Resident Evil Games Ranked From Worst to Best
VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci
WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Bow down to the horror game franchise that has stood as both jester and king! For this list, we're looking at mainline instalments of the Resident Evil series and ranking them from worst to best. Our countdown includes the likes of "Resident Evil 7", "Resident Evil 4", "Resident Evil: Code - Veronica", and more!
Resident Evil Games Ranked From Worst to Best
So many "Resident Evil" games, but which ones are worth playing? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we're ranking all of the Resident Evil Games From Worst to Best!
For this list, we're ranking all the mainline story installments in the Resident Evil Franchise from worst to best. That means all numbered entries, plus remakes, as well as Code Veronica and the Revelations series.
(Say 14 as well, list will likely be updated with RE3 Remake)
#13: “Resident Evil 6” (2012)
When discussing the worst game in the franchise, all attention is directed to the sixth entry in the main series, and for good reason! "Resident Evil 6" was a glaring turn for Capcom's flagship HORROR, focusing less on the HORROR aspect laid out by previous games and trying to steer it into "action-shooter" territory. If you wanted a traditional "Resident Evil" experience, the closest you got was Leon's. Everyone else's campaigns were lackluster at best, serving up mind-numbing gameplay while telling an uninteresting, interwoven story. One may think the critics were a little too generous with review scores, but most can agree this was "Resident Evil" at its lowest (save for "Survivor").
#12: “Resident Evil 5” (2009)
The fifth entry in the series was not much better than the sixth. "Resident Evil 5" came with its own share of problems. For starters, AI companions had a nasty habit of getting in the line of fire or doing the exact opposite of what the player says.. On top of that, this was also the game to prove that "Resident Evil" was beginning to jump the shark. (Really, you have not lived until you've seen Chris Redfield punching a boulder…) So, how did RE5 beat its successor? Well, the co-op mode was surprisingly fun...for a little while.
#11: “Resident Evil - Code: Veronica” (2000)
At the time of its release, “Code: Veronica” was given a handful of praise for its detailed environments and gorgeous cinematics. Even to this day, the game holds up well visually, but we cannot say the same for other parts of the game. At the time, the game was simultaneously trying to innovate the franchise with full 3D environments, as opposed to pre-rendered backgrounds, but retained its tank control scheme. The result is a game that feels at odds with itself, resulting in a lukewarm entry. Credit where it’s due though, it did offer some standout moments.
#10: “Resident Evil Revelations 2” (2015)
“Revelations 2” may not have been as dreadful as the aforementioned entries, but after the quality delivered by its predecessor, it was certainly disappointing. As if the episodic format wasn’t annoying enough, the game just didn’t achieve the same level of horror that previous titles provided, focusing more on creepy environments than frights. It also didn’t help that the graphics were unimpressive, and the amount of backtracking required made the game feel incredibly tedious. Had it not been for the cheesy dialogue that spoofed the original and co-op, we would have stopped playing this game a lot sooner.
#9: “Resident Evil Zero” (1999)
As the last of the mainline Resident Evil titles to feature the fixed camera Tank Control Scheme, “Resident Evil Zero” is at times dated, yet very underappreciated. Originally a Gamecube exclusive, Zero offers a compelling dive into Rebecca Chamber’s first mission, as well as how the T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City’s Arklay Mountains began in the first place. Running on the First Resident Evil remake’s engine; Zero is just as chilling and unnerving, while at times unpleasant with those leeches. While the game does suffer from being derivative, it’s certainly something fans should not overlook.
#8: “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” (2017)
After the unrecognizable experience that was “Resident Evil 6”, many of us were beginning to think we would never see the franchise return to its former glory. Imagine our pleasantly surprised faces when “Resident Evil 7” dropped in January 2017! The game managed to surpass all expectations and not only reel the franchise back to its survival horror roots, but also told a new story with new characters. As a bonus, the Baker family went down as some of “Resident Evil's” most terrifying characters we’d seen in years, each of them based around a subgenre of horror. After playing this, we could safely say that Capcom revitalized the series.
