The recent release of the extremely promising Resident Evil 3 Remake (RE3) demo and the launch of the full game happening just a few weeks later serves as a perfect opportunity to discuss Resident Evil games in order as well as determine the proper placement of upcoming RE3: Nemesis Remake in the overall Resident Evil timeline. Hopefully, this RE chronology will provide helpful guidance for newcomers who want to get into this Capcom’s iconic survival-horror franchise.
The Resident Evil series has a very rich lore that expands throughout different media and surrounds themes like government conspiracy, evil corporations, double-agents, bioterrorism, zombie infection outbreaks and the efforts undertaken by the main characters to stop them. We will do our best to provide an introductory walkthrough throughout the series without revealing crucial plot points, however, minor spoilers here and there are still possible. With that being said, here are the Resident Evil games in order that follow the chronological Resident Evil timeline.
Resident Evil Zero
The very first segment in the Resident Evil story actually takes place before the original RE game from 1996. Beginning on July 23rd, 1998, Resident Evil 0 follows the story of Raccoon City Police Department officer Rebecca Chambers who is also the Bravo Team member of the infamous Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.). Chambers is joined by a convict Billy Coen in her investigation of serial cannibalistic murders near the Arklay Mountains. This eventually leads and directly ties into the events depicted in the very first RE game.
If you want to play Resident Evil games in order they were released, you are free to start here. The second game in the Resident Evil timeline was the very first installment in the entire RE franchise. Featuring the now-legendary S.T.A.R.S agent duo Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as playable main characters, the original Resident Evil has all the classic elements of the series: horror, gore, puzzles, fixed camera angles, creepy pre-rendered backgrounds, claustrophobic environments, inventory management, and backtracking. As either Chris or Jill, you will explore the Spencer Mansion trying to find the missing Bravo Team and ruin the devious plans of Umbrella Corporation.
Resident Evil 2
In the Resident Evil timeline, RE2 and RE3 take place parallel to each other, so our advice would be to play these Resident Evil games in order they were originally launched. Third on the list is a game that features another famous pair of main characters: college student and Chris Redfield’s sister Claire Redfield and a rookie police officer Leon Kennedy who is also aided by the mysterious Ada Wong. After the Spencer Mansion incident, Raccoon City ends up being infected by the t-Virus which turns its inhabitants into cannibalistic walking dead. Claire and Leon are stuck in Raccoon City police station, trying to both survive the t-virus outbreak and protect Sherry Birkin – a small girl that plays a large role in Resident Evil timeline, especially during RE6.
Resident Evil 3
Putting the Resident Evil games in order, the story of the upcoming Resident Evil 3 Remake (also known as RE3: Nemesis) starts on September 27th, 1998 – one day before Resident Evil 2, however, it ends on October 1st – after the events depicted in the second installment. Raccoon City is absolutely devastated and Umbrella Corporation uses it as a testing ground for bioweapons (B.O.W.). They are especially keen on killing the S.T.A.R.S. agents related to the Spencer Incident from the second game in the Resident Evil timeline. RE3 takes place in the urban setting and starts with RE1 co-protagonist Jill Valentine. Since she is a highly trained officer, developers have put a stronger emphasis on action in RE3 as compared to previous Resident Evil games. In order to survive, Jill is forced to cooperate with stranded Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service mercenaries among whom is her new ally Carlos Oliveira.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica
Originally planned to be an RE2 port on the SEGA Dreamcast console from the very director of the series Shinji Mikami, and later on even considered to become the third installment in the Resident Evil timeline of releases, Resident Evil: Code Veronica eventually ended up as a highly-regarded spin-off to the series. Major technical improvements over its predecessors were introduced due to the possibilities enabled by the 6th generation consoles. If we would set the Resident Evil games in order, Code Veronica would take place after RE2 and RE3, following the story of Resident Evil 2 co-star Claire Redfield and her brother Chris. The S.T.A.R.S. operative seeks to rescue his sibling Claire, who’s imprisoned by the Umbrella in the remote Rockport island. Major revelations about the Resident Evil timeline are made by this point and the whole Umbrella ark is resolved.
Resident Evil 4
The fourth installment in the franchise was a massive success, which took the series in a new, much more action-oriented direction. You can enjoy it by playing Resident Evil games in order, but it can also serve as a perfect standalone story. Unlike previous titles (not counting their remakes) Resident Evil 4 was the first game in the series that discarded the fixed camera angles and focused on third-person shooter combat mechanics. In the Resident Evil timeline RE4 comes after RE: Code Veronica. You will once again play as Leon Kennedy from RE2 who now works as a government agent looking for the kidnapped daughter of the US president. The game is set in Spain and has Leon fighting against a bioterrorist cult – Los Illuminados.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Looking at Resident Evil games in order, Resident Evil: Revelations is a spin-off set shortly after RE4 and brings back Jill Valentine as one of the main protagonists – the other one being a Federal Bioterrorism Commission (FBC) agent named Parker Luciani. Following the series trends set by the success of Resident Evil 4, RE: Revelations is also a third-person shooter with elements of horror. At this point in the Resident Evil timeline Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine have established Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance – an international organization that combats the global threat of bioterrorism. Their latest mission takes Jill Valentine to a derelict cruise ship where Revelations takes place.
Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmare DLC
To discuss Resident Evil games in order we need to include the following Resident Evil 5 DLC as well. Lost in Nightmare mission is an additional DLC chapter for Resident Evil 5. The fan beloved duo, founders of BSAA Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield track down the founder of Umbrella Corporation himself – Oswell E. Spencer. Judging based on the current information and the way Spencer appears in this DLC, it can be asserted that within the Resident Evil timeline, the upcoming RE3 asymmetrical multiplayer mode Resident Evil: Resistance might take place in a yet unspecified time period before the Lost in Nightmare DLC.
Resident Evil 5
Then, of course, follows Resident Evil 5 – the seventh of Resident Evil games in order (not counting the mentioned Lost in Nightmare DLC). The series veteran Chris Redfield arrives at the Kijuju region in Africa and is joined by Sheva Alomar. Both of them are trying to stop the illegal bioweapon deals which involve TRICELL Inc. together with some of the oldest antagonists in the series. In the Resident Evil timeline, this takes place in March of 2009 – 11 years after the first Resident Evil game. RE5 is known for its large emphasis on RE4-inspired third-person action and cooperative gameplay, with one player having to control Chris, while the other plays as Sheva.
Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape DLC
Another DLC that should be considered when playing Resident Evil games in order is the action-packed Desperate Escape chapter of Resident Evil 5. While Chris and Sheva fight alongside each other in the main campaign, Jill Valentine and another BSAA agent Josh Stone have their own battle, with both parties fighting against a common enemy – TRICELL Corporation. Looking at Resident Evil timeline, this DLC takes place parallel to the main RE5 campaign, with Valentine and Stone fighting to escape the TRICELL facility and joining Chris and Sheva in the final showdown.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Despite being labeled Resident Evil: Revelations 2, observing the Resident Evil games in order this spin-off game actually takes place after Resident Evil 5 and before Resident Evil 6. Have you missed Claire Redfield, the Raccoon City survivor from Resident Evil 2? Don’t worry, as she comes back to this installment now being an operative of a biohazard prevention agency called Terra Save. In the Resident Evil timeline, the game takes place 13 years after the catastrophe of Raccoon City. Once again the game adopts third-person shooter gameplay and features two protagonists – fan beloved Claire Redfield and Barry Burton’s daughter Moira.
Resident Evil 6
As of yet, Resident Evil 6 is probably the most complex of currently existing Resident Evil games. In order to fully cover the RE6 plot, one would need to go over its four campaigns, each of which features four characters and a story that spans over two years. Events in RE6 take place throughout 2012 and 2013 in Resident Evil timeline, with Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, Ada Wong and Jake Muller (illegitimate son classic RE antagonist Albert Wesker) all playing their part in the story. Sherry Birkin – the little girl from Resident Evil 2 – also makes a return, now as an adult working with the Division of Security Operations under the jurisdiction of the United States federal government. It’s a story that could rival even the Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series.
Following Resident Evil games in order is the tactical multiplayer shooter Umbrella Corps. Initially being presented as the main antagonists, in the Resident Evil timeline Umbrella Corporation gets reformed into a private military company known as Blue Umbrella by October, 2007. This PMC is dedicated to atone for crimes done under the name of Umbrella. Working together with BSAA, Blue Umbrella is dedicated to rid the world of bioorganic weapons. In the single-player component of this third-person shooter, you’ll assume the role of the mysterious agent codenamed 3A-7. The events of Umbrella Corps take place parallel to Resident Evil 6.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the last of Resident Evil games in order if we don’t count the remakes since they take place earlier in the Resident Evil timeline anyway. This game was as revolutionary to the series as Resident Evil 4 was back in 2005. For the first time ever, a Resident Evil game was presented entirely in the first person. Emphasis on action was reduced, with the game aiming for a more traditional survival-horror experience. The story follows a man named Ethan Winters as he ends up alone in the ominous Baker family residence while looking for his missing wife Mia. Despite all the novelty presented in this 2017 game it still ties into the overall Resident Evil timeline by the time campaign is over.
Want to play Resident Evil games in order? Here’s how!Here at Eneba game store we feature all of these games, with only one exception – Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Despite that, we can still offer you cheap Xbox Live or PlayStation gift cards. By using them you can increase the amount of funds in your Xbox Live or PSN account and purchase Resident Evil: Code Veronica X PlayStation port on the respective digital storefronts. As for the rest of the titles presented in this Resident Evil timeline – you can find them all in our Resident Evil games collection. Purchase them significantly cheaper and catch up to the series before the launch of Resident Evil 3 Remake (RE3) on April 3rd, 2020!