Resident Evil: Revelations
Resident Evil Revelations was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last month, with a Nintendo Switch version slated for November. If you're thinking "This game again?" you're not alone.
In fact, the news got me a-wonderin': which game in the franchise has been ported to the most platforms? How many Resident Evils exist out there? Got a selection of good rankings for ya, stranger! We'll begin with the games that have made the fewest appearances...
No Prize: Gaiden, Dead Aim, Mercenaries 3D, Outbreak, Outbreak File #2
Aw, it's the Island of Misfit Resident Evil Games! Each has only been released on one platform. Gaiden was the first and only Resident Evil title on Game Boy Colour. Dead Aim is the fourth in the Gun Survivor light-gun game series, and relegated to PlayStation 2.
Outbreak and Outbreak File #2, released on PlayStation 2 in 2003 and 2004 respectively, were the first games in the franchise to feature co-op and online multiplayer. The Mercenaries 3D is a Nintendo 3DS take on the "Mercenaries" game mode from Resident Evil 4 and 5: lots of shooting and scoring with no story.
#9 (Tie): The Umbrella Chronicles and The Darkside Chronicles, 2 Platforms Each
Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3
The Umbrella Chronicles and its sequel The Darkside Chronicles are on-rails shooters released on the Wii in 2007 and 2009 respectively. In 2012, the games were bundled in the Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection for the PlayStation 3, with high-def graphics and other tweaks.
#9 (Tie): Survivor and Survivor 2 Code: Veronica, 2 Platforms Each
PlayStation, Windows, PlayStation 2, Arcade
Resident Evil Survivor is the first game in the Gun Survivor series, but its initial US release in 2000 did not support the light gun peripheral, however, as the Columbine High School massacre a year earlier had made gun games a hot-button issue. In 2002 it was released on PC exclusively in Taiwan. Survivor 2 appeared on PlayStation 2 and in arcades in Japan in 2001.
Return to the Raccoon City Police Department in Umbrella Corps. Or don't! It's a bad game.
#9 (Tie): Umbrella Corps, 2 Platforms
PlayStation 4, Windows
The PC version of this 2016 online tactical shooter fares better in terms of framerate and graphics, but considering the terrible reviews, it may not matter. Despite the chilly reception, Capcom saw fit to release Umbrella Corps Deluxe Edition for both platforms. It includes downloadable characters, maps, emotes, weapons, and customisation options.
#8 (Tie): Operation Raccoon City, 3 Platforms
Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Operation Raccoon City was released on three platforms and disparaged by fans and critics alike for its glitchy gameplay and poor design. I recognise its huge (ok, huuuge) shortcomings, but I still like it!
It's a mediocre-at-best 3rd person shooter, but it's so over-the-top and ridiculous that I can't help but love it. It's fine, I'll be here in the Operation Raccoon City Fans corner all by myself. I hear your cries of "shame, shame," but I will not respond to them.
Resident Evil 7
#8 (Tie): Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, 3 Platforms
Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Given the strong sales of the action-heavy Resident Evil 5 and 6, it's surprising that Capcom would take such a radically different approach with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.
First-person perspective? A new protagonist? Many hardcore series fans were dubious before its release, but ultimately it earned rave reviews and is largely seen as a suspenseful return to the franchise's survival horror roots.
The game was released on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 earlier this year. VR support is currently available solely on the PS4, but that will extend to devices on PC and Xbox One in 2018. All three platforms will get a Gold Edition of the game in December that includes all DLC.
#7: Resident Evil 6, 5 Platforms
Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Not many people will admit to enjoying Resident Evil 6, but they sure did buy it: With nearly 8 million units sold across PS3, Xbox 360, and PC since 2012, it's the #2 best-selling Resident Evil title.
In 2016, it was re-released on PS4 and Xbox One with all DLC included, as well as spiffed up resolution and framerates. That version has sold about a million copies already. Sure, sure ... tell me again how much you don't like Resident Evil 6!
Resident Evil 5
#6 (Tie): Resident Evil 5, 6 Platforms
Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nvidia Shield
Survival horror aficionados may bemoan Resident Evil 5's over-reliance on action and consider it a death knell for the series, but regardless it's the franchise's best-selling title. The game was released in 2009 on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. A year later, a Gold Edition followed on the same platforms and included all DLC. This version was ported to streaming device Nvidia Shield and current-gen consoles in 2016.
#6 (Tie): Resident Evil Code: Veronica, 6 Platforms
Dreamcast, GameCube, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360
Code: Veronica was a prestige title for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000 but ported a year later to PlayStation 2 under the title Code: Veronica X, which was subsequently ported to the GameCube and in 2011 given a high-definition facelift for PS3 and Xbox 360.
