Continuing my weekly attempt to rank every series that can be ranked by its Nintendo Switch entries, I now find myself in a very different place from the bright colors of recent rankings. In case you’re tuning in for the first time or have forgotten, I have ranked the Mario games, the Legend of Zelda games, the Pokemon games, the Final Fantasy games, the Dragon Quest games, the Sonic The Hedgehog games, and the Mega Man games. With the Blue Bomber putting me on a Capcom kick, I thought it might be interesting to rank the many Resident Evil games available on Nintendo’s hybrid console. These are just my personal opinions, and I’ve made the judgement call that all of the streamed cloud versions are automatically at the bottom part of the list. Let’s check that list out, from worst to best.
11. Resident Evil 3 Cloud
I think what really hurts the remake of Resident Evil 3 is that it is sandwiched between two top-tier remakes and is building from a game that wasn’t quite up to some of the better entries in the series. Taken as its own thing it’s a very fun game, but it doesn’t quite match up to the game it’s remaking, at least in some regards. Add in the fact that this is a cloud game on the Switch and it’s not that difficult to see why it’s hanging out down at this end of the list.
10. Resident Evil Village Cloud
Following up on a grand reinvention of a series is never an easy thing to do, but Resident Evil Village does a gamely job of it. It’s not quite as scary as its immediate predecessor and the story is perhaps a little less memorable, but the action is well-done and the setting is really fun to explore. That action emphasis means it suffers a bit from being a cloud game on the Switch, but it’s still a very cool game that is worth experiencing however you can.
9. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Cloud
The Resident Evil series looked like it was on the ropes again after a couple of misfires, but Resident Evil 7 Biohazard brought it roaring back by remembering what brought the franchise to the dance to begin with. It’s genuinely scary in a way that few other games in the series could ever match, and you’re often left feeling powerless in a way that ratchets up the tension to wild levels. Throw in a suitably twisty story and you’ve got an excellent horror experience. Unfortunately, it’s getting the obligatory penalty for being a cloud version of the game, but if that doesn’t bother you? Dive on in.
8. Resident Evil 2 Cloud
Remaking beloved classics is always a tricky proposition because great games can sometimes be lightning in a bottle. It’s particularly risky when many of the people behind the original game have moved on. Resident Evil 2‘s remake had a lot working against it, and the fact that it not only lived up to the survival horror classic but surpassed it is nothing short of a miracle. If it weren’t a cloud version of the game there is a very real chance this would be at the top of this ranking, but it will instead have to settle for being the top of the streaming games.
7. Resident Evil 6
Remember a couple of paragraphs ago when I talked about the Resident Evil series being on the ropes at one point? This game was one of the big reasons why. Made during a point in time where it was felt that horror games couldn’t sell as well as action games, Resident Evil 6 feels more like a safe summer blockbuster than a game that would make you tremble with fear. I’ve put it as low on this portion of the rankings as I possibly can and I think this is where it ought to be, but with that said I think it’s a better game than some give it credit for. It’s far from great, but knowing now that it didn’t bend the future of the brand it’s a bit easier to appreciate what it does well. I wish you good luck with what it doesn’t do well, however.
6. Resident Evil 0
The post-Resident Evil 6 era wasn’t the first time that Resident Evil had found its star fading. After being one of the biggest franchises on the original PlayStation, Resident Evil seemed to struggle finding its place in the next generation. Resident Evil 0 represents that period very well. An ascended Nintendo 64 game, it debuted on the GameCube and didn’t exactly impress the crowd. It’s very much of the original Resident Evil era in terms of how it plays and feels, and its character-switching mechanic doesn’t do much to spice up what feels like an unnecessary chapter of the saga. In the here and now, it’s the only game from that original era we have on the Switch, and that gives it a bit of wind in its otherwise unmoving sails.
5. Resident Evil Revelations
The idea of setting a Resident Evil game on a boat was something that had been floating around for a while, and Capcom opted to use the Nintendo 3DS to finally bring it to reality. This game was something of an oasis during the lost years of the franchise following Resident Evil 6, and it’s easy to see why players enjoyed it. Fan-favorite character Jill is a huge part of the game, and the tighter passages that were likely a result of the 3DS’s technical shortcomings make for a surprisingly tense experience even on the small screen. Porting the game to better hardware with bigger displays has only helped the game shine even more.
4. Resident Evil 5
Following up on a grand reinvention of a series is never an easy thing to do, and Resident Evil 5 doesn’t exactly do the best job of it. While there’s little mechanically wrong with it, the clumsy story, ill-fitting setting, and awkward co-op system add up to something that just doesn’t quite hit the target. If you’re only in it for the action, you won’t have a bad time of it with this game. Throw in an actual human-controlled partner and you might even have a great time. There’s a lot to like in Resident Evil 5, but there’s a lot that doesn’t work as well as you would hope, too.
3. Resident Evil Revelations 2
With knowledge of what players did and didn’t like about Revelations and freed from the shackles of the 3DS hardware, Resident Evil Revelations 2 was able to really spread its wings. Indeed, it’s so good that it could easily merit being part of the main series if Capcom had wanted to make it so. It’s also the newest and most advanced Resident Evil game that is available on the Switch without going the cloud route, and will likely keep that title through to the very end. The Raid Mode is particularly fun here, but even the normal campaign will give you a lot of horror-tinged thrills.
2. Resident Evil
I think it says a lot for this remake of Resident Evil that it still looks extremely good today. Originally bowing on the GameCube, this is a mind-blowingly great take on the survival horror template laid down in the first game but almost immediately left behind. Ammo is scarce, health pick-ups are scarce, enemies are fierce, and death is right around every corner. Resident Evil probably won’t ever be this way again, and while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it means that this will remain perhaps the finest iteration of an important era in gaming history.
1. Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 isn’t just a terrific Resident Evil game. It’s one of the greatest games of its era, and if someone wanted to call it one of the best games of all time I wouldn’t argue against them terribly vigorously. It has a good balance of spooky and over-the-top action, and its setting is distinctive and full of opportunities for set pieces. Sure, it isn’t very scary on the whole, but it’s good silly fun that has earned its spot in the gaming pantheon for a reason.
Yes, that should do it. I’m sure some of you disagree with where I’ve placed some of these games, so do be sure to comment below and let me know how you would rank the Nintendo Switch Resident Evil games. How about those cloud versions? Do you buy them? Do they play well for you? I’ll be back with another ranking next week, though I’m not sure which series I’ll pick. Thanks for reading!