7) Resident Evil – Determination > Fear
While it may be argued whether the Resident Evil series invented the survival horror genre, there exists no doubt that the original introduced frantic, low-ammo, zombie-killing to a broad audience of gamers. An early title for the first PlayStation console, Resident Evil put gamers in the shoes of S.T.A.R.S. agents Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as they and their elite squad of law enforcers investigated strange reports of cannibalism near a mansion on the outskirts of Raccoon City.
While the series has become far more action-oriented and user-friendly in recent installments, Resident Evil began with an intentionally awkward control scheme. Movement and interactions required exceptionally deliberate manipulation of the controller, making it difficult to react instinctively. Where this would be a fault in most games, it brilliantly contributed to the effectiveness of Resident Evil’s scares and payoffs. Survival required reacting with measured precision, which was not always easy while regaining composure after a terrifying creature reveal.
The high adrenalin action couched among genuinely cerebral puzzles taught players to push past their fears and focus on both survival and objectives. The game is perhaps responsible for a generation of zombie fanatics who grew up to entertain serious debate about how to handle a bio-chemical apocalypse. Granted, keep calm and slay the undead probably won’t prove the most practical skill ever developed. Nevertheless, the ability to keep it together and act appropriately in chaotic or threatening situations comes in handy, whether investigating cannibals or parenting small children.