Well, Resident Evil 2 happened, and quickly all the doubts were erased.
The game took everything that the first one did so well, polished it, expanded it and cemented the namesake as a force of nature in the video game industry for years to come. The first game did a remarkable job of creating the foundation for one of the most popular and best-selling franchises, but this second one is not only the first story of the beautiful house, but the amazing landscaping as well. When people point to what game brought them into the series, this is the most common answer.
And for good reason.
Playing this game tonight, I was quickly reminded of the graphical upgrade of the game. It looks FANTASTIC, far better than the original game, as it is clear that the developers put a lot of love and dedication in to making this the ultimate experience visually.
The storyline itself is good, and it's fun to have new characters introduced to the universe I was already slightly familiar with. The voice acting is still horrible, but without it, I'm not sure I would be able to think of this franchise in any other way. The game play and puzzles are far more advanced and flushed out than the first game, but the controls are still something to be desired.
It's always fun to go back and find/play the games of popular franchises that set them into the orbit of mainstream popularity. Having context for a series that you are extremely fond of is great to help you understand how that series is where it is today. This kind of stuff is called hindsight, friends.