How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (2023)

The Resident Evil series has become synonymous with survival horror. Time and time again Resident Evil games have raised the standard for horror, not just within its own franchise but for gaming in general. With nearly three decades worth of installments to its name, memorable characters, and nightmare-inducing monsters, few franchises have the same hold on the video game industry quite like Resident Evil.

But with so many main entries, remakes, and spin-offs, it's hard to work out where everything fits in.

Below, we've detailed a history of the main series installments of the Resident Evil franchise.

Resident Evil (1996)

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (1)

  • Release Date: March 22, 1996
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation, Windows PC, Sega Saturn

Resident Evil made its debut in 1996 thanks to developer Capcom. Here, players were introduced to series mainstays Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Albert Wesker - all Alpha team members of the tactical force S.T.A.R.S. investigating the disappearance on Bravo team in the Arklay Mountains, on the outskirts of Raccoon City. The game operates from a third-person, fixed camera perspective, using tank controls.

Players can choose either Chris or Jill to play as, each with their own storyline, abilities, and supporting characters to help along the way (though gameplay is roughly the same). Additional characters include: Barry Burton, Alpha team's weapon expert, who helps out Jill; Rebecca Chambers, a surviving member of Bravo team, who aids Chris along the way; Albert Wesker, Alpha team's leader and captain of S.T.A.R.S.; and Brad Vickers, the helicopter pilot.

Resident Evil 2 (1998)

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  • Release Date: Jan. 21, 1998
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation, Windows PC, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, GameCube

Following on from the success of Resident Evil (1996) came its first sequel, Resident Evil 2. Once again developed by Capcom, the game debuted two more iconic characters to the world: Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. Taking place two months after the events of the first Resident Evil, Leon, a police officer on his first day, meets Claire Redfield, who is searching for her brother Chris. The two must survive and escape Raccoon City, whose inhabitants have all been turned to zombies.

Like in its predecessor, players can choose to play as either Leon or Claire, each with their own storylines. However, unlike before, each character's path is mostly unique. Actions taken in the first playthrough effect those available in the second. Supporting characters this time around include Sherry Birkin, and our introduction to Ada Wong. Like before, the game is played from a third-person, fixed camera perspective.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (3)

  • Release Date: Sept. 22, 1999
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation, Windows PC, Dreamcast, GameCube

As the series' third main installment, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis takes place in Raccoon City just hours before Resident Evil 2. Here, we see the return of protagonist Jill Valentine who must escape the city while continuously pursued by the titular Tyrant - Nemesis. Players have to make a number of choices through the game which not only effect their immediate situation, but the overall outcome of story and how it unfolds.

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Throughout the game, Jill encounters Nemesis, a near-indestructible T-Type hell-bent on destroying every member of S.T.A.R.S. Considerably stronger than Jill, players can choose to fight or run, though he'll pursue players from one screen to the next. Some encounters are mandatory, others are effected by choices. Regardless of how you evade him, he'll just keep coming back.

Resident Evil – Code: Veronica (2000)

  • Release Date: Feb. 3, 2000
  • Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
  • Platforms: PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, GameCube

Resident Evil - Code: Veronica marked the first time the series began to stray from its origins. Its design and story was more gothic horror-inspired, and makes use of real-time 3D rendered environments, a step away from the series' previous pre-rendered backgrounds. Thanks to this, the game utilizes more dynamic camera controls.

After an unsuccessful attempt to port Resident Evil 2 to the Sega Saturn, Capcom began work on Code: Veronica with the intention of it being a true sequel to Resident Evil 2. The game marks the return of Claire and Chris Redfield, who must now survive the outbreak in both a remote prison and a research facility. The story is told in two halves; the first following Claire who, after searching for her brother, is eventually captured by Umbrella and taken to Rockford Island; the second follows Chris who heads to the island in an attempt to find Claire. Alongside Claire and Chris, the game marks the return of antagonist Albert Wesker.

Resident Evil (2002)

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (5)

  • Release Date: March 22, 2002
  • Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
  • Platforms: GameCube

Resident Evil (2002) saw the series' first remake. Owing to the belief that the original game hadn't aged well, a remake was developed aiming to bring the title closer to its intended vision. The game still made use of pre-rendered environments, but with greatly improved graphics.

Capcom made some substantial changes to this version of Resident Evil, adding new mechanics, revising puzzles, addition story elements, and expanded areas to explore. The remaster eventually made its way to more modern consoles in later years, including the Wii, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, under the title of Resident Evil HD Remaster.

