All Resident Evil games in order

Sam Smith
resident evil logo with spencer mansion

Resident Evil is one of the most beloved horror franchises in gaming and beyond. From the original games, remakes, and spin-offs, there are a lot of games to keep track of, so here’s a full rundown of every mainline game in the series and their release order.

Resident Evil began life as a scary game set in the mysterious Spencer Mansion and since then its universe has expanded to become one of the most well-known horror gaming franchises of all time with eight numbered entries as well as other important games that flesh out the series.

The first four games have now received ground-up remakes, and the universe has also shambled into TV and movie adaptions, expanding it even further.

If you’re looking to get into the Resident Evil franchise and are wondering just how many games there are, here’s everything you need to know about all the games in release order.

How many Resident Evil games are there?

In total, there are 12 mainline Resident Evil games, with eight of them being numbered entries. Everything that’s not part of these 12 games should be considered a spin-off.

We will be covering each of the mainline games that are considered canon, essentially, those that drive the Resident Evil universe forward. This will also include games that appear to be spin-offs but are in fact, full Resident Evil games. While they are not numbered entries these games are just as important as the numbered sequels.

For example, Resident Evil: Code Veronica was considered Resident Evil 4 until an actual RE4 came along, now it’s considered a side story that’s slotted in between RE3 and 4, and one that features some very important story progression.

Every Resident Evil game in chronological order

Here’s a quick rundown of ever Resident Evil game in chronological order:

  • Resident Evil 0
  • Resident Evil (Or its remake)
  • Resident Evil 2 (Or its remake)
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (Or its remake)
  • Resident Evil: Code Veronica
  • Resident Evil 4 (Or its remake)
  • Resident Evil: Revelations
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Resident Evil Village (Officially considered RE8)

All main Resident Evil games & their release dates

Now here’s the full rundown of every mainline Resident Evil game in the order of their release. Be aware we won’t be including the remakes in this list, but we will refer to them in each entry that received a remake:

Resident Evil

jill valentine investigating room in resident evil 1
  • Release date: March 22, 1996 (Remake 2002)
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 5 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 1

The original Resident Evil was the game that started it all and arguably kicked off the survival horror genre and the sprawling Resident Evil universe. It saw a group of police survival specialists known as the S.T.A.R.S team trapped in a huge mansion that was infested by zombies and other bio-weapons. The player would control one of these characters, guiding them around the mansion solving puzzles, unlocking doors, and either fighting or avoiding the undead as they went.

Players couldn’t just shoot anything that moved, ammo needed to be used sparingly and sometimes the wisest decision was to run away. As the story progressed and the mystery unraveled, the S.T.A.R.S members learned that they had been embroiled in a huge corporate conspiracy – and that one among them was a traitor. What’s worse, the virus that caused the outbreak is spreading to the local city.

The game would eventually receive a remake on the Nintendo GameCube, which has since been ported to nearly every other platform. If you want to begin your Resident Evil journey, the latest update of the remake is an ideal place to start.

Resident Evil 2

tyrant looking at claire redfield in resident evil 2 remake
  • Release date: January 21, 1998 (Remake 2019)
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 6.1 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 1

Resident Evil 2 continued the story with the T-Virus spreading to the nearby Raccoon City as Umbrella, the huge pharmaceutical company behind the outbreak, scrambled to cover its tracks. Most of the action took place in the Raccoon City Police Station and players controlled two new characters, Leon a rookie cop, and Claire, the sister of one of the S.T.A.R.S team members.

The Police Station would gradually become overrun with zombies and monsters and Leon and Claire frantically searched for a way out. They too would become involved in the Umbrella Conspiracy, learning secrets about the virus, its creators, and the events that led to this point. The game used a similar template to the original but improved on it in every way.

Resident Evil 2 was remade in 2019, using the over-the-shoulder camera system pioneered in Resident Evil 4. Like the original Resident Evil 2, it’s easily considered one of the best games in the series. It’s a faithful remake that captures what made the original so popular and goes even further.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

nemesis firing minigun in resident evil 3 remake
  • Release date: September 22, 1999 (Remake 2020)
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 3.5 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 1

Resident Evil 3 is also set in Raccoon City, charting the town’s final hours before the government nukes the place, destroying all traces of the outbreak and Umbrella’s involvement. Jill, one of the original S.T.A.R.S team members is desperately trying to escape the city. However, Umbrella knows she’s a risk to them so they send the Nemesis, a huge bioweapon on a mission to assassinate her and anyone else who may know too much.

So not only do Jill and her allies need to avoid a city full of zombies and mutants, but they also need to contend with the relentless Nemesis who stalks them at every turn. The game leaves the tightly enclosed areas behind and places Jill out onto the zombie-infested streets. Therefore, proceedings are slightly more action-packed than previous RE games, with more guns and zombies on the screen to use as cannon fodder, but it’s still true survival horror.

