My Top-5 Resident Evil Games
I’ve been playing a lot of Resident Evil as of late and so I felt it was high time I listed my favourite games from the series.
Although I’ve shown my affection for the Resident Evil movies a lot on this blog, I’ve actually only gotten into the RE games in a serious fashion during the past six years or so. Before that, my experiences had been limited to a very short session of RE2 and playing RE4 on the GameCube. However, now I wanna show off the games of this series I happen to like the best.
Let’s keep the intro short for once and get on with it…
Let’s start with the entry that I’m pretty sure next to no-one really bothered playing, but Resident Evil Zero is a bit of a gem of a title. It captures all the classic RE vibe you could want but also includes two very interesting elements. Firstly, the game features co-op between two characters (in this game Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen), but unlike in other RE games, you can actually switch which one to play as on the fly. You are also required to do this as Rebecca possesses certain skills Billy lacks and vice versa.
The other notable aspect is that the game doesn’t feature item boxes, which forces you to really think which items you want to take with you, but conversely you can also drop items which frees up your inventory, which is definitely a nice feature to have.
Also, I think the game really comes the closest to re-creating the true horror vibe of the original which in itself is even more impressive. And people know that I happen to like Rebecca quite a bit. That being said however, Resident Evil Zero is pretty merciless with its difficulty. Several regular enemies take quite a lot of hits to kill and you have to be careful where you leave items or you might end up getting boned. Even so, I just enjoy the characters and the atmosphere of this game way more than RE3, Code: Veronica or RE6.
Resident Evil 5 is the middle-instalment of the trio of games featuring the more action-oriented gameplay style and teams Chris Redfield with the steaming hot Sheva to fight fast-moving zombies in Africa. Other slimy creatures try to get you, you traverse through many colourful locations such as temples, swamps and villages to finally take down Albert Wesker and his maniacal plot.
RE5 amped-up the action a lot from RE4 and while some people might have enjoyed it, I kind of hate how the game now lacks the calm atmosphere of the prior games. That being said, shooting up the Ouroboros-zombies and other nasties is a lot of fun and the game even brought back some elements of puzzle solving for instance (which were painfully absent in the last game). However, they also brought back the annoying fiddling about with your inventory which I was never a fan of, but I suppose it added more challenge to the gameplay.
The game is also now stage-based which kind of annoyingly highlights the game’s enhanced linearity, but at the same time, some people may actually prefer this streamlined style (as opposed to getting lost and stuck like in prior instalments). Sure, there were some pretty meh sections to the game, but the gameplay over-all was just loads of fun and I really enjoyed the locales. It’s not a perfect game, but definitely one of the most fun titles from the series.
3. Resident Evil 2
RE2 sees you control either officer Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield, as you try to survive the horrors of the T-virus infected Raccoon City, the G-virus enhanced Dr. Birkin and safely escape from the city while killing as many nasty creatures as you can. RE2 followed on the same basic design as the first game and, in that, was a rather unadventurous sequel – but it does have some gameplay advantages.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse was one of my lesser favourite RE movies for the same reason I find RE2’s setting kinda dumb. Escaping a zombie-infested city really shouldn’t be a hassle and I find a lot of the locations in this game (save for the police station) kinda dull and uninteresting. However, the variety of creatures from the iconic Lickers to those freaky plant-monsters is actually kinda cool. Plus, Leon and Claire are now both very playable characters as Leon doesn’t suffer from Chris’s debilitating lack of pockets.
And while the RE games’ stories are complete rubbish (and this game’s plot is even a little melodramatic) I do like the character interactions (especially in Leon’s story) which are also mostly quite interesting. However, the game’s bad voice-acting isn’t as entertainingly bad as it was in the first game and, like I said, the locales are honestly a bit dull – even if the music and creatures are cool. I still had a really good time with this game.
RE4 was the game that introduced the more action-oriented Resident Evil gameplay style but it’s also, hands down, the scariest of the action-RE titles. As Leon Kennedy, you’re trying to rescue the daughter of the President of the United States Ashley and have to contend with fast-moving, weapon wielding Las Plagas zombies, giant monstrosities, mutant doggies, freak shows with chainsaws and a lot of other nastiness.
The game is really good at putting you on edge and even though the game got a little brain-dead, there are many great locations and more disturbing shit that makes you feel ill at ease. Also, the voice-acting has that wonderful cheese factor to it with many characters deliciously over-acting their lines. It’s a shame that the dialogue in RE5 and 6 was so straight-faced (for the most part) since it would have made those games more memorable.
And okay, so this game is a bit linear too, even though you actually get to revisit locations through the game. RE4 is another hellishly enjoyable game and actually made me a fan of Leon, even if he’s kind of a poor man’s Solid Snake in this game. Oh yeah, and how could I forget the awesome, mysterious salesman. Really missed that in RE5.
Yeap, the original McCoy is my favourite. As if you didn’t know, in this game you take control of either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine and try to find an escape from a mansion where you’re trapped by zombie dogs. You discover all manner of evil creatures from giant spiders to those bastard Hunters, until you discover an underground lab containing the most heinous creation of the Umbrella corporation.
The original concept of the RE games, where you had to conserve your ammo for boss-fights and make smart decisions while exploring the zombie-infested mansion was so simple but brilliant, it makes me sad that it wasn’t really fully recreated so well in future games. The spooky mansion worked so great as a setting that it’s really hard to top (although RE4 and RE5 did do a pretty good job). The game is really good about not making you feel safe, even if the enemies aren’t quite as deadly as in future games. Plus, I just love the exploration aspect, how parts of the mansion only slowly open up to you.
Sure, Chris is a pain to play as but you should really take it as an extra challenge rather than anything else. Another great element is the brilliantly cheesy voice-acting which really gives the game a whole lot of charm. And okay, I know I gave the game’s remake a bit of a hard time, so I’ll just say that if you have trouble with the gameplay or the graphics of the original – you’ll definitely enjoy the remake a whole lot more (even if it’s missing the afore-mentioned cheesy voice-acting).
This game is just pure survival horror goodness and I love it.