The Resident Evil series has admittedly had its ups and downs throughout its renowned history. With a whopping total of twenty-four games (and counting), fans have watched as it was molded and mutated into a variety of different outcomes. I want to discuss the gems of the franchise — the games that I believe are the best out of the entire series.

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8. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

The Darkside Chronicles isn’t considered a main part of the series’ canon; it’s an on-rails shooter that takes you back through the dark and creepy Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica. What The Darkside Chronicles did, to many gamers’ surprise, was bring back Jack Krauser with fan-favorite Leon Kennedy. They blast their way through a thrilling, never-before-seen mission called “Operation Javier.” The game was packed with content that any Resident Evil fan could enjoy.

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7. Resident Evil: Zero

Zero was released exclusively on the GameCube in 2002 and stayed true to the survival horror genre. Most of the game took place on a train, making the player feel dangerously claustrophobic and uneasy about his or her every move; it was never known what was lurking around each corridor. Classic Resident Evil games give such an eerie feeling that other games in the horror genre aren’t able match. Whether it was the zombies trying to eat you or the iconic fixed camera trying to kill you, the game always had you on your toes.

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6. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Nemesis brought you back to Raccoon City, the setting in which Resident Evil 2 occurred. This time around, you played as Jill Valentine during her fight to escape the city that is on the brink of a nuclear attack. Nemesis, the primary antagonist of the story, terrorized Jill the entire way until she safely reached a safe haven. When the frightening music began to play, the player always knew it was time to run. The spine-shivering moments when Nemesis arrived was something developers today still attempt to capture.

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5. Resident Evil: Code Veronica X

Resident Evil: Code Veronica was originally released on the Sega Dreamcast. Eighteen months after release, Capcom decided to bring a slightly enhanced version entitled Code Veronica X to the PlayStation 2. Although it was not a numeral titled game, the game was nothing short of a full-fledged Resident Evil title. Its environments were larger and more diverse than any Resident Evil game preceding it. The game also featured beautifully rendered cut scenes that were truly a cinematic experience. The graphics and presentation were remarkable for a 2001 game.

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4. Resident Evil: Revelations

In a sense, Revelations was the Resident Evil 6 that fans were hoping for. It’s completely fascinating that Capcom was able to get a game of this quality on a handheld device. However, a little over a year after the 3DS release, Capcom decided to bring Revelations to the console space. It brought together the perfect combination of terror, action, and puzzles, and is hands down the best recent Resident Evil game to hit store shelves. If I had to recommend a Resident Evil game for someone who has never played any of them, it would be this one.

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3. Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 took what was so great from the original and opened things up on a much grander scale. Goodbye, spooky mansion; hello, zombie-infested city. You played as Leon Kennedy while he fights his way through hoards of zombies, solving puzzles along the way. Resident Evil 2 had a positive reception, probably due to what it deviated from in the original. Entering the gritty Raccoon City after the destructive outbreak and being accompanied by a haunting musical score is something that many gamers will not forget.

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2. Resident Evil (GameCube)

I’ll admit that the original Resident Evil probably wouldn’t have made it to the number two spot on my list if it weren’t for the remarkable remastered version that released on the GameCube in 2002. Let’s face it: this game was bad-ass! It took everything from the original and completely revamped it. Not only was the remake the scariest version of the original Resident Evil, but without a doubt the scariest game in the franchise’s entire history. If you have never had the chance to play the original on GameCube, fret not! Capcom has recently announced they are bringing the “REmake” to PS3, PS4, XBO, 360, and PC.

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1. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 was the biggest turning point in the franchise. While some gamers say it’s where the series started to lose its sense of horror, many thought the new perspective of the camera and the overall scope was something masterful. The enemies varied from creepy to “Holy crap, what the hell is that thing!?” and the bosses were vicious enough to make you buy a night light. You are completely engrossed from beginning to end, from upgrading all your weapons to following the somewhat cheesy storyline. Everything felt perfect and had a sense of nuance to it. I can babble on about how incredible this game is, but that’s pointless, because you already know this! If you don’t, go play it!

Written by Brett Medlock