My Top 5 Picks: Resident Evil Franchise

Provided by Capcom

As the highly anticipated next installment of the Resident Evil series hits shelves in a matter of weeks, I thought it was only fitting to reminisce on the best of the saga. This means all the spin-offs and mercenary games are out.  Which, in my opinion, were all very sub par and poorly executed compared to the main titles that have debuted throughout the years. Ever since Resident Evil hit shelves in 1996, kids with a Playstation had a new sense of fear when the sun went down.  Myself included.  The face of gaming was changed as the creators of this terrifying series developed an all-new genre, survival horror; and it is not for the faint of heart ladies and gentleman.

5. Resident Evil 5

Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Provided by Capcom

The first, well in actuality, the last to round off the countdown is the latest chapter in the series, Resident Evil 5.  Now, this game received great reviews and ratings when it was released, having the brand new addition of co-op playability that definitely brought something to the series that most hadn’t realized was missing. Resident Evil 4 was certainly known for its action sequences, but this installment was so action packed with explosions, car chases, and weapon wielding enemies that most felt it was missing what was so beloved about the series…  Fear!  Now don’t get me wrong, Resident Evil 5 was great fun, but there was just no moment in the game where fear was a really over-powering element. Between all of the technically infected (non- zombies) attacking you and an over-roided Chris Redfield, it was hard to remember that this was in fact a Resident Evil game. Oh wait, there was that one slightly eerie part with lickers!  Honestly, what saved this game for me the most and kept its re-playability was the co-op addition. Without it I’m not sure how this game would have fared among the masses.

4. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Platforms: Playstation, PC, Dreamcast, Gamecube, PC

Provided by Capcom

Coming in at number four is the third installment to the series, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. By the time this hit stores across America in 1999, the Resident Evil formula was a little outdated to say the least. With creators refusal to change the clunky control scheme or freshen up any of the game play, it left little to fear. They did, however, introduce a brand new villain Nemesis, who is programmed to hunt down S.T.A.R.S members (meaning you) throughout the game. But it wasn’t enough to truly set it apart from the first two. It may also have to do with the fact that this was more an addition to Resident Evil 2, just seen from a different perspective. Whatever the case may be, this installment did not receive the rave reviews or popularity as its previous successors did. With the familiar environment of Raccoon City infested with the usual slow-moving zombies and the annoyingly terrible camera angles, it left most with the “been there, done that” feeling.

3. Resident Evil 4

Platforms: Playstation 2, Wii, Gamecube, PC, PSN, Xbox Live Arcade

Provided by Capcom

The game that finally changed it all, Resident Evil 4 gave us an evolution in the series. Everything down to the look and the feel of the game was changed…and for the better. The switch to an over-the-shoulder camera really immersed players into the world of Resident Evil, and succeeded in getting the interest of gamers who refused to deal with the outdated controls of the previous installments. Another smart move was adding more action sequences into the mix, while of course, bringing a slew of terrifying new enemy archetypes. Even the classic undead were switched out for infected humans that could run and lash out at you with weapons. The timing could not have been more perfect since Capcom had been struggling to stand out among other frightful series like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame.  Especially after the unsuccessful release of Code:Veronica, which was more of the same. Then Resident Evil 4 surprised everyone. The game has become a crossover favorite among all gamers and a new pedestal with which the series can now stand on. “Then why is this game ranked as the third best,” you ask?

Need I say more?

Provided by Capcom

2.  Resident Evil (Remake)

Platforms: Gamecube, Wii

Provided by Capcom

Most die-hard fans of the series will never forget the moment they walked into the mansion and witness the first zombie in the horrific cut-scene. Well, take this terrifying classic that started it all, but update it to enhanced realistic graphics, add in new enemies like the extra strong and quick crimson head zombies, a new boss that will forever be considered one of the creepiest (Lisa Trevor post-experimentation) and you have Resident Evil on Nintendo Gamecube. This was a brilliant move for the creators, since at this point the series was experiencing a slight slump after a string of unsuccessful titles that very few were impressed by.  Players got to relive the horrors of the beloved original but with additional twists and turns that caught original veterans off guard.

1. Resident Evil 2

Platforms: Playstation, PC, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Gamecube, PSN


Provided by Capcom

And the highly coveted #1 spot goes to a personal terrifying fear of mine, the intensely disturbing Resident Evil 2.  This is where the developers really honed in on their survival horror formula. Scrapping their original story line and graphics to do a complete overhaul on the highly anticipated sequel had really paid off. Resident Evil 2 was an instant success that took the series from the enclosed environment of the Spencer Mansion, to the open expanse of Raccoon City post-catastrophe. It also introduced us to two brand new characters, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, who both have their own separate campaign to play through.  This gaming device introduced a whole new dynamic to the game.  Players instantly felt the horrifying difference as the game begins with you in the middle of Raccoon City, surrounded by zombies and 10 bullets to spare. This is the very definition of survival horror that made the Resident Evil series into one of the most successful franchises in the gaming industry.

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