I've never been a Resident Evil fan, however one of my loved ones is, so I played 1, 2, 3, Code: Veronica and 4 and think it was a good series before 4. I haven't played 5 so I can't express an opinion about it, but I read that it's very similar to RE4 gameplay-wise, so my interest in it was equal to zero. Also, I'm not a big fan of the African setting and Chris. Well, not that I liked RE4 Leon so much, either... RE2 Leon was quite different from his RE4 self, and I preferred him like that.
A pity that the series changed so much gameplay-wise.