Resident Evil Movies in Chronological Order To Watch

Resident Evil may have begun as a video game franchise, Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich helped bring the game to the big screen with a movie series that have six movies. The movies feature characters and villains from the games, but they tell their own individual stories and star Jovovich as a beginner to Resident Evil lore.

If you want to watch all the Resident Evil movies in chronological order so you can see the story unfold from the start. All the movies serve as sequels to their earlier entries, meaning there is no distinction between watching them in release order vs. chronological order. For the even good news, those that wish to just get into the latest film, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, will be happy to know that it serves as a reboot of the movie franchise with a new cast and can be watched without requiring to see the prior six movies.

With all that being said, we still wanted to give you a mostly spoiler-free look at how you can watch the Resident Evil movies in chronological order.


How Many Resident Evil Movies Are There?

There are seven live-action Resident Evil movies. There are also three feature-length animated movies—Resident Evil: Degeneration, Damnation, and Vendetta — though we have not included those in the list below. Over the last two years, Netflix has taken a stab at Resident Evil as both a live-action and animated TV series. The live-action Resident Evil show was canceled after one season, while the animated series, Infinite Darkness, died to make a splash.


The Resident Evil Movies in Chronological Order

1. Resident Evil (2002)

2002’s Resident Evil introduced the world to Alice (Jovovich), an original character created for the films who awakens with amnesia before remembering she is a private security operative for the Umbrella Corporation. This first film shows how the genetically engineered T-virus, which causes dead people to return as zombies, was released in a lab called The Hive. It also reveals how the lab’s AI security system, the Red Queen, killed every living thing inside the lab to try to contain the virus.