The Resident Evil series turns 20 years old today.

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Capcom's survival horror franchise began with the Japanese launch of Resident Evil for PlayStation on 22nd March 1996.

A huge success, the game reached European shores five months later and the act of opening doors in a video game would never be the same again.

Resident Evil has since spawned half a dozen sequels, a remake, a prequel and countless spin-offs. It has inspired a successful (if rather B-movie) film franchise, a series of CG films, plus books and clothing (who doesn't love Leon's Resi 4 coat?).

It has also become synonymous with the survival horror genre - even if some later entries strayed into more mainstream shooter fare.

It's fair to say that the series' earlier games, with the exception of series high point Resident Evil 4, still stand as the best Resident Evil has to offer.

New ports of the original Resident Evil (themselves ports of the GameCube remake) and Resident Evil Zero have recently launched and a full remake of Resident Evil 2 is now on the way. In the meantime, Resident Evils 4/5/6 are also being re-released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

But what of the future, and of the inevitable Resident Evil 7? It has been three years since the launch of Resident Evil 6, the series' last numbered release which earned itself fair-to-middling reviews. And while episodic spin-off Revelations 2 was enjoyable enough, fans are hoping that this anniversary year holds an announcement of the next big Resident Evil game - one that can secure the series' future for another 20 years.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.

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