Every Resident Evil Game, Reviewed

by | Mar 20, 2021 | Gaming

Resident Evil

It’s hard to believe, but the Resident Evil franchise has turned 25 this year. The first game arrived on PlayStation in 1996, and to this day, the series is still going strong, maintaining its position as one of the biggest gaming franchises around. Across GameSpot’s similarly long history, we’ve reviewed tons of Resident Evil games, many of which the team at GameSpot still adore.

To mark Resident Evil’s 25th anniversary, we’re sharing key excerpts from our reviews in order of each game’s release date. Below you’ll find quite an extensive series of critiques on the franchise’s most notable games. It’s worth noting that many Resident Evil games in the series have been re-released several times throughout the years. As such, the reviews below are the ones we’ve written for each game’s original release and not what we’ve written about a subsequent port or update.

Resident Evil – 8.2/10

“At the time of this writing, Resident Evil – a super-slick, realistically mapped, and ultra-violent Alone in the Dark – is at the top of the heap in cinematic 3-D adventure games. It’s one of the best buys for the Playstation, and one of those rare games that’s almost as entertaining to watch as it is to play.” — GameSpot Staff

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Resident Evil 2 – 8.9/10

“But in the end, Resident Evil 2 is one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever played. With its unique camera angles, storyline, graphics, sound effects, and music, Resident Evil 2 seems more like a product out of Hollywood than the video game industry. Resident Evil 2 surpasses its predecessor in nearly every aspect of gameplay, and in short, Capcom has outdone itself.” — Ryan MacDonald

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Resident Evil 3 – 8.8/10

“While it may seem as if Resident Evil fans are getting shortchanged on this one, it really isn’t the case. Judged on its own merits, Resident Evil 3 is a truly outstanding game. Unlike other series (Street Fighter, Tomb Raider) that offer incremental “improvements,” the RE lineup continues to refine an already excellent premise. This is a series with legs, and each new chapter does nothing to diminish it.” — James Mielke

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Resident Evil: Survivor – 4.1/10

“Resident Evil: Survivor tries its best to be a fusion of two drastically different genres, and it unfortunately limits itself with difficult control and tedious gameplay. There’s no real reward to playing Survivor, and the Resident Evil universe would be better off without it. With a ridiculous side plot that seems to have no real tie-in with the carefully crafted events of the past Resident Evil games, fans of the series who want a first-person perspective should simply forget about this game and pick up Code Veronica.” — Ben Stahl

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Resident Evil: Code Veronica – 9.5/10

“In the end, Resident Evil: Code Veronica is the best game in the series, thanks to features like dynamic real-time camera angles, a wonderful linear story, and some of the best graphics seen on the Dreamcast. To call it a must-own game is a definite understatement.” — Ryan MacDonald

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Resident Evil Gaiden – 5/10

“In the end, however, Resident Evil Gaiden doesn’t inspire the same level of interest that the other games in the franchise do. Nonetheless, devout fans of the overall Resident Evil storyline will probably forgive many of the game’s shortcomings in order to discover the fate of Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton.” — Frank Provo

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Resident Evil (Remake) – 8.9/10

“All of Resident Evil’s various elements come together to give you a good old-fashioned case of the creeps. With two playable characters, three difficulty settings, almost a dozen different endings, and branching story paths depending on whether certain objectives are met, the game also offers you plenty to do. Anyone with a penchant for the macabre will be blown away by Resident Evil, and even if you’re only vaguely into this sort of game, it’s still a must-buy. With the exception of the dated control scheme, Capcom has nearly perfected its craft and created the best Resident Evil ever.” — Shane Satterfield

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Resident Evil 0 – 8/10

“All the things that have made Resident Evil a nuisance to some (like ink ribbons used for saving your progress, awkward controls, and limited inventories) didn’t go away with the introduction of Resident Evil 0, so that particular crowd won’t wish to hop aboard the bandwagon with this installment. But those who have stuck with the Resident Evil series despite its dogged insistence on not changing its ways will find that Resident Evil 0 still has a lot to offer in the form of some terrific graphics, a couple of small changes to the series’ gameplay, and a story that unveils the origins behind the Umbrella corporation.” — Giancarlo Varanini

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Resident Evil: Dead Aim – 6.4/10

“All told, Resident Evil: Dead Aim is only three or four hours long, which is pretty good for a light-gun game, but the length, combined with the nontraditional game mechanics, will likely leave many Resident Evil fans unsatisfied. Light-gun fans may be more accepting of what Dead Aim has to offer, if only because it provides distinctly different light-gun experience. It’s not the best Resident Evil game, and it isn’t a stellar light-gun game, but Dead Aim creates an interesting, unique hybrid of the two, and that is a commendable feat.” — Ryan Davis

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Resident Evil Outbreak – 7.2/10

