The game that started it all. Resident Evil first graced our presence 13 years ago, back in 1996, and even today manages to be superior to many sequels, and all of the spin-off titles. So, just in case you're completely out of loop, the story of the original Resident Evil goes something like this: A group of specially trained police officers are sent into the mountains surrounding Raccoon City. Shortly after, the group is attacked, resulting in the death of one of their members. The surviving four escape into a mansion nearby, but soon realize it may have been safer outside. While exploring the mansion as one of two playable characters, you'll find the corpses of many of your compatriots.
Equipped with only a gun, and minimal capacity for other items, Resident Evil defined the word, terror. At least in my opinion. Even playing it today, what with it's poorly aged graphics, sound and voice acting, the original Resident Evil is still much more terrifying than any of it's sequels. A major attribute to this, is the fact that as little as three zombie bites without healing yourself can send you to the graveyard. While it may be more realistic, I still enjoy being able to be attacked a good five times in RE2, before falling to yellow caution. The story for Resident Evil may not be the most original, but still manages to be entertaining the entire ride. If you'd like to, you can choose to save your surviving teammates at certain prompted times in the game, or you can just let them die, which is totally up to you. Unlike Resident Evil games to come after this, the original gives you no letter grade upon completion, so feel free to take your time and let your partners die, because no one's giving you an A if you save them in a quick fashion.
After playing through all of the titles in the series, I have to say, this one is the most fun. Sure, it's also the most scary, and least pretty to look at or listen to, but even while running from your first Hunter will enthrall you. Because of the fact that it's so damn fun, you'll be wanting to play it through again the second you beat it. It's just that good. Some games in the series were just so boring, I couldn't wait to complete them so I'd never have to play them again. Sure I do, because that's why hardcore fans do, but I still didn't like it. Fortunately, ResEvil1, was so good I want to play it over and over and over again, because it almost never gets old, or boring.
The bottom line for this game is that if you love the series, but haven't yet gotten to play the original, definitely but it. You won't regret it. Even casual fans of the series and especially survival horror fans in general will find themselves falling in love with this game. Even fans of the more action oriented RE4 and 5 will still enjoy this game. You might like it all that much, but I guarantee you'll have fun.
Graphics - 3.0 out of 5
Controls - 3.4 out of 5
Story - 4.6 out of 5
Level Design - 4.5 out of 5
Replay Value - 5 out of 5