Resident Evil has had somewhat of a turbulent decade between 2010-2020. With the reluctance to enter survival horror and their determination to milk the ‘action-horror’ staple, to the eventual REbirth (if you can call it that) of Resident Evil 2 and the success of survival horror once again, it certainly has been an interesting ride for Resident Evil fans.
So to commemorate another decade or Resident Evil, we here at Biohazard Declassified look back and rank our favourite Resident Evils of the decade.
8. Umbrella Corps (2016)
So we have to start with the worst of the bunch. Umbrella Corps is a multiplayer-only tactical shooter that revisits memorable locations in the Resident Evil universe in the hope of providing some fan service. It is digital only and does not feature a main campaign.
The servers today are as dead as Brad Vickers in RE3, so if you have the unfortunate opportunity of playing this, don’t get your hopes up. It was universally panned by everyone and should not be mentioned in accordance with RE ever.
7. Resident Evil Mercenaries 3D (2011)
Back when the Nintendo 3DS was wowing everyone with its use of no-glasses 3D effects, CAPCOM wanted to cash in on the handheld’s success. The Mercenaries 3D serves as an interesting concept, the hit side mode from Resident Evil 4,5, and 6 was a source of endless fun in seeing how high you could get your score before the timer runs out.
The Mercenaries 3D brings back locations such as the RE4 Village, as well as letting you play as characters such as Claire Redfield. It obviously goes without saying it’s completely non-canon, but due to the form factor of the 3DS, it’s a great way of playing action-oriented RE on-the-go.
6. Resident Evil 6 (2012)
Whenever I think of Resident Evil 6, I think of two words; Identity Crisis.
6 never knew what it wanted to be. Drawing heavy influences from action games of the era, RE6 took us on an unnecessarily long-winded campaign (times three!) and had a constant issue with pacing and storytelling. I felt CAPCOM wanted to please everyone with this title, trying to unify older Resident Evil fans with new-age action-horror fans, all in all, ended up with the game falling flat on its face.
However, it does have some redeeming features, such as the Mercenaries and Agent Hunt Modes. I would suggest that it is worth picking this title up and playing through at least once and never returning to like I did.
5. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012)
Operation Raccoon City was a game that nobody asked for, or was expecting. Once again entering the doomed Raccoon City, ORC was a team-based shooter based around Umbrella and their attempted cover-ups of the city.
Although not a traditional RE game, Operation Raccoon City had some interesting fan service cut scenes, as well as familiar locations and enemies that made you feel part of the universe once again. However, all of this was in vain when you realised that the final boss battle made the game completely non-canon and was borderline necessary. If you can pick up a copy of the game cheap enough I’d say it’s worth a spin just for the fan service. However, don’t expect a groundbreaking RE title.
4. Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
Aside from the fact every other long-standing franchise has a game which has Revelations in the title (Tomb-Raider, Assassins Creed, we’re looking at you), Resident Evil Revelations came at an interesting time when CAPCOM was reluctant to get back into full-blown Survival Horror, instead opting to dip their toe into the water of Survival Horror.
Originally releasing on 3DS but going on to be ported to every single console in existence, Revelations proved that there was a market for Survival Horror games once again. Although not balls-deep Survival Horror and still retaining heavy action influences, Revelations was a solid entry in the RE series and pushed CAPCOM toward SH, which is what RE fans were clammering for so long.
3. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015)
Carrying on from the success of Revelations, the sequel set out to dive even deeper into Survival Horror. Revelations 2 refined the formula that was created in the original Revelations and provided an experience (that can also be played in couch co-op, to everyone’s surprise) worth talking about.
I feel that this game was overshadowed toward the end of the decade. Mostly due to CAPCOM finally pulling the trigger on all-out Survival Horror. If you have the opportunity to play this game, do. You won’t regret it.
2. Resident Evil 7 (2017)
After many years of protest, Resident Evil finally returned to its core roots with Resident Evil 7. Although the game was entirely in first person, Survival Horror was back and better than ever. With a completely original cast that had nothing to do with the other characters with the exception of Chris Redfield who makes an appearance in the game’s finale and received his own DLC (Not a Hero) for the game.
1. Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019)
We end our list with the final RE title of the decade, the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2. It was amazing to see a game near and dear to us brought back to live on modern-day consoles. Though the remake zapped the zapping system and the A/B scenarios don’t seem as diverse as the original, RE2 remake is, in our opinion, a gold standard for both remakes and modern-day survival horror. With an amazing cast, beautiful graphics, and terrific sound design, we again enter Raccoon City with Claire and Leon to escape the horror within. The inclusion of Mr. X as a constantly looming threat in all scenarios was a great touch and made for many heart-racing moments trying to escape the RPD. Let’s also not forget the truly heart-wrenching moment when we meet Kendo and his daughter.
Though this past decade could be called a mixed bag, it has been a wonderful journey to be a part of and grow with the franchise over these many years. If 2019 and the Resident Evil 2 remake’s success is any indication for what we’re in store for in 2020 with the Resident Evil 3 remake; the future is definitely Evil.