Over the last 20 years, Resident Evil has terrified gamers with grotesque monsters and jump scares galore. These are the 10 scariest moments in series history.
In 1996, Shinji Mikami unleashed Resident Evil on the gaming world, delivering his own twisted vision of survival horror, and changing the gaming industry forever. Over the years, the series has given gamers plenty of scares, with the following moments sticking out the most as the scariest in Resident Evil history.
Be aware that this article will contain spoilers for the Resident Evil video game series.
10 Ashford Reveal (Resident Evil Code: Veronica)
Alexander Ashford and his twin sister Alexia are the two primary antagonists of Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Alexander's sinister laugh is the stuff of nightmares, especially coupled with his eccentric personality and violent ideations, but it's clear from the beginning that Alexia is the brains behind the operation. Alexander reveres his genius sister so much that he deludes himself into thinking that he is her, taking on two personalities and occasionally playing dress-up like Norman Bates in Psycho. This reveal is one of the creepiest and most shocking moments in the series, and solidifies the Ashfords as two of the franchise's most memorable villains.
9 Crimson Heads (Resident Evil Remake)
Zombies are scary enough on their own, but Capcom decided to make them even more frightening in the Resident Evil remake. No longer could zombies be defeated just by shooting them, but players also had to burn their bodies afterwards to keep them from coming back as stronger, faster, and deadlier Crimson Heads. Crimson Heads were made even scarier by the fact that the kerosene required to burn their bodies is a scarce resource in Resident Evil, so players had to be strategic about which zombies to kill and which to avoid.
8 First Zombie (Resident Evil)
Survival-horror was still in its infancy when the original Resident Evil launched in 1996, so many players weren't used to battling grotesque beasts with limited resources. This sense of unknown combined with the horrific scene of a zombie gnawing on the corpse of fellow S.T.A.R.S. officer Kenneth J. Sullivan made players' first encounter with the undead especially unsettling. The slow turn of the zombie's head with Kenneth's blood dripping down his jaw is a ghastly sight gamers won't soon forget, and makes it one of the scariest moments in the series.
7 Hunter Decapitation (Resident Evil)
As if regular zombies and a variety of zombified animals weren't enough, Mikami and his Capcom team decided to throw players a curveball in the original Resident Evil by adding Hunters to the mix. Another experiment from the Umbrella Corporation, Hunters are bipedal lizard-like creatures with powerful claws that can potentially kill players in one hit with a brutal decapitation. The first time players encounter a Hunter is right after a particularly trying section of the game, so those unprepared may lose significant progress if they are unfortunate enough to have their head removed from their shoulders.
6 Keeper's Diary (Resident Evil)
One of the best ways Resident Evil builds tension and atmosphere is through its use of notes that players can find and read throughout the games. Perhaps the most disturbing of these is found in the first game, called the Keeper's Diary. In the Keeper's Diary, players read the inner-musings of an Umbrella scientist who becomes exposed to the T-Virus, and each subsequent entry in the diary becomes less coherent as he slowly transforms into a zombie. After reading this rather unnerving piece of literature, players are hit with the one of the game's most effective jump scares, as the Keeper himself bursts from the closet, now a member of the living dead.
5 Licker Introduction (Resident Evil 2)
Resident Evil has some of the most memorable monsters in all of gaming, and it usually gives its creatures equally memorable introductions. So is the case with the Licker, yet another twisted Umbrella experiment that first shows up in Resident Evil 2. The Licker's appearance is foreshadowed by thick globs of drool dripping from the ceiling, which leads up to an intense showdown inside the halls of the Raccoon City Police Station. The Licker's debut was one of the highlights of Resident Evil 2, and it will be exciting to see how this scene plays out in the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake.
4 Lisa Trevor (Resident Evil Remake)
2002's Resident Evil remake didn't just improve the graphics and call it good. On the contrary, it also expanded on the franchise's lore, introducing Lisa Trevor to the canon. Lisa Trevor is the daughter of the mansion's architect, who was captured by Umbrella's Oswell E. Spencer to serve as a test subject for his scientists. Lisa showed a remarkable immunity to many of Umbrella's viruses, but the experiments shaped her into a nearly-invincible monster with a penchant for wearing other people's faces. Lisa's invulnerability is similar to that of the immortal Jack Baker from Resident Evil VII, which may be a clue as to how he obtained his powers.
3 Nemesis (Resident Evil 3: Nemesis)
Nemesis is one of Umbrella's most successful projects. The hulking monstrosity was created as a smarter version of the Tyrant beasts players encountered in past games, capable of using weapons like its trademark rocket launcher, and relentlessly pursuing specific targets. In Resident Evil 3, Nemesis has a tendency to burst through walls when the players least expect it, making it one of the most intimidating creatures in gaming.
2 Villagers Attack (Resident Evil 4)
Resident Evil 4 was when the series started veering away from its horror roots and more towards an action vibe, but that doesn't mean it was without its scary moments. One of the scariest moments in the entire series is in Resident Evil 4, when players come across an entire village swarming with crazed villagers wielding axes and pitchforks. As Leon S. Kennedy, players have to survive an endless onslaught from the villagers, including a powerful one with a chainsaw, which is enough to have even the bravest gamers on their edge of their seats.
1 Zombie Dog Bursts Through Window (Resident Evil)
Resident Evil games are filled with jump scares, but people playing the original in 1996 didn't know what to expect. That's why no one saw it coming when a zombie dog burst through the window at the beginning of the game in an otherwise quiet hallway. The sound of shattering glass and the accompanying growls from the disfigured beast continue to unsettle gamers to this day, especially those that have no idea that it's coming.
Resident Evil has given gamers plenty of scares over the last 20 years, but there's more to come. Resident Evil VII is looking to bring the series back to its horror roots by exploring the new frontier of virtual reality, and based on its creepy Beginning Hour demo, there's a good chance it will be filled with scary moments that will have players jumping out of their seats. Resident Evil fans and fans of the horror genre in general should be excited to see what's next for one of the scariest franchises in all of gaming.
Which Resident Evil moment scared you the most? Let us know in the comments below.