Getting into one of the most iconic horror franchises, Resident Evil, might seem like a chore as the series spans over 10+ games. The Resident Evil series changed the trajectory of survival horror for the better.
With the recently released Resident Evil: Village and Resident Evil 4 Remake releasing next year, players may want to try out the series for themselves and see what the fuss is about.
The order of each Resident Evil game can become pretty confusing, even for players who are familiar with the franchise. It becomes even more overwhelming for players who are new to the series.
1. The Chronological Order to Play the Resident Evil Series
Consisting of 16 different titles and spin-offs spanning different timelines, the chronological order of all the Resident Evil games will help you follow the series and the story properly.
Take a quick look at all the 16 Resident Evil games which are readily available to play. Quite a few of these have been remade for newer generation consoles, hence you can substitute the original with the remakes as well.
- Resident Evil 0
- Resident Evil/Resident Evil REmake
- Resident Evil 3/Resident Evil 3 Remake
- Resident Evil 2/Resident Evil 2 Remake
- Resident Evil: Survivor
- Resident Evil: Code Veronica
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
- Resident Evil 4
- Resident Evil: Revelations
- Resident Evil 5
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2
- Umbrella Corp
- Resident Evil 6
- Resident Evil 7
- Resident Evil Village
The Resident Evil 4 Remake is not listed here as it is yet to be released. The original Resident Evil 4 was released for GameCube, however it was later re-released for modern platforms so you can substitute the original with the re-release in this case.
The order of Resident Evil 2 and 3 can be quite surprising. However, Resident Evil 3 acts as a prequel to Resident Evil 2 and shows the beginning of the T-virus outbreak in Raccoon City, which is followed up in Resident Evil 2 with Leon and Claire.
2. The Release Order to Play the Resident Evil Series
The release order for the Resident Evil games is a long one. Don’t get intimidated seeing the list if you’re a newcomer to the franchise. Some of the games that are gonna be listed in the order are spin-offs, remasters and remakes which means they’re essentially the same game with the same plot, but for modern consoles.
If you want to play all the Resident Evil games in its release order, then you should follow this list:
- Resident Evil (1996)
- Resident Evil 2 (1998)
- Resident Evil 3 (1999)
- Resident Evil: Survivor (2000)
- Resident Evil: Code Veronica (2000)
- Resident Evil: Survivor 2 (2001)
- Resident Evil Gaiden (2001)
- Resident Evil REmake (2002)
- Resident Evil Zero (2002)
- Resident Evil: Dead Aim (2003)
- Resident Evil: The Missions (2003)
- Resident Evil Outbreak (2003)
- Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2 (2004)
- Resident Evil 4 (2005)
- Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (2006)
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007)
- Resident Evil: Genesis (2008)
- Resident Evil 5 (2009)
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009)
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011)
- Resident Evil Revelations (2012)
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012)
- Resident Evil 6 (2012)
- Resident Evil Revelations 2 (2015)
- Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster (2016)
- Umbrella Corps (2016)
- Resident Evil 7 (2017)
- Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019)
- Resident Evil 3 Remake (2020)
- Resident Evil Village (2021)
The above list consists of 30 Resident Evil games so it can be pretty overwhelming for new players. However, you can substitute some of the original Resident Evil games with its remake or remasters. This won’t affect your story progress at all as they’re essentially the same games.
The list additionally includes spin-offs such as Resident Evil: Outbreak, Gaiden and Deadly Silence which have very little to do with the mainline plot of Resident Evil. Hence, you can skip them if you want.
3. Which Resident Evil game should you play first?
When it comes to deciding the first game to begin a series as big as Resident Evil, it can get pretty dicey. I would suggest you start the Resident Evil series with either Resident Evil REmake or Resident Evil 0.
Even through Resident Evil 0 is a prequel, Resident Evil REmake might be a better option to start the Resident Evil series with as it’s easier to learn and familiarize with the gameplay than in 0. In Resident Evil 0, you take control of two characters and their inventories so it would be pretty herculean to play for someone who is new to the series.
4. Can you play Resident Evil 2 before Resident Evil 3?
You can absolutely play Resident Evil 2 before playing Resident Evil 3. It won’t affect your story progress, neither will you lose sleep over following the story properly. The connection between both of these games is simple to understand and incredibly easy to follow.
Resident Evil 2 follows the story of Leon S. Kennedy on his first day as a cop and Claire Redfield’s search for her brother, Chris Redfield while also showcasing the whole T-virus outbreak. Resident Evil 3 gives players more clarity on the T-virus outbreak and follows the story of Jill Valentine, an ex-member of the Raccoon City Police Department’s S.T.A.R.S team.
5. Do you have to play the Resident Evil games in order?
You don’t have to play the Resident Evil games in order so long as you have a general idea of the synopsis of the Resident Evil world. However, it might be a puzzling experience for you which is why it is always advised to
play or at the very least know the story of the previous game depending on the Resident Evil game you’re after.
There might be characters appearing repeatedly throughout the series and you may not understand what’s going on, owing to missing pieces of backstory from previous Resident Evil games. If you want the ultimate Resident Evil experience, then it is suggested that you play the games in order.
6. Are all the Resident Evil games connected?
All of the Resident Evil mainline games are connected and take place in the same universe, commonly known as the ‘Prime Universe’. The main games, from the first Resident Evil up through Resident Evil Village, are connected with each other.
The Resident Evil mainline games focus on the same T-virus outbreak. However, Resident Evil 7 took a departure from the series by introducing a new protagonist, Ethan Winters, along with a first-person camera view. With its vast differences from the previous Resident Evil titles, it is still very much connected to them and continuing the same story that the series has built up.
7. About Resident Evil 4 Remake
Resident Evil 4, developed and published by Capcom, is an upcoming remake of the classic 2005 title by the same name. The horror remaster reimagines elements from the old game in a modern and improved way.
Players get to play as US agent Leon S. Kennedy, who is on a mission to rescue Ashley, the President’s daughter, from a Spanish cult-worshipping village.
Resident Evil 4 was launched on March 24, 2023.