Since it was first released in 1996, Resident Evil has had many highs and lows but one thing has remained constant. It’s been a fan favourite and one of the most influential franchises in the gaming world.
To date, the franchise has had upwards of 10 instalments with numerous spin-off, remakes and even a few movies in between. With so much action over the years, the game doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, which is why it’s a good idea to recap all the main Resident Evil games ever created and released.
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Release date: March 22, 1996
Supported platforms: PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, PS Vita, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, Sega Saturn
Every gaming franchise that has stood the test of time was built on the back of strong first release that not only earned love and trust from gamers but also a belief that no matter what comes, future editions would weather the storm and come out on top.
Resident Evil is not any different. When the game was first released, it was for the PlayStation before quickly being ported to other platforms over the years.
In the first instalment, the game introduces gamers to the main characters, Jill Valentine and Christ Redfield who play vital roles in all the other series. Players can choose which of the two characters they want to take up.
In this edition, the two are on a mission to investigate the first T-virus outbreak in Racoon City. Expectedly, the mechanics are not the best but even with that in mind, the edition still holds up well even in today’s market. The survival horror aspect is nailed perfectly, and the game has some of the best puzzles in the series, as well as inventory management.
Resident Evil 2
Release date: January 21, 1998
Supported platforms: Sega Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, PS Vita, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo 64
Before the dust created by the first release of the Resident Evil could settle down, the developer was ready to turn things up by following up with the second edition; Resident Evil 2.
The events in the second instalment of the franchise take place in Racoon City just two months after the events of the first game.
The game introduces two more characters; Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy who prove to be vital to the game.
Like other games, the sequel borrows heavily from the original release then improves on almost all the aspects. Even though the gameplay mechanics are almost identical, Resident Evil 2 has a ‘Zapping system’ that allows you to experience the game from the perspective of both characters.
The game has an incredible feel and won the hearts of gamers because of that unique gaming experience. The love for the sequel quickly spread and a game that was originally released for PlayStation was ported for other platforms like Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Gamecube and Sega Dreamcast.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Release date: September 22, 1999
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PSP PS Vita Nintendo GameCube, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation
The third instalment of the series is a mix of the two previous games. The events in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis take place immediately after the events in Resident Evil and just before the events in Resident Evil 2.
The game gives you a first-hand account of Jill Valentine as she tries to escape Racoon City hounded by her nemesis the titular creature.
For gamers yearning for more action which was conspicuously missing from the previous games are well taken care of in the new release. Resident Evil 3 focuses more on the action without throwing the core Resident Evil experience out the window.
Like the previous sequels, this one also got heaps of praise from critics and gamers which is why the game was eventually ported to so many other platforms.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica
Release date: February 3, 2000
Supported platforms: PlayStation2, 3, & 4, Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube, Sega Dreamcast
Code Veronica is a first in the Resident Evil franchise in more ways than one but still builds on the momentum that previous games have gathered.
The game features Claire and Redfield as the main characters and the events take place in Rockfort Island and Iceland. While the location and storyline of the game are different, the gameplay feel is very similar to that of Nemesis.
Obviously, the franchise is warming up to the idea of a fast-paced action-packed game compared to the slow, horror themes it was known for in the previous games. What’s even more exciting about Code Veronica is that it has 3D, real-time rendered environments. It’s a significant technical upgrade that provides gamers with a much better experience.
Most of the updated features of the game came in the nick of time allowing Code Veronica to offer gamers a vintage Resident Evil experience with a touch of speed and better graphics.
Resident Evil Zero
Release date: November 12, 2002
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii
After several successful releases, Capcom hit its first fatigue hurdle with Resident Evil: Zero. The game introduced some new elements like new characters in Billy Coen and Rebecca Chambers. However, the events went back to Racoon City and the sequence of events that took place before the breakout of the T-Virus.
On the gameplay front, the game remained unchanged. There were not many tweaks or updates to the engine or graphics and the fixed camera perspective still remained. It was evident that the developer needed to inject some new life into the game.
Despite the creative challenges, the game still got plenty of positive reviews. However, there were some mixed feelings as well regarding some of the new features especially the revised inventory system and the fact that the new release did not challenge puzzles.
Resident Evil 4
Release date: January 11, 2005
Supported platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 2, 3 & 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Switch
Gamers were not the only ones that thought the franchise needed re-invention, Capcom also shared the same sentiment. The result was one of the best titles in the franchise – Resident Evil 4.
The new edition features Leon as the protagonist. His goal is to save the daughter of the United States president from the clutches of a cult in rural Spain.
The change in storyline also saw the T-Virus replaced with zombies and a shoulder camera angle that made the game more immersive.
Resident Evil 4 also gave more players control on where they could aim their weapons, a feature that was not present in the previous titles.
Players could also interact with the environment by jumping over fences and through windows, ducking attacks and even using Melee weapons.
