A Terrifying Trek Through Time: Exploring Resident Evil

The Resident Evil franchise, a cornerstone of the survival horror genre, has captivated gamers for over two decades.  

With its chilling atmosphere, iconic characters, and relentless zombies (or should we say T-Virus infected?), Resident Evil has spawned numerous games, movies, and merchandise.  

But for newcomers or fans wanting to revisit the saga, a crucial question arises: how do you play Resident Evil in chronological order?

This guide delves into the sprawling narrative of Resident Evil, presenting the mainline games, spin-offs, and remakes in chronological order,  providing context and key plot points to enhance your terrifying journey.

The Genesis of Evil: Setting the Stage (1991-2000)

Resident Evil 0 (2002):  

While released later, Resident Evil 0 chronologically precedes the events of the first game.  It follows Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen, stranded near the Arklay Mountains and uncovering the Umbrella Corporation’s sinister secrets.

Resident Evil (1996):  

The iconic first game introduces us to S.T.A.R.S., a special forces unit, investigating a mansion overrun by flesh-eating creatures.  Here, players meet Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, who become recurring protagonists throughout the series.

Resident Evil 2 (1998):  

Picking up shortly after the first game, Resident Evil 2 takes place in Raccoon City, now overrun by zombies. Players control either Claire Redfield (Chris’s sister) or Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop, as they fight for survival and uncover Umbrella’s conspiracy.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999):  

This fast-paced action horror throws Jill Valentine back into the fray.  Hunted by the relentless Nemesis parasite, a bioweapon created by Umbrella, Jill must escape a quarantined Raccoon City.

Resident Evil Code: Veronica (2000):  

Claire Redfield travels to a remote prison island in search of her brother Chris.  She encounters new threats, including the monstrous Nosferatu and the manipulative Alfred Ashford.

A New Chapter Unfolds: The T-Virus Spreads (2002-2012)

Resident Evil 4 (2005):  

Marking a shift in gameplay, Evil 4 sees Leon S. Kennedy sent on a mission to rescue the President’s daughter from a cult in rural Spain.  He encounters mutated villagers infected with the Las Plagas parasite, a new bioweapon.

Resident Evil 5 (2009):  

Chris Redfield teams up with Sheva Alomar, a BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) agent, to locate a missing member and stop a new strain of the T-Virus in Africa.  This entry emphasizes co-op gameplay.

Resident Evil: Revelations (2012):  

This episodic spin-off follows Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield investigating a bioterrorism threat aboard a derelict cruise ship. It introduces a new enemy, the molded, created by the mutagenic T-Abyss virus.

Resident Evil 6 (2012):  

This ambitious entry features interwoven narratives following multiple characters, including Leon, Chris, and new faces like Jake Muller, a black-market dealer infused with the C-Virus.

Modern Horrors: Remakes and New Threats (2015-2023)

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015):  

Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, a TerraSave member, investigate a seemingly abandoned prison island.  They encounter a new threat, the Revenant, and a twisted experiment by a shadowy organization.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017):  

Shifting to a first-person perspective, Resident Evil 7 introduces Ethan Winters, searching for his missing wife in a derelict Louisiana plantation.  He encounters the twisted Baker family infected with a mold-based bioweapon.

Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019):  

This faithful remake of the classic Evil 2 features stunning visuals and a revamped story, offering a fresh take on the iconic events in Raccoon City.

Resident Evil 3 Remake (2020):  

Similar to RE2 Remake, this reimagines the third game, providing a more detailed and horrifying experience for Jill Valentine’s escape from Raccoon City.

Resident Evil Village (2021):  

Ethan Winters returns in this first-person horror, following him to a mysterious European village shrouded in secrets and infected by a new bioweapon.


Q: What is the absolute first Resident Evil game, both chronologically and by release date?

The answer is Resident Evil (1996), also known as Resident Evil Remake (2002). This game sets the stage for the entire franchise, introducing us to Raccoon City and the T-Virus outbreak.

Q: Wait, there’s a prequel? Tell me about Resident Evil 0!

Evil 0 (2002) acts as a prequel to the first game, following Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen as they uncover the origins of the outbreak at a nearby training facility.

Q: Time for some action! Where does Resident Evil 4 come in?

Evil 4 (2005) takes place six years after the Raccoon City incident. Leon S. Kennedy is sent on a mission to rescue the President’s daughter in a remote European village plagued by a new strain of the virus.

Q: Taking a trip to Africa? What about Resident Evil 5?

Evil 5 (2009) sees Chris Redfield and his new partner Sheva Alomar team up to take down a bioweapons dealer in Africa.

Q: Back to the familiar? How does Resident Evil 6 fit in?

Evil 6 (2012) takes place several years after RE5 and features four interwoven storylines following various characters across the globe as they battle a new bioweapon threat.

Q: A change in perspective! Where does Resident Evil 7 fit in the order?

Evil 7: Biohazard (2017) takes a first-person perspective and introduces a new cast of characters facing a twisted family and their mold-based experiments. It’s chronologically after RE6.

Q: The latest installment! Where does Resident Evil Village fit in?

Evil Village (2021) follows Ethan Winters from RE7 as he searches for his kidnapped daughter in a mysterious European village filled with monstrous creatures.

Q: I heard there are other Resident Evil games. Where do they fit in?

There are numerous spin-offs like Outbreak series, Revelations series, and Operation Raccoon City. These can be played at your leisure, but their stories might not directly affect the main storyline.

Q: Are the remakes considered canon?

The remakes of Evil 1, 2, and 3 are generally considered canon, though they might introduce slight story or gameplay variations.

Q: Should I play the originals or remakes?

This depends on your preference. Originals offer a classic experience, while remakes boast updated graphics and gameplay mechanics.

Q: Do I need to play every game in order to understand the story?

The mainline games provide a core narrative, but some spin-offs offer additional backstory or character development.

Q: What’s the gameplay like in these games?Evil games are known for their survival horror elements, with resource management, exploration, and puzzle-solving alongside combat.

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