When it comes to moments that leave you excited, scared, and everything in-between, the Resident Evil series has a plentiful supply. Most all of its games have something that fans can’t help but hold in their memories for all time. Some stand out more than others though, which is why they’re on our list of 10 Resident Evil moments that still give us thrills and chills.
The First Zombie (Resident Evil/Resident Evil Remake)
It might be a bit over-stated at this point, but how could this not be included on a list of the best Resident Evil moments?
After successfully escaping from a hoard of ravenous hounds, the S.T.A.R.S. team arrives at a secluded mansion. They split up to search for clues, unsure of whether what they encountered outside is something to expect more of or a strange coincidence.
It doesn’t take long, however, for players to discover just how screwed the group is. Upon entering a room near the entrance, they discover a figure huddled over an unknown mass. The sound of something meaty being torn and chewed fills the room, and the figure seems utterly focused on something in its hands.
After a second, it notices the player and begins to turn around, revealing that it isn’t a living person. Its flesh is rotted, and its mouth is coated with the blood of the unfortunate individual who first found it.
This is a zombie, and the first of many the player will see during their time with the series.
Taking the Helicopter Home (Resident Evil/Resident Evil Remake)
While there may be plenty of Resident Evil moments that rely on explosions or terror to stick with players, there are some that gave fans chills with how simple and serene they were.
Key among them is the ending scene from the first game. After surviving a night of excruciating terror, Jill and Chris are riding to safety aboard a helicopter. If they successfully found all their surviving comrades, then they’re sitting right alongside them. If they didn’t, then the copter is unnervingly spacious.
As the sun rises on a new day, all that Jill and Chris are able to show is exhaustion and contemplation. It’s only just sinking in how much they’ve been through, and they can’t help but want to pass out on the spot after surviving so much.
There isn’t even any notable dialogue between the characters here; just the somber silence of two people who survived something insane, and who have no idea where they’re supposed to go from here.
Meeting Mr. X (Resident Evil 2 Remake)
While the original Resident Evil 2 is a classic in its own right, it’s hard not to give credit to the Resident Evil 2 Remake for taking several of its best moments and making them even better.
For proof, look no further than the introduction of Mr. X. After searching through the first few areas of the game, players begin to settle into a sense of comfort. Sure, there are undead enemies wandering the halls of the police station and Lickers in secluded areas, but it’s nothing they haven’t been able to handle.
Then, as they make their way toward a helicopter that has crashed into the station, they meet him: A hulking brute in a black trench coat, able to lift the copter’s wreckage with one hand. He shrugs off anything the player throws at him, and pursues them relentlessly no matter how far they run.
This doesn’t end after a certain point either. For as long as players are inside an area where he’s present, he’ll come after them without end, only stopping should they enter very specific places that he can’t go.
It’s unnerving, exhausting, and impossible to forget even after Mr. X has finally been put down at the end of the game.
Defeating Nemesis (Resident Evil 3/Resident Evil 3 Remake)
As iconic as Nemesis may be among fans, it’s undeniable that constantly dealing with him relentlessly chasing Jill can be a huge source of stress and frustration. That’s why getting the chance to finally put him down remains one of the best Resident Evil moments ever.
After hours of being chased by the hulking monstrosity, the stage has been set for a final showdown. There’s little time before Racoon City will be decimated, and Jill won’t be able to escape unless the player helps her deal with Nemesis.
Fortunately, the site of this climactic battle has just the thing they need: An experimental railgun, capable of dispatching even the most stubborn Bio-weapon.
Whether it’s in the original game or the recent remake, gaining access to this Deus ex Machina of a death dealer is a treat. With one blast, it turns the behemoth that has shrugged off everything the player has thrown at it into yet another notch on their belt.
It all culminates in the final blow, which allows the player to stick it to Nemesis with one explosive – and deadly – blast.
Chris vs. Wesker (Resident Evil: Code Veronica)
Believe it or not, there was a time when Wesker wasn’t the de facto villain of the Resident Evil series.
For a time, he was merely a rogue element who toyed with the protagonists in the first game, forcing his comrades into certain death for his own gain. He appeared to have paid the price for this though, having been killed by the Tyrant he helped to create.
This all changed, however, when he appears alive and kicking in Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Supposedly coming to the island the game takes place on in order to steal some secret virus strains contained there, he taunts Chris and Claire every time he encounters them, acting as if they’re not even on his radar.
During the game’s final cutscene, the player learns why this is: Mutated by the T-virus, Wesker has been turned into a super-human, able to pull off feats impossible for anyone else. He makes short work of Chris in a hand-to-hand fight, and nearly kills him before a stroke of luck cuts the conflict short.
