With this year marking the 25th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise and new live-action coming in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, it is a great time to be a fan of Capcom's enduring video game franchise. Defining the survival horror genre, Resident Evil has plenty of scary moments across its celebrated history, keeping gamers at the edge of their seats as they battle all kinds of monsters from an abandoned mansion in the Arklay Mountains to a snowy Eastern European village with a sordid history.
Here are all the biggest and scariest sequences across the Resident Evil video game series, ripe for players to revisit ahead of Welcome to Raccoon City's premiere in theaters everywhere this November.
5. Stay Away from the Windows in Resident Evil
Let's get the obvious one out of the way first. The original 1996 Resident Evil for the PlayStation still has plenty of scares that continue to hold up decades later, from the debut of the dreaded Hunter to giant snakes and spiders lurking in the halls of the Spencer Mansion, all ready to devour Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. One often cited moment comes relatively early in the game, as the player navigates a narrow hallway lined with glass windows on one side.
As the player passes through this hallway, zombie dogs burst in from the outside, ready to pounce on the hapless S.T.A.R.S. officer and rip them apart. The 2002 enhanced remake of Resident Evil for the GameCube plays on the expectation of this jump scare, with the glass cracking the first time players move through before the dogs burst in the second time the hallway is accessed.
4. Mr. X Has Entered the Chat in Resident Evil 2
1998's Resident Evil 2 for the PS1 introduced the option to playthrough the game a second time as the alternate protagonist, offering new secrets and features for whichever character the player didn't select for their first go-around. The second playthrough also introduced a relentless pursuer, nicknamed Mr. X, who breaks through walls and withstands a heavy amount of gunfire to chase the player through the Raccoon City Police Department headquarters.
The enhanced remake of Resident Evil 2, released for modern platforms in 2019, introduced Mr. X far sooner than the original source material, with the unstoppable adversary appearing in both playthroughs of the main game to menace Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Mr. X is made all the more terrifying, with players constantly hearing the villain's heavy footsteps as he stalks the halls of the police station.
3. Jill Has a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in Resident Evil 3
Original franchise protagonist Jill Valentine really just can't catch a break. After surviving the events of the main game, Jill returns as the primary protagonist in 1999's Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, originally released for the PS1, following how Jill managed to escape from Raccoon City and its streets teeming ravenous undead before the military nuked the city to contain the outbreak. This was done all while Jill was being hunted by Nemesis, a bioweapon specifically engineered to kill all the remaining S.T.A.R.S. personnel in the city to maintain the nefarious Umbrella Corporation's secrets.
2020's Resident Evil 3 remake for modern consoles added a section of the game that was not present in the original source material, which saw Jill venture into a power station to restore power to the subway system and help survivors escape from the city. In the scariest sequence of the game, Jill discovers the entire power station is now infested by monstrous bugs that implant her with eggs, threatening to burst out of her. After recovering, players must navigate the darkened, infested walkways to restore power, all while bugs constantly scurry at Jill to finish what they started.
2. The Baby Is Awake in Resident Evil Village
For the most part, this year's Resident Evil: Village injects more action back into the Resident Evil franchise, blending horror with first-person shooter gunplay as Ethan Winters searches a remote, Romanian village for his missing infant daughter Rosemary. Learning that he must defeat four monstrous lords overseeing the village before facing the evil Mother Miranda, Ethan investigates House Beneviento overlooking a waterfall where he finds the ultimate in terror.
Dosed with Donna Beneviento's hallucinogenic chemicals as he nears the house, Ethan finds himself disarmed as he enters the mansion's cellar. As Ethan investigates further and solves a puzzle resembling a mannequin of a pregnant woman, the power to the cellar cuts out just as a hungry, massive baby comes crawling Ethan's way, mistaking him for his next meal.
1. Jack Baker Welcomes You to the Family In Resident Evil 7
When Capcom began development on 2017's Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the franchise was in dire need of returning to its survival horror roots after the middling response to 2012's Resident Evil 6. What resulted was the scariest game in the franchise to date, as Ethan explored the Baker mansion on the remote bayou of Dulvey, Louisiana for his missing wife Mia.
While starting at a relative slow burn when Ethan begins investigating the mansion's guest house, with plenty of atmospheric visuals and sound design as Ethan explores the abandoned building and eventually discovers that something sinister has happened to his wife. And just when Ethan thinks he's earned a breather from the corrupted Mia, the Baker family patriarch decisively announces himself, with the resulting jump scare officially kicking off Resident Evil 7.
KEEP READING: Why Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Is the Franchise's Scariest Game
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