The remake was released in 2020 and while not as celebrated as the original or other remakes in the series, it remains the definitive Resident Evil 3 experience.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica

close-up cut scene of claire redfield in resident evil code veronica
  • Release date: February 3, 2000
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 2.5 million
  • Original Platforms: Dreamcast

Resident Evil: Code Veronica marked the series’ first foray into the next-gen, releasing first on the Dreamcast then on PS2 and beyond. With Raccoon City now a smoldering crater, this game moved the action to a small island and then to an abandoned Antarctic research base as the Umbrella Corporation went to war with its enemies. Players once again controlled Claire who was still searching for her brother, S.T.A.R.S team member Chris. The two would reunite, but would then need to escape Umbrella’s clutches – and an army of undead.

Code Veronica was considered the fourth Resident Evil game upon release and was even intended to be the third at one stage. However, with the release of the actual RE4, the game is now considered an essential side story that bridges the gap between sequels. It goes as far as to resurrect the series’ original villain, the traitorous Albert Wesker, making it a very important chapter in the franchise.

There’s not been a remake, but lots of fans remain hopeful one will come – and the arguments for a remake are strong.

Resident Evil 0

billy firing gun in resident evil 0
  • Release date: November 12, 2002
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 4 million
  • Original Platforms: Gamecube

Resident Evil Zero was a prequel to the original game that used the engine and assets of the Resident Evil 1 remake to make another chapter. Set 24 hours before the Mansion Incident, the game followed the ill-fated S.T.A.R.S Bravo team as they investigated the zombie outbreak before the team we met in RE1. As most of the characters in the Bravo team were zombies in RE1, this was a tragic story that provided a lot of backstory and context to the original game.

Players would control the sole Bravo team survivor, Rebecca Chambers, and escaped convict Billy Coen as they teamed up to survive the nightmare and prevent the virus from spreading. The game’s partner zapping system received a mixed reception from fans and critics, but Resident Evil Zero plays a lot like the RE1 remake. Therefore, if you want to play the series from its chronological beginning, this is the one to play first. The game has been ported to nearly every system since its release, so it’s easy to find.

Resident Evil 4

leon kennedy holding a knife in resident evil 4 remake
  • Release date: January 11, 2005 (Remake 2023)
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 11.4 million
  • Original Platforms: Gamecube

Resident Evil 4 was considered a soft reboot for the series in many ways. It abandoned the survival horror gameplay and provided something much more action-packed. The game also did away with the classic fixed camera angles and replaced them with a stylish system that was much more suited to modern third-person shooters. In fact, this system would then be adopted by many other games, meaning RE4 revolutionized an entire genre.

The game switched out zombies for something faster and much more deadly, the Ganados, and saw the return of Leon from Resident Evil 2. Now a government agent specializing in bio-terror, Leon was searching for the President’s daughter after she was captured by a mysterious cult. Elsewhere in the Resident Evil universe, Umbrella had been destroyed, but its fugitive researchers were now selling their bio-weapons to the highest bidder, setting the stage for the next phase of the franchise.

The original RE4 is considered one of the greatest games of all time, but a remake released in 2023 still managed to be even better. It also brought back survival horror elements from the previous remakes, creating a more balanced game that borrowed from the very best of Resident Evil’s history.

Resident Evil 5

chris redfield being held in resident evil 5
  • Release date: March 5, 2009
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 13.4 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Following on from the success of Resident Evil 4, RE5 continued the push towards action over horror and saw the return of Chris Redfield. Now a member of the UN’s bio-security team dispatched to Africa to investigate a possible outbreak, Chris discovers that the virus that Leon faced in RE4 had now made its way here and all hell was breaking loose. What’s worse, his old enemy Albert Wesker was behind it.

The game finally closes the door on some of the final story threads from the Raccoon City era of Resident Evil, but it largely retreads a lot of the ground from RE4 in terms of gameplay. However, it did add multiplayer which could be fun, but was ill-suited to the setting. RE5 wasn’t a bad game but proved to be a PR disaster for Capcom rather than the classic its predecessor was.

The ending of the Resident Evil 4 remake teases that Capcom could be considering a RE5 remake, or this could simply be fan service. We’ll have to wait and see.

Resident Evil: Revelations

jill shooting enemies in resident evil revelations
  • Release date: January 26, 2012
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 2.5 million
  • Original Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

Resident Evil: Revelations was originally developed for the Nintendo 3DS before rightfully getting ported to main consoles – where it really shines. Set between the events of RE4 and RE5, the game sees original RE1 characters Jill and Chris investigating an outbreak on an abandoned ship. Naturally, there’s been an outbreak of a new virus and the veteran zombie slayers are once again thrust into the action.