Resident Evil Zero (2002)

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  • Release Date: Nov. 12, 2002
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: GameCube

Not long after the release of the Resident Evil remake, a prequel was launched for the GameCube titled Resident Evil Zero. The story follows that of the Bravo team, who were initially sent to investigate instances of cannibalized murders in the Arklay Mountains, which would eventually lead to the events of Resident Evil (1996).

Beginning with medic Rebecca Chambers investigating a motionless Umbrella-owned train, she encounters newly-turned zombies and, eventually, co-protagonist and convict Billy Coen. Players can swap between characters, choosing to control one while an AI controls the other. At times, the characters can also be split up to investigate areas separately. Like previous installments, each character has their own abilities, strengths and weaknesses - many of which are integral to solving the game's puzzles.

The game was ported to the Wii in 2008. Since 2016, HD remasters of the game have been released for PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Resident Evil 4 (2005)

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How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (7)

  • Release Date: Jan 11, 2005
  • Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
  • Platforms: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows PC

Resident Evil 4 was the seventh main installment, and marked a turning point for the franchise. The game saw a switch to action-focused survival horror, and popularized the now classic over-the-shoulder third-person perspective. Originally releasing for the GameCube, Resident Evil 4 quickly made its way to the PlayStation 2 just months after.

The game follows the story of Leon S. Kennedy, now working as a U.S. government agent. Having been tasked with rescuing the president's daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been kidnapped by a cult, Leon travels to rural Europe where he encounters a new type of infection - the Las Plagas mind-controlling parasite. Aside from a change in style Resident Evil 4 brings in a number of new mechanics, such as finishing moves, quick-time actions, and insta-kill boss fights. Not to mention some of the most graphic game overs the series had seen so far.

Resident Evil 4 has received a number of ports and remasters over the years, the latest being a VR version for the Oculus Quest 2 released in 2021.

Resident Evil 5 (2009)

  • Release Date: March 5, 2009
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows PC

Resident Evil 5 saw another switch-up in the series. While utilizing much of the action-style used in Resident Evil 4, the game was the first in the franchise to feature co-op play, being designed largely with that in mind. The game took a large step away from its survival horror foundations, considered as being more action than horror.

Resident Evil 5 sparked the return of protagonist Chris Redfield, now working as a Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) agent. He is joined by his partner, and new protagonist, Sheva Alomar. Together, the pair attempt to apprehend Ricardo Irving in Africa before he sells a bio-weapon on to the black market. Upon arriving, the two discover that the locals have been infected with Las Plagas, and need to put a stop to Umbrella's actions.

Oh, and Chris punches a boulder. That's where we're at now.

Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)

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  • Release Date: Jan. 26. 2012
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

With a strong push to return to survival horror, Resident Evil: Revelations saw Capcom develop a game with handheld consoles in mind. Taking place just after the events of Resident Evil 4, players once again follow protagonists Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield who must thwart the plans of a bioterrorist organization.

The story unfolds through a series of scenarios which, to progress through, players must complete puzzles, defeat bosses, and explore areas. Limited ammunition and health were just some of the features players would once again need to be wary of. Besides bringing back a focus on survival and exploration, Resident Evil: Revelations made strong use of the Nintendo 3DS dual screens, with the bottom being reserved for the map and item management.

The game received a HD port for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC in 2013, and once again in 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Resident Evil 6 (2012)

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How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (10)

  • Release Date: Oct. 2, 2012
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows PC

One of the more divisive entries, Resident Evil 6 returned to co-op focused gameplay. Presenting a choice of campaigns to pursue, players could either go it alone with an AI companion or saddle-up with a friend in local or online play. Like 5, Resident Evil 6 shunned its survival horror roots in favor of more action-based gameplay.

Making their returns in this entry were; Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Ada Wong, and Sherry Birkin. Throughout the campaigns, new characters made their main series debut, such as: Jake Muller, the illegitimate child of Albert Wesker; United States Secret Serviceagent Helena Harper; and Piers Nivans, a BSAA sniper.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015)

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (11)

  • Release Date: Feb. 24, 2015 - March 17, 2015; full retail version released on March 18, 2015.
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows PC

As the eleventh entry into the main series, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 was released in a series of episodes in 2015. The game marked the first time original character Barry Burton became a playable character, with the story being divided into present scenarios with Barry aided by new character Natalie Korda, and past scenarios with Barry's daughter Moira Burton and Claire Redfield. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 spreads itself out across four episodes:

  • Episode 1 - Penal Colony
  • Episode 2 - Contemplation
  • Episode 3 - Judgement
  • Episode 4 - Metamorphosis

Revelations 2 deploys stealth elements, with only two of the available four characters being able to use guns. The other two can make use of melee or throwable items, but possess certain other abilities that aid progression.