(Phew.) An emulated version of the PS2 Classic edition is available on PS3 and PS4. Yes, Steve Burnside is a whiny punk in all versions of Code: Veronica.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica.
#5 (Tie): Resident Evil: Revelations 2, 7 Platforms
Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch
The first of Revelations 2's four weekly episodes was released in 2015 for PC and current- and last-gen systems. A complete edition that included two bonus episodes followed, with a Vita port coming later that year. This November it will be released on Nintendo Switch and will feature an optional motion control scheme, allowing players to shoot and aim with the Joy-Cons.
#5 (Tie): Resident Evil 0, 7 Platforms
GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Although it was first intended to be a Nintendo 64 title, Resident Evil 0 arrived on the GameCube in 2002. The HD version released in 2016 features an optional revamped control scheme, improved graphics and sound. It also includes the bizarre "Wesker Mode," in which convict Billy Coen is replaced by longtime Resident Evil bad hombre Albert Wesker.
#5 (Tie): Resident Evil (2002), 7 Platforms
GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The Resident Evil remake for GameCube was ported to the Wii in 2008, and would remain a Nintendo exclusive until the high-definition Resident Evil HD Remaster appeared on current- and last-gen consoles as well as PC. The biggest change from the original version is the optional new control scheme that allows players to push the analogue stick in the direction they want to go. Imagine that!
#5 (Tie): Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, 7 Platforms
Windows, GameCube, Dreamcast, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PSP
Is it just me, or is Resident Evil 3 the most neglected major release in the series? It features a terrific bad guy in the Nemesis, it stars Jill Valentine, the gameplay is challenging, and it's an interesting glimpse of Raccoon City's final hours.
So where's the love, Capcom? Sure, the original PlayStation edition has been ported enough times to give it a high ranking on this list, but re-releases have only featured mild graphical improvements and as a whole have been poorly received. The Master of Unlocking deserves better!
Resident Evil: Revelations
#4: Resident Evil: Revelations, 8 Platforms
Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo WiiU, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo Switch
Revelations was released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, and HD versions have since appeared on several platforms since. Despite the "HD" moniker, however, some muddy background textures and foggy environments still betray the game's handheld roots.
#3: Resident Evil (1996), 9 Platforms
PlayStation, Windows, Sega Saturn, Samsung SCH-G100, Samsung SPH-G1000, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, PSP, PlayStation Vita
The PlayStation actually saw three separate versions of the inaugural Resident Evil. A year and a half after its initial release, Capcom released a Director's Cut of the game featuring a new "arranged" mode that changed enemy and item placement.
In 1998, a third version added Dual Shock support. This version also found a home on the Samsung SPH-G1000 and SCH-G100, Korean "gaming phones" which had joypads, dedicated buttons, and vibration.
#2: Resident Evil 2, 10 Platforms
PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PSP, Windows, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, GameCube, Game.com, Tiger 99x
Given its status as one of the most beloved titles in the franchise, it's no surprise that Resident Evil 2 has been ported so many times. There are so many to choose from, but which version is the best?
For now, it's a contested issue: If you prize graphical fidelity most of all, GameCube or Dreamcast is your winner. If you love lore, the N64 version has exclusive in-game files to savour. All of the arguments will likely be put to rest, however, when the RE2 remake hits in 2018.
Resident Evil 4's Leon Kennedy, seen here leaping onto a platform that doesn't yet exist.
The Champion: Resident Evil 4, 12 Platforms
GameCube, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Wii, iOS, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Zeebo, au, Android
I know what you're probably thinking: "Zeebo? Au?" Don't worry! While it may seem that Resident Evil 4's powers of replication are so strong it actually invents platforms for itself, those two are real: Zeebo (2009-2011) catered to developing game markets in Mexico and Brazil during its short lifespan, and au is a Japanese mobile phone company.
Since its 2005 debut, RE4 has been released for nearly every platform in existence with varying degrees of success and content. For example, the PlayStation 2 version had more content than its GameCube predecessor, but suffered graphically.
Ports on current-gen consoles are considered to be the best versions of the game, but if history repeats itself yet again they certainly won't be the last versions of it.
So there you have it: 28 platforms, 23 games, and enough versions of each to make your head spin. Capcom obviously has no qualms about repeatedly releasing titles on different platforms, which sometimes feels like exploitation of the love Resident Evil fans have for the series.
On the other hand, I am definitely one of those fans and I should probably be grateful. I bought a Dreamcast to play Code: Veronica when it was released and a GameCube when the 2002 remake of the first game appeared. Thanks to all the re-releases, however, these days I don't have to buy consoles for Resident Evil. Whatever the game, if I just wait a little bit, Capcom will probably re-release it on the console of my choice.