I have been a fan of the series since before my 15th birthday. I recall buying the original game a week before my 15th birthday, and the guy in the shop knew I'd made a fine choice.
I always view the first game as the best, as it is really terrifying and you have to watch your ammo. The later games incorporated action and therefore I feel the series isn't as frightening as it once was.
People always say Resident Evil 4 is the best, but it's hard to say. I appreciate the changes they made. However it isn't very "scary" or challenging after a while. Much of the game has you shooting villagers and cultists and soldiers with armour, and there isn't too many puzzles.
Apart from the vital changes they felt were necessary, the Resident Evil series seems to have a lot of annoying cliches. For example, Capcom introduces a new game and you end up more confused than anything because of the ongoing plot and reasons behind it. I mean, Umbrella goes bankrupt and they are replaced by 'S' but how did this occur?
They should either make a filler game, or just improvise on how they explain things. I'm also curious to know what happened to Rebecca Chambers, Jill Valentine, Carlos Oliveira and Barry Burton. They haven't been seen in any game since. And that was years ago.
Anyway, the remake of Resident Evil is one amazing game. Silent Hill is creepy, but Resident Evil is just plain creepy. George A. Romero has a lot to answer for, but I think he already knows what they're doing, and sort of appreciated it at the time. However, they didn't air his advert for Resident Evil 2 in 1998 so I guess he isn't all too chuffed.