The best Resident Evil games of all time

Image: Nintendo Life

It’s been exactly 20 years since REmake launched on the GameCube in North America, and it’s the perfect time to revisit the ranked list of every Resident Evil game on Nintendo consoles. Enjoy!

Resident Evil The series has changed so much over the years that it’s hard for even avid fans to pick a favorite. Which brand of Biohazard are we talking about? Do you prefer old-school tank controls and fixed camera angles, or are your tastes more action-oriented? Regardless of individual tastes, the gripping mixture of cinematic horror and B-movie trash and gore pervades them all. But which Resident Evil is better?

The original game arrived on PlayStation back in 1996 and spawned the entire survival horror genre as we know it. While the RE series has had its ups and downs over the last couple of decades, we’re living in the golden age of Resident Evil, and the Switch has been lucky enough to get a flurry of ports of the chilling Capcom series.

Nearly every “meaningful” game has made its way onto the Nintendo platform at one time or another. In fact, the only major games that Nintendo fans are still missing are the recent remakes. Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, as well as the latest brand new core games Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil Village (although cloud streaming version 7 is an available on Switch in Japan, which you’ll find listed below).

We asked you which Resident Evil games were the best, and here’s your verdict. Below you’ll find the very best Resident Evil games (and by extension, the worst) on Nintendo platforms, according to Nintendo Life readers.

So, turn off the lights, turn on the sound, and maybe grab a sandwich while we unlock the best Resident Evil game. Read on if you dare...

Resident Evil Gaiden (GBC)Resident Evil Gaiden (GBC)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: M4

Date of issue: June 3, 2002 (USA) / June 3, 2002 (UK/EU)

Resident Evil Gaiden was an attempt to scale survival horror into a tiny Nintendo handheld and sent the franchise on an ocean voyage long before Resident Evil: Revelations. Obviously, keeping the original’s gameplay on such modest hardware would be a huge challenge, though that didn’t stop Capcom from announcing its port to the Game Boy Color (see below). Assembly floor to take a look at this prototype). Ultimately, the direct port was canceled and replaced with this top-down game that abstracts zombie combat with first-person elements, including a half-inch sliding bar from any number Golf games.

Featuring returning characters Leon S. Kennedy and a funny acronym Barry Burton, REG is a decent stab at bringing the series’ trademark tension to handheld devices, but after pre-rendering the beauty of the main games, its low-end approach diminishes the effect somewhat. Rather than redoing the core games, we would like Capcom to take that one step further in a modern context. Everyone loves a little Barry.

Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D (3DS)Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D (3DS)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom

Date of issue: June 28, 2011 (USA) / July 1, 2011 (UK/EU)

A portable spin-off of the surprisingly fun standalone Mercenaries Mode that debuted in Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D expanded the list of playable characters and turned the score-chasing shooter into a full-fledged standalone game. Whether there was really enough content to justify the asking price was another matter, and Capcom – perhaps not used to trying its luck when pricing certain software – could do better by making it a cheaper download-only game (or even DLC tie). -in Revelations). Still, the game was surprisingly addictive, and having something this beautiful on the 3DS was new at the time.

Resident Evil: Dark Side Chronicles (Wii)Resident Evil: Dark Side Chronicles (Wii)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Cavia

Date of issue: November 17, 2009 (USA) / November 27, 2009 (UK/EU)

A nice dose of light gun shooting with a big old garnish of heated stories and fill in the gaps in the narrative, Resident Evil: Dark Side Chronicles mixes retelling various events from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica with new scripts installed a few years later. It has great graphics to play on the Wii, and fans have plenty to chew on with the show’s favorite characters Leon S. Kennedy (the “S” stands for Sensational Hair) and Claire Redfield.

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Wii)Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Wii)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Cavia

Date of issue: November 13, 2007 (USA) / November 30, 2007 (UK/EU)

As is the case with all the very best Hollywood franchises, the creators of the Resident Evil series will not be satisfied until they fill every conceivable gap between the main games with a prequel, sequel, or… forgive us – Interquel. No, Chris, Jill, Leon and their gang can’t stop to pee without being in a spin-off. However, perhaps the biggest surprise is that some of them turned out to be quite good. There are a lot of things that didn’t make it to the Nintendo console, but the Wii did get arguably two of the best spin-offs in the form of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and its sequel is below it in this list.

It’s a rail shooter with a lot of in-between fanservice that harks back to the main entries and focuses on the literal dark exploits of Albert Wesker. It’s a fun arcade experience that arguably serves as the perfect reminder of “Earlier in Resident Evil” for anyone looking to join the later phase of the series.

Resident Evil 6 (Switch Web Store)Resident Evil 6 (Switch Web Store)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom

Date of issue: October 29, 2019 (USA) / October 29, 2019 (UK/EU)

This is considered by many to be the point at which the main series has strayed too far from its survival horror origins. Resident Evil 6The four strands of the campaign are intertwined with the stories of Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong, Chris Redfield and Jake Mueller. The variable quality between the four characters’ scenarios didn’t help, and the game may have suffered from stretching the RE4 template to its breaking point after every second third-person shooter had already robbed its corpse. RE6 has its defenders – and certainly plenty of them to overestimate – but this is generally considered the weakest point of the main series, and you seem to agree with that.

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