My relationship with Resident Evil started in 1998, around the time the second game was released. My brothers and I were too young to be playing it but we’d managed to convince our mum to get us a copy of the first game now that it had gone Platinum and was only £20. Thank you HMV for not being too hot on asking who the game was for!
Perched on the edge of the bottom bunk in front of our 14″ CRT, we waited. What followed was the start of a fascination with a franchise that has both amazed and frustrated. Several times I’ve been on the verge of giving up with the series, but it’s still here and I’m still playing it 19 years later.
I’ve played a fair few of the games in that time so thought I’d rank them. Starting with the worst, Part One of covers entries 12-7. It’s all subjective mind you. Let me know what you think in the comments!
#12 – Resident Evil Survivor – PS1, 2000
For a long time I thought Resident Evil 6 was the worst of the series. However as I looked up all of the games to remind myself of release dates I remembered that I’d played this.
Long before RE7 introduced the first person view in a terrifying way, Survivor forced the arcade shooter style onto the style of the original games with little thought given to how they’d combine. It wasn’t even able to make use of a light gun! The enemies looked as bored as I was. A badly designed and poorly thought through game that does nothing for the series.
#11 – Resident Evil 0 – GameCube, 2002
I had to google what happened in Resident Evil 0 to remind myself what happened. That’s how interesting I found it. Capcom had found a way to make a game set around the most popular time in the chronology without wrecking the story they’d already told. The problem with that is RE0 doesn’t really add anything. I don’t care about Rebecca Chambers or Billy Coen. Zapping between characters was novel at the time but ultimately doesn’t add anything. There’s no denying that it’s a very nice looking game though. RE0 didn’t leave much of an impression, other than the feeling that Capcom wasted time sticking story where there didn’t need to be any.
#10 – Resident Evil 6 – Xbox 360, 2012
RE6 was the ultimate culmination of the ideas introduced in RE4. It is truly the antithesis of the original trilogy as Survival Horror is fully replaced with Dramatic Horror.
I really wanted to see the meeting between Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy. Perhaps it could never really live up to expectations but surely it could have been better than this. By this point the chronology and history of the series had become convoluted; so much so that some characters have had children and other younger characters have become badass agents themselves. It’s as though none of them can get away from it.
Nivens made for a half decent new addition – NIVEEEENNSSSS – but overall the only saving grace was getting to laugh at it via co-op. An overly bombastic and numbing affair.
#9 – Resident Evil – Code: Veronica – PS2, 2001
At the time I was really excited. Capcom had finally stepped back from their Nintendo exclusivity and we were getting games again. Yay! Weird name aside, CV took the first steps away from the old style as the camera started to follow Claire Redfield along corridors. But it suffered from two main issues. Firstly everything looked as though it was made from plastic. Having neither the cruder pixels of the original games or the realism of later entries left it in an odd spot. The bigger problem was the story. Claire isn’t the biggest draw for me, and bringing Wesker back as someone from the Matrix leaves me with mixed feelings. Oh, and there’s Steve Burnside. Stupid gold Lugers.
#8 – Resident Evil 4 – PS2, 2005
For me this is where it all started to go wrong. RE4’s success with floppy hair, QTEs and Las Plagas paved the way for the series to move away from its roots. Perhaps it needed refreshing as Veronica hadn’t really delivered, but it didn’t do it for me. The action was frantic at times with the newer, faster enemies really putting the pressure on. I distinctly remember feeling panicked as I climbed onto rooftops, fumbling around for head shots. It looked good and the controls were far better, but no thank you. This isn’t Resident Evil to me, even if it was more interesting than some of what had come before.
I’ve seen RE4 put up on a pedestal over the years and I’ve never understood why. Zombies had always been intrinsically linked with the games and taking them out didn’t sit well with me, but regardless of that the rest of the game just didn’t stick with me in the same way it seems to have the majority.
#7 – Resident Evil: Revelations – Xbox 360, 2012
Revelations started out as a 3DS game. I played it later when it made the impressive jump to home consoles. Having played it after 4 and 5 I was extremely pleased to see not only a return to surviving, but we could finally move and shoot at the same time! For highly trained individuals it always seems a bit odd that they’re movement was so limited. Being able to back away slowly and fire off a few rounds was very satisfying.
Plus it’s always good to see Chris and Jill together! The Queen Zenobia proved an eerie setting in a game that may not have reached the highest echelons of survival horror but was a very positive step in the right direction. Faith partially restored. It seems a bit harsh to have Revelations in the bottom half of the list to be honest.
If you vehemently disagree or think this is spot on let me know! Watch out for Part two and the rest of the list where I share my favourite Resident Evil game!