What are the 15 best Resident Evil games?
Resident Evil is a huge series with many games that each bring something unique to the table.
However, like any other huge franchise, some games in the series have undoubtedly been better and more memorable than others.
While it wasn’t easy, we’ve created a list of only the best Resident Evil games, so keep reading to find out where your favorite ranks!
The 15 Best Resident Evil Games Ranked
This list was created by researching and comparing each game in the Resident Evil series.
The main criteria we’ve taken into account are the game’s importance in the series, gameplay quality, and overall story.
Here’s our list of the 15 best Resident Evil games:
15. Resident Evil Revelations
Originally released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, Resident Evil Revelations follows Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield as they try to uncover a plot to infect the oceans with a virus.
In single-player mode, you have to complete a series of episodes by defeating enemies and solving various puzzles.
While in multiplayer mode, the scenarios are altered so that you have to fight your way through many more enemies.
Revelations have a renewed focus on evasion tactics and survival as opposed to fast-paced exploration.
Considered by critics to have some of the best graphics on the 3DS, Revelations received an HD update in 2017 for its release on the PS4 and Xbox One.
This makes it accessible to modern players who may have missed out on playing it when it was first released.
14. Resident Evil Revelations 2
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is still one of the best PS4 games to play right now, despite having been released in 2015.
This episodic horror game sees Claire Redfield return as the protagonist, with the story being set between the events of Resident Evil 5 and 6.
Revelations 2 received a good deal of praise for its story, characters, and co-op play, though the graphics were criticized as lackluster.
The multiplayer is what makes this game stand out the most, with the game providing a fantastic cooperative experience that focuses on teamwork.
Today, both Revelations 1 and 2 are available on next-gen consoles, making them a must-play for any fan of the series.
13. Resident Evil Zero
Released in 2002, Resident Evil Zero is one of the best GameCube games of all time, and it was designed to be more difficult than others in the series at the time.
Following Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen, players have to explore a training area for employees of the Umbrella Corporation.
While it was praised for its graphics, Zero has since gotten an HD remaster, which was created by members of the original team, including director Koji Oda.
The remaster also includes an easy mode, as well as the option to play as Albert Wesker instead of Billy.
With both the original and the remake receiving high praise from critics, Resident Evil Zero stands out as one of the best games in the series that you can play today.
12. Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X
Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X is the expanded version of Code: Veronica, with 10 minutes of new cinematic sequences that explain Wesker’s connection to the Umbrella Corporation.
The core game remains largely the same, with Claire and Chris Redfield trying to survive the viral outbreak in a prison and later an Antarctic research facility.
However, there were a few graphical updates in the expansion, all of which were overhauled further in 2011 when the HD remaster was launched.
Veronica X received a lot of praise for its cinematic features and music, with some critics comparing it to a Hollywood action movie.
Currently, this game is playable on next-gen consoles, but Capcom has no plan to remake Veronica again, so don’t expect 4K graphics anytime soon.
11. Resident Evil (Remake)
This game was released in 2002 as a remake of the original Resident Evil that debuted in 1996.
Players take control of either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine in the fictional Raccoon City, where they must avoid, outsmart, or fight hordes of zombies and monstrous animals.
Often considered to be the greatest game in the series, the Resident Evil remake has received unprecedented critical and commercial acclaim, breaking sales records across the world.
As of 2022, the Resident Evil Remake has sold 3.7 million copies, and it is slated to be hitting next-gen consoles in March of 2023.
If you’re a fan of this survival horror series but haven’t yet played this remake, you are seriously missing out on a great Resident Evil game and the one that started it all.
10. Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 debuted as one of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, and it follows Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar in fictional West Africa.
While it is similar to Resident Evil 4, this game is the first in the series to be designed especially for two-player co-op gameplay.
This is also the first video game to use a virtual camera system, and all of the cutscenes were designed using motion capture technology.
Although it received a lot of positive feedback, some critics did feel that it departed from the survival horror genre, with 5 feeling more akin to popular action games.
That said, Resident Evil 5 is one of the best games in the series to play with a friend, and it has a lot of content to keep you occupied for hours.
Overall, while it does lack the survival horror vibes that fans have come to love, this game stands out due to its remarkable multiplayer.
9. Resident Evil 6
Released in 2012, Resident Evil 6 was one of the biggest installments in the series, and it gives players control of Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Jake Muller, and Ada Wong.
As Capcom’s largest production to date, this game had a production staff of 600 and sold over 10 million copies in total.
This game is complex, and it allows players to choose between four scenarios that are interwoven with unique storylines.
There is also a four-player co-op mode that allows players to join online at any time during the game.
Upon its release, Resident Evil 6 was praised for its graphics, AI, and four campaign system, each of which provided a unique experience.
Next-gen console users can play this game on either the PS5 or the Xbox Series X/S, with all DLC.
It is also available in the Resident Evil Triple Pack on both consoles, which comes along with Resident Evil 4 and 5.
8. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Featuring one of the toughest video game bosses of all time, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was first released in 1999.
In this game, players control Jill Valentine as she tries to escape a city infected by an outbreak of the T-virus.
What makes this Resident Evil 3 stand out from the others is the introduction of Nemesis, a creature that relentlessly pursuers the player throughout the game.
After its release, Nemesis received universal acclaim, particularly in regard to its graphics, gameplay, and environmental design.
Resident Evil 3 also has a lot of replayability, thanks to the numerous choices that players can make throughout the story.
If you missed out on this game when it first debuted, don’t worry because, like many other games in the series, it got a solid remake for modern consoles.
7. Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
The Resident Evil 3 Remake was released in 2020, and while it features the same premise as the original game, it does include a few notable changes.
Locations such as the clock tower, park, city hall, and graveyard were cut from the remake, as many parts of the game were rearranged to improve storytelling.
