With Dead Rising 4 now out the door, and our playthrough finalised, we decided to take a look to see how it stacks up with the rest of the series entries.
So here we are…ranking the full Dead Rising series from god damn worst, right up to the best zombie bashing offering that we’ve ever seen.
7) Dead Rising: Case Zero
Okay, so Case Zero may not be treated as a main entry in the franchise, but those that have played this lovely, compact DLC content will surely agree that it is worth a look. Although it’s not necessary to play through in order to follow the main storyline, the plot gaps it fills in certainly helps to explain things a bit better before you’re thrown into a whole new city with a completely fresh protagonist.
The story in Dead Rising: Case Zero acts as a prequel to the events seen in Dead Rising 2 and is set shortly after Chuck and Katey escape the Las Vegas zombie outbreak, arriving in the town of Still Creek. Here, players are required to deal with another small outbreak and then escape before the military arrives to kill any infected persons, even those still alive such as Katie.
Whilst only providing a very small piece of content, Dead Rising: Case Zero still allows players to progress to level five, taking their progress along with any combo cards earned over to Dead Rising 2.
Had this DLC been any longer we may well have found it higher up the list.
6) Dead Rising: Case West
Of course, we couldn’t talk about Case Zero so fondly without then having something to say about the other downloadable standalone content – Dead Rising: Case West.
Case West returns players to the shoes of snap-happy photographer Frank West, and is a more sizeable content offering than that of Case Zero. Dead Rising: Case West serves as the canon Overtime Mode of Dead Rising 2, with Frank and Chuck teaming up to further investigate the link between Phenotrans and the Fortune City outbreak, all whilst searching for proof to clear Chuck of any involvement behind the zombie outbreak.
The story follows on from Dead Rising 2’s Ending A and is fully playable in both solo or co-op. It also brought the return of photography that was initially removed from Dead Rising 2 due to the new protagonist. Whilst there isn’t enough content on offer here to justify a spot above the full series entries on this list, it is still an enjoyable one.
5) Dead Rising 2: Off The Record
Okay so here we are at the first fully fledged title in our list, and this one will certainly take some of the dedicated fans amongst you by surprise – but there’s good reason that this one doesn’t sit near the top of the pile.
Whilst many people praised Dead Rising 2: Off the Record for its return to fan favourite Frank West, there was no hiding the fact that this was a title that had pretty much already been released a year earlier. Sure the protagonists had been switched, but other than a few other game modes thrown in that could have been very easily included before, and missions being changed slightly along with a small plot twist to fit in with Frank’s arrival instead of Chuck, there was nothing of real value to this other than the return of everyone’s favourite character.
But with several hours of his constant smart talk in the previous entry, there was no denying that it was starting to get old by the time Dead Rising 2: Off the Record arrived. The main purpose of DR2:OTR was to propose the ‘what-if’ scenario on players; what if the Fortune City incident wasn’t evolved with Chuck, but instead had Frank at the front. For many players this provided nothing more than a choice of which protagonist you wished to play the story with. The biggest problem with this title was the price point however, with many fans unhappy with the full retail pricing, questioning why it wasn’t simply available as DLC instead.
4) Dead Rising 4
Dead Rising is one of the most beloved zombie franchises in recent gaming history, but the arrival of Dead Rising 4 hasn’t all been fun and games – bugs, crashes, fan favourite content being pulled and gameplay so easy that playing blindfolded wouldn’t require much practice.
It’s not all doom and gloom however as amongst the issues are some impressive new features, and an open world that’s ready to compete with its predecessor straight out the door. But despite Capcom Vancouver making some brave changes in order to keep the series strong, the changes made have caused more anger to fans than praise – with the co-op campaign missing, Dead Rising 4 felt like one step forward and another two back.
Whilst the story isn’t terrible, the content on offer failed to live up to previous games and therefore buries itself down in 4th on our list. Not even the fresh faced and vastly improved Frank West will change our minds.
3) Dead Rising 2
Next up is Dead Rising 2, a title that followed up the original with a release in 2010 and quickly became one of Xbox Live’s fastest selling games ever, and for good reason. The biggest request from fans had been introduced with its fluid and seamless multiplayer enabling some of the most enjoyable co-op gameplay the Xbox 360 had ever seen.
And that was delivered along with a whole new and completely fresh open world in which to commence the zombie slaying madness, and an enjoyable story that felt more suitable to the occasion than that of intruding journalist Frank West in the previous instalment.
Despite the positives however, Dead Rising 2 wasn’t quite a perfect game with many finding issue with an immediate end of the story after missing one of the strictly timed checkpoints. Whilst this certainly provided a need for players to focus on the story at hand, the feeling of being tied down in such an open world setting was enough to force a change later in the series.
2) Dead Rising
Okay so the top two was a bit of a close call, but it seems there can be only one winner and it looks like the series’ original outing will have to settle for second.
There won’t be many complaints from me when talking about the original Dead Rising, and that’s because this was the game that enticed me to buy my first Xbox 360 console, as well as being the first major title to provide a completely different outlook on the zombie outbreak.
Whilst the Dead Rising series provides a serious plotline for players to follow, with the original set inside a shopping mall in the country town of Willamette, Colorado, the gameplay on offer gave players a much more casual outlook on the zombie apocalypse, with hundreds of items available to use against the undead hordes ranging from toy swords, water pistols, and a huge variety of guns and blades to slice and dice through the hungry numbers.
Despite the lack of multiplayer, the content included was more than enough to provide players with an enjoyable zombie experience and one that won’t be forgotten for some time.
1) Dead Rising 3
Here we have it, Dead Rising 3, the game that takes the crown for best Dead Rising game. Let’s face it, Dead Rising 3 has it all, doesn’t it?
A sprawling open-world, crazy amounts of content, various game modes, and all the fan favourite features that made the series what it is chucked in alongside plenty of new ones to ensure fans of the slightly repetitive prequels were given something new to sink their teeth into. One of the highly-praised features was the removal of the timer from the main story missions which enabled players to spend more time exploring the vast zombie-filled streets, as opposed to barely scraping through each mission in time.
The story of Dead Rising 3 takes place in the year 2021, three days after the start of the outbreak and ten years after the outbreak in Fortune City, following young mechanic Nick Ramos, in the fictional city of Los Perdidos, California. The map in Dead Rising 3 provided a massive change in scale to previous titles with thousands more zombies present and hundreds more on screen at any one time.
Whilst the many new features were certainly enough to gain praise from fans, the large amount of content in #3 is more than enough to keep players coming back for more and therefore ensures Dead Rising 3’s spot at the top of this list of best ever Dead Rising title.
Do you agree with our list? Think we were too harsh on a particular title? Let us know in the comments below.