Resident Evil for PC: In what order to play?
Resident Evil is a huge Capcom’s media-franchise, which has been going for 21 years. Everything started in 1996 with the first Resident Evil game released for PlayStation.
Since then Capcom is constantly re-releasing and creating new entries. There are 28 games, including all the remakes, 1 fairly good and 8 bad movies in total currently. No wonder you can get lost in all the games of the series, particularly since Resident Evil has never been told chronologically.
I’m gonna guide you through the optimal playing order of the mainline Resident Evil games to catch up on the series’ storyline and don’t miss a bit of significant plot twists.
Resident Evil Remaster
Resident Evil HD Remaster is an HD remake of an original 1996 first game from the series.
Resident Evil game is the beginning of it all. You take control of Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, members of the Alpha Team, a special law enforcement task force, trapped in a mansion full of terrifying creatures. You are trying to escape and expose the mansion’s secrets as you go.
The remake turned Resident Evil in the enticing HD game, attracting both newcomers and franchise fans alike. The Remake supports resolutions up to 1920x1080 and has advanced settings for frame rate.
Resident Evil Zero
The events take place a couple of days before the Resident Evil story. Despite the chronological order, it’s better to play RE Zero after the RE 1/remake, as Zero gives away a few plot twists that can totally spoil the first Resident Evil game for you.
Partner zapping is implemented in RE Zero: you don’t have to choose a single main character, but can switch between them over the course of the game. The main characters here are a medic and police officer Rebecca Chambers and convicted former officer Billy Coen. They are trying to escape from the train and then from the desolate practice complex fighting the zombies and other mutated creatures. Little by little, they uncover the story behind the virus that turns people into flesh-eating monsters.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Operation Raccoon City is an action shooter, that recreates the events of the Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, when T-virus caused the zombie invasion of Raccoon City. Besides the original story the spin-off brings in a whole lot of new facts about the events, so you can skip RE 2 and 3.
This game is different than the others from the series as you can change the course of events completely. You control one of the of soldiers of the Umbrella Security Service (part of Umbrella Corporation) or one of the Spec Ops squad members (part of the government forces). These two sides have different aims. The game shows the story from another perspective and demonstrates an alternative outcome.
Resident Evil 4
The sixth game in the main series from Capcom takes place six years after the Resident Evil 2 events. Government agent Leon Kennedy goes to a rural village in Spain to save president’s daughter Ashley Graham who was kidnapped. The village is full of atypical zombies, which has something to do with the religious cult Los Illuminados.
Resident Evil 4 is a landmark game, the best one in the series. It has entered Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition book as a bestselling game of the survival horror genre in 2012.
RE 4 got its remake in HD in 2014 - Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition.
Resident Evil: Revelations
The events here take place between Resident Evil 4 and 5. Jill Valentine from the first entry of the series reoccurs. She is now a member of Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, searching for other BSAA members of a cruise ship.The gameplay involves various scenarios with different characters to control, though in most of them you play as Jill.
RE: Revelations consists of hour-long episodes, divided into several parts, ending with a cliffhanger. You get a recap of each episode at the beginning not to lose the thread of the plot. This structure keeps you engaged and alternation of characters and locations adds depth to the story and uncovers more details.
Resident Evil 5
Five years after the Resident Evil 4 events members of the BSAA Chris Redfield and his new partner Sheva Alomar are sent to Africa. They have to arrest a bad guy before he sells bio-organic weapon on the black market. The partners participate in the investigation, uncovering possibly the deadliest threat to the world ever, and facing various characters from Chris’ past.
RE 5, a third-person shooter with an over-the-shoulder perspective, returns to the series’ survival horror roots, adds more of the fast paced action and a co-op mode. The game is concentrated more on bioterrorism than on the zombies as main enemies.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
This side-story is taking place in 2011, between RE 5 and 6. It has episodic structure and is a co-op as well as the RE: Revelations. The main characters are Claire Redfield and Barry Burton who explore an island penal colony with Moira, Barry’s daughter, and Natalia Korda, who has supernatural powers. This entry reveals several interesting plot details.
Resident Evil 6
RE 6 is more of an action game than a survival horror. It must be the reason why series fans don’t adore this entry too much.
The plot is unreeling 15 years after the Raccoon City incident. There are 4 overlapping storylines to play, which depict the story from different perspectives.
The events of these 4 plot campaigns occur simultaneously and intersect at the key points. You get to play interwoven storylines of Leon S. Kennedy and Helena Harper, Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans, Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin, and a separate one for Ada Wong.
Resident Evil 7
The latest entry in the main series, Resident Evil was released at the beginning of 2017. RE 7 brings back the atmosphere of fear of the first game.
The protagonist is not an agent, a member of any government forces etc., but is an ordinary person. Looking for his missing wife, Ethan Winters enters the abandoned mansion and falls into the hands of the family of cannibals. Controlling Ethan, you explore the mansion, solve various puzzles, search for hiding places and occasionally battle with the incoming monsters and bosses.
It’s the first main series game with a first-person perspective. The first-person experience brings seclusion and claustrophobic atmosphere.
I find this order of playing the best way to plunge into the Resident Evil story and uncover the full plot without missing any crucial details. If you want to go further, you can check out other RE series - «Chronicles», «Survivor», «Outbreak». Unfortunately, there are no PC ports of them. But the only important plot-wise entry from this extra series is Resident Evil Code: Veronica. You can research its plot on Wiki.
Do you agree with this order of playing? What’s your favorite game from the RE series? Let us know in the comment section below!