If you’re someone that knows me, then you’ll know that I used to be an utter wimp when it came to playing horror games. I could barely play them for 5 minutes, before the slightest whisper of something sinister made me quit the game and watch something delightful, like My Neighbour Totoro. It wasn’t until I played and finished Alien Isolation, that I was able to actually enjoy the horror and work up the courage to play others in the genre. One legendary video game series I always wanted to play for myself, was Resident Evil. After playing through all the numbered entries, I thought it would be a good idea to provide my own personal ranking. There might be some unpopular opinions, but I hope you enjoy the post.
7.) Resident Evil 5
For me, Resident Evil 5 easily sits at the bottom of my list, being the worst in the series. Being a follow up to a an entry widely considered to be one of, if not the best in the series, it was inevitably going to pale in comparison. It’s clear that it was trying to essentially be a multiplayer version of 4, but missed the mark at nearly every turn. The story was bland and forgettable, it lacked any atmosphere and didn’t have a single truly scary moment. While I still found a level of enjoyment and found that the multiplayer features, both online and offline, offered some new strategic considerations, the overall experience was lacklustre and unmemorable. Having said that, who could ever wipe from their memory, the image of Chris Redfield punching a boulder inside an active volcano?
6.) Resident Evil 3 Remake
Here’s where the ‘controversial’ opinions begin. I think Resident Evil 3 Remake is a worse game than 6. There, I said it! In many ways, it has the same issues as 5 coming from 4. While the gameplay is very similar to the 2 Remake, it also feels like a lesser game in many aspects. First, the game is very short, easily the shortest game by far. Going around and exploring every part, backtracking to collect everything, I was able to beat the game in 3hrs and 40mins. Every other game on average took me around 8 hours or more to beat, some much longer. It’s just such a small game with little variety. Second, Nemesis was just disappointing. He will follow you around un-scripted for a roughly 10-15 minute section, which is also pretty linear. There are also a couple of very short, scripted chase sequences. The boss encounters are a bit better, but 2 of them are almost identical. On the plus side, Jill and Carlos are pretty good characters and new features like the dodge function are very helpful. The game was also pretty scary at times. I’m just glad I picked up the game on sale, as it’s definitely not worth the full price.
5.) Resident Evil 6
While many people bash 6 as being the worst in the series, I found it a pretty fun experience. It may have traded in the survival horror for more arcade/action focused gameplay, but it was an experience that ended up being more consistent and distinguished from the previous entries. Furthermore, it continued the co-op features introduced in 5, while streamlining them, much like the gameplay. Also, the game featured 4 different campaigns that offered a lot of content and replay value. Each felt a bit a different from one another, where Leon’s campaign was the most like survival horror. I completely understand why a lot of fans don’t like the game, that it strays too far from the original gameplay, but I personally had a lot of fun with it and provided plenty of content to enjoy.
We’re now onto the truly great Resident Evil games. It was quite hard to decide which ones I found better, as they all aim for something different in their gameplay, whilst excelling at it.
4.) Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
In the eyes of many, Resident Evil 7 brought the series back to form and I would be inclined to agree with them. The move to first-person was a bold decision by Capcom and could have been a huge mistake. However, those fears were put to rest, as it offered the franchise a breath of fresh air and more up close and personal, horror experience. The Baker family are brilliant antagonists while the moulded took the place of the traditional zombie foes. While I generally prefer third-person games, first-person was perfect fit for the tone and nature of the game. Plus, I will never get the unsettling encounters with Marguerite Baker out of my memory. It remains one of the most terror inducing moments in the franchise. I’m looking forward to seeing how the next game continues and expands upon the changes, introduced here.