It’s a one sided fight that leaves no doubt Wesker isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and that he will be the the series’ new big-bad to beat.
The First Village (Resident Evil 4)
It doesn’t take long for Resident Evil 4 to establish itself as something far different than anything the previous series’ entries offered.
Shortly after arriving in the game’s first village, Leon realizes the locals don’t plan on letting him leave. They begin to descend on him from all sides, ready to slash and stab at him with knives, pitchforks and whatever else they have lying around.
With no other choice, Leon chooses to fights back. Armed only with his handgun, a knife and a shotgun he finds lying around, he barricades himself in a nearby house and holds up in a room on the upper floor.
As they swarm his location, he fights off as many as possible, aware that they’ll eventually overtake him. Before that can happen though, a church bell rings, distracting the mob and drawing them away from his location.
Bruised, battered and low on ammo, Leon is left with a simple realization: All is not as it should be here, and this won’t be the last time he has to fight for his life.
Finding the First Regenerator (Resident Evil 4)
While Resident Evil 4 may not be as dedicated to horror as other titles from the series, it’s undeniable that it has one of the scariest first encounters with an enemy in the franchise’s history.
During one of the game’s later sections, players happen upon a lab that holds a card key they need to progress further into the game. It seems harmless enough, save for signs of some sort of human experimentation that has been taking place.
After some exploring and a few puzzles, players find the card they’re looking for. As soon as they pick it up though, there’s a crash in the distance, and within moments they find out what caused it.
A shambling mass of flesh that continuously wheezes, the Regenerator stumbles toward them. It soaks up bullets like a sponge, and even if it losses a limb, it regrows it within seconds. If it gets close enough, it’ll grab the player, unhinging its jaw to better tear into the flesh of its prey.
It won’t be long before the player arrives at the only solution they can think of to survive: Run, and don’t stop running.
Chris Punches a Boulder (Resident Evil 5)
Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how absurd everything around this Resident Evil moment is.
Players are battling Wesker, the series’ recurring main baddie, in a final boss fight to the death inside a volcano. The black coat-wearing schemer is throwing everything it has at Chris and Sheva, using everything from martial arts to slashes from monstrous limbs formed from infected flesh.
The fight doesn’t end on a whimper either. It concludes with the player firing two RPGs directly into Wesker’s face, blowing him up and causing the volcano to erupt in a plume of magma for good measure.
Normally, any one of these moments would be enough to make the list. However, it’s still impossible for them to top the fight’s highlight of Chris literally punching a boulder to turn it into a makeshift bridge, and save Sheva from Wesker after they’re separated.
Is it stupid? Undeniably. At the same time though, it encapsulates the ridiculous side of Resident Evil to a T, and remains the image people conjure up whenever they discuss the series’ full transition into action.
Mayday! (Resident Evil: Revelations)
While Resident Evil: Revelations may be a handheld title, it isn’t without its fair share of moments that stick with people.
Case in point: Early on in the game, players are tasked with exploring the Queen Zenobia for any survivors and clues as to what happened to it. While searching, they hear odd phrases and calls for help coming from the emergency communications room.
The closer they get to these cries though, the more disturbing they sound. Their calls of “Mayday!” become distorted and warped, until the player arrives at their source: A door held shut with chains and a padlock, containing something on the other side.
As soon as the chain is broken, players catch a good look at what has been crying for help: The ship’s communications officer, now twisted into a barely recognizable mass of flesh. As it barrels toward them, the officer continues to cry out “Mayday!”, completely unaware of what he has become.
The Chainsaw Scene (Resident Evil VII)
While it may be praised for helping revitalize the series today, Resident Evil VII wasn’t without its detractors before release. Many pointed to its first-person perspective as proof that it would stray too far from the series’ roots, and wouldn’t be able to capture the horror the series was known for as a result.
Needless to say, these worries were unfounded, and one specific moment is likely responsible for that.
After arriving at the house where his girlfriend has gone missing, Ethan explores its dark and dingy lower levels for his love. He manages to find her, but things go sideways when she starts to attack him.
He manages to fend her off, and deals what he thinks is a killing blow. Before he even has time to contemplate what he has done, Mia springs back to life and attacks him with a chainsaw.
The game doesn’t simply show some blood flash on the screen when this occurs though; in graphic detail, the player sees it rip through the flesh of Ethan’s arm, leaving only a bloody stump for him to fight with.
It’s gory, it’s brutal, and it’s a Resident Evil moment fans will likely never be able to forget.