All The Resident Evil Games In Order Of Release (2021)

Resident Evil is a widely popular video game franchise created by Capcom. It’s a huge franchise so if you are planning to play it from the beginning, then here’s a complete list of all the Resident Evil games in order!

When it comes to the horror video game genre, Resident Evil is the name that surely comes to your mind. The series has a legacy of about 25 years which is mind-boggling. A video game franchise that is still relevant to this day and keeps on expanding by adding amazing installments every now and then.

Unlike few video game franchises, Resident Evil has made its way to almost all the popular platforms such as PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and more. If we talk about figures, then this is Capcom’s best-selling video game series with around 107 million units sold as of December 31, 2020.

A successful video game series generally expands to other platforms and that is exactly what happens with this one. You can find a plethora of comic books, novels, movies, series, plays, merchandise, and whatnot.

With so many titles, there arises a dilemma of how to play the series in proper order to get the best out of it. If that’s the case, then you have landed on the right page on the internet!

Resident Evil Games In Order

Just like with most games, we have two play orders to explore the Resident Evil franchise. First up is the release order which is in the order the Capcom released the titles. Secondly, we have the chronological one i.e. the timeline.

First, we are going to discuss all the games in detail according to their release order and later we will make a list featuring all the games in chronological order. So, let’s talk about this popular franchise in detail and dive deep into the world of Resident Evil.

Main Series (Release Order)

1. Resident Evil (1996)

resident evil

  • Release date: March 22, 1996
  • Platforms: PlayStation, PSP, PS3, PS Vita, Nintendo DS, Windows, Sega Saturn

It all started back in 1996 when the first-ever Resident Evil game was brought to the world. Capcom wanted to create something like Sweet Home which was its horror release of the year 1989. In the debut year, Resident Evil became the company’s best-selling title with sales of over 8.5 million copies worldwide. The game is the foundation of the future Resident Evil games and remains relevant even to this day.

The original game follows the story of two protagonists namely Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. They both are the member of an elite task force known as S.T.A.R.S. In the game, you investigate the outskirts of Raccoon City as a few of your team members disappeared there. At the start of the game, you will be asked to select which character would you want to play Chris or Jill.

Resident Evil brings the third-person gameplay experience with various elements such as inventory management, exploration, and puzzle-solving. In fact, it is considered as the game that defined the entire survival horror game genre which is a legendary achievement already.

2. Resident Evil 2 (1998)

resident evil 2

  • Release date: January 21, 1998
  • Platforms: Windows, PS Vita, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo  64, Sega Dreamcast

With the success of the initial release, it was time to make it a growing franchise and that’s what Resident Evil 2 did. There was an earlier version of the game and the developers were calling it Resident Evil 1.5. Well, that was drastically different so it was canceled.

The final version of the game was launched as Resident Evil 2, and it was directed and produced by Hideki Kamiya and Shinji Mikami in the same order. For those who’re unaware, they were also responsible for the original 1996 release.

In the second installment, players get to explore the storyline as either Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield. Just like with the previous one, the campaign will take place in Raccoon City but this time you are escaping it.

Why are you escaping? Well, the citizens of the city are now turning into zombies thanks to a biological weapon that was released after two months of the events of Resident Evil. This means that this installment is a continuation of the original release.

With Resident Evil 2, you experience a similar gameplay style focusing on inventory, combat, and puzzle-solving. There was a new addition of character-based storylines and obstacles. This means that you as a player can play the game twice and still have the same fun and different storyline.

3. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)

resident evil 3: nemesis

  • Release date: September 22, 1999
  • Platforms: Windows, PS3, PSP, PS Vita, Nintendo GameCube, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation

A year after the release of the Resident Evil 2, Capcom brought the third installment dubbed Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. It was also titled Biohazard 3: Last Escape in Japan.

With the third installment in the Resident Evil games in order, the developers decided to divide the storyline into two halves. The first half took place 24 hours prior to Resident Evil 2. The second half, on the other hand, takes place the day after. As you might have already guessed, Resident Evil 3 basically gives you more insight into the bio-weapon outbreak.

You get to know more about the T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City. Furthermore, the game also concludes the ultimate fate of the city and its infected population. The game brings a new enemy called Nemesis which is believed to be an upgrade from Mr. X. Nemesis is programmed by Umbrella to hunt down every single member of S.T.A.R.S.

Throughout the gameplay or storyline, you will encounter Nemesis a plethora of times, and you would even fight him in boss fights. The developers added various other things such as Mine Thrower, an experimental weapon. One nice addition was the randomization of items and enemy placements which is something missing in the previous titles.

In the game, you experience a first-hand account of Jill Valentine. Unlike the previous titles, the third installment in Resident Evil games in order also brings more action and combat which was greatly appreciated.

