The Resident Evil franchise is one of the biggest of all time. It has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and even spawned a billion dollar movie franchise, which we all try to forget exists. Since releasing way back in 1996, the series has gone on to total 27 different games, with the next entry scheduled for release in 2021. Let’s break them all down and rank every Resident Evil game from worst to best.
27. Umbrella Corps
There was never any other choice about which game would be in last place. A game so bad they didn’t even add the Resident Evil name to it. Umbrella Corps sees you play as a member of the Umbrella Corps playing through simulations of areas including those found in other games. This sounds interesting except its not. The enemy AI is dreadful, the controls aren’t intuitive and overall the experience is lacklustre. I spent $1 on this game for the Deluxe Edition and genuinely feel ripped off by it.
26. Resident Evil Survivor
Resident Evil Survivor is Capcom’s answer to games such as House of the Dead, except it generally misses the mark at every point. The gameplay is very slow and clunky, the game is essentially an asset flip of RE2, and the story and voice acting is as cringey as we’d expect from PS1 era RE games. Apart from being a huge RE fan or collector, there’s not much reason to go back and revisit this game.
25. Resident Evil Gaiden
The original 1996 Resident Evil game was intended to be ported to the Game Boy Color, in fact it was 90% complete and actually a faithful recreation, or as good as it can with the hardware limitations. Unfortunately it was cancelled and instead we eventually got Resident Evil Gaiden. The game sees Leon and Barry team up, with the game playing from a top down perspective and awkward first person combat. The story is really quirky too and overall not that fantastic, thankfully it isn’t canon.
24. Resident Evil Survivor 2
Survivor 2 is a continuation of RE having a crack at the light gun shooter style, and once again they didn’t quite nail it. Survivor 2 revisits the events of Code Veronica and sees Claire and Steve try to escape Rockfort Island. The game has some differences from the original CV game, such as enemies from Raccoon City like Nemesis making an appearance. It turns out the game was all a dream too, unfortunately for us it is reality.
23. Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D
The Mercenaries is a fun mode, fighting through hordes upon hordes of enemies gaining as many points as you can and unlocking all of the extra items. As a mode alongside a core RE experience it is great, as a standalone game….not so much. The game itself is fine, but lacks content due to being a bonus mode but as a full game. It lacks depth and gives you little reason to play long term. It only scores so low for this reason, but if you enjoy the Mercenaries mode in other titles, definitely grab this for cheap on the 3DS.
22. Resident Evil Dead Aim
The next entry in the Survivor series is a bit of a weird one, it is a third person game with first person combat, but its not that bad, but also not that great. Another thing to note is that it takes place on a ship, it seemed Capcom really wanted to tell a story on a ship. Gaiden is set on a ship, RE3 was originally meant to take place on a ship, and Revelations also does. Dead Aim is also one of the few Resident Evil games that allows you to move while you aim, and this was long before it became more standard in the series.
21. Resident Evil Resistance
Resistance is essentially Dead By Daylight: Resident Evil edition, and that’s not a bad thing if that’s your thing. But overall the game just isn’t that fun, the controls aren’t fantastic and the game is incredibly broken in that there are plenty of ways that will almost guarantee the win and your opponent will be unable to stop you from winning. It comes free with RE3 Remake so at least you can always try it and if you don’t like then it hasn’t cost you anything to find out.
20. Resident Evil The Umbrella Chronicles
While I said that the Survivor series was Capcom’s take on a House of the Dead style game, the Chronicles series is exactly that, a rail light gun shooter series. Overall the 2 games are pretty good, a light gun game will never be as good as the classics such as RE2, but it is perfectly fine for what it is. The Umbrella Chronicles sees the player go through the events of RE 0, RE1, and RE3, while Darkside Chronicles sees players go through the events of RE2, Code Veronica, and a prequel to RE4. Overall pretty decent games and you should at least give them a play.
19. Resident Evil The Darkside Chronicles
See above entry ^^
18. Resident Evil Outbreak File #2
The Outbreak series saw Resident Evil move into the online world, allowing players to take control of a survivor trying to escape Raccoon City and play with people all around the world. The year after Outbreak was released, the expansion/sequel File #2 was released. Overall it is fairly decent, expanding upon the original game. But the gameplay is a bit clunky, the online play was a bit hit and miss due to the internet still not being super fast by this point. While the servers are long gone, dedicated fans have kept private servers going on PC so you can still play it online, which is really awesome to see.
17. Resident Evil Revelations 2
Resident Evil went episodic with Revelations 2, a great concept but I personally don’t like games released in periodic episodes. Revelations 2 was a pretty good game, seeing Claire Redfield and Barry Burton team up. The story was decent and saw Wesker’s sister Alex Wesker as the main villain. Released during the action era of RE, the Revelations series was fun because it was more of a horror game and it would be great to see a Revelations 3 in the future.
