The Resident Evil series began in 1996 on PlayStation, and was a real showcase for what the console was capable of. It was an action-adventure game that made the player the most vulnerable character in the game. It made the zombie genre cool again, and the survival horror game became as popular as the RPG and action game genres.
The series has seen several remakes, director’s cuts, and with Resident Evil 7, a soft reboot that took the series into the first-person horror genre. Resident Evil 2 is arguably the series' most popular entry on the PS1, and when Capcom announced its remake in 2015 it became one of the most hotly anticipated games of the generation.
Thankfully, the Resident Evil 2 remake more than lived up to expectations and the rumors of another remake for Resident Evil 3 have fans excited for another potential release. It gave newcomers to the series a great introduction to the lore and history of the franchise. And while fans are waiting for another entry in the franchise, here are 10 games that should satisfy all their horror needs.
10 Resident Evil 4
If there’s are any gamers who are fans of Resident Evil 2, then they should definitely pick up Resident Evil 4. It was a reinvention of the series that uses the same third-person viewpoint that was perfected in Resident Evil 2.
The mechanics aren’t quite as refined as seen in the remake, but they are some of the most influential in gaming with action titles like Gears of War adopting a similar style. Resident Evil 4 was originally released in 2005 on the GameCube. Despite its age, the HD remaster on the Xbox One and the PS4 is still worthy entry to any fans collection.
9 Dino Crisis 2
The first Dino Crisis title was released on the PlayStation in 1999. Developed by Capcom, it played like a Resident Evil title but with dinosaurs instead of zombies. However, the sequel Dino Crisis 2 was the superior game, and managed to find an identity of its own by moving away from the RE mechanics.
Before Resident Evil 4 took the franchise in a new action-orientated direction, Dino Crisis 2 successfully blended horror and action in 2000. The game built on the narrative tension using fantastic sound and monster design. In addition, it was a much faster and more fluid title than its predecessor, so Resident Evil 2 fans should feel right at home.
Zombi or ZombiU was originally released on the Nintendo Wii U in 2012. It is a first-person horror game that has more in common with a Dark Souls title than it does Resident Evil 2. However, those looking for a challenging and legitimately scary zombie game then look no further than ZombiU.
It features a permadeath mechanism where the player takes control of a new protagonist if they are killed. Players then have a chance to collect the previous protagonist’s belongings. The game was later released on the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 in 2015 with improved visuals and lighting effects.
7 The Dark Souls Series
As an action RPG, the Dark Souls series may not seem like it has much common with a Resident Evil title. However, the series has its own element of survival horror and sense of tension that fans of the genre should enjoy.
There are several moments where the games will have players on the edge of their seats when even the weakest undead creatures can kill them. Just like Resident Evil 2, Dark Souls areas are seamlessly interconnected Metroidvania style with shortcuts and new pathways.
6 Dying Light
Dying Light was released in 2015 on the PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One. It is a first-person survival horror zombie game with a unique parkour gameplay mechanic. The game plays completely differently to a Resident Evil 2, but the sense of dread and vulnerability is ever-present in Dying Light.
It’s a huge open-world game with a day and night cycle, which both offer their own challenges. At night enemies were far more dangerous, and players needed to be quick to survive. What helped make Dying Light so special was the support it received from the developers Techland. They listened to their fans and it showed with the massive DLC content and patches which made it a much better game after launch.
5 Resident Evil Revelations
Resident Evil: Revelations was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, but found itself on all major console platforms in 2017. It’s timeline put the game’s events between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. It also features Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, the protagonists of the first game.
The Revelations series was praised by fans for taking the series back to its survival horror roots while using some of the mechanics that were featured in Resident Evil 4. After the disastrous fifth and sixth entries in the series, Revelations was the first step back into renewing the fan’s faith in the series.
4 Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 was originally released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2001. The game was bundled as part of the Silent Hill HD Collection for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012. The series is known more for its psychological scares and atmosphere in addition to its jump scares.
This form of horror has been incorporated more in the recent Resident Evil games, and was executed perfectly in the Resident Evil 2 remake. Silent Hill 2 is a far more disturbing game than the Resident Evil, however, but is a must-buy for fans of survival horror.
3 Dead Space 1 and 2
Dead Space and Dead Space 2 were released in 2008 and 2011 respectively, and are hailed by fans as two of the best survival horror games of all time. Its sci-fi horror themes and atmosphere were inspired by the films Event Horizon, The Thing, and the Alien franchise.
In terms of its gameplay mechanics, Dead Space adopts similar mechanics to Resident Evil 4 and is dripping in atmosphere. The games have incredible sound design and effects which should be appreciated in surround sound or on a set of good headphones. The third game wasn't as well-received, as it featured more action than the previous games and its semi-open environments lacked the fantastic interconnected level design of its predecessors.
2 The Last Of Us
The Last of Us was originally released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013 and the PlayStation 4 in 2014. For many gamers it is one of the best games of both generations, and the highly anticipated sequel is due for release on the PlayStation 4 in 2020.
The game combined elements of Resident Evil style gameplay with some very well put together stealth mechanics to create one of the best survival horrors possible. The game’s storyline is so good that one could easily feel like they are taking part in a big-budget boxset.
1 The Evil Within Series
The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2 were released in 2014 and 2017 respectively. It was developed by Tango Gameworks and directed by Shinji Mikami. Mikami served as director and/or producer of the first four Resident Evil games. He has an incredible understanding of what makes a survival horror game work.
The first game in the series stuck to many of the traditional mechanics seen in the Resident Evil series. However, Evil Within 2 improved on its predecessor in every way, the game was far more open-ended and made good use of environmental storytelling.