8. Resident Evil 4
Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
Format: GameCube, PC, PlayStation 2
Hey, we were just talking about you! I mentioned how every action game made since RE4 has QTEs in them, but what I actually meant is every action game made since RE4 wants to be RE4. Every one. It is the pinnacle of action games.
It’s actually hard to remember how fresh RE4 felt nine years ago, but play it today and it’s just as bafflingly addictive as it ever was. Considering what Resi was before this – semi-non-linear adventuring with the occasional bit of violence and really, really hard puzzles – it seems bizarre that a thoroughly straightforward A-to-B blastfest would be the best in the series, but there’s just something about RE4 that keeps you coming back. (I’ve completed it a good eight or nine times.) The central gunplay is just so utterly perfect in its execution (pun fully intended), and the weapons so meaty that blowing away the five hundredth parasite-infested Spanish farmer is as satisfying as the first parasite-infested Spanish farmer.
MAGIC MOMENT: the completely terrifying boss fight with the Verdugo, a giant, super-speedy bipedal bug-thing with a whip-tail that can leap out of walls and ceilings at a moment’s notice. You’re given the option of fighting (using handy cans of liquid nitrogen to freeze it temporarily) or fleeing (running around dodging it until a lift comes to rescue you), and both choices are heart-palpitatingly tense.