It’s late October, and the days are getting shorter, nights are getting longer, it’s getting colder. However, what this time of year is known for best is that it is a spooky season!
What’s a better way to celebrate spookiness and horror than to honor the master of the horror genre in video games, Shinji Mikami. If you don’t know who Mikami is, he is best known as the father of Resident Evil which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is one of the biggest franchises in video games.
Ranking the Top 5 Shinji Mikami Games
We will be looking specifically at the game that Mikami directed. Thus, you won’t see the likes of Devil May Cry or the upcoming Ghostwire: Tokyo on this list. With that, let’s get spooky and start the list!
To start the list is Mikami’s game that, unfortunately, is extremely hard to play nowadays. Dino Crisis was Mikami and his team’s next horror franchise after Resident Evil was off the ground. Released in 1999 on the original PlayStation, Dino Crisis sees players trapped on an island tasked with investigating a research facility that’s been overrun with dinosaurs. Of course, as the Jurassic Park films had proven, dinosaurs can be terrifying if done right. And with the mind behind Resident Evil in the director’s seat, the dinosaurs in Dino Crisis were just as scary as the zombies in Resident Evil, if not way more. Like, what’s more, terrifying than being chased by a T Rex?
While the original was a huge hit and Capcom carried on the franchise with a few new games, the series has been dormant since 2003 with Dino Crisis 3, for which Mikami served as executive producer. Since then, fans have clamored for the sequel to return and have desired to see the first game remade in the style of the recent Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes. Only time will tell if Capcom decides to revive the Dino Crisis games in some form in the future.
the Evil Within
Next is Mikami’s first actual survival horror game after departing Capcom and PlatinumGames to start Tango Gameworks. First released in 2014, The Evil Within sees Mikami delve into the more psychological horror side of the genre he is most versed in. The Evil Within sees players assume the role of detective Sebastian Castellanos as he’s pulled into a world of horror and despair. The game has terrifying enemy designs that are sure to keep you up at night and some rival even the scariest designs in Resident Evil.
While the game had a very eerie atmosphere and enemies, the plot feels more convoluted than what Mikami was known for in the Resident Evil games. The Evil Within saw a sequel that Mikami produced that was released in 2017. Since then, the series has been on hiatus as the studio is set to release Ghostwire: Tokyo next year.
The only game that’s not a horror game that makes the list. Vanquish is one of PlatinumGames’s earliest games, following the likes of Bayonetta. Vanquish exploded as one of the best indie action games upon its release in 2010.
The game brought hardcore 2D-style gameplay to action games that weren’t seeing much advancement in the mainstream space at the time.
Though the game is short, it is a ton of fun to play through repeatedly. Though the game didn’t succeed like other games Mikami has worked on, Vanquish has a dedicated fanbase that loves the game. A remaster of the game was released for its tenth anniversary on modern consoles last year, and it is currently playable on all modern platforms.
Coming in at number 2 is the onset of the survival horror genre and the start of one of the biggest franchises in gaming. When it was released on the original PlayStation back in 1996, it took the gaming world by storm. The game made zombies scary again and was extremely tense and full of heart-pounding moments. Everyone remembers the dog scene in the game. Resident Evil led to Capcom experimenting with multimedia projects, including films and TV shows based on the franchise.
Then, in 2002, Capcom and Mikami decided to remake the game and nailed it effortlessly. Still called Resident Evil, and affectionately known as REmake by fans, the game improved on everything from the original to bring it to the Nintendo GameCube at the time and replaced the original game. It’s so hard for a remake to be so decisively better than the original, but when you think back on Resident Evil, it’s the remake that comes to mind and is the version of the game that Capcom still makes available for fans to play today.
Resident Evil 4
What else could be number one? While the original Resident Evil spurred the onset of the survival horror genre, Released in 2005 on the GameCube before coming to other platforms later on, basically all consoles that have come out since its release, Resident Evil 4 is considered to be one of the best and most influential games ever made. Resident Evil 4 changed the essence of the Resident Evil franchise and took it to the next level, which has inspired the franchise since. Looking at you, Resident Evil Village. Resident Evil 4 is the epitome of the franchise and continues to be the gold standard in what the franchise should be.
It also completely changed the third-person action genre. There have been so many games from Gears of War to Dead Space that have taken the over-the-shoulder action approach when developing their combat. A VR version of the game just released this week, and rumors of a remake being on the way after the success of recent remakes in the series. You can play Resident Evil 4 on any modern gaming platform today.