16. Resident Evil 6
If Resident Evil 6 was cut in half then it would of been a much better game. RE 6 seriously drags on, with 4 different campaigns all ranging from around 5-10 hours each. My nickname for this game since its released is Gears Of Evil: Modern Warfare. The final game in the action era and it is full of action and at times feels more like Gears of War than RE. However, Leon’s campaign is more horror themed and I would of been absolutely fine with this being the sole story told in the game. One really good aspect is that all of the stories intertwine, but then there’s also a lot of repeated events shown across all of the campaigns. RE6 is almost good, but just misses the mark from what we expect from a core title in the series.
15. Resident Evil Outbreak
Already mentioned above, the Outbreak series were online based games that saw players tried to escape Raccoon City. Although the games weren’t perfect and quite flawed at times, it is always fun to return to Raccoon City, and they also helped fill some gaps in the story such as why Marvin was alone and injured in the RPD leading up to RE2 & 3. It would be great to see this series revisited.
14. Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City
Operation Raccoon City, the game with 9/10 potential that ended up as a 6/10. ORC sees players take control of Hunk’s mercenary team, going into Raccoon City during the T-Virus outbreak to retrieve the G-Virus sample. The concept is fantastic and exactly what would make an amazing RE game, except they then chose Slant Six to develop it and it completely missed the mark. The gameplay is clunky and glitchy with bullet sponges for enemies. And the game isn’t actually canon because of a moment where you can kill Leon and Claire. If that final bit was removed and the game made canon and given to another develop, this game had potential to be a borderline masterpiece. But, it is still a huge guilty pleasure of mine.
13. Resident Evil 0
Resident Evil 0 had a very interesting journey before it was released. It was originally intended to be an N64 exclusive before being scrapped and completely reworked for the Gamecube. It was definitely the right choice because, even for a Gamecube game, it looks beautiful, but part of me does wonder what could have been. Unfortunately RE0 tries a few new things which just don’t really work. The game allows you to control 2 different characters, Rebecca and Billy, but remains a single player experience. And rather than using Item Boxes you instead have to drop items on the floor or share inventories with your partner. This creates some interesting moments for strategies and puzzles, but overall its just an annoyance and I’m glad this mechanic was never revisited in future titles.
12. Resident Evil 7
After a decade of RE being an action franchise, it went back to its horror routes with RE7. Resident Evil 7 also saw the main line series go first person, something that will be continued in RE8, meaning this must be the first person era. While the first person does work, it never really feels like a Resident Evil game. If they took away the RE moniker you wouldn’t even think it should be an RE title. Overall its a fantastic game, just it doesn’t feel like RE, but it is still worth playing for sure.
11. Resident Evil 3 Remake
After the huge success of the Resident Evil 2 Remake, which was released 17 years after RE1 was remade, it made sense for Capcom to remake RE3 too. Resident Evil 3 Remake was made alongside 2 Remake, meaning the game feels and plays exactly the same. Many areas are also revisited in RE3R too, as well as filling the gaps in RE2R with showing what is behind a fence, or where this door leads etc. It also fills the gap into showing how Marvin got fatally injured by a zombie (no spoilers). Unfortunately Resident Evil 3 Remake didn’t quite hit the mark that RE2R did. It is a good game, but not a great game. Nemesis is more of an annoyance than a threat, he is also incredibly broken too. And once you’re done with the game, there is very little to encourage you to replay the game again. Unless you’re a hardcore RE fan, the game is more of a one and done deal, but you should definitely at least give it a play through, you can read our full review of the game here.
10. Resident Evil Revelations
Resident Evil Revelations injected a much needed dose of horror into the franchise during the action era. Originally released on the 3DS, this was quite a huge release because it crammed a fully fledged RE title onto the portable system. The game was later ported to consoles, but it was criticised for still looking and feeling like a handheld game. But overall it is a very fun experience and one that you should definitely play if you haven’t already.
RELATED: Resident Evil 8 Village Announced
9. Resident Evil Deadly Silence
Although it could be seen as the definitive way to play the original RE game, I have chosen to rank it slightly below the PS1 classic. Deadly Silence is a port of the original 1996 to the Nintendo DS to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the series. Since it is on the DS it, of course, utilises the dual screens that the system had. There are mini game sections where you have to use your knife in first person mode to call zombies by using the stylus, and the microphone even gets some use to. If all of this isn’t your thing then you can play the Classic mode for a more original experience. I think this version does improve upon the original due to the new modes and mechanics, but Resident Evil is always best played on console.
8. Resident Evil
The game that began it all. Resident Evil was released way back in 1996 and sees Chris, Jill, Barry, and Rebecca making their way through a mysterious mansion that is overrun by zombies and other monsters. I’m sure none of us can imagine Resident Evil not existing, RE has become a series that has sold over 100 million copies becoming one of the biggest of all time. Despite its laughable voice acting and aged mechanics, it is still a blast to play. Even though the remake may be technically a better game, you owe it to yourself to go back and see how this series began.
