The Resident Evil franchise is one of the most popular ones out there when it comes to survival horror games and has been around ever since the first game was released back in 1996. The series is considered to be responsible for establishing many of what we call typical survival horror elements today, such as fixed camera angles, intense gory atmosphere, resource management, and of course interesting puzzles.
However, all of these are not only present in Resident Evil games, in fact, many other games and video game franchises have twisted and adapted these elements to create something interesting, so let’s take a look at some of the best games that are like Resident Evil.
Resident Evil Features
|Release Date:||March 22, 1996|
|Setting:||Real World, Raccoon City|
| Game Modes:||Single-player|
1. Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare
Starting off strong, we have Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare, a survival horror game that was developed by Darkworks and published by Infogrames. Released back in May 2001, Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare marks the fifth installment in the popular Alone In The Dark series and is the first game in the franchise that closely resembles Resident Evil games. Over the following years, there were two more entries in the franchise with the latest one being in 2015. A new Alone in the Dark game is currently being developed by Pieces Interactive and currently has no set release date.
The events of the game are set in late October 2001 on a strange island along the coast of Massachusetts. Detective Edward’s partner was found dead on the island which prompted him to investigate the mystery of the remote island. Soon he discovers an ancient, dangerous power hidden on Shadow Island and it is up to him to recover the three ancient tablets which are the key to unlocking those powers.
As far as gameplay goes, it mostly revolves around exploring the mysterious island, solving puzzles, and of course eliminating shadow creatures known as the Creatures of Darkness. However, the manner you deal with them widely differs depending on which character you are playing as. If you are playing as detective Edward Carnby, you start the game off with a revolver which is a very effective way to physically deal with the enemies. On the other hand, if you are playing as Professor Aline Cedrac, you will be equipt with a flashlight that can repel most of the creatures and stun them for a while, but it doesn’t permanently eliminate them.
- Developer: Darkworks
- Publisher: Infogrames
- Release Date: May 18, 2001
- Platform: PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Windows, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2
2. Outlast 2
Next up, we have Outlast 2, a first-person psychological horror game developed and published by Red Barrels. The game was released in April 2017 and serves as a direct sequel to the original Outlast game from 2013.
The game puts the player in the shoes of Blake Langermann, a journalist who is tasked with investigating the murder of an unknown woman in the Arizona desert. While on the way to solving this mystery, Blake gets separated from his wife. It is up to the player to uncover what happened to the unknown woman as well as Blake’s wife.
Contrary to Resident Evil games, the player is not able to fight off enemies except in a few scripted scenes and instead must rely on sneaking around them, hiding in barrels, lockers, and other convenient places as well as finding alternative routes around enemies accessed by climbing and vaulting.
- Developer: Red Barrels
- Publisher: Red Barrels
- Release Date: April 25, 2017
- Platform: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
3. Dino Crisis
Coming in at number three we have the original Dino Crisis game that was originally released for PlayStation back in 1999. The game was developed by the same team that developed the original Resident Evil game, so it comes as no surprise that we are including it on this list. Dino Crisis was later ported to Sega Dreamcast and PC and received multiple sequels in the following years.
Dino Crisis is set in the year 2009 in a research facility on Ibis Island. The player takes on the role of an agent who was sent to infiltrate the facility in order to check out rumors of a world-famous scientist, who was perceived dead, leading a secret weapons project. The player soon discovers that the base is overrun by dinosaurs and it is up to the player to complete the mission under unforeseen circumstances.
When it comes to gameplay, it is a lot similar to Resident Evil and heavily revolves around eliminating or avoiding enemies and solving puzzles while looting items such as keys, weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies to help you along the way.
- Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
- Publisher: Capcom
- Release Date: July 1, 1999
- Platform: PlayStation, Dreamcast, Windows
Darkwood is a survival horror game that was developed and published by Acid Wizard Studio. The game was originally released in August 2017 for Windows, macOS, and Linux, however, over the years it was ported to many other platforms.
The events of Darkwood take place somewhere in Polish People’s Republic during the late 1980s. A strange forest has grown all over the country and a large majority of the population is trapped inside of it. To make things worse, a mysterious plague has taken the lives of many survivors and is turning them into vicious monsters. The player assumes the role of the protagonist known only as the Stranger and is tasked with surviving and escaping from the forest by any means necessary.
The gameplay mechanics of Darkwood are somewhat different compared to Resident Evil games. Instead of puzzles, Darkwood focuses more on exploration, and survival elements such as gathering materials and crafting, as well as trading and base-building.
- Developer: Acid Wizard Studio
- Publisher: Acid Wizard Studio
- Release Date: August 17, 2017
- Platform: Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Google Stadia, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
5. The Medium
The Medium is a psychological horror game that was developed by Bloober Team and published by Bloober Team SA. The game was released in January 2021 on PC and Xbox Series X/S, however, it was ported to various other platforms a year later.
