An introduction to Resident Evil

To celebrate 25 years of Resident Evil, explore the unforgettable games, heroes and villains that make it one of the most iconic survival horror series of all time.

What is Resident Evil?

If you’ve ever heard a game described as a “survival horror”, you have Resident Evil to thank. Way back in 1996, Capcom introduced PlayStation players to a maze-like mansion populated by flesh-munching zombies, window-shattering zombie dogs and a menagerie of killer Bio Organic Weapons, or B.O.W.s. 

Resident Evil smartly blended action, exploration and resource management while taking every opportunity to terrify the player and birthed an entirely new genre in the process.

It was an instant phenomenon, and has since spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs, including successful forays into cinema, comics and animation.

Resident Evil games available on PlayStation

The best place to start playing Resident Evil depends on what you're looking for...

 

Resident Evil Remake

If you’d like to experience survival horror as millions of PlayStation players did for the first time, the HD remaster of the first Resident Evil is a wise choice. Its fixed camera perspectives, limited resources and environmental puzzles are all hallmarks of the series’ early years.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

For something that adheres to the franchise’s roots but with modern visuals and gameplay courtesy of Capcom’s incredible RE Engine, go for the remake of Resident Evil 2. It’s a stunning overhaul of an undisputed classic.

Resident Evil 4

For a more propulsive, action-focused take on survival horror, look no further than Resident Evil 4 HD. The first major shift for the series ups the firepower and intelligence of enemies alike.

Resident Evil Village

To experience Resident Evil’s terrifying new era of survival horror, dare to take on Resident Evil VII Biohazard or Resident Evil Village. As new protagonist Ethan Winters, you’ll feel the fear from a first-person perspective.

A corporation engulfed in secrets that brought Racoon City to its knees.

 

Resident Evil 0

Find out what happened to the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team and discover the truth behind the mansion incident - the catalyst for the entire storyline of the Resident Evil series.

Resident Evil (Remaster)

Chris Redfield leads the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team through a horror-filled mansion on the outskirts of Raccoon City as they search for the missing Bravo team.

Resident Evil 2 (Remaster)

Follow Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they fight their way through Raccoon City after a mysterious viral outbreak.

Resident Evil 3 (Remaster)

Discover the strange origin of the viral outbreak in Raccoon City while being relentlessly chased by the Nemesis T-Type.

Resident Evil Code: Veronica X

Claire and Chris Redfield’s nightmare continues as they fight to survive Umbrella’s deadly facilities.

Resident Evil goes global, as our heroes combat B.O.W.s around the world.

 

Resident Evil 4

Leon S. Kennedy searches a small European village for the President's kidnapped daughter, only to find the residents have undergone a grim transformation.

Resident Evil 5

Ten years after surviving the mansion incident, Chris Redfield returns to eliminate a new biological threat in an undisclosed African country.

Resident Evil 6

The truth about the Raccoon City incident is almost out. Featuring both Chris Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy for the first time, Resident Evil 6 documents four intertwining stories on a global scale.

The scares ramp up as the series shifts to an immersive first-person perspective.

 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Follow Ethan Winters in his search for his missing wife in the Louisiana bayou and escape the clutches of the deranged Baker family. This game is also playable on PlayStation VR.

Resident Evil Village

Take on the village and its residents as Ethan Winters. You’ll once again feel the fear and action from a first-person perspective.

Offshoot games that expand the world of Resident Evil with new stories and scenarios.

 

Resident Evil Revelations

Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, join Jill Valentine in a search for her old partner, Chris Redfield, aboard a luxury cruise-liner ghostship in the Mediterranean Sea.

Resident Evil Revelations 2

Taking place between the Resident Evil 5 and 6 stories, escape imprisonment on a remote island as Claire Redfield and Barry Burton.

Resident Evil FAQ

There is no right answer here. The shapeshifting nature of the series means there’s no such thing as a ‘definitive’ Resident Evil game. It also depends on what you're looking for in your first Resident Evil experience. Check our recommendations above on where to start.

The horror aspect is incredibly important to Resident Evil’s appeal, but there’s so much more to its enduring success. 

Each new Resident Evil game introduces memorable new heroes and monstrous new villains. It brings back favourites in surprising and inventive ways and adds more depth to a world that has continued to twist, turn and evolve over the decades.

If you really want to know everything about the world of Resident Evil, sure, but while there’s definitely a connective narrative tissue between each game, they all tell complete stories in isolation. 

You can always bank on Resident Evil games to help you play catch-up, be that with introductory recaps, environmental storytelling, in-game notes and diaries, or good old expositional dialogue.

Resident Evil games present a stiff challenge without ever feeling unfair. Survival requires skilful and strategic use of your weapons, which sometimes means knowing when not to use them. 

There are plenty of times when firing away is unavoidable, but as you start to learn how to weave through enemies and discover shortcuts, you’ll be able to conserve ammo for when it really matters.

Zombies really are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to danger. Resident Evil has a nasty habit of throwing increasingly deadly and disgusting creatures at you, such as the Hunters with their elongated limbs and reptilian hides, and the Lickers with skinless bodies and exposed brains. 

There’s also a host of human villains who are usually responsible for the grotesque creatures you encounter and are, more often than not, hiding a horrifying secret of their own.

Resident Evil films and TV series

Resident Evil films

Returning to the terrifying roots of the video game , fan and filmmaker Johannes Roberts is bringing Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City to theatres this November for a whole new generation of fans. The original Resident Evil film series has become the most successful video game film franchise in history.

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness

Featuring Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, enter an ultra-realistic and incredibly detailed world as the pair try to make sense of their new situation. Coming soon to Netflix.