A complete version containing all episodes was released following the launch of the final episode. The game eventually made its way to PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, and Nintendo Switch.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

  • Release Date: Jan. 24, 2017
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Luna, Stadia

In one of the most drastic changes, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard re-evaluated the franchise's approach to survival horror. For the first time, the main series entry took players into a fully first-person perspective. Resident Evil: Survivor also had a first-person view, but is considered a spin-off of the main series. The game was specifically built using the RE Engine, specifically created by Capcom for 7.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard follows brand-new protagonist Ethan Winters, who travels to Dulvey, Louisiana after receiving a message from his missing wife, Mia. Ethan tracks his wife to a derelict house owned by the Baker family. Here, with no prior combat skills, he is pursued by various members of the family and new creatures called Molded.

A number of demos and teasers were released for Resident Evil 7 ahead of its launch, including the standalone teaser Beginning Hour which has received over 2 million downloads.

Resident Evil 2: Remake (2019)

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (13)

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  • Release Date: Jan. 25, 2019
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC

The Resident Evil 2 remake serves as the thirteenth entry in the main series. It abandons the original's tank controls in favor of the over-the-shoulder perspective seen in Resident Evil 4. The remake remains faithful to the original, while bringing the horror up to modern standards.

Like 7, this remake was built using the RE Engine. Its improved designs and graphics make this game feel like an entirely new beast. The game has since sold eight million copies, outselling the original.

Resident Evil 3: Remake (2020)

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (14)

  • Release Date: April 3, 2020
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC

Unlike 2, Resident Evil 3's remake didn't opt to remain as faithful to its original. While a lot of the game's main story beats are present, certain elements of the original game were abandoned to focus on a more streamlined story. Players no longer have choices which determine the story's outcome, and Nemesis only appears at key moments. Certain key locations were also cut from this entry, though the game's dialogue was expanded significantly.

Resident Evil 3 was also remade using Capcom's RE Engine, breathing some new life into the classic by continuing to use the over-the-shoulder perspective.

Resident Evil Village (2021)

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There: Timeline, History, Remasters (15)

  • Release Date: May 7, 2021
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, Stadia

The latest release, Resident Evil Village, saw the return of Ethan Winters. Following on from the events of Resident Evil 7, Ethan along with his wife Mia and daughter Rosemary, were moved to a remote Eastern European village by Chris Redfield. Out of nowhere, Chris appears with a team at the new family's home, kills Mia, and kidnaps Rosemary, leaving Ethan to traverse the strange village in the hopes of getting her back.

The game uses similar mechanics and styles to Resident Evil 7, such as a first-person perspective,. Village also sees a shift to more supernatural enemies, including lycans, vampires, and a supreme cult-like leader called Mother Miranda.

How Many Resident Evil Games Are There?

Totaling up the entire franchise, Resident Evil is comprised of 28 titles. Of these, 15 are main series entries, 12 are spin-offs, and one (Resident Evil: Deadly Silence) is a Nintendo DS port of the first game. Other entries in the series include:

  • Resident Evil Survivor - PS1, PC
  • Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica - PS2
  • Resident Evil Gaiden - Game Boy Color
  • Resident Evil: Dead Aim - PS2
  • Resident Evil Outbreak - PS2
  • Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2 - PS2
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles - PS3, Wii
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - PS3, Wii
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D - Nintendo 3DS
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City - PS3, Xbox 360, PC
  • Umbrella Corps - PS4, PC
  • Resident Evil: Resistance - PS4, XONE, PC

At the time of writing, Resident Evil Village is the most recent game having released in 2021.

Which Resident Evil Games Have Been Remastered?

So far, the following games have been remastered:

  • Resident Evil
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
  • Resident Evil Zero
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Resident Evil: Revelations
  • Resident Evil 6

At the time of writing, a Resident Evil 4 remake has yet to be announced but the game's development has been long speculated. A recent report from fanbyte claimed that the remake is set to make some changes from the original, including changing the tone to something "spookier."

Following the success of the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, it's no surprise that fan-favorite Resident Evil 4 could be getting the same treatment.

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