3.) Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is a long game, by far the longest in the series. While I would say it could have benefited from being perhaps a few hours shorter, it offers plenty of content for the price. Despite the length, there are plenty of high points spread across the game, where neither the beginning, middle, or end feels weak. The variety in its bosses is another strong point, each feeling unique, where using the surroundings is often integrated well in the fight, showing off the excellent level design. While it began to stray more from the outright horror of its predecessors (this is apparent in the regular enemy design), 4 still offers plenty of frightening moments and retains the tense atmosphere the series is known for. The switch to the over-the-shoulder camera angle also fit well for the shift in gameplay, allowing the games to evolve. Also, the regenerators are by far the most sinister enemies in the series, where I still can’t get the noise they make out of my head.
2.) Resident Evil 2 Remake
The Resident Evil 2 Remake is a truly, brilliant game. Everything from its graphics, enemies, gameplay, movement, audio design and the panic inducing, Mr X, is incredible. Having the zombies and other creatures rendered in so much detail, adds a whole other level of terror, which is coupled with the body physics. The zombies will realistically react to where you shoot them on the body, stumbling over if hit in the leg, for example. The gunplay and movement has never felt more fluid and responsive. However, it’s Mr X that is the main, terrifying feature of the entire experience. At a certain point in the game, this huge monstrosity will hunt and chase you through the Police Station. Apart from save rooms and a few other select locations, you won’t be safe from his presence, where firing your weapons or running will draw him to you. This adds a constant feeling of uncertainty that will keep you on edge for a large chunk of the game. The audio design is key, where you will hear his thudding footsteps and opening doors across the different rooms and floors. Listening to make out where and how far away from you he is, is very important. It reminded me a lot of Alien Isolation, however, at least Mr X doesn’t follow you through the entire game.
1.) Resident Evil Remake
It was very hard to choose which was the best game, especially with my runner-up, however, it had to be the remake of the one that started it all. While its gameplay may seem a bit archaic to today’s standards, particularly with the fixed camera angles, everything works in tandem to provide a true, survival horror experience. The camera angles are designed so that each section can be framed in the way the developers intended, leading to tense scenarios where the scares are often just out of frame or cleverly positioned around the scene. Perhaps the game’s greatest asset is the atmosphere. The dilapidated, eerie rooms and halls of the Spencer Mansion sets a sinister tone for the duration of the game. Similar to 2, I was always on edge, but the difference here is that the feeling persists, despite not having a Mr X hunting you. The level design truly pushes the experience up a notch. Furthermore, due to the limited ammunition and supplies, evading zombies instead of killing all of them is often necessary. Speaking of which, fallen zombies can sometimes rise as more powerful ‘Crimson Heads,’ unless burned. This adds a new dimension to the game, where killing and leaving enemies can be a gamble, if you don’t have the means to burn the corpse then and there. I have no negatives to say about this game and is a must play for any horror fan.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. What is your least and most favourite? How close is my ranking to yours? This only included the numbered entries, although if I had to put Revelations on here (the only other one I’ve played), It’d probably be just ahead or behind Resident Evil 7. For all things gaming, stay tuned to Honest Gamer.
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Fun read! I haven’t played any of the games (also somewhat of horror wimp), but I really enjoy watching let’s plays of the series, especially the Resident Evil 2 remake.
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Thanks a lot. I used to watch let’s plays of horror games as well, I even still now if it’s one I’m not personally interested in playing. It’s weird as I’ve always liked watching horror films, but never like playing horror games. I thinks it’s because I was actively taking part, rather than just passively watching. I’ve definitely gotten much better now at least.
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Interesting ranking. I will admit I do hold 5 in a lot higher but to each their own
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Yeah, I know some people that actually really like 5. I feel like I would have liked it more if I actually played it online with someone, rather than just the offline A.I.
Yeah that’s a fair comment. Having just cleared 4 I did find Ashley a hell of a lot more annoying than Sheva but her AI was a bit dubious at times and certainly more enjoyable in 2 player mode.
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I liked that RE5 was coop, but that’s the only thing I liked.
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Yeah, it added something new the series, even offline, but that was about it.