Dear Geekiary: Which Resident Evil Games should I play?
“Dear Geekiary, Thank you so much for answering my Sterek question in one of your posts. I have another question. I recently decided to play the Resident Evil Game series. I already like watching zombie TV shows – In The Flesh – being my favorite, and have watched all of the film installments too. I Goggled the Resident Evil titles and a lot of them came up. Any suggestions which one’s I should play being a first-timer to the video game franchise? Are all of them good?”
(Not Sad Anymore) Sterek Fan
Hi, again! I’m so glad my answer to your Sterek question was able to help you. Fans need to understand that no TV show is worth damaging your physical and/or mental health over.
Coming to your current question about the Resident Evil games, you have come to the right place. I’ve played all the R.E game titles and I believe I can help you out. The Resident Evil or Biohazard game series have six numbered installments and a lot of spin-offs. It can be tough to filter out which ones actually add to the canon and which are even worth playing.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the game’s story, which made its debut in 1996, then you will have to start from Resident Evil Zero, which acts as the prologue and connects to the events of Resident Evil 1. After that there’s Resident Evil 2, R.E 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil 4, R. E 5 and R. E 6. Consider these titles as the ‘main’ plot of the series.
I don’t know which console you own and I don’t think R.E 0-3 will work on the latest Play Stations and Xbox One. However, Capcom is releasing a remastered version of Resident Evil 1 this month for newer consoles. There’s a rumor about R.E Zero also getting the same treatment very soon.
Once you start playing the R.E games you will definitely feel a shift in gameplay. The previous installments relied heavily on scare factor, scarce ammo and puzzle solving. As the franchise moved forward the gameplay changed, especially after R.E 5 that had abundant ammo, less scares, minimum puzzles, and an A.I partner. Chris Redfield is able to move a freaking giant boulder by punching it for crying out loud!
Here are my recommendations for the installments you need to play and why:
Resident Evil Zero
Who doesn’t love a police officer and medic interacting with a convicted ex-soldier? This installment is the prologue to the series and stars Rebecca Chambers and Billy Cohen. R.E Zero was released in 2002 and allowed players to switch between the two leads and use their unique abilities to survive the horrors in the game. I personally loved this game because I could play as Rebecca or Billy whenever I wanted. I could also leave items on the floor to clear space in my inventory and pick them up later.
Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3
These three installments are very similar, with R.E 2 and R.E 3 being more so because they both take place in Raccoon City and feature similar environments. These three games feature exciting puzzles, zombies, mutated monsters, and limited ammo if you aren’t careful.
Resident Evil 4
This game came out in 2005 and drastically changed the gameplay, especially the camera angles. If you can ignore the annoying teenage girl named Ashley Graham, you will enjoy this game. I can’t believe the writers of the game created a character that will force you to wish she would die even though you’re on a mission to save her. Don’t let her die though or else it’s game over, trust me I’ve tried. R.E 4 also features two cool campaigns starring Ada Wong, once you end the main story.
Resident Evil: Revelations
After the missteps Capcom took with R.E 5 and 6, the company hit the right chords with the spin-off R.E: Revelations. The story takes place between the events of R.E 4 and 5. It reminded me of the old R.E titles. Though the gameplay made you take control of way too many characters, I still think it was the right direction for Capcom to go in and I’m excitedly waiting for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 releasing this February.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica
Another spin-off of the franchise, the story takes place right after the events of R.E 2, which also starred Claire Redfield. If there’s any game in the franchise that took ‘limited ammo’ too seriously, it’s Code Veronica. This installment is a definitely worth playing because of it’s exciting puzzles, and the feeling of dread you experience running around a zombie and monster infected prison on an isolated island. My advice? Don’t shoot everything in sight unless necessary. It’s best to just dodge enemy attacks and save ammo for later.
Special Mention! Resident Evil Outbreak
If you ever wonder what ‘normal’ people were doing when Raccoon City got hit by the zombie making virus, then Resident Evil Outbreak is for you. It features a cast of characters you see in your everyday life and how they all came together to survive. Get a friend to play the game with you and try to finish levels in the fastest time possible. If you ever get bored, you can always let your character or companion drag his or her body along the floor before succumbing to the virus.
I hope my list of recommendations helped you. Yes, there are numerous other titles in the franchise but the one’s mentioned above are really worth playing. Even if someone likes or dislikes the Resident Evil game franchise the fact remains that it has been able to stay relevant even today and has given video game fans an awesome amount male and female characters.
Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield are also nominated in our Poll: Favorite Video Game Crush. So, check that out!
I hope my answer helped. Enjoy!
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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4 thoughts on “Dear Geekiary: Which Resident Evil Games should I play?”
While RE5 wasn’t about scares, you failed to mention that the AI partner is optional. I would highly recommend 5 to new comers, but with an experienced friend. Turn the difficulty up to professional, and even ammo can become scarce. It’s a blast. I think you are ignoring what RE5 was going for, and what it actually exceeded at. Six too, but to a less extent.
Now if we are talking purely single player, there are much better solo Resident Evil’s for sure.
Yeah you are right…RE 5 and 6, even Outbreak gave rise to multi-player, though i recommend Outbreak for multi rather than RE 5 and 6…Im looking forward to RE Revelations 2 now cos the two characters will have different gameplay from each other, which I think will make it more fun in multi player.
I have a soft spot for 5, maybe because I was against co-op / non-scary RE games. Even told myself I wouldn’t buy it, put if off a year+… but in the end, the co-op with good friends made it one of the best RE experiences I’ve had.
I guess a lot of RE fans (even new ones) felt the same way…i remember Capcom saying that RE5 didn’t sell as much as they expected in the beginning but as the years went by it ended up selling more than RE4…i guess people first held off on playing it but then tried it and found it to be enjoyable (though different from the RE games they were used to)…co op did make it more enjoyable, even for me
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