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10 best Resident Evil games, ranked

Best Resident Evil games - Resident Evil 7
(Image credit: Capcom)

Not every Resident Evil game is made the same. That's why we have ranked the top 10 best Resident Evil games, to try and give you some idea of which titles you should try to play before Resident Evil 8 lands later this year. Resident Evil has been scarring generations of players for 25 years. In that time, the series has enjoyed gradual iteration and endured wild transformation. It's a series with no fewer than 25 mainline installments, remakes, reimaginings, and weird spin-offs bearing its name. 

Most of the titles in our best Resident Evil games ranking are available on most modern platforms, although there is a handful that never escaped the fifth generation of video game consoles. If anything, that merely speaks to the staying power Resident Evil has exhibited over the years. So why not settle in, take a look at our considerations for the best Resident Evil games, and send your complaints to the usual place. 

10. Resident Evil (1996)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil wasn't the first survival horror game, but it established a solid foundation that the genre would build upon for years to come. Abandoned in the Arklay Mountains, what remains of the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team is forced to crawl through the claustrophobic corridors of the Spencer Estate in search of a solution to the deadly viral outbreak ravaging Raccoon City. What follows is an atmospheric adventure that is remembered fondly for its ingenious architectural puzzles, punishing focus on survival, limited resources, and beloved characters that help enshrine this game as legend. 25 years later, the original Resident Evil remains one of the greatest horror games of all time. 

Available on PC, PS1, Sega Saturn

9. Resident Evil Revelations 2 (2015)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil Revelations 2 felt like something of a homecoming, particularly after the cinematic action-focus the series had become enamored with following the success of Resident Evil 5. Designed around cooperative play and initially released as an episodic adventure, Revelations 2 was able to take the over-the-shoulder gunplay popularized by Resident Evil 4 and ground it once again in a world of survival and horror. Resident Evil Revelations 2 remains an entertaining side attraction to the mainline series, a way to spend some additional time with fan-favorite characters and get a sense of how the series may have evolved had Capcom taken it down a different path. 

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One

8. Resident Evil Zero (2002)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil Zero landed on GameCube as an exclusive in 2002, and it sought to fill out some essential gaps in the Resident Evil timeline. Specifically, Capcom used this as a vehicle to explore what happened to the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team in the Arklay Mountains and give some much-needed character to Rebecca Chambers. Resident Evil Zero is the last game of its kind, faithfully utilizing fixed-camera perspectives, mechanical combat and controls, and suffocating scenario design, though it did create some distance with past games by introducing a unique 'partner-zapping' system that added a wrinkle to progression and resource management. 

Available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

7. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis found success in its capacity to subvert expectations. The introduction of Nemesis, an unkillable monstrosity that made the streets of Raccoon City more deadly than ever before, made it so there was never a safe place to hide; triggering a door animation would create a little distance, sure, but never a feeling that you were truly safe from harm. In presenting a world thick with tension, along with improved combat mechanics and mobility options, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is one of those rare survival horror games that grips you within minutes and never dares to let you loose. 

Available on PC

6. Resident Evil – Code: Veronica X (2001)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil – Code: Veronica was originally designed to carry the Resident Evil series into the future. While Nemesis ultimately landed with 'Resident Evil 3' emblazoned across its title screen, it's clear today that Code: Veronica was deserving of the title. It introduced real-time 3D environments and a more dynamic camera to sit in them, furthering Resident Evil's foray into action territory without exorcising the spirit of survival that embodied its core scenario design. Code: Veronica closed out Resident Evil's first chapter; it's a time-capsule that honors Resident Evil's past and hints at where it will go in the future.

Available on PS3, Xbox 360

5. Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

To play Resident Evil 2 Remake is to look through a window into an alternate history. The way it is able to coalesce the methodical challenge of the original Resident Evil games with the tight over-the-shoulder third-person combat popularized Resident Evil 4 shows where the series could (and should) have gone after Capcom changed the nature of play in 2005. It's a stunning love-letter to the legacy of Resident Evil 2 and fearless in its attempt to make the past feel fresh for the present. Resident Evil 2 Remake is an incredible reimagining of a legendary game that stands as one of the best in the long-running series.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One

4. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Following the disappointment of Resident Evil 6, the future of the series seemed uncertain. It had gotten too messy and convoluted for its own good, a series bloated by time and expectation. It's in this environment that Resident Evil 7 was born, a true overhaul that kickstarted a new era for the Resident Evil series. Cast from a first-person perspective, set in an intricately-designed single-set location, framed around a core set of monstrous (and no less larger than life) characters, and a return to the survival horror foundations the series was first built upon, Resident Evil 7 emerged as one of the best horror games of the modern era.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One

3. Resident Evil 2 (1998)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Creating the foundation for a successful franchise is one thing; developing a successful sequel to it is something else entirely. Resident Evil 2 took the suspenseful action of its predecessor and the suffocating atmosphere that lingered in the Spencer Estate and draped it across a sprawling city under siege from the living dead. Resident Evil 2 is an ingenious survival horror game, bringing meticulously crafted spaces together with perfectly paced scenario design to form an experience that's as gripping today as it was in 1998. Resident Evil 2 is one of the greatest sequels ever made and the game that established Resident Evil's place in history as one of gaming's best series. 

Available on PC, PS1, Dreamcast, GameCube

2. Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil 4 is arguably the greatest action game of all time and undoubtedly one of the most important releases of the last two decades. When it arrived in 2005, Resident Evil 4 was a sweeping reinvention of the Resident Evil framework, the camera's perspective fixed firmly over the shoulder of Leon S. Kennedy. It's perfectly paced and utterly relentless, an experience designed to overwhelm from the first minute through to the last, and self-aware enough to revel in the ridiculousness of its own narrative arc. Resident Evil 4 is a truly remarkable game, one that changed the entire industry around it.

Available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One 

1. Resident Evil Remake (2002)

Resident Evil

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil Remake was truly astounding when it landed on GameCube back in 2002, and it has lost none of its power in the years since. It's a lovingly crafted REmake (if you will), taking the bones of the 1996 original and rendering it anew – introducing new terrifying threats in the Crimson Head zombies, improved combat mechanics, and refined resource management to make what was once old feel fresh again. Resident Evil Remake is also stunningly evocative, with its overhauled visual design so impressive that it is still able to make the jaw drop so many years later. Resident Evil Remake took an impressive game weathering the decay of time and preserved it in amber, ensuring that one of survival horror's most formative experiences would remain as good to play today as the day it was first unleashed upon the world. 

Available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One 


Josh West

Josh West is Features Editor of GamesRadar+. With over 10 years experience in both online and print journalism, Josh has written for a number of gaming, entertainment, music, and tech publications, including 3D Artist, Edge, gamesTM, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. He holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing, has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh plays bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.