With so many changes ticking in the right boxes in the eyes of gamers, Resident Evil 4 gained critical acclaim as the best title in the franchise.
Resident Evil 5
Release date: March 5, 2009
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox 360, Nvidia Shield
For the first time, Resident Evil takes the action to Kijuju, a village in Africa infested by the Plaga Parasites that were introduced in Resident Evil 4.
Along with Chris Redfield who’s now a staple in the franchise, the game also introduces Shiva Alomar for the first time.
Despite the different setup and a new protagonist, the title doesn’t differ much from Resident Evil 4. It has the same over the shoulder camera but offers a faster pace and leans towards an action game than survival horror.
Resident Evil 5 also breaks out of the single-player approach and features a 2-player cooperative play which offers an immersive experience. However, the companion AI is not great and can take away from the experience. You can save yourself from the dampening experience by picking up another player to play alongside.
Resident Evil 5 couldn’t quite get to where Resident Evil 4 had set the bar. There’s not enough freshness with this edition and it took away too much of the horror feeling making it one of the weaker entries in the series.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Release date: February 7, 2012
Supported platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Resident Evil: Revolution is set between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The main characters are Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield who are trying to stop a bioterrorist organization from the infection of oceans with a virus. The player is also required to complete a series of puzzles and defeat multiple enemies in different scenarios.
The captivating, single-player game was released for the handheld Nintendo 3DS. It features fast-paced action with a bias on the horror roots that the franchise is best known for.
The game wasn’t as famous as Resident Evil 4 but it wasn’t a dud either. It did fairly well on the commercial market enough to see an HD version of it released a few years after.
Resident Evil 6
Release date: October 2, 2012
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3 & 4
Resident Evil 5 always carries a tag of one of the weaker links in franchise history. Somehow the developer managed to follow it up with Resident Evil 6 which takes the crown for the weakest edition in the series.
For anything the developers did right in this game, there are two more things they did wrong. Some of the new features that drew a lot of attention in the new release included the four-plyer co-op mode and an action-oriented approach.
The action in the game was over the top and it also lacked in substance and consistency in most of the modes. It was nowhere near the expectation that Resident 4 had set and somehow, managed to lower the limbo bar even further. Expectedly, critics and players didn’t have the kindest words for the release.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Release date: February 24, 2015
Supported platform: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3
Revelations 2 is a follow up of Revelation which had been released three years prior. In the new edition, Claire is the main protagonist and for the first time, Barry Burton is a playable character in a story in the main series.
The game set involves Claire and her colleagues being attacked and abducted by unknown assailants and taken to a deserted island. Most of the details about Revolutions 2 were brought forward from the first revolutions and according to critics, the graphics didn’t get a single jolt of innovation and the game had quite a number of technical issues.
The story, characters and co-op of gameplay received lots of positive reviews which the developers needed to be given how the recent release of Resident Evil 6 had gone.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Release date: January 24, 2017
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
Since the release of Resident Evil 5, Capcom was fully aware that things had to change and so they took some bold steps with Biohazard.
The premise of the game is quite familiar and follows the same blueprint as other stories in the game. The highlight event is when the protagonist Ethan Winters gets lost in an abandoned plantation occupied by a cannibal family.
But not everything in this release was the norm. For the first time, the game was on a first-person view which is even more immersive than the over the shoulder view. The horror feeling that made the game so popular was finally back with tons of claustrophobic areas and a slower pace to enhance the survivor horror feel.
In addition to the eerie feel, the game also had some challenging puzzles guaranteed to keep players locked. The game would have done with a few more weapons, however, the strategic and stealth approach fits the game perfectly.
Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
Release date: January 25, 2019
Supported platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Resident Evil 2 is a full-fledged remake. It tells the same story as the original Resident Evil 2 with a bit of re-imagination from the developers.
The game retracts back to the same OTS camera featured in Resident Evil 4 through 6 and places focus on balancing the action and horror elements of the game. The atmosphere is heavy and oppressing and the combat encounters are intense.
This remake has not only received positive reviews but also landed several awards out there. It’s definitely one of the best Resident Evil editions.
Why not play it on your Fierce Gaming PC.
Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
Release date: April 2020
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Due for release, the newest addition to the staple will feature a remake of Resident Evil 2. With the leaps and bounds made in technology and game design, it’s going to be interesting to see what the newest release has to offer especially on the technical and graphics front.
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The Resident Evil franchise is proof that having an identity is the strongest brand. By focusing on what makes the brand stand out, the franchise has successfully weathered the storm and remained relevant over the years.
There have been a few kinks and trips along the road. During these difficult times, the Capcom has sat down, brought their minds together and the next release makes gamers forget how awful the previous one was.
Whether you’re looking to burn some midnight oil or you’re an experienced gamer looking for a break from the action-themed games, Resident Evil is a must-try.