The Resident Evil series of survival horror games has been terrifying us since way back in 1996. The first instalment, Resident Evil, proved massively influential, spawning a legion of imitators and sequels. Many of these games have successfully stood the test of time, while others...well...haven’t. Thankfully, Resident Evil as a series has made it to the PlayStation 4, and some of the franchise’s finest instalments are available to play on everyone’s favourite console. Here are all 9 Resi games on PS4, ranked for your enjoyment.
Resident Evil 6 was the game that made the Resi franchise go away and have a long, hard think about what it had done. Not only is Resident Evil 6 not an effective Resi game, it’s also not an effective horror game. Linear, claustrophobic environments combined with barely interactive quicktime event-heavy set pieces and a bafflingly poorly-written plot don’t make for impactful scares. Thankfully, this is a lesson Resident Evil would learn well for its subsequent numbered instalment. Still, this is probably the only game in the franchise on PS4 we’d advise you to skip.
If anyone ever levels the “non-intuitive” claim at Resident Evil, it’s probably 0 they’re referring to. This is a game that took a lot of risks with the franchise’s core formula, and while some of them paid off - the claustrophobic setting is terrifying, and the visual and sound design is excellent - others, like the partner system, absolutely didn’t. It’s still a solid idea to check out Resident Evil 0, because it’s not a complete failure, unlike 6. It will, however, always remain a footnote in its franchise’s illustrious history.
Continuing the tangled web of Resident Evil continuity can’t be easy, but Resident Evil Revelations 2 gives it a good go. Unfortunately, the episodic structure of this game makes horror pretty much impossible; as soon as things start to build to a crescendo, the episode ends, leaving you wishing the game was a continuous experience. Still, the gameplay is solid, the scares (when they are there) are effective, and the plot is surprisingly well-written. Not perfect, but a portent of things to come for the Resident Evil series.
We’re probably going to get a lot of stick for this one, but we’re just not huge fans of Resident Evil 5. The innovations it brought to its predecessor (co-op, an AI partner system, and new enemy types) are welcome, but it’s also bogged down by appalling inventory design and a sense of unintentional camp in its storyline (punching boulders, anyone?). Resident Evil 5 is a fine time with a friend, but don’t expect it to leave the same kind of lasting impression Resi 4 did (more on which later). Its racial politics also haven’t aged particularly well in places.
Originally, Resident Evil Revelations launched for the Nintendo 3DS. When Capcom (and gamers) realised how good it was, the studio quickly ported the game over to consoles. Resident Evil Revelations is a real return to form for the series; it eschewed Resi 6’s sprawling, unfocused approach, returning instead to a tight set of centralised locations with puzzles to solve and plenty of backtracking. It’s not perfect - the ammo system is pretty bad, and the plot is completely incomprehensible - but it’s a very effective and respectable Resident Evil game.
Ah, Resident Evil 2, how we missed you. This remake is a complete overhaul from the ground up, and the game benefits infinitely from the new technology offered by modern development capabilities. Gone are the boxy environments, polygonal graphics, and poor voice acting, replaced by claustrophobic horror and a genuinely terrifying villain in the stalkery Mr. X. Resident Evil 2 perfectly replicates the terror and possibilities of the original PS1 game, but the new coat of paint and gameplay tweaks make this remake infinitely better than the original.
This is where it all began for the franchise. Resident Evil Remake originally launched on GameCube, keeping the fixed-camera perspective of the original but adding a host of new monsters. Lisa Trevor is a tragic highlight, but the monster and puzzle design here are excellent across the board. Resident Evil Remake is a game of moments: the first time you encounter Lisa, the first time you find a Crimson Head, the first time one of those spiders crawls its way onto the screen. Sure, the gameplay’s a tad clunky, but this is survival horror at its absolute finest.
We’re probably going to ruffle some feathers by putting Resident Evil 4 at number 2, but that just goes to show the absolute unparalleled brilliance of our number 1 pick. Think of this and the next game as equals, a joint first pick, if you want to. Resident Evil 4 essentially birthed the third-person shooter of modern gaming, but did so with a knowing tonal wink to its ironic horror camp. The dialogue is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, but the monster design, sprawling level geometry, and gripping plot keep you guessing right until the very end.
The king comes home to rest. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is what happens when a studio very gamely goes back to the drawing board on a franchise long past its sell-by date. After the unqualified atrocity that was Resi 6, 7 scales things right back. The setting is a single isolated rural mansion. The enemies are (mostly) corrupted humans, with the odd tentacled horror here and there to spice things up. The plot is contained and tight, and it says a lot that the cheap surprise at the end doesn’t ruin things. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a horror masterpiece.