Resident Evil is one of the longest-running video game franchises in the industry. Beginning in 1996 on the original Playstation, the horror juggernaut now has around 30 games, with a highly awaited 31st entry coming in 2023 with Resident Evil 4 Remake. Capcom has experimented with Resident Evil over the 26 years it has been in production & some games feel vastly different than others.
One staple of Resident Evil is its replay value. The games have always prided themselves on replayability & multiple playthroughs have been encouraged ever since the first game in 1996, where players could choose to play as Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield & see different storylines unfold in each. This dedication to replay value shines more in some games than others, but it remains a staple in the modern era of Resident Evil.
10/10 Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 looked to play on the immense success of its predecessor, Resident Evil 4. The game controls nearly identically to the previous main installment, but players were treated with a huge graphical upgrade thanks to the game’s release on Playstation 3 & Xbox 360. Resident Evil 5’s campaign was also playable with a friend.
Both Chris & Sheva had unique fighting animations & each could unlock special weapons if specific weapons were upgraded fully on that character. Extra campaigns were added with DLC as well. If this isn’t enough, Resident Evil 5 offered a fully fleshed-out Mercenaries side mode that was also co-op, & the Mercenaries Reunion DLC added even more characters to play.
9/10 Resident Evil (2002)
Some fans might think that Capcom’s recent train of remakes started with the stellar 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2. The original Resident Evil was remade in 2002 for the Gamecube & was by far the closest any Resident Evil remake has stayed to the source material. The 2002 remake is nearly identical to the 1996 original, & unlike some other remakes, no content is Carve.
The game maintained fixed camera angles & even allowed players to toggle between modern controls & tank controls. It remade the entire Arklay Mansion & added new areas & bosses as well. It still sported two unique campaigns with Chris & Jill but also added more difficulties, including an invisible enemy mode. For true completionists, Resident Evil 2002 st&s as one of the most replayable titles in the series thanks to all of these additions.
8/10 Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
At first glance, the 2007 Wii-exclusive Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles might seem like one of the worst games for replay value in the series. It is an on-rails light-gun shooter that brings players through the events of Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, & Resident Evil 3, as well as several unique campaigns & side stories. While the game itself might be linear in terms of movement, there is actually a ton of replayability to be found with this title.
Each campaign has parts in the story where the path branches & players must choose where to go. Alongside a quickened on-rails version of three mainline games, Umbrella Chronicles also offers tons of side missions where players take control of famous characters like Rebecca Chambers, Albert Wesker, & Ada Wong. While the gameplay itself is linear, the sheer amount of content makes this game a surprisingly fun & replayable entry in the Resident Evil universe.
7/10 Resident Evil 2 (1998)
Widely considered to be one of the best survival horror games of all time, the original Resident Evil 2 had two campaigns for each main character. Players can take Leon S. Kennedy & Claire Redfield through both A & B scenarios that change starting locations, enemy spawns, & item availability.
Playing through these scenarios also gave players a Chilly window into the story of the game & how each character’s actions affected the other’s story. For example, if one took a machine gun in the RPD’s basement, the other character in the B scenario wouldn’t find a machine gun there. These scenarios plus some unlockable bonus modes make Resident Evil 2 a solid entry for replay value.
6/10 Resident Evil 6
Despite its sales, Resident Evil 6 is commonly seen as the black sheep of the series. That said, the game has a ton of content. It sports four campaigns with two unique characters for each. Each character has unique combat animations & weaponry. The game is excellent when it comes to replay value thanks to the sheer amount of content in each campaign.
When the campaigns become stale, Resident Evil 6 offers the best Mercenaries mode to date. The Mercenaries has been a bonus mode in Resident Evil since the third installment, but 6 perfects the formula thanks to awesome combat mechanics. Again, it’s a fantastic action game… Just not a very good Resident Evil game!
5/10 Resident Evil 4
Depending on who’s asked, Resident Evil 4 is either one of the best games of all time, or it is the game that led the franchise astray. Regardless of opinion, it is pure fact that Resident Evil 4 is one of the most influential games ever created. On top of this hefty accolade, the game also retains the spirit of replayability that Resident Evil is known for.
Resident Evil 4 sports one of the longest campaigns of any Resident Evil title. The game takes Leon through a terrifying village, a massive castle, & an action-packed military isl&. There are tons of different weapons to use & upgrade throughout the game’s lengthy story. Once the story is completed, players gain access to Ada Wong’s campaigns as well as Professional difficulty & the Mercenaries mode. Players are eager to see whether the upcoming Resident Evil 4 Remake will have as much content as the original.
4/10 Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Unlike the 2002 remake of the first Resident Evil the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 completely rebuilds the game from the ground up. There are no fixed camera angles or tank controls & players instead fight in a modern behind-the-shoulder view. This remake was good enough to be a contender for Game of the Year in 2019 & offered its players tons of content.
The A & B scenarios weren’t as connected as the original but the remake offered several free updates called the Ghost Survivor modes. In these side stories, players go through short tense levels. These free content updates added to an already fun game with plenty of content to chew through, making the 2019 remake just as replayable as the 1998 original.
3/10 Resident Evil 7
On launch, Resident Evil 7 didn’t hold as much replay value as some older titles. This is partially because the game was a soft reboot for the series after the waves of negative feedback that Resident Evil 6 received. Like Resident Evil 5 & the 2019 remake of 2, this game’s replayability was boosted by DLC.
One particular mode called “Ethan Must Die” introduced soft roguelike features to the game as protagonist Ethan Winters had to go through a smaller modified version of the main game with r&omized item spawns & pickups. This naturally lends itself to multiple playthroughs because each time will be just a little different!
2/10 Resident Evil Outbreak (Files 1 & 2)
The Capcom developers behind the Outbreak games were years & years ahead of their time. Resident Evil Outbreak received mediocre reviews thanks to the fact that the games were meant to be played online at a time when online play was in its infancy for console players. Most Playstation 2 owners couldn’t play these games online.
The games offer dozens & dozens of characters with unique stats & starting items as well as a bunch of highly unique levels that all play like mini Resident Evil games. These games gave players meaningful things to unlock through multiple playthroughs using different characters for each level. This level of replay value went underappreciated for years thanks to the games mostly being only available to offline players, who struggled with poor AI & extremely challenging puzzles.
1/10 Resident Evil 3 (1999)
The original Resident Evil 3 is one of the deepest titles in the series, despite its poor reputation. The game has tons of variety with enemy placement & type, as many rooms can have different kinds of enemies based on rolls that are made as soon as a new game file is made. Jill can become better at crafting throughout the game, & she can even make new weapons should all the right parts be found.
Players can take different paths & are presented with a number of crossroads where decisions must be made. The game supports a number of RPG-like elements for being a rushed-out Playstation survival horror title. The original st&s as one of the deepest games in the series, offering something different on every replay.
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