The Resident Evil franchise is back, perhaps better than ever, with critics and audiences alike singing nothing but praises for the latest mainline installment, Resident Evil Village. Naturally, the latest Resident Evil game brings even more nightmare-inducing moments to the tally, adding werewolves and nine-foot-six tall vampires to the mix.
With that said, we've decided to round up the scariest moment from each Resident Evil game, starting from the 1996 survival horror classic that started it all, to the franchise's more recent outing.
Do note that we're not including titles that are considered spin-offs. So, as unfortunate as it is, you won't find moments from Code Veronica, Revelations, or Outbreak, among many others, in here.
Resident Evil (1996) - The First Zombie
The original Resident Evil game was full of moments that have since gone down in video game history. This includes that time when zombie dogs smashed through the windows in the hallways of the Spencer Mansion. But as scary as that moment was, you were at least somewhat prepared for it already.
Anyone who bothered to watch the opening cinematics knew that zombie dogs were in the game. They were going to pop up eventually.
What most weren't prepared for was the first time that they encounter a zombie. This was probably when the realization of how scary it is being confined inside a small space with tank controls and a fixed camera set in.
Resident Evil 2 (1998) - Licker Jumps Through the Window
Leon and/or Claire's first encounter with the tyrant Mr. X and a Licker will forever stand out as one of the scariest moments in the Resident Evil franchise. The only reason why we didn't include one or the other was that both the original Resident Evil 2 and the 2019 remake took their time revealing both. In the case of the latter, there was even a short cutscene.
In this particular case, there were none of those. As players explore inside Raccoon City Police Department, they'll find themselves inside an interrogation room with a one-way mirror separating it from the monitoring room next to it.
We wouldn't blame you for thinking nothing of this. After all, you did just go inside the empty interrogation room to get the key to open the room that you are inside in. But, once you go inside the interrogation room and reach the far end, a Licker suddenly breaks out of the one-way mirror.
Because of how you have your guard down the entire time, this jump scare will catch you unaware. It will also make you distrustful of every breakable object you encounter in any Resident Evil game from there on out.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999) - Every Nemesis Encounter
Every creature that you fought against in Resident Evil at this point could die after taking a few hits. Nemesis didn't.
Nemesis was a special variant of the Tyrant class of Umbrella's bio-weapons. It was a relentless killing machine designed to hunt down former members of the Special Tactics and Rescue Service. So, basically, you, Jill Valentine.
Nemesis made its presence known within the first hour or two of the game. From there, it had no problem constantly reinforcing the notion that it could and often would appear out of nowhere at any moment.
Thus, we didn't opt for a single particular moment that made Nemesis scary. Instead, we went for the creature itself. In particular, how it was designed to make you feel even more paranoid than you already were.
How Nemesis managed to successfully create an unsettling feeling that will never go away so long as you're playing Resident Evil 3 was something that the series could never replicate until 2017's Resident Evil Biohazard.
Resident Evil 4 (2005) - First Regenerator Encounter
Resident Evil 4 is widely considered the best Resident Evil game ever. Unfortunately, it's also when the series started deviating from its small-scale terror to featuring full-on action set pieces.
Still, there were a couple of moments throughout Resident Evil 4 that showed that Capcom still hadn't forgotten its roots. Case in point, the first time you encounter the Chainsaw Man early on in Resident Evil 4. However, one could argue that a more frightening moment occurred later on in the game when you had already begun feeling nigh-invincible
Near the climax of Resident Evil 4, Leon finds himself inside a research lab that has an alien-looking monstrosity lying on a table.
Paying no mind to it, most players will just go on and explore every nook and corner of the said room. Eventually, players will come across a memo that explains that the creature you just saw was an experimental being that could regenerate limbs and tissues. After this, you hear a crash and the next thing you know, you'll end up wasting all of your bullets trying to kill a creature that will not stay dead.
Because most didn't know how to dispose of Regenerators at that point, the sheer horror of not knowing what to do was enough to give this moment the nod in our list.
Resident Evil 5 (2005) - Crocodiles
You know that you've failed as a Resident Evil game when the scariest thing about you doesn't involve any kind of virus.
In Resident Evil 5, the thing that will really startle most players like previous games is the crocodiles that only appear in one place. Because the game doesn't really warn you that these creatures are lurking in waist-high waters, most player's first encounters with the crocodiles in Resident Evil 5 are also usually their first time to die in the game as well.
Resident Evil 6 (2012) - Leon's Subway Campaign
Resident Evil 6's scary moments were largely forgettable in that there weren't really any. Add the fact that the game auto-saved like every five minutes and the fear of dying at any moment just wasn't there anymore. But, it's not without its moments. For example, the part of Leon's campaign that you spend walking through the subway.
With a flashlight as your only source of illumination, you can't just rush through much of this section unlike the other parts of Resident Evil 6. In addition to this, there's that part where your flashlight starts going out and you see shadows starting to run at you.
What made matters worse is that you were relatively low on ammo at that point with tons of enemies you couldn't see.
Thankfully, the train comes just in time to kill a majority of the zombies and put you at ease.
Resident Evil Biohazard (2017) - First Mia Encounter
After two action-packed mainline entries, Capcom finally realized that they needed to go back to the series' roots. The result was Resident Evil Biohazard.
The seventh entry to the Resident Evil franchise might just be its scariest yet. It's full of admittedly telegraphed jump scares, but a few of its more scary moments were unique. Not to mention, the fact that the game forced you to confront the monstrosities that had appeared moments before you only serves to make the game all that more terrifying.
One standout moment, in particular, occurs fairly early on in the game. Just right when you think that you're about to rescue your missing wife, Mia, she turns her other cheek only to chase you. What makes this worse was Mia's way of creepily crawling up the stairs that will stick with you for years.
Resident Evil Village (2021) - Crawling Fetus
Babies play an important role in Resident Evil Village. The kidnapping of Rose, for example, is exactly what set the proverbial wheels in motion. Babies also appear numerous times throughout the game and each time is just as unsettling as the other. The worst example though is when the giant crawling fetus shows up.
Awful and downright disturbing, what really sells the haunting abomination is its eerie cry.
It should already go without saying but you should try to keep yourself away from this monstrosity as much as possible.