If you were to travel two decades in the past, you’d still hear the name of Resident Evil being fondly uttered by gaming fans. The series has gone down in the halls of legend in the industry, and has solidified itself there for years. While open-world games have become the norm today, Resident Evil games still have a solid fanbase.
The selling power of the series has meant we’ve gotten dozens of games from this franchise, but not all have been critical darlings. However, there have been many that you can check out and still have a whole lot more to explore. We’ve compiled the 10 best Resident Evil games you can find, as validated by Metacritic. In this list, expansions and remakes are considered as the same game, with the highest version being added here.
10 Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015) - 75
The same problems that plagued Resident Evil 6 were brought forward in Revelations 2 as the game dived in too hard in action set pieces that took away the spirit of survival horror that Resident Evil had been a champion of.
Still, the game wasn’t a total mess like Resident Evil 6 was, as there were several elements that worked such as the stealth sequences that came about to tone the over-the-top action. There was good chemistry between protagonist Claire Redfield and her friends, saving the story from being not as mild as it seemed to be heading towards.
9 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (2000) - 79
This game should be attributed for turning Resident Evil firmly on course for becoming an action oriented series as Nemesis was lighter on the horror compared to its predecessors. Critics noted this change as well, with not all of them satisfied with the departure from the scares.
Gameplay wise things remained almost the same, but you had to rely more on your firearms than before as Nemesis aimed to make you an expert marksman for the most part. One of the better parts of the game would be the titular antagonist, whose sequences amp up the tension.
8 Resident Evil: Revelations (2012) - 82
Before its sequel decided to go in heavy with the action, the original Revelations did better by making evasion the focal point rather than firepower based confrontations. It also carried extra intrigue by filling in the gaps in story between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.
With redoubtable characters like Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield at the helm, the game had protagonists we already cared for as it presented the player with situations where they had to use their smarts more due to the limited ammo available.
7 Resident Evil 0 (2002) - 83
In what is another entry in the series that fills in a story we weren’t provided context for before, Resident Evil 0 was a welcome surprise as it featured a dual protagonist setting. What that entailed was the option of switching between two characters the player desired, offering two sides of the same situation.
While the gameplay remained largely similar to earlier installments, the difficulty was amped up to greater numbers, thereby providing justification for the switching option between the protagonists. Despite being more action than horror, you do feel scared because of the increasing level of difficulty.
6 Resident Evil Code: Veronica (2001) - 84
This installment has such close ties to the main series that it was considered as a true sequel by most of the fanbase. After all, the gameplay, story, and everything in between is connected directly to the events that came before.
The most definite improvement that critics loved was the dynamic camera, which offered more versatility in gameplay. While before the player was restricted in movement due to the fixed camera angles, they now had the freedom to see more clearly. It was also a more horror based Resident Evil game, which brought back useful nostalgia.
5 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) - 86
The Resident Evil series had been largely one-note for many years, requiring Capcom to think out of the box and deliver an experience unlike any from the franchise. There were a lot of comparisons with the cancelled Silent Hills game with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but the game was a win regardless.
Players were dropped into the shoes of the protagonist, making them feel as if they were the ones stranded in a hellish household where a vicious family was out to kill them. Resident Evil 7 is a definite scary addition in the world of gaming, and we’re excited to see more of this material.
4 Resident Evil 5 (2009) - 86
Action isn’t a bad thing as we might have been implying thus far, with Resident Evil 5 being the best example for when action was a high point in the series. It replicated the gameplay style of its immediate predecessor, but the game is a classic in its own right.
It has grand action sequences that fill up the adrenaline as you go along, and the addition of a worthy partner to protagonist Chris Redfield was especially welcome when going up against in a fight to the death with the series antagonist Alber Wesker.
3 Resident Evil (1996) - 91
Even though many of the following games in the series replicated the original’s style, the first Resident Evil is still the best among the bunch. Along with carrying the nostalgia factor in its favor, the game is genuinely chilling to play.
It inspired a number of similar titles while also reviving the horror genre in video gaming. The eerie experience in traversing through dangerous environments never gets old no matter what generation of consoles we’re in. Understandably, though, the general dating of the game has meant it has been pushed down into third position at present.
2 Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019) - 93
How does one make a title evergreen? You remake it to fit in today’s landscape of gaming, that’s how. Resident Evil 2’s remake is so good that you don’t even need to play the original version anymore as this one will satisfy you in every area.
Featuring the over-the-shoulder perspective that has always been a hit among fans, the remake carried forward the original’s horror elements and married it with the action style that today’s gamers want. Its story is also one of the very best in the series, as we have two very likable leads along with a solid supporting cast.
1 Resident Evil 4 (2005) - 96
If you want to think “groundbreaking”, then look no further than Resident Evil 4, which set the standard for action adventure games to follow to this day and beyond. It revamped the series entirely, while also bringing further characterization to Leon Kennedy, instantly making him the most loved hero in the series.
While being mainly an action feature, the game succeeded in being a horror classic as well due to the presence of enemies that will make the hairs at the back of your neck stand up. There won’t ever be a time where critics won’t hail Resident Evil 4 as one of the greatest games of all time, which justifies the enormously high ranking it has received on Metacritic.