The game is set in post-Communism Poland and the year is 1999. The player takes control of Marianne, a medium who is able to traverse between the spirit realm and the world of the living.
As far as gameplay mechanics go, the Medium is centered around traveling between worlds and solving a wide variety of puzzles by using Marianne’s psychic abilities. These abilities can also be used to interact with the environment as well as against your enemies, however, they are limited and need to be recharged at various spirit wells, so be careful how you use them.
- Developer: Bloober Team
- Publisher: Bloober Team SA
- Release Date: January 28, 2021
- Platform: macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Luna
6. Metro 2033
Up next we have Metro 2033, a first-person shooter survival horror game that was developed by 4A Games and published by THQ and Deep Silver. The game was released way back in March 2010 on PC and Xbox 360 but was later ported to other platforms.
The events of Metro 2033 take place in Moscow in the year 2033, 20 years after a worldwide nuclear holocaust. Most of humanity has been wiped out, but a rather small group of survivors managed to escape the catastrophe by hiding in the Metro system. With radiation, mutated creatures, and a war between Stallinists and Nazis raging on, it is up to the player to lead Artyom through this hellish landscape and save his home station.
When it comes to gameplay, it mostly revolves around eliminating enemy creatures while trying to manage your equipment. The ammunition is scarce, your flashlight needs to be recharged and your gasmask can break so exploring and scavenging for supplies will be key to your survival.
- Developer: 4A Games
- Publisher: THQ, Deep Silver
- Release Date: 16 March 2010
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, OS X, Stadia
7. The Last of Us Part 1
It probably comes as no surprise that the Last of Us Part 1 has made it to this list, but how could it not? Released back in 2013 on PlayStation 3, this action-adventure game was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and has become one of the most popular PlayStation franchises out there. So much so, that the original game received a remaster that was released in 2023 and a sequel that was released in 2022.
The events of the game take place in Boston, Massachusetts, 20 years after an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus that turns humans into dangerous creatures dubbed the infected. For the most part of the game, the player takes control of Ellie Williams, a girl that is immune to the fungus and may hold the key to curing the human race, and Joel Miller, one of the survivors of the outbreak who is tasked with retrieving and protecting Ellie.
Besides the similarities in the plot, the Last of Us Part 1 gameplay mechanics are also similar to Resident Evil games in the sense that the player is tasked with scavenging the environment for supplies and eliminating a wide variety of enemies as they progress through the game’s story.
- Developer: Naughty Dog
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: September 2, 2022
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5
8. Silent Hill
No list of games similar to Resident Evil would be complete without mentioning Silent Hill, and for good reasons. The original Silent Hill game was developed by Team Silent and published by Konami way back in February 1999. In fact, it was directly inspired by the original Resident Evil game, however, the developers had a different vision and were left to their own devices, which is how we ended up with a whole new franchise of excellent survival horror games.
The events of the original game are set in a small town called Silent Hill, located somewhere in New England, and follow the protagonist Harry Mason who is trying to find his missing daughter Cheryl. While investigating, Harry discovers that the town is inhabited by a strange cult and he uncovers the mysteries of the town and the strange deities that the cult worships.
When it comes to gameplay mechanics, they revolve around exploration, solving puzzles, managing your supplies and inventory as well as eliminating many of the strange creatures and bosses that will stand in your way. Clues, notes, and logs are scattered everywhere throughout the game and the player will constantly be traveling between worlds in order to accomplish their objective.
- Developer: Team Silent
- Publisher: Konami
- Release Date: February 23, 1999
- Platform: PlayStation
9. Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead is a first-person shooter game that was originally released back in 2008 for PC and Xbox 360 and later ported to Mac OS X in 2010. The game was developed by Valve South and published by Valve and received a sequel titled Left 4 Dead 2 in 2009.
The game is set on the East Coast of the United States after a terrible outbreak of a contagious pathogen that causes humans to lose their brain function and become aggressive, therefore effectively turning them into zombies. The player or players, assume the role of one of the four survivors and are tasked with fighting against zombie hordes as they progress through the campaign.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, Left 4 Dead is mostly action oriented with players having to fight off large numbers of various enemies that they will inevitably run into. However, many survival elements are also present in the form that players need to ration their ammunition and other supplies and explore their environment for anything they might find useful.
- Developer: Valve South
- Publisher: Valve
- Release Date: November 17, 2008
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X
10. Alien Isolation
Released back in 2014 across multiple platforms, Alien Isolation is a survival horror game based on the Alien film series that was developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega.
The game takes place on a space station called Sevastopol which is in shambles due to the presence of the large Alien creature. The player takes control of an engineer named Amanda Ripley who is trying to uncover the truth regarding the disappearance of her mother Ellen Ripley.
