maybe one day we’ll see it, and not with a half-baked remake.
Resident Evil: biohazard
biohazard might be a little further down this list, but I think it’s one of the best entries in the series. It really is a return to roots and it’s genuinely creepy, especially when the game stays set in the Baker House. I think it falls off towards the end, and there’s a plot point in Village that I think weakens biohazard in retrospect, but it stands as an excellent survival horror title, and one that shines in the series.
Resident Evil 0
This one can be a little on the slower side sometimes, but I loved learning more about Rebecca, and her relationship with Billy is engaging. Like Sheva, Billy is another character introduced for a special one-time only show, never to be seen or spoken of again. This one’s very similar to Resident Evil Remake, and I love how familiar it feels. I also just think the leeches on the train is pretty cool.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Revelations 2 being episodic didn’t help it, but playing it back to back is a great experience. The return of both Claire and Barry is welcomed, and Moira is an interesting new addition to the cast. (As before, never to be seen again…)
There are some fun puzzles and I didn’t mind having to switch between characters. There’s one character who was set up for something greater though, leaving them on a huge cliffhanger, and with the events of Village I don’t see it being revisited. This is a shame because I feel it would’ve been a good way to continue Wesker’s legacy via his beliefs, rather than his bloodline, but c’est la vie. I love Resident Evil, and Resident Evil loves unresolved plot threads.
Resident Evil 6
I don’t dislike Resident Evil 6. It’s too long for its own good and some of the campaigns fare better than others, but again, it’s a great co-op game and I love it for that. I enjoyed seeing some characters return with Sherry, but disliked that Capcom couldn’t leave the Wesker bloodline alone and introduced Jake — he’s fine as a character, but it showed Capcom’s unwillingness to let go, and they did the same in Revelations 2.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica
There’s not much wrong with Code Veronica — it’s just very dated by today’s standards, and it deserved a remake before 4 got one. It’s as important to the series as any numbered title, and there’s some backtracking and other tedious bits that Capcom could clean up on and make this just as good as the Resident Evil 2 Remake. Give it some love, Capcom! It even has your favourite in it as a playable lead in Chris!
Resident Evil 3 Remake
I love Jill — she is one of my favourite characters — and Nemesis has always been an incredible villain, so it’s a shame to see them both get shafted here. Solid gameplay, but cutting out so much content and it feeling like an add-on to Resident Evil 2 Remake hurts. Felt like a case of chasing the runaway success of its predecessor, and it simply didn’t deliver.
Capcom just hates Jill. :(
Resident Evil Village
Village is when the series went from “this is weird but somehow ties into the Science of our world” to “we’re full on paranormal for the sake of going bigger” and I just don’t care for it. The psychic powers, the vampire-women and werewolves, the new info on the mold, the revelations about Ethan and Mia, and the whole babyRose being put into separate containers thing, just for you to have to put them back together? Nah, I’m (unhappily) happy that this story is over now, and Village is an example in storytelling that suffers as the team is either trying to do too much, or felt the need to just keep going bigger and include more action. Such a shame Village is what we got after the incredible biohazard.
House Beneviento is pretty damn great, though.
I’m excited to see what the future holds for Resident Evil, but I hope it’s more biohazard than Village, and I really hope that we get information on the existing cast of characters. There’s a lot to juggle, and they’re not being juggled particularly well, and it’s hard to see what Capcom wants to do with the series. I hope it gets back on track soon, because damn if I don’t love Resident Evil.
The board games by Steamforged are absolutely banging by the way, and well worth the money.