“If you love Resident Evil to death and think the idea of playing it with other people is a good one, you’ll probably dive right into Outbreak without hesitation. That kind of unmitigated love is probably required for you to overlook the awkwardness and rote similarity to past games; however, if you weren’t sold on RE before, you definitely won’t be when you play it online. Despite only having five levels, the game does have a decent amount of replay value–the scenarios can differ a lot depending on your character choice, and there are a ton of CG movies, still pictures, sound effects, music tracks, and silly alternate costumes that you can unlock if you have the patience. Outbreak doesn’t really live up to its potential, but it’s a pretty good game for members of its already-established audience.” — Brad Shoemaker

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Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2 – 6.6/10

“A year later, File #2 is so similar to the first Outbreak that only those who really enjoyed that game will find a lot to like in its sequel. The basic concept is firm, but the execution is again too awkward for the typical action adventure fan to get into without a hassle. It would have been nice if Capcom had done more to smooth the flow of the gameplay, especially in light of Resident Evil 4’s smashing success, but we’ll just have to wait until the next time around for that.” — Brad Shoemaker

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Resident Evil 4 – 9.6/10

“You’ll surely find from playing or even just watching Resident Evil 4 that all this sort of high praise is warranted, though it’s worth reiterating that this is one of those games that you ought to approach with as few preconceived notions as possible. Essentially, if you’ve been entertained by any other mature-rated action game recently, then chances are you’ll be blown away by this one. It’s that good.” — Greg Kasavin

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Resident Evil: Deadly Silence – 7.9/10

“You know a game’s a classic when you can play it years later and still have a great time. Resident Evil: Deadly Silence is surprisingly successful at translating the scary bits of the original to a much smaller format, and the end result has a lot to offer Resident Evil fans as well as those who’ve always wondered what the fuss is about. You wouldn’t expect a portable game to be able to scare you, especially since this version’s visuals simply aren’t on par with the cutting-edge graphics Resident Evil is known for. But Resident Evil DS packs in a lot of gory, atmospheric moments. It’s pretty wild that now you can play a game like this on the go.” — Greg Kasavin

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Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles – 7/10

“Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is solid for an on-rails shooter, a genre that admittedly becomes less relevant with each passing year, and the strength of the ambiance, the quantity of Resident Evil detail, and some fun little gameplay touches make it better. If you don’t care for either Resident Evil or light-gun games, this won’t change your mind, but if you do, it’s a pretty fun ride.” — Ryan Davis

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Resident Evil 5 – 8.5/10

“Resident Evil 5 successfully builds on the foundation of its predecessor while taking it in a drastically different direction. Having a partner introduces new degrees of gameplay depth and dramatic tension that make the game that much more exciting to play. Though the slow, deliberate movement and shooting may not appeal to everyone, this new sequel’s frequent large-scale battles and co-op play still offer a fun and exciting adventure.” — Lark Anderson

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Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles – 6/10

“If you’re looking to take nostaglic trips through locales like the Raccoon City Police Department and the Ashford family mansion, The Darkside Chronicles has you covered. Even the new South American scenario appears crafted primarily to cater to series aficianados. This is not to say that extensive knowledge of the Resident Evil universe is required to jump into the adventure, but the motion-sickness-inducing camera and inconsistent gameplay are huge hurdles to overcome for someone not already invested. On a platform where great on-rails shooters like Dead Space Extraction and House of the Dead: Overkill are boldly taking the genre forward, The Darkside Chronicles feels a little too much like a trip back in time.” — Lark Anderson

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Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D – 6.5/10

“The strong co-op mode offsets the disappointing general shortage of content, but not completely. As a full-priced 3DS game, this is a poor deal. And, should you drain it dry, down to the last unlockable drop, it’s not as though you can start over, thanks to the single, undeletable save file issue for which Capcom has caught so much flak. Mercenaries is still a compelling minigame, built on the rock-steady foundation of Resident Evil combat. But it’s still a minigame, however padded out with recycled material.” — Jane Douglas

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Resident Evil: Revelations – 8.5/10

“With around 10 hours of action in your first playthrough, Revelations is a sizeable adventure. After you complete it, there’s a much tougher difficulty mode and the option to replay with all the gear acquired in your first playthrough. That’s a suitably chunky offering, for a portable game or otherwise, from a Resident Evil title that holds its own against any other of recent years, in any format. Resident Evil: Revelations is a thoroughly successful crossbreeding of old-school chills and new-school action.” — Jane Douglas

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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City – 4.5/10

“The promise of more guns and special abilities might seem like the right kind of lure for shooter fans looking to make Raccoon City their home, but this home is a broken one. The newest Resident Evil aims for Left 4 Dead, but has none of its wit or precision. Where other multiplayer shooters invite you to play again and again, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City’s co-op campaign pushes you away. You could go back for collectibles, but why would you return to something that isn’t fun? Like many of this game’s design choices, it just wouldn’t make sense.” — Kevin VanOrd