4. Resident Evil – CODE: Veronica (2000)

resident evil - code: veronica

  • Release date: February 3, 2000
  • Platforms: PlayStation 2, 3 & 4, Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube, Sega Dreamcast

Resident Evil – CODE: Veronica is the next installment in the main series of the franchise, otherwise it’s the fifth installment. The title is known for releasing on a non-Sony platform which was not the case with the earlier iterations.

The Code Veronica was originally released on the Sega Dreamcast platform and then made its way to other popular ones. A lot changed with Resident Evil – CODE: Veronica. For instance, the developers went with the 3D backgrounds instead of the pre-rendered ones.

The gameplay experience remains unchanged and you will find it similar to those of Resident Evil 2 and 3. The developers brought various gameplay features from the predecessors to this title.

In Code: Veronica, the player can wield a dual pistol which is something not possible in the previous installments. From the storyline point-of-view, the game features Claire and Redfield as the main characters. This time the game takes place in Rockfort Island and Iceland so you no longer need to worry about Raccoon City.

It basically delivers the traditional gameplay experience but with better speed and graphics. Behind the scenes, the developers use various new techniques to make the experience a better one.

5. Resident Evil Zero (2002)

resident evil zero

  • Release date: November 12, 2002
  • Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, GameCube, Wii

With the Resident evil trilogy coming to an end and CODE: Veronica set at a different location, Capcom needed something to continue the franchise. Well, the developers decided to bring some more interesting aspects to the story.

Resident Evil Zero defined what the franchise is today. As the name suggests, it is a prequel to the 2002 remake of Resident Evil. Yes! There’s a remake of the original Resident Evil as well. We’re gonna talk about all the remakes later. The thing you need to know is the storyline remains the same.

This installment takes place in the Arklay Mountains and follows officer Rebecca Chambers. She’s a member of the S.T.A.R.S Bravo Team. You explore the abandoned training facility for employees of the pharmaceutical company Umbrella. The game also introduced a new character Billy Coen, a convicted criminal. Basically, this installment explains how the T-Virus breakout actually happens.

Talking about the gameplay, the experience remains more or less the same as that of previous Resident Evil titles. We’re still looking at the fixed camera perspective. The developers did revamp the inventory system and the puzzle-solving aspect looked quite weak. All in all, the whole purpose of the game was to bring a new life to the franchise and expand the story for the future scope.

6. Resident Evil 4 (2005)

resident evil 4

  • Release date: January 11, 2005
  • Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS2, PS3, PS4, Android, iOS, Wii, Windows, GameCube, Switch

Capcom took a while to release the next installment but the wait was worth it as the title opened new doors to the franchise. Resident Evil 4 managed to impress the entire gaming community and every fan out there, and it even managed to win a bunch of awards. It is not only one of the best titles in the franchise, but probably one of the best video games ever made.

The developers completely revamped every single aspect of the franchise. This time we’re looking at a new protagonist named Leon who wants to save the daughter of the United States President from the clutches of a cult. The game takes place in rural Spain, a refreshingly new location finally.

Capcom also changed few aspects of the storyline. For instance, T-Virus is now replaced with Zombies. Another good addition was the camera angle which is now at the shoulder making the game more impressive.

The elements are now much more interactive allowing you to jump over fences, duck attacks, use Melee weapons, and do a lot more. You even have more control over your aim which is something not possible earlier. In an essence, we’re now looking at fast-paced gunplay with quick controls and shootouts involving mass crowds of enemies. By playing Resident Evil 4, you will realize how the franchise evolved. This means better and refined titles in the coming years.

7. Resident Evil 5 (2009)

resident evil 5

  • Release date: March 5, 2009
  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, Switch, PS4, PS4, Xbox 360, Nvidia Shield

Next up in the Resident Evil games in order, we have Resident Evil 5 where a lot of new things happen story-wise. Chris Redfield has now bagged a lead role and has become a member of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance. His job is to investigate possible bio-organic weapon smuggling in Africa.

You heard it right! The game takes place in a village in Africa called Kijuju which is infested by the Plaga Parasites. Chris works with Sheva Alomar, a newly introduced character in the franchise.

While the story is completely revised, the gameplay experience remains somewhat the same except few changes. The game is now more fast paced and focuses more on action than survival horror. The developers also implemented 2-player co-op play giving you a much more immersive experience. If you’re unable to find the 2nd player, you can use the AI but we don’t recommend that because their AI really sucks.

With Resident Evil 5, games and critics expressed mixed feelings. There are a variety of reasons for this take. First up, there was nothing new even though the game was launched after 4 years. Secondly, the survival horror aspect of the game was now missing which was the core of the previous games. In fact, some say Resident Evil 5 is the weakest title in the entire franchise.

8. Resident Evil 6 (2012)

resident evil 6

  • Release date: October 2, 2012
  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, PS4, PS3

After the not-so-great success of Resident Evil 5, Capcom introduced the next installment in the main series. Once again, the title picks of Chris Redfield who is now traumatized by a failed operation.