When it comes to gameplay mechanics, they revolve around stealth rather than action. The player is able to sneak around, peek behind corners, hide under the tables, and distract enemies in various ways in order to complete the objective.
- Developer: Creative Assembly
- Publisher: Sega
- Release Date: 7 October 2014
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
11. Dead Space Remake
The original Dead Space game was released back in 2008, however for this list, we have chosen the Dead Space remake that was released in 2023. This survival horror game was developed by Motive Studio and published by Electronic Arts and is available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows.
The events of Dead Space are set during the 26th century and follow the player as he walks in the shoes of Isaac Clarke, one of the crewmen on a repair vessel that is tasked with investigating a distress call of a larger mining ship called USG Ishimura. While performing their duties, the crew finds themselves under attack by the mutant creatures known as Necromorphs and it is up to the player to uncover what happened and save the crew.
As far as gameplay goes, it comes with everything one would expect from a survival horror game. Plenty of creatures to kill with a wide variety of weapons, lots of upgrades and supplies to collect, and plenty of audio logs and clues to discover as you progress through the main story.
- Developer: Motive Studio
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release Date: January 27, 2023
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5
12. The Calisto Protocol
The Calisto Protocol s one of the newer titles on this list that was released back in December 2022. This survival horror game was developed by Striking Distance Studios and published by Krafton and is available on multiple platforms including PC and the last two console generations.
The events of the game take place on Calistom the Jovian moon and the player assumes the role of Jacon Lee who is sent to a prison located on CAlisto. He soon discovers that an unknown disease is ravaging the facility and is tasked with uncovering its secrets while fighting off the infected inmates.
Besides the obvious plot similarities, The Calisto Protocol shares some of the game mechanics with Resident Evil games such as exploring levels, gathering supplies and resources, and fighting off infected enemies. However, the combat mechanics of the Calisto Protocol are more complex due to the melee dodge system.
- Developer: Striking Distance Studios
- Publisher: Krafton
- Release Date: December 2, 2022
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
SOMA is a survival horror game that was developed and published by Frictional Games. The game was released back in September 2015 on Linux, OS X, PlayStation 4, and PC and was later ported to Xbox One in December 2017.
The game takes place in 2104, in an underwater research facility called PATHOS-II located somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean. The facility has fallen into despair after a comet hit the earth and those located within it, became the last surviving humans on the planet.
The player is put in control of Simon Jarret, a car crash survivor who suffered permanent brain damage. Simon agrees to undergo an experimental brain scan. When he regains consciousness, he quickly discovers that not everything is as it appears to be.
SOMA’s gameplay mostly revolves around solving puzzles, and exploring the environment and stealth as the player progresses through the story and discovers clues in the form of audio tapes and notes that reveal what really happened within the facility.
- Developer: Frictional Games
- Publisher: Frictional Games
- Release Date: 22 September 2015
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4
14. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a survival horror game that was originally released for Xbox in October 2005 and later ported to Microsoft Windows in 2006. Developed by Headfirst Productions and published by Bethesda Softworks, the game was originally meant to be a trilogy, however, various delays and development issues led to somewhat poor commercial reception and the inevitable cancelation of the sequels.
The game takes place in a town called Innsmouth, a mysterious community located on an isolated island, almost completely separated from the rest of the USA. The player assumes the role of Detective Jack Walters, who is tasked with investigating a missing person case in Innsmouth. Jack quickly discovers that the disappearance is connected to a cult that worships a race of creatures known only as the Deep Ones and is quickly led down a rabbit hole that he will have a tough time escaping.
As far as gameplay goes, it mostly focuses on sneaking and avoiding enemies in the first third, however, the player eventually gets their hands on various firearms and is able to fight back. Other aspects of the game include solving puzzles as well as unique healing and sanity mechanics.
- Developer: Headfirst Productions
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks, 2K, Ubisoft
- Release Date: October 24, 2005
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox
15. Alan Wake
Last but certainly not least, we have Alan Wake, an action-adventure game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Alan Wake was originally released in May 2010 for Windows and Xbox 360, however, a remaster of the game followed only two years later on multiple platforms. A sequel titled Alan Wake II was announced to be released in 2023.
The events of the game take place in various locations of a small town called Bright Falls located somewhere in Washington. The player assumes control of a writer named Alan Wake who finds himself in a world that is being consumed by darkness that turns humans and other creatures into shadows who are hellbent on causing you harm. These shadows are immune to all damage unless they are exposed to light first so using the environmental sources of light as well as your personal flashlight becomes extremely important.
As the player progresses through the game, managing their weapons, ammunition and other supplies plays a key role as they struggle to collect all pages of the manuscript that sometimes reveal the events that are yet to happen.
- Developer: Remedy Entertainment
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
- Release Date: 14 May 2010
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch