Resident Evil‘s illustrious history has been influential for not only horror games but the genre as a whole. Over twenty-five years later, Resident Evil is still a household name that shows no signs of slowing down, and with the added success of Resident Evil Village, and its upcoming Winter’s Expansion DLC, we can be sure there’s plenty more to come from the franchise
One of Resident Evil‘s constants is that the player is always bound to be chased by something that simply cannot be handled, whether it’s due to the fact that it’s extremely difficult, or the story hasn’t reached a point yet where it’s possible. From the classic dogs, Chainsaw Ganado, Axe Man, and more, Resident Evil has seen some of the most vicious enemies and mini-bosses that can rival many video games’ mainline bosses.
Forever remaining one of the most terrifying, persistent, and physically capable enemies in video game history, Nemesis has chased after and haunted players since Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in 1999, also bringing about his iconic “STAAARRRSS” line when angry and hunting.
True to form in the Resident Evil 3 Remake, Nemesis felt indestructible, and while there are ways to slow him down, Nemesis was simply too overwhelming to even bother confronting, and it would only take a few hits or a blast from his rocket launcher to completely wipe anyone out for good, making escape the only means of survival.
Stuck in a police station, running circles around the campus, solving puzzles, and eventually finding themselves in the bowels of Umbrella Corporation, Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, and Ada Wong not only have their hands tied with the outbreak but with the tyrant known as Mr. X.
The loud thuds of Mr. X’s footsteps causes players to stop entirely in their tracks and bolt in another direction. In some cases, while making way through various areas, Mr. X would even make an appearance suddenly, and the terrifying fright of a large and nearly immovable force would leave no other option but to run to safety.
In Resident Evil, being a man’s best friend is the last thing on dogs’ minds as the mutation and virus have turned them into vicious canines looking to rip apart anything with a pulse.
Despite remaining test subjects at Umbrella, it’s hard to change millenniums of genetic programming where their wolf pack mentality is set in place. The dogs were rarely caught alone, and while fan-favorites Jill Valentine, Rebecca Chambers, or Leon Kennedy may have the firepower, they have strength in numbers, and sometimes it’s simply not worth fighting a hallway of them and wasting every first-aid spray in the inventory.
With exposed tissue and protruding brains, the series-defining Lickers have long been an uncomfortable sight to behold, and even worse is the power and speed that is held behind each of these creatures that hang from walls in a spider-like fashion with an accompanying tongue the stretches and whips with ferocity.
Though they’re blind, echolocation helps them pinpoint not only where they are, but anything around them, and though it’s best to tiptoe past them, some areas may have them hiding in vents or on ceilings unaware to the player, and unless Leon and co. have come with a lot of firepower, they’re better off running the other direction before they’re ripped to shreds.
Resident Evil 4 found the perfect balance between horror and action, keeping a captivating story and rarely a moment to breathe. As Leon Kennedy made his way through Spain to save and protect the US President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, from a cult, he faced a multitude of twisted enemies infected by Las Plagas, and among these were the Chainsaw Man and the Chainsaw Sisters.
Effectively acting as optional mini-bosses unless part of an ambush, the simple sound of a chainsaw revving was quickly one of the most bone-chilling and spine-tingling sounds to hear in the nearly perfect Resident Evil 4, and more often than not they proved to be too difficult to be worth wasting precious resources on when the better option would be to simply run to survive.
Resident Evil 4 is one of the most beloved of the series, but one of the most unexpected moments for first-time players was an Indiana Jones scenario in which Leon was caught off guard by some Ganado pushing a boulder off of a cliff which was rapidly headed his way.
There was no way to shoot or run around the giant boulder that engulfed the screen, and a rapid-fire QTE to help Leon run would create a heart-pounding moment where players were just as out of breath as Leon was.
Resident Evil Village had such an eclectic cast of characters that each segment accompanying each of Mother Miranda’s acolytes likely could have been a game all on their own. House Beneviento is one such portion of Resident Evil Village, where it undoubtedly became its most horrific as Ethan Winters had to confront Donna Beneviento and her decrepit doll, Angie, before heading to a basement where things twisted further.
Though a lot would eventually be uncovered, it wasn’t until it was time to leave the basement when the sound of a baby’s cries would reverberate across the hallways before revealing itself as a mutated abomination of blubber and tissue at a size that left no room to dodge and no option but to turn around and escape before becoming baby food.
Resident Evil VII was a big departure from the series, as it would introduce a new set of characters, a setting outside of Raccoon City, and become the first entry that would introduce a fully first-person experience in the same camp as P.T. outside the Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles spinoffs on Nintendo Wii.
Jack Baker’s ominous presence would consistently scare players, and with Resident Evil VII emphasizing the survival aspect of its survival horror roots more than any entry before it, the smartest thing to do between Jack Baker and his entire family was to hide until the coast was clear.
Equal parts elegant and menacing, Lady Dimitrescu quickly stole (or ripped out) the hearts of fans around the globe once she was introduced as part of Resident Evil Village, but once the game was released fans quickly realized they would be better off running away from her than towards her.
Lady Dimitrescu follows Ethan Winters around her castle featured prominently in Resident Evil Village, but what makes her stand out from others that have chased players in the past is that she has perfect speech and is the tallest of the bunch, with razor sharp claws that could instantly kill Ethan Winters. Lady Dimitrescu is fierce, and she doesn’t appreciate Ethan Winters showing up uninvited, leaving no choice but to scour the castle as quick as possible to stay alive.
Sugar, spice, and filled with frights, the Dimitrescu sisters are playful for all the wrong reasons. They’re sinister, vengeful, and have a thing for man-blood, and it’s the last thing Ethan Winters wants to get involved with in his search for his daughter, Rose.
Having to deal each sister on three separate occasions made each boss fight some of the most stressful in the series’ history, but it’s the moments where Ethan is walking through the castle that are the scariest, as the sisters like to play around and spontaneously show up to toy with Ethan Winters. They’re extremely fast, can dodge at a moment’s notice, and morph into insects for further evasiveness, leaving bullets practically useless and getting to safety as quick as possible as the best course of action.
NEXT: Resident Evil: 10 Best Games Inspired By The Franchise