The series introduces a newly developed C-virus that will soon be used for a massive bio-terrorist attack all across the world. Chris along with Leon S. Kennedy, Jake Muller, and Ada Wong aims to stop the force behind this terrorist attack.

While the storyline looks refreshed or somewhat interesting, Resident Evil 6 still managed to disappoint a lot of fans of the franchise. Just like the previous iteration, this installment is also considered the weakest in the franchise. We’re not saying the entire game is bad and you should not play it. It’s just the title doesn’t manage to keep up with the level of expectation and experience that the previous few games offered.

There were still a bunch of new additions such as a 4-player co-op mode and an action-oriented approach. Many fans criticized the developers for putting too much focus on the action aspect which again was not the core of the franchise. With Resident Evil 6, fans and critics alike thought that the franchise might go downhill and this might be the end for the series.

9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)

resident evil 7: biohazard

  • Release date: January 24, 2017
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Windows

This game is the penultimate entry in the Resident Evil games in order and also the game with which Capcom realized it was time for a revamp since they they managed to mess things up with its few previous iterations. That’s where Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was released!

To be honest, the company did a nice job with this installment and showcased that the franchise is here to stay. In this new installment, we saw the addition of yet another character called Ethan Winters.

Winters gets lost in an abandoned plantation that is now occupied by a cannibal family. He is in search of his wife Mia and he has to fight against the Baker family and creatures known as the “Molded.”

Gameplay-wise, the developers incorporated the first-player view with this title resulting in an even more immersive experience. Apart from puzzle-solving, the horror aspects also made a return. You will no longer experience fast-paced actions but instead slower pace survivor-horror experience. There were also additions of new weapons and herbal leaves to recover your health. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard showcased that the real Resident Evil franchise is still here and those aspects will remain the same.

With this title, Capcom realized that it needs to keep the franchise alive by focusing on the puzzle and survival-horror aspects which is something the series has always been known for.

10. Resident Evil 8: Village (2021)

resident evil 8: village

  • Release date: May 7, 2021
  • Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Windows, PS4, Xbox One

Resident Evil 8 or Resident Evil Village is the latest-gen main installment in the franchise that was released back in May. The game continues to bring the same first-person survival horror experience that Resident Evil 7 brought. Once again, we’re witnessing Ethan Winters returning as the protagonist in this title. The developers appeared to have incorporated the same inventory system as that of Resident Evil 4.

Capcom has also brought back “The Merchant” with much more obesity and gigantic appearance and he is referred to as “The Duke.” You will be able to buy weapons and healing items from him. Lei is the currency that is used within the game.

Capcom has also enhanced the multiplayer game by going with 6-player co-op gameplay support which is impressive. Sadly, the multiplayer is limited to the third-person perspective only.

All the Resident Evil Spin-Offs

So far, we have only discussed the main series consisting of eight titles, with the last one released this year. Apart from the main series, Resident Evil franchise has a plethora of spin-offs, and you can find the complete list down below.

  • Resident Evil Survivor (2000)
  • Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica (2001)
  • Resident Evil Gaiden (2001)
  • Resident Evil Dead Aim (2003)
  • Resident Evil Outbreak (2005)
  • Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2 (2004)
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007)
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009)
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011)
  • Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012)
  • Minna to Biohazard Clan Master (2021, Japan only)
  • Biohazard Pachislot (Japan only)
  • Biohazard: Team Survive
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015)
  • Umbrella Corps (2016)
  • Resident Evil Resistance
  • Resident Evil Re:Verse

Resident Evil Games (Remakes or Collections)

Well, Resident Evil is a 25-year old franchise so you already know how the series have evolved story, gameplay, and graphics-wise. If we ask you to play the original release in 2021, you might not like it because of the super old graphics and gameplay experience. Well, that is why Capcom has introduced various remakes for its older titles. Here are all the remakes or collections that Resident Evil has.

  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut (1998)
  • Resident Evil Remake (2002)
  • Resident Evil HD Remaster (2015)
  • Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster (2016)
  • Resident Evil Origins Collection (2016)
  • Resident Evil 2 (2019)
  • Resident Evil 3 (2020)

Resident Evil Games in Chronological Order

If you have already played the entire franchise and are looking to do things differently, then you can explore the chronological or timeline order. Here’s how it looks for the Resident Evil franchise:

  • Resident Evil Zero
  • Resident Evil Remake
  • First half of Resident Evil 3 Remake
  • Resident Evil 2 Remake
  • Second half of Resident Evil 3 Remake
  • Resident Evil – CODE: Veronica
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil Revelations
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Resident Evil Village

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the entire guide about the Resident Evil games in order in greater detail. We also talked about the spin-offs and remakes, and we looked at both the release order as well as the chronological order. I hope that you now have a much better understanding of the franchise and you will use everything you learned from this article to play the games properly.

Also Read: Call of Duty Games In Order