January 18, 2013 by khrisgolder
The Resident Evil series has over two dozen video game titles. Released on ten consoles over a span of nearly two decades, the game series has generated just shy of three billion dollars in gross earnings. Many hardcore fans constantly slap fight about how each title ranks against the last. Which had better controls, had better puzzles, and was scarier? Games don’t always sell based on quality or popularity, but the order of the top ten highest grossing Resident evil titles is a bit shocking. Never has there been such a fair correlation between fan favorites and sales. The body of Resident Evil fans (for the most part) put their money where their mouth is by creating for themselves the top ten best-selling Resident Evil games.
Released – PS2 (2003)
Units sold – 1.45 million
The cooperative group survival style of the game made it both a Resident Evil great, and an incredibly frustrating play. In the days before easily accessible multiplayer, the brain dead NPCs were the only thing that stood between the player and the T-Virus. Resident Evil Outbreak was way ahead of its time. In fact, if it was released just a few years later on the next gen consoles, it would undoubtedly be a few spaces higher on this list, and would have had way more direct sequels (and certainly waves of DLC). Going back and playing this title is a chore, but those who experienced it firsthand can agree that it deserves this honorable mention.
Released – Wii (2007)
Units sold – 1.49 million
It may surprise a number of gamers to see the Umbrella Chronicles on this list, but it really was a solid, innovative follow-up to a juggernaut like Resident Evil 4. Granted, it was one of the only RE titles available on the Wii, something that surely helped boost sales. It spawned a sequel of its own — The Darkside Chronicles, which also barely missed this list (just shy of 1 million units sold) — and both are integral parts of the backstories in the Resident Evil universe. Those who pick up a Wii-U (backwards compatibility rocks) should check out this title, and sequel, as soon as possible. Lisa Trevor won’t shut up about it.
Released – PS3, 360, PC (2012)
Units sold – 1.68 million
Someone probably said, “Let’s put a face to Umbrella Special Forces and deliver the action via online multiplayer. It can be the next-gen Outbreak.” If only words could do a game justice, then Operation Raccoon City might have been one of the best titles to date. Unfortunately, concepts, like zombie viruses, don’t always produce intended results. ORC was born, and its semi-success was arguably gained on the coattails of RE5. From an optimization standpoint, it was still a well-constructed game with few bugs, reliable gameplay, and a few entertaining cameos. These are the only reasons why it isn’t completely grimacing to see it on a list with all these other awesome titles.
Released – Sega Dreamcast (2000), PS2, GameCube (does not include HD release sales)
Units sold – 3.54 million
Dreamcast was the Sega console era’s swan song, and Code Veronica was a high note that made system owners unwary that they were on a sinking ship (until Code Veronica X). It was the unnumbered sequel to Resident Evil 2. It featured some of the best in-game cut scenes of its time. With beautifully crafted environments and 3D models, it pulled the series out of graininess without losing any of its grittiness. It was packed with some of the series’ most memorable villains: the Ashford Twins, Nosferatu, Mutated you-know-who, and later, a sizeable Wesker cameo. If you missed this, pick up the HD revamp on XBLA immediately.
Released – PS3, 360 (2012)
Units sold – 3.63 million
The most recent installment, Resident Evil 6 (2012), was met with relatively positive reviews from gamers and critics, quickly sweeping the atrocity that was ORC under the rug. There is still plenty of time for RE6 to catch up with its PC and RE6 Archives sales, but hitting 6th in such a short amount of time is respectable nonetheless. It’s true that many squabble over whether or not it’s too much COD for RE (though many of those gamers are elbows deep in zombies on Black Ops II). Regardless, RE6 earns its place among the RE greats on the simple fact that it offers four separate campaigns interlaced into one intricate tale: an ambitious move that many story-hungry gamers are deeply thankful for seeing.
Released – PlayStation (1999), GameCube
Units sold – 3.8 million
Released – PlayStation (1998), Nintendo 64, GameCube
Units sold – 6.71 million
Thought being a S.T.A.R.S. member was rough? Step into the shoes of Leon S. Kennedy: a clueless rookie of the Raccoon City police department who has to deal with a zombie outbreak the first day on the job. Or how about Claire Redfield: a college chick looking for her older bro? RE2 happened when its predecessor decided to get hopped up on Red Bull laced with the T-Virus, and it’s why it still remains one of the highest grossing (and highest rated) RE games to date.
Released – PS2 (2005), GameCube, Wii
Units sold – 7.43 million
Those who played Resident Evil 4 from its PlayStation 2 release mostly agree on two things: 1) Resident Evil 5 was a copycat; 2) This is either first or second on their personal RE favorites list. Leon’s triumphant return came in the form of a beautiful overhaul in controls and a substantial increase in challenging gameplay. The story was bigger, the enemies were faster, and the bosses were badder than ever. It’s no wonder RE4 has sold so many units (not including the HD XBLA release).
Released – PS3, 360, PC (2009)
Units sold – 8.2 million
Set aside the controversy regarding the game’s alleged racism. Set aside the fact that Sheva was the female Steven Burnside. Set aside the fact that 70% of the elements in the game were borrowed from RE4. Resident Evil 5 was a blast, and offered countless hours of replay compliments of a polished money/experience system taken from RE4. The coop gameplay was a solid addition to RE4’s style.
Released – PlayStation (1996), Sega Saturn, GameCube
Units sold – 10.58 million
There are few prouder moments than when the original entry of a landmark series — despite the many, many titles — remains at the top of the charts. This original entry is near and dear to many Saturn and PS1 fans, and earns a mansion’s worth of respect for remaining at the top of this list after all these years. Wait a minute… “Barry? Where’s Barry?” He’s still counting all that Resident Evil 1 money.*Numbers taken from vgchartz.com and do not include any subsequent HD re-releases.