Is it the spooky season without my annual playthrough of at least one of Capcom’s Resident Evil games? No. Well, at least not for me. And this year, when I sat down on October 1st and tried to decide which game would be my go-to over the next month, I found myself trying to decide which one was my absolute favorite, which has led me to this list. There are quite a few games within the franchise, so I have decided to stick with the main nine games, Resident Evil Zero, through the most recent Resident Evil Village.
Now, I love all of these games, so the fact that one comes in last doesn’t mean I dislike it. In fact, I would rank Resident Evil as my favorite video game franchise of all time. The way they have been able to mix the horror genre with engaging storylines, puzzles, and mechanics and taking the plain old zombie to all new levels has wowed us for nearly three decades. So without further ado, let’s dive into how we would rank these terrifying tales.
8. Resident Evil 5
I don’t think that it is to anyone’s surprise that we are kicking off this list with Resident Evil 5. It is by far the least scary of the franchise. This installment follows Chris Redfield and the newly introduced badass Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in West Africa. The saving grace for me will always be Chris uncovering the truth behind Jill Valentine’s disappearance and saving her. Plus, we also get to shoot rocket-propelled grenades right into Wesker, essentially putting an end to one of the franchise’s most prominent antagonists.
7. Resident Evil 6
At one point in my life, I might have said there was never too much regarding RE. But then Resident Evil 6 proved me wrong. I love the ongoing story within the franchise and love when we get multiple POVs for each game, but the four we see in this one just became too much at one point. It also followed in the footsteps of its predecessor and steered clear of the survival horror we have come to love. If this game proved anything to me, it’s that Matthew Mercer plays an incredible Leon S. Kennedy.
6. Resident Evil Zero
Resident Evil Zero is one of those games that was hard to rank. I love it for nostalgic purposes. It allowed me the chance to explore more of Rebecca Chambers’ character and what happened to Team Alpha during the events of the original game. I enjoyed being able to flip between Rebecca and Billy Coen at specific parts of the game but was never a massive fan of having to drop items for the other to pick up and vice versa. The big struggle now is that the graphics and controls are outdated, making playing it more difficult than fun.
5. Resident Evil 3
This was one of the hardest installments to rank. A few years ago, Resident Evil 3 might have been one of my top games, but then RE 3 Remake came out, and while I loved it, I wished there was so much more. Jill Valentine will always be my number one love within the RE franchise, and any story that puts her front and center is one that I want to play. It is just a shame that her story was cut short in the remake. So, here is to hope that we get to see the badass and Carlos Oliveira in a future game.
The original Resident Evil ranks right in the middle for me. It introduced the world to Umbrella, S.T.A.R.S., Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker, and much more. And while we have had a remake, it was still well before the RE Engine came to exist, and when compared to recent games, it falls short graphically and mechanically. But, regardless of how it looks or feels, it will always be one of my favorite games within the franchise. I hope we will one day see them bring this and RE Zero to the RE Engine.
4. Resident Evil Village
While I could wax on for hours about how much I enjoyed the most recent installment, Resident Evil Village, it still isn’t my favorite in the franchise. I love that they stayed within the horror survival franchise, but I wish they had given us more time with each of Mother Miranda’s children. Capcom knew what they were doing when they introduced the world to Lady Dimitrescu but only gave us less than a quarter of the game with her. I love replaying the game for the completion status and the overall story, but there are always far better choices.
3. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The true return to survival horror came in Capcom’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and I couldn’t be happier. For years, I missed the horror elements that made the RE franchise so good. It made me afraid to play the game at night in the dark and had me on the edge of my seat while exploring the dark corners of the house and trying to uncover the truth of what was going on. The mechanics, puzzles and mechanics called back to all my favorite parts of the RE franchise and gave us hope for the future.
2. Resident Evil 2
The first and second spot on the list was tough to settle on, but in the end, Resident Evil 2 came in second. I love Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield almost as much as I love exploring the Raccoon City police department. The original 1998 release is worth playing through at least once in your life. But with the release of RE 2 Remake in 2019, I have a new favorite. Capcom took a game I loved and returned it as a game that I became incredibly obsessed with. It will be hard to top the Tyrant stomping after you for an entire game.
1. Resident Evil 4
I guess it’s no surprise that my favorite RE game is the franchise’s golden egg, Resident Evil 4. It has everything – an engaging story, fantastic mechanics, superb horror atmosphere and Leon S. Kennedy doing what he does best. It is one of the best experiences I have had in a RE game in a long time. Not only is it my favorite RE game, but it went on to redefine the third-person shooter genre as a whole. You can guarantee that when the RE 4 Remake drops, I will be all over it.
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