Resident Evil is officially twenty years old today, marking two decades of heroes, villains, and perpetual plague outbreaks. But few Resident Evil elements are more important than the monsters themselves, constantly threatening to terrify and/or kill us. Here are eight of our favorites.

Any Resident Evil monstrosities you think we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Zombies

You can’t go wrong with Resident Evil‘s most common monster – the humble zombie. Not only are they still dangerous in large numbers (especially in the early survival horror focused games) failing to make a headshot leaves bodies behind which can mutate and attack you when you’re exploring later on.

Chainsaw Guy

What’s worse than a Resident Evil 4 Ganado? One who wields a chainsaw as a weapon. What’s worse than a Ganado with a chainsaw? One who takes more ammunition than normal to take down. What’s worse than that? One-hit kills.

Say what you will about the silly bag on his head, you’ll pay attention to this enemy whenever he arrives.

Cerberus Dogs

Resident Evil often took ordinary animals and mutated them into something threatening and terrifying. Few reflected this more than the zombie dogs which rushed towards you when you entered their territories. rushed you and attacked. Something about their snarls and rotting flesh design had a way of getting under your skin more than most creatures in the series.

Lickers

In a city filled with zombies and mutants, the Lickers were among the first “unnatural” monsters players would face. With its exposed brain, huge feet, and elongated tongue, everything about it is unsettling and just screamed wrong. And it only went downhill from there…

Yawn

This goddamn snake. Its enormous size almost completely fills the Spencer Mansion attic, making it one hell of an imposing boss fight. What’s more, it can absorb several grenade launcher rounds, and will freaking poison you if it lands an attack.

Lisa Trevor

Lisa was a new addition to Resident Evil‘s HD remake, but quite a well-chosen one. Her backstory was already disturbingly tragic, presenting her as Umbrella’s first test subject at the age of fourteen. This is reflected in her appearance, attacks type, and her constant screams of pain. Finally, you can defeat her not with a hail of bullets – but simply by opening her mother’s crypt to provide Lisa with closure. It’s a surprisingly powerful moment in Resident Evil lore, and one I’m glad was featured in the remake.

Nemesis

Starrrrrrs….

You all just got goosebumps, didn’t you?

Sure, Nemesis may seem like just another Tyrant mutant at first. But it wasn’t just his rocket launchers, increasingly disturbing mutations, or inability to die that made him memorable. It was that he was the rare Resident Evil monster who could appear at random, throwing your plans into immediate disarray.

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Originally a scientist named William Birkin, this boss character experienced the most dramatic transformation players had seen until that point. And I’m not talking about the early forms that basically added a Soulcaliber blade to his arm – but his final form, which saw him filling an entire train car. It made for a wonderfully epic and disturbing conclusion to one of the best Resident Evil games. Always end on the high note.

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