7. Resident Evil 3
The final game in the original Resident Evil trilogy on PS1. RE3 was originally intended to be a spin-off, with the next game on this list being the intended RE3. Resident Evil 3 was originally meant to focus on Hunk as he tried to retrieve a G-Virus sample from a cruise ship (what is it with RE and ships?), before being changed to focus on Jill’s last stand as she escapes Raccoon City. Resident Evil 3 is most known for the inclusion of the games main enemy, Nemesis, a terrifying BOW tasked with eliminating any member of S.T.A.R.S that it encounters. The game was also unique in that it allowed players to choose different routes at certain points which would make repeat playthroughs more unique. The game also utilised RNG and changed puzzle combinations with each playthrough. RE3 is a game that all fans of the series should play, but it is a game that not everyone will love.
6. Resident Evil Code Veronica
Code Veronica saw the series move from Playstation over to the Dreamcast. The original RE3, this game saw Claire Redfield head to Europe in search of her brother, Chris, after the events of RE2. The game still used tank controls like previous games, but was the first time the series abandoned pre-rendered backgrounds in favour of 3D assets. Overall it is a fantastic game and a great bridge between classic RE and modern RE.
5. Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is perhaps the most popular RE game in the internet age. It was the first to utilise the third person over the shoulder camera, and also used a lot of mechanics that would become staples in the third person action-adventure genres, such as Quick Time Events. RE4 saw Leon head to Spain to fight humans infecting with a parasite who kind of acted like zombies, but weren’t zombies, all while being tormented by a midget. And who can forget the Merchant, one of the most iconic characters in the entire series. Resident Evil 4 holds a 96/100 on Metacritic and is often hailed as one of the greatest games of all time, so you definitely need to play it.
4. Resident Evil 5
Ok, I am going to get a lot of hate for this one, but I honestly think Resident Evil 5 is a better game than 4. Although RE5 introduced the co-op mechanic, intended so you can play with your friends, however most of us play solo and had to use an AI co-op partner who was dreadful. If RE5 wasn’t a co-op game it would easily be superior to RE4. The game improved upon the mechanics introduced in 4 in every single way, offering a much smoother experience and just tightening up the already fantastic gameplay. RE5 also connected itself to the RE universe a lot more than 4. Apart from a couple of passing references, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t know 4 was an RE game. Instead, 5 has a much larger connection, with Jill and Wesker playing a huge part alongside Chris, finally concluding the Wesker saga with his death. Take off your nostalgia goggles and take away the co-op mechanic and RE5 was the superior game in every way.
3. Resident Evil 1 Remake
Originally released in 2002, Resident Evil 1 Remake on the Gamecube saw the first game get a complete overhaul. The new game featured around 70% new content and areas, the graphics and gameplay were changed drastically, the voice acting no longer sucks, and overall it is a truly fantastic game. And for the Gamecube it still holds up fantastic today. The game was later ported to the Wii, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. If you don’t want to go back to 1996 and play the original, at least play this to see how the series first started. This is truly one of the greatest horror games you will ever play.
2. Resident Evil 2 Remake
If there were a few tweaks to Resident Evil 2 Remake then this would take the top spot without question. Like the 2002 Gamecube remake of the first game, RE2R completely revamps the 1998 classic, bringing it into the modern age. Resident Evil 2 sees Leon arrive at Raccoon City on his first day as a rookie police officer, followed by Claire Redfield who is searching for her brother Chris, one of the main characters from the first game. Instead they are thrusted into the middle of a zombie outbreak and must try and escape the city, navigating through the police station, sewers, and eventually a secret lab, all while fending off hordes of zombies and other terrifying creatures. Resident Evil 2 Remake would be the perfect game if it made a few tweaks. The original saw a total of 4 different scenarios. While they all followed the same general story and routes, they were each different enough to provide a completely unique experience. If you finished the first scenario with Leon, you unlocked the second scenario for Claire, showing what she was doing while Leon’s scenario was playing out, and vice versa too. Claire A/Leon B is also the canon way to play the game.
While the scenarios for Claire and Leon in RE2R do play out different from each other, while following the same premise, the B scenarios are essentially copy and paste jobs for 95% of the game. This was really disappointing to see and it seemed like this was just added at the least minute to meet fans expectations. Without the B scenarios this game would be a 10/10, but I can’t give it a 10 with the lazy B scenarios tacked on, so it only takes 2nd place on this list. But Resident Evil 2 Remake is without a doubt one of the best games of the last decade and you owe it to yourself to play it as soon as possible.
1. Resident Evil 2
Right, time for number 1 entry and that is the 1998 classic, Resident Evil 2. A lot of what needs to be said was said in the last entry, but RE2 is one of the greatest games of all time and is highly regarded as a masterpiece of the era. RE2 took the series to new heights, after the already huge success of the first game, and is looked back on fondly, and with good reason. Would it have been knocked off the top spot if RE2R didn’t have lazy B scenarios? Perhaps, but at least for now, Resident Evil 2 is the greatest RE game of all time and one you need to play immediately. This is a ride that every gamer should experience.