Developer WayForward are highly regarded for their incredible sprite work, and fun platformers. They aren't known for creating horror-themed dungeon crawlers, which is what Silent Hill: Book of Memories is. The Vita exclusive mashup didn't excel at either genre it attempted to blend together. It's also the most recent release in the series, so what a bummer it would be if this is how the legendary survival horror series ended.
Silent Hill: Downpour, which appears to be the final Silent Hill console game, wasn't terrible, but also failed to be the return to form that many fans wanted it to be. Combat continued to be more frustrating than enjoyable, but the added focus on exploration was a welcome addition. It also suffered from technical issues, which ends up making this one of the most skippable titles in the series.
The first PlayStation 3 entry in the series wasn't anything special. Silent Hill: Homecoming was developed by Double Helix, which gave the game a distinct feel when compared to its Japanese counterparts. Sadly, it felt more like an imitation than a reinvention, and Homecoming failed to do anything interesting with its by-the-numbers story. On the bright side, it did have some memorable boss encounters, and the enemy design is much better than the other PS3 entry in the series.
Silent Hill 4: The Room was a big departure from what the series had previously done, but it also showed that change can be a good thing. The game's focus on Henry's apartment was a welcomed addition, as it provided one of the best stories in the entire series. Other changes didn't work quite as well, as puzzle solving took a back seat to combat, which really went against the game's survival horror motif. With all of these changes, it's no wonder why The Room is one of the most divisive games in the series.
Developed for the PlayStation Portable, Silent Hill: Origins took the series back to its roots after the departure that was The Room. From a gameplay standpoint, it really felt like an extension of the original trilogy. It played and looked well on the PSP, although its later PS2 port wasn't exactly easy on the eyes. For those who were looking for more of the same scares, Origins certainly delivered.
The original Silent Hill was groundbreaking when it released in 1999. It was one of the most atmospheric games ever released, and it used this atmosphere (alongside a whole lot of fog) to produce a terrifying game on limited hardware. That said, it hasn't exactly aged all that well. The game controls pretty poorly, and cracks are definitely showing. Still, it's an influential game that is worth playing.
Silent Hill 3 might not be as legendary as the second installment of the series, but it's still a great game. Heather, the adopted daughter of Silent Hill protagonist Harry Mason, is one of my favorite characters in Silent Hill, and her adventure is a satisfying one. It doesn't feel like much of a step forward, but returning players will still find a lot to enjoy here.
A reimagining of the original game, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a fantastic alternate take on a familiar story. It has a fantastic framing device where the player undergoes psychotherapy sessions, and made the smart choice of getting rid of combat. With a great story (and a phenomenal twist), Shattered Memories is one of the best games in the entire series, even if it is often overlooked.
If any title in the series needs to be played, it's Silent Hill 2. Featuring a fantastic narrative and terrifying monster designs, SH2 wasn't afraid to tackle risqué topics that other games shy away from. It also had the perfect mix of puzzle solving and combat, making sure that tension was high throughout the entire experience. I'd go as far to argue that it's the best survival horror game ever made, and the genre hasn't found a way to top the 2001 release. Just try to play the original release, as Konami managed to screw up the HD re-release pretty badly.