#7: “Resident Evil” (The Original) (1996)
Whereas games like “Alone in the Dark” would become the forefathers of survival horror games, the first “Resident Evil” would lay the foundation for several other legendary franchises. Back in 1996, players were captivated by the game’s eerie atmosphere, haunting environments, and frightful scares. Between its suspenseful gameplay and campy writing, “Resident Evil” gave players enough reason to go out and buy a PlayStation, and the game has been credited by several celebrities (like George Romero and Simon Pegg) for popularizing zombies in modern pop culture. Now, who’s up for a Jill sandwich?
#6: “Resident Evil: Revelations” (2012)
Many developers tried bringing their big budget franchises to the Nintendo 3DS, and many of them ended up abandoning the platform after one attempt. After disappointing players with the action-oriented “RE5”, Capcom briefly brought the series back to survival horror with “Resident Evil: Revelations”, and it turned out shockingly good! Despite the 3DS’s technical limitations, “Revelations” boasted impressively detailed visuals with many critics stating it as the best level of graphics on the handheld. To give you an idea of how important an entry this game is; Director Koshi Nakanishi would later go on to direct Resident Evil 7. Thank you Mr. Nakanishi for getting Resident Evil back on track.
#5: “Resident Evil 3: Nemesis” (The Original) (1999)
What is there to say about this game that hasn’t been said before? “Resident Evil 3” took everything that made the first two games awesome and expanded its scope. Characters and environments were in greater detail than before, the music and sound design drove fear into the hearts of every gamer, and it gave birth to one of the most vicious creatures in the franchise’s history - Nemesis. While the experience was a little too short, there was still plenty of reason for us to come back and relive the whole game once more.
#4: “Resident Evil 2” (The Original) (1998)
Of the original three games, “Resident Evil 2” has continuously proven to be the best in a variety of ways. Where should we even begin? It improved the controls from the first game, the map was full of intricacies and secrets, and the atmosphere was positively terrifying. “Resident Evil 2” even expanded upon the first game’s replay value by offering not just two campaigns, but an additional two campaigns for you to unlock - the 4th Survivor and the Tofu Survivor. With the improvements and additional content, is it really a surprise that the game managed to sell nearly five million copies?
#3: “Resident Evil Remake” (2000)
Remasters should be about breathing new life to an old game, whether that’s through updated graphics or a slight change in formula. Capcom went above and beyond for the remake of the first game. They added particle effects and FMV layers to make environments brimming with detail, used motion capture to make animations more realistic, and even went so far as to rewrite parts of the story! The result was a beautiful, new take on a classic, and it terrified us even more than our first round. And hey, they didn’t get rid of the Jill sandwich bit! Well...more or less…
#2: “Resident Evil 2 Remake” (2019)
How could you possibly improve upon something that was already nearly flawless? Well, Capcom found a way, and it became one of the best games to come out in 2019. In addition to modernizing controls, “Resident Evil 2 Remake” provided a fresh experience by redefining a classic title, and setting a new gold standard for Video Game remakes out there. This was also another opportunity for Capcom to show off the technical prowess of the RE Engine, and good lord, it made us wish every developer made their games with it! And of course, we can’t mention this game without bringing up the show stealing Mr. X. The guy that gave Nemesis a run for his money as Resident Evil’s most terrifying monster.
#1: “Resident Evil 4” (2005)
"Resident Evil 4" has got to be the most flawless game in the entire franchise. Just about everything in this game was about as perfect as Leon's hunky face. The macabre environments were riddled with dread and unease, the controls were tight and made every action feel good, and no matter which you play, "RE4" looks damn fine! There was so much love put into this game that it is no wonder why so many fans and critics are quick to call not only the best "Resident Evil" game, but also one of the best video games ever made.