Similarly, the dialogue has been expanded, but the multiple-choice options and numerous endings were removed for a more focused and linear experience.
Critics have praised this remake for recapturing the horror and tension from the original, as well as the polished environments and HD visuals.
That said, due to the loss of multiple choices, the game did lose a lot of replayability, though the increased focus on the characters balances this out.
Despite its differences from the original, the Resident Evil 3 Remake is an overall solid game and a must-play for any fan of the franchise.
6. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was released in 2017, and it is the first game in the series to have a first-person camera view.
This game also diverges from the action-oriented past games and returns to the franchise’s survival horror roots.
Giving players control of Ethan Winters, Biohazard is set at a derelict estate occupied by the remnants of an infected family.
Like other games in the series, the story diverges based on choices that players can make, giving this title a lot of replayability.
Praised by critics for its jump scares and a general sense of prevailing unease, players are guaranteed to be on the edge of their seats throughout the entire game.
To make things even scarier, Biohazard is also VR-compatible with the PlayStation headset, which puts the horror front and center in an exciting new way.
5. Resident Evil Village
The 2021 sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Village, gives players control of Ethan Winters once again as he searches for his daughter in a mutant-infested village.
Like Resident Evil 7, Village stays true to the survival horror elements of the series but adds additional action gameplay.
This game also introduces Lady Dimitrescu, who unexpectedly rose to become one of the most popular characters, despite being one of the main antagonistic figures in the game.
Critics praised Village for its variety of gameplay and diversity of horror ideas that made the game engaging, frightening, and intense.
The changes in gameplay for each section were also well-received, as they helped prevent rigidity and repetitiveness.
Players can also unlock The Mercenaries arcade mode after completing the main game, which opens up timed stages to fight through.
All versions of the game come with Resident Evil Re:Verse, a six-player online survival battle to the death and one of the best online games to play with friends if you want a challenge.
4. Resident Evil
Released in 1996, this is the first title in the entire series, and while it is almost 30 years old, it is a classic that every hardcore fan should experience.
Created by Tokuro Fujiwara as a remake of his 1989 horror game Sweet Home, Resident Evil introduces players to Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine for the first time.
Praised for its graphics, sound, and gameplay, this game was an international hit when it debuted, and it is credited with returning zombies to popular culture.
While it was released for the original PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo DS, and PC, you can still experience it today by using one of the best Sega Saturn emulators to run it.
Using an emulator will allow you to experience the game as it was in 1996, though if old-school graphics aren’t quite your thing, you can always play the remake from 2002.
Either way, this game is a must-play for fans of the series and for anyone interested in playing a game that has helped shaped many of the modern games we enjoy today.
3. Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
A remake of the 1998 survival horror game of the same name, the Resident Evil 2 Remake, was released in 2019.
This entry in the series gives players control of Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield as the pair try to escape Raccoon City following an outbreak of the T-virus.
Critics praised this remake for its faithfulness to the original, and it even won Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick awards.
While it largely remains the same as the 1998 game, this remake adds an auto-save feature and the ability to save whenever the player is in a safe room.
However, players can also opt to play in hardcore mode, which brings back the original game’s save system that uses collectible ink ribbons.
As of January 2023, it has sold over 11.2 million copies, and this is predicted to continue climbing thanks to next-gen compatibility.
2. Resident Evil 2
Taking our number two place is Resident Evil 2, which deserves a mention of its own.
Although the remake is an incredible game, there is something uniquely special about the original that helped build the franchise into the titan it is today.
Like the remake, players control Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they try to escape Raccoon City, and players must explore, solve puzzles, and fight to progress.
Often praised for its branching paths and unique storylines, Resident Evil 2 is still regarded as one of the best video games ever made in terms of story, setting, gameplay, and replayability.
Fortunately, the original can still be played using one of the best GameCube emulators so that it can be experienced in its entirety.
While it may not be as pretty as its remade counterpart, Resident Evil 2 remains one of the greatest games in the series and one of the best examples of classic gaming at its peak.
1. Resident Evil 4
Taking our number one spot is Resident Evil 4, a title that helped shape the course of modern gaming, with its influence seen in titles like Uncharted and Mass Effect.
In Resident Evil 4, players take control of Leon Kennedy, who is attempting to rescue the president’s daughter from a dangerous cult in rural Spain.
The main enemies are villagers called Los Ganados, who can wield weapons, dodge, and communicate with each other, making them much more dangerous.
This 2005 survival horror third-person shooter is often considered one of the most popular video games of all time, selling over 11 million copies across numerous platforms.
It is also credited with popularizing the “over-the-shoulder” third-person camera view that is now used in major third-person games like The Last of Us and Dead Space.
Critics praised the gameplay, graphics, characters, and voice acting as some of the best at the time.
Resident Evil 4 also earned numerous awards, including being named the Game of the Year at the 2005 Spike Video Game Awards and by Game Informer.
There you have it! The best Resident Evil games ranked in terms of their gameplay, quality, and importance to the series.
While we’ve done our best to be subjective, we realize that not everyone may agree with each placement on our list, so we invite you to give us your thoughts down below!
That being said, Resident Evil is a huge series that has been going strong for almost three decades, and there is no denying that each of these games has shaped video game history.
If you’re a fan of the series and have missed out on any of the games on this list, we highly recommend playing them ASAP.
Here’s a quick recap of the 15 best Resident Evil games:
- Resident Evil 4
- Resident Evil 2
- Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
- Resident Evil
- Resident Evil Village
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
- Resident Evil 6
- Resident Evil 5
- Resident Evil (Remake)
- Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X
- Resident Evil Zero
- Resident Evil Revelations 2
- Resident Evil Revelations
What’s your favorite Resident Evil game? Leave a comment below!
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