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Which Resident Evil game is best?

When the first “Resident Evil” game was released in 1996 for the PlayStation, it represented a major shift in the industry. The game received universal praise for redefining the survival horror genre and helped revive the zombie genre in pop culture. Since then, the game has inspired a franchise of games as well as movies, TV shows, toys and even stage plays.

While there are dozens of Resident Evil games, including all the remakes and spinoffs, we believe that the best Resident Evil game is the remake of the original “Resident Evil,” released in 2002. Not only does the remake pay homage to the title that started it all, but it enhanced the game for a new generation of players to enjoy.

What to know before you buy a Resident Evil game

“Resident Evil” is the quintessential survival horror game

If you’re looking for a game to scare the wits out of you, then Resident Evil games can give you a master class in horror. The game is perfect at not only throwing terrifying monsters at you but striking a fine balance between empowering you and making you feel completely helpless. Sure, there are a few jump scares here and there, but the game’s true horror lies in the suspense of what will happen around the next corner. 

The original game was a lot harder and arguably scarier

Back in the PS1 days, games were not in high definition but were polygonal and pixelated. Ironically, this only made the games even more frightening, as it left a lot of the details up to the imagination. It also had a much harder control scheme that made you turn before you moved (called tank controls), which reinforced the feeling of helplessness. Starting with “Resident Evil 4,” the game series has shifted to become more action-oriented with simplified control schemes. 

The mainline games are known for experimenting with new features

“Resident Evil 2” introduced branching paths for unique storylines. “Resident Evil 4” revolutionized game cameras with an over-the-shoulder camera angle. “Resident Evil 5” added co-op gameplay, and “Resident Evil 7” added support for virtual reality. Although each game maintains an ongoing story throughout the whole series, each game also manages to shake up the franchise formula in its own way.

What to look for in a quality Resident Evil game

Survival horror

The best Resident Evil games double down on the series’ survival horror origins. The games are at their finest when players are forced to explore an unknown location, solve dark puzzles and fight or avoid zombies. Some of the newer titles or spinoffs stray from survival horror and focus more on action setpieces.

Platform support

Resident Evil games have been released on almost every single platform since 1996. The original title was released on the PS1, but “Resident Evil 4” was a GameCube exclusive. Today most of the games have received ports or remakes for modern consoles or PC, although some titles have remained on their original system and have never been ported or remade, such as “Resident Evil Outbreak.” 


The mainline Resident Evil games focus on a group of people fighting against Umbrella Corp., a pharmaceutical company responsible for developing viruses as bio-weapons. Each title tends to focus on the story from a different angle or a different character’s point of view. In some titles, depending on which character you choose to play and how successful you are, you may witness unique events or even completely different endings. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Resident Evil game

Expect to spend about $10 on older copies of the earlier Resident Evil games. You can also pay up to $60 for a brand new Resident Evil game on the newest consoles. 

Resident Evil FAQ

Can you play co-op?

A. Depends on which game you choose. “Resident Evil” 5 and 6, “Revelations 1” and “Revelations 2” all featured offline cooperative play, whereas “Resident Evil Outbreak 1,” “Outbreak File 2” and “Resistance” feature online co-op only. 

Can you play online?

A. Once again, it depends on which titles you pick. “Resident Evil” 5 and 6, “Revelations 2,” “Operation Raccoon City,” “Umbrella Chronicles,” “Darkside Chronicles,” “Umbrella Corps” and “Outbreak Files” 1 and 2 all have online multiplayer. 

What’s the best Resident Evil game to buy?

Top Resident Evil game

Resident Evil Origins Collection (PS4/Xbox One)

Resident Evil Origins Collection (PS4/Xbox One)

What you need to know: Featuring both the “Resident Evil” remake and “Resident Evil 0,” this collection is ideal for both newcomers and fans looking to return to the original game. 

What you’ll love: Fans will be pleased to know that the original game has been remastered with 1080p support and has new difficulty settings for new players.

What you should consider: “Resident Evil 0” has received less acclaim compared to the “Resident Evil” remake. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Resident Evil game for the money

Resident Evil Triple Pack (Nintendo Switch)

Resident Evil Triple Pack (Nintendo Switch)

What you need to know: A collection of “Resident Evil” 4, 5 and 6, plus map packs, special costumes and game modes. 

What you’ll love: Play alone (“Resident Evil 4”), with a partner (“Resident Evil 5”) or online (“Resident Evil 6”), all on the go with the Nintendo Switch.

What you should consider: “Resident Evil 6” was a major departure and is considered by many to be the worst in the mainline titles.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Gold Edition

Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Gold Edition 

What you need to know: “Resident Evil 7” sees the title return to its survival horror roots, while its first-person perspective is sure to bring a more immersive experience.

What you’ll love: The Gold Edition includes the base game as well as three pieces of DLC content with completely new maps and stories to uncover. It also has a virtual reality mode if you have the necessary equipment.

What you should consider: This is the first title in the series to be played in the first-person perspective, which may make some people motion sick. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Leo Herrera-Lim writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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