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Resident Evil 6 – 4.5/10

“But how far can cinematics get you when the gameplay sandwiched between them is so poorly paced, so utterly misconceived, so reliant on stick wriggles and button tapping? There’s a place for contextual prompts and cinematic storytelling in video games, but Resident Evil 6 is a mishmash of elements put together without any sense of care or direction. Series faithful might stumble through for the sake of story, and perhaps to appreciate those few moments that recall when Resident Evil was at its peak glory. But this long, poor sequel is the ultimate test of patience for even the most dedicated.” — Kevin VanOrd

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Multiple Scores

Unlike its predecessor, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 was released as an episodic series comprised of four episodes. Below you can find excerpts from our reviews of each written by Peter Brown.

Episode 1 – 7/10: “Though you have to wade through mediocre puzzles and endure cringe-worthy dialogue and references to past games, episode one successfully entices you to look forward to the next episode. Just before you feel like its antics are wearing you down, it commands your attention by redeeming itself during the second half, just before sealing the deal with an impactful cliffhanger. With tastes of both classic and modern Resident Evil, Revelations 2 has something for everyone, but it would be served better if it was a little more focused and had a little less Moira.”

Episode – 6/10: “Sadly, it doesn’t, and it’s disappointing to see that, once again, only one half of this week’s episode is praise-worthy. Claire and Moira face tense situations, and when you come upon a new environment, you’re seeing it for the first time, but once you take control of Barry, you’re essentially going through the motions in the same environments that Claire did until you encounter the invisible enemies, which are more frustrating than anything else. The concept of an invisible enemy is interesting, but the fact that it also kills you in one hit makes its purpose so transparent that you loathe it, rather than appreciate the opportunity it presents. Were it not for Claire’s chapter, it wouldn’t be hard to sit out the rest of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, but the memory of the good times, and the latest cliffhanger, ultimately stick with you when the credits roll.”

Episode – 8/10: “Even though Barry’s final stint is a letdown, with payoff after payoff, Episode Three is easily the best episode of Revelations 2 yet. It no longer feels like it was designed in such a way that forcefully attempts to justify having a partner. Instead, your appreciation for your sidekicks comes organically as you work together to solve interesting puzzles and protect each other from danger. Controlling Moira and Natalia no longer feels like a chore; now, it’s a privilege, and Episode Three’s greatest feat overall.”

Episode – 7/10: “The final episode of Revelations 2 has its problems, especially when it pretends that you can decide Claire and Moira’s fate. However, Barry’s portion offers just enough excellent gunplay and tense exploration to distract you from that misstep, all before sending you to a great final boss fight, and hopefully the good ending. Revelations 2 doesn’t get a pass for obscuring the path to its most satisfying conclusion, but it gets credit for the excitement it ultimately delivers in the true end of this journey and the flicker of the next one creeping in its shadow.”

Umbrella Corps – 3/10

“Determined players can earn cosmetic items and new weapons as they earn XP and level up, but a new gun or patch for your helmet doesn’t wash away the bad taste of Umbrella Corps’ gameplay. Its systems are either unreliable or illogical, and as a result, it feels almost impossible to get a foothold. The first time an enemy kills you when they should have been dead, you may shrug it off. When it happens the dozenth time, you’ll probably wonder why you’re playing Umbrella Corps at all. There’s ultimately no good excuse.” — Peter Brown

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Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – 8/10

“By the end of the campaign, I was ready for the game to be over, but that’s okay. RE7 ends just as it starts to outstay its welcome, and after the fact, I felt like I’d survived a truly harrowing journey. The boss fights may be slightly inconsistent and certain sections might drag after a while, but RE7 is still a remarkable success. It has a clear vision and executes it with impressive patience and precision. By returning to horror, Resident Evil has once again become something special.” — Scott Butterworth

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Resident Evil 2 (Remake) – 9/10

“Resident Evil 2 is not only a stellar remake of the original, but it’s also simply a strong horror game that delivers anxiety-inducing and grotesque situations, topping some of the series’ finest entries. But above all, the remake is an impressive game for the fact that it goes all-in on the pure survival horror experience, confidently embracing its horrifying tone and rarely letting up until the story’s conclusion. Though Resident Evil 2 has its roots firmly in the past, it reworks the familiar horrors into something that feels brand new and all its own.” — Alessandro Fillari

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Resident Evil 3 (Remake) – 6/10

“As a remake, Resident Evil 3 not only falls short of honoring its source, but it also doesn’t quite stick the landing as a standalone horror experience. Even without taking into account the original game, or its predecessor, RE3 struggles to keep up with its pace amid a clashing of elements from survival horror and standard action. While it has a strong start and gives its principal villain some great moments, this truncated retelling of the concluding game from the original Resident Evil trilogy doesn’t do it proper justice.” — Alessandro Fillari

[Read the review]

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