Resident Evil (Capcom) - Zombie, survival horror!! One of the widest known franchises, with over twenty video games, seven movies (two are CGI), novels, comics, toys... I think they're actually marketing the T-virus so we can play Resident Evil in real life!
This game may not have invented the survival horror genre of video games, but it brought the genre alive... Or at least undead.
The first game had very little music, the worst voice acting you've ever heard, a maze of a mansion to explore with no map, hardly any ammo for your gun (compounded by the fact that zombies take multiple shots to kill), and awkward camera angles. And yet it was the coolest game I'd ever played. Never before had a game startled me, freaked me out and made me feel trapped and helpless. It was perfect.
The games got better. They ventured out of the mansion, got more playable characters, got bigger and better enemies and tweaked those horrendous controls.
Your enemies aren't exactly zombies, but close enough. They still gang up and mindlessly stumble through your stream of bullets to eat your face.
The atmosphere is dark and gloomy. The muffled mumbling of the "zombies" carries through the misty graveyards or down the dimly lit corridors and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The game has become 3rd person shooter, not awkward angled camera shots and I guess it's debatable whether this is truly an improvement for survival horror. It's an improvement if these were straight action games...
Eventually you're joined by the president's daughter, who's been kidnapped and you're trying to save. As far as a partner, she's baggage. She only serves to get herself into danger and heighten the tension.
Capcom tasted the mighty dollar... It heard the nerdly whisperings of zit pinchers and their precious Call of Doodie... It listened to the straining grind of the Gears of War... It felt the haunting chorus of chanting Halo monks...
And Resident Evil is survival horror no more.
It has become action / first-person shooter / multiplayer. Everything I originally loved about the series, they shat all over to chase fickle trends. I bought Resident Evil 5. It was fun. I played Resident Evil 6. One third of it was really good. But they aren't what they were.
Play Resident Evil 4.
Special Mentions: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rancid, Rage Against the Machine, Rush, Radiohead