Mainline Resident Evil Games Ranked

Resident Evil has had its fair share of ups and downs, I don’t think anyone can argue against that. We’ve seen some stellar additions to the series, and we’ve seen some less than favorable installations. By and large, however, the entire franchise has kept itself strong over the course of the last two decades and although not everyone agrees to the changes that have been made, there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s a favorite for everyone. With that said, we’ve listed the mainline Resident Evil games from best to least best.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica – Trailer

Resident Evil Code Veronica holds a special place in my heart. It almost lost top spot on this list to Resident Evil 2, but due to the (in my opinion) outstanding setting and creepy cast of characters, it nabbed top prize. Special mention goes to the game’s pacing here, as well as its diverse pool of enemies and its over-the-top plot. That, and I could watch Wesker getting his ass handed to him a million times over and never grow bored of it.

Resident Evil 2 – Trailer

This is where the series truly came into light as far as I’m concerned. Yes, Resident Evil set the foundations in place, but its very isolated location wasn’t a scratch in comparison to Raccoon City in my opinion. That, and the ever so looming presence of Mr. X was every bit as daunting as it was intimidating. Furthermore, the sheer level of replay value when moving from Leon’s campaign to Claire’s campaign, and vice versa, was simply epic.

Resident Evil: Nemesis – Trailer

Much like Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil: Nemesis trumps Resident Evil as far as its setting, its enemies and its cast of characters goes. Sure, it was very much inline with its immediate predecessor in regards to its design and pacing, but even so, that was never a bad thing. That, and Nemesis’ constant flurry of attacks and random encounters excelled the game’s antagonist to heights that no other Resident Evil antagonist has quite topped since.

Resident Evil – Trailer

Resident Evil arguably shaped survival horror back in the day. Despite some painfully awful voice acting (Barry, no wonder you’re absent lately), Resident Evil went on to lay the foundation of two decades worth of releases – and decades more if I have my way. My main beef with the game is that it’s really only interesting the first time you play it, after that, it grows a little stale. Though, even so, it’s one hell of a decent horror nonetheless.

Resident Evil 4 – Trailer

Resident Evil 4, what a terrific game. This is where Resident Evil shifted from fixed cameras to third-person perspective, and to great effect too. Many regard this as the very best installation in the series, however for me, its step away from horror and its step towards action hindered the series’ identity. It’s an exceptional game with some absolutely smashing moments, but for the above reason, I couldn’t place it anywhere higher in this list.

Resident Evil Zero – Trailer

I’ve run through Resident Evil Zero once, and once only. It’s one of the only two Resident Evil games that I’ve only completed one time. Not because it’s a bad game, but because much like Resident Evil it’s only fun the first time round. This opinion will naturally alter from fan to fan, but as far as I’m concerned, Zero is a one trick pony. Brilliant in its own way, but nowhere near as engaging as the rest of the entry titles in the series.

Resident Evil VII – Trailer

Resident Evil VII’s initial reveal took the world by surprise. Capcom’s shift from third-person perspective to first-person perspective, as well as their new RE Engine, impressed fans and critics alike, the world over. Sadly its release didn’t quite meet sales expectations, but even so, there’s no denying that VII is one of the most haunting entries the series has seen. That, and the outstanding cast (Baker family, you eerie bastards) really helped to set the stage.

Resident Evil 5 – Trailer

This is where Resident Evil began to lose its way. Following on from Resident Evil 4 and keeping the third-person perspective design choice, Resident Evil 5 just took things too far. Capcom’s decision to take a giant leap away from horror and a massive leap towards action, didn’t fare too well with the crowd. Far from a terrible game, but even further from what one would describe as a true survival horror. More explosions does not equate to scarierโ€ฆ

Resident Evil 6 – Trailer

Ah, Resident Evil 6, you vanity rich spoiled little shit. Praise needs to be given to the size of the game, and its individual campaigns, but damn, that’s about as much praise as I’ll extend. Resident Evil 6 may be one of the best selling Capcom games of all time, but even so, its poor reception drove Capcom into moving the series in new directions thereafter. This game is garbage. Its AI is garbage, its is (mostly) garbage, and everything else in between.

So, there you have it. Our list of mainline Resident Evil games compiled from top to bottom, best to least best. I refuse to say best to worst, because in fairness, they all have a home in someone’s heart. Let’s hope Resident Evil 2’s remake shapes up to be every bit as engaging as its origin title. Would you agree with this list? Perhaps you would swap some around in place of another? Did you prefer the spin-off titles better than the mainline titles? Be sure to head on over to the comment section below to get in on the proverbial action folks.

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I've been playing games for as long as I can care to remember. Here at Xbox Tavern, I write news, reviews, previews and more. I'm a long time Final Fantasy fan, I can camp like you've never seen before in most FPS, and if I'm on a racing game, I tend to purposely trade paint. Feel free to add me - Gamertag: Kaloudz

6 Comments

  1. Except for Code Veronica (which I have not played), I agree with your list.
    Have you played RE Revelations 2? After some poor RE installments (RE 5 and RE 6) I thought RE 2 Revelations kind of refreshing. At the time, it remind me of RE 2 and I really enjoyed playing it. Where does it stand in your list? I would put it right after RE 4.

    Reply
    • Oh snap! I totally forgot about the Revelations! Yes, wholeheartedly agree, they would go after RE4 on this list. So, you looking forward to the remake of 2?

      Reply
      • Oh boy!
        Better narrative, better voice acting, better graphics, better game mechanics (leaving behind that tank like movement scheme), new puzzles and level layout. Therefore, yes! I’m looking forward to play this game. Too bad I won’t be able to do so until my next vacations ๐Ÿ™

        Reply
        • Ah shame! You got long to wait?

          Me, I just hope there’s some easter eggs. I really loved the ones that were present in the original ๐Ÿ˜€

          Reply
          • I’ll have to wait until July, at least ๐Ÿ™
            But I managed to get my hands on the “1-shot demo” and I have to say that I really liked it.
            Judging by the teaser at the end of the demo, tofu mode will be available too, but I certainly don’t have the skills necessary to unlock it anymore ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Haha! I never had the skills the first time around. I was that kid that was always like “Tofu? The hell you on about?”.

            I’m really curious as to whether the game has been built for speedruns. I remember the classics, with their grading systems and such. I miss those!

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