25 years on from its debut, Resident Evil has gone on to become one of gaming’s biggest franchises. So we thought we’d take the main entries from the series and place them in order from worst to best.
When you think of survival horror, the name that usually springs to mind is Resident Evil. It not only elevated the genre but cemented it in history.
During the years we’ve gone from the terrifying Spencer Mansion, to the scorching sands of Africa, back to a house owned by a sadistic and corrupted family. Resident Evil has had a lasting impression on the world that people still crave to this day.
So here we go, we’re taking the mainline games and we are ranking them from worst to best.
Resident Evil games tier list
We’re going to take a moment to assign each of the Resident Evil games an official tier before we rank the main games. There’s plenty to chew on here, but which are the cream of the crop?
Here is our official tier list of all of the Resident Evil games in alphabetical order:
- S-Tier: Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: Code Veronica
- A-Tier: Resident Evil 1, Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil: Revelations
- B-Tier: Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil 3 Remake, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil: Revelations 2
- C-Tier: Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil 6, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Umbrella Corps
Just to explain the system, our S-Tier games are the best-of-the-best, the A-Tier ones are great, the B-Tier games are just missing something, and C-Tier ones are not worth your time
Resident Evil’s main games ranked
8. Resident Evil 6
The entry that was so poorly recieved that Capcom decided enough was enough and decided to reboot the franchise altogether with Resident Evil 7.
While Resident Evil 6 did offer a tremendous amount of content with multiple different campaigns to play through, the game’s tonal shift towards action-adventure went overboard. The action became too much and the series’ identity became lost.
7. Resident Evil 3
The first of our remake dilemmas. The remake is underwhelming and lacks a lot of the content of the original. Whereas the original is still good, but it didn’t differ too much from Resident Evil 2.
Nemesis was definitely a marked improvement over Tyrant/Mr.X, but between the half-baked remake and a less-evolved sequel, Resident Evil 3 could’ve been more.
6. Resident Evil 5
Definitely the most under-appreciated and unfairly maligned entry in the series. It’s regarded as the game that took the series off the rails, despite the fact Resident Evil 4 actually did this.
Nevertheless, Resident Evil 5 is a more than solid third-person shooter that still manages to retain some of its iconic horror elements. If played in single-player then Sheva is a less-than useless AI companion. But in co-op, Resident Evil 5 possesses many qualities – and Chris Redfield punching a boulder.
5. Resident Evil 7
After the negative reception to Resident Evil 6, Capcom tore up the playbook and started from scratch. Resident Evil 7 returned to its horror roots with limited ammo, a larger emphasis on item management, and health preservation. It also debuted a new first-person perspective that made the game feel more intimate and disturbing.
The Baker family proved to be an excellent folly for the new protagonist, Ethan. They were infinitely creepy and certainly restored the game’s horror aesthetic. Criticism can be directed towards the game’s final third as it deviates away from the early game’s puzzles and slower pace.
4. Resident Evil 1
The beginning of 25 years of madness. A green Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine are tasked with investigating the mysteries of the Spencer Mansion and encounter a lot of grim troubles along the way.
Resident Evil was revolutionary with its exquisite blend of puzzles and edge-of-your-seat gameplay. It suffered a bit with awkward, tank-like controls and an extremely limited inventory (albeit a deliberate design choice).
3. Resident Evil Code: Veronica X
Despite not having a number, Code Veronica is very much a main game in the series, and it’s a pretty good one at that.
The formula really evolved with Code Veronica as the trademark fixed angles were allowed a bit more freedom, and the game boasted much-improved visuals all-around.
It’s still held back by outdated tank controls, and the cutscenes and dialogue are comically over-the-top, but Code Veronica is still one of the best Resident Evil games to follow the old-school format of exploring and puzzle-solving.
2. Resident Evil 4
For many people, this is still the magnum opus of the franchise. Leon Kennedy spear-headed a mad new direction for the games, taking us from mansions and zombies to hostile villagers in Spain.
To this day, few third-person games manage to get nearly every aspect of their game correct as Resi 4 does. It was a breath of fresh air and injected new life into the name. Aside from babysitting Ashley and perhaps going overboard towards the end of the game, Resident Evil 4 is an incredible game.
1. Resident Evil 2
Given how much content there is, how much it improved upon the first game, and its superb journey, Resident Evil 2 – both old and remake – is the pinnacle of the Resi games.
We’re focusing particularly on the remake as it took a fantastic game and turned it into perfection. Removing the tank controls, giving the graphics a slick coat of stunning graphics, and updating Tyrant all contribute to a superb Resident Evil game. Add in the different ways to play the campaign and you have the best Resident Evil game in the series.
That completes our list. These are the Resident Evil games tiered and ranked. Be sure to check out the GTA games ranked from worst to best too!
Image credits: Capcom
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