What’s great about RE: Revelations is that the game is a classic survival horror experience, more so than RE4, 5 and 6. So, old-school Resi fans loved this return to its roots and consider this game to be criminally underrated. It shows its age and Nintendo 3DS origins when played on modern systems, but is still an essential game for committed Resident Evil fans.

While the game is essentially a side story, it’s still an important chapter in the series’ lore. Those who are playing through the series or are enjoying the various RE remakes owe it to themselves to also check out this game. It features some epic boss battles too, some will stick with you long after you’ve fired the last round. Mayday, mayday…

Resident Evil 6

cast of resident evil 6 characters
  • Release date: October 2, 2012
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 10 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

If Resident Evil 5 was losing touch with its survival-horror roots, Resident Evil 6 completely ignored them and went full-blown Michael Bay movie with multiple campaigns fueled by guns, explosions, and machismo. The divisiveness of Resident Evil 6 is still felt to this day and the negative reception would spark a huge change in direction for the series.

On reflection Resident Evil 6 isn’t a terrible game, there’s fun to be had, but it suffers from an identity crisis as the game simply doesn’t know which audience to play to, so it tries to cater to all RE fans, and ends up pleasing nobody. The game came out during the Call of Duty boom and wanted a slice of that pie but while trying not to abandon its core audience.

On a positive note, Resident Evil 6 brought back lots of classic characters and monsters and threw them all into one big ambitious pot. It also had some epic boss battles that are great to play solo or with a buddy. As RE6 was the game that saw RE’s flirtation with action games peak and fizzle out, we can thank it for being the catalyst for what happened next – the series’ second soft reboot.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2

claire shooting enemies in resident evil revelations 2
  • Release date: February 24, 2015
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 2.6 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

Like the first Resident Evil Revelations game, Revelations 2 was a side story that focused on survival horror but generally got the balance right when it came to action. After all, shooting zombies and monsters has always been an important part of Resident Evil. The game served as a balm to some fans after the disappointment of RE6 and gave longtime players hope that survival horror would make a comeback.

As far as the story goes, the game saw RE2 and Code Veronica protagonist Claire Redfield trapped in yet another island prison complex while a new enemy emerged from the shadows, intent on continuing what Albert Wesker started in RE5. Revelations 2 also served as a prequel to Resident Evil 6 and concluded some story strands from earlier mainline games while setting up some tantalizing new story ideas that are yet to be capitalized on in the wider RE series.

Like RE6, the game is likely too recent to warrant a remake, and as a side game is unlikely to receive one anyway, but in truth it doesn’t need one. The game was also the first main-line Resident Evil game to be released on the PS4 and Xbox One, so on a technical level it was leaps and bounds ahead of anything seen in RE to this point.

A possible third Revelations game referred to as Resident Evil Outrage was said to be in development, but appears to have been quietly canceled. At least as far as we can tell.

Buy Resident Evil Revelations 2 on PS4

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

shot of the baker family in resident evil 7
  • Release date: January 24, 2017
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 11 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was the second soft reboot of the series, fully returning to survival horror and boldly adopting a first-person viewpoint rather than the now iconic ‘over-the-shoulder style.’ The game also took inspiration from Silent Hills/PT demo as well as other horror games like Outlast and Amnesia. Once again, the focus was on exploration, survival, and piecing together a mystery through puzzles and discarded notes, a lot like the original Resident Evil games.

Players control the new character Ethan Winters as he investigates an old plantation house in Louisiana while looking for his missing wife and at first, the series doesn’t appear to share any connection to earlier games. However, these are gradually teased out as the truth behind the horror is revealed. Ethan is relentlessly stalked by the infected Baker family, each with their own quirks and horrific powers.

While the first-person view remains controversial to this day, there’s no denying that RE7 is a gripping survival horror game and a true return to form for the series. It’s also the first chapter in the Winter’s saga of games, that would continue in later entries.

Resident Evil Village

lady dimitrescu flexing claws in resident evil 8 village
  • Release date: May 7, 2021
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Sales: 6.4 million
  • Original Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC

Resident Evil Village serves as both a sequel to Ethan Winter’s saga and the wider Resident Evil universe, artfully borrowing from several previous entries. The game continues the story from RE7 but also incorporates elements from games as early as RE1, tying the plot together in one neat narrative.

In terms of gameplay, RE Village feels like a cross between RE4 and RE7 and players have the choice to either play it in first person or go back to the over-the-shoulder view, making it feel like one of the RE remakes or the previous entry. While the game is firmly rooted in survival horror, it leans into the action a lot more but never descends into RE6 territory.

In fact, we’d argue that RE Village gets the horror-to-action balance exactly right, being comparable to the RE4 remake in this regard. The game truly is the culmination of twenty years of Resident Evil and marks the end of an era – and the start of an exciting new one.

Here’s to whatever Resident Evil 9 ends up looking like!

That’s every Resident Evil game in order. You can also check out all Need for Speed games in order or all Call of Duty games in order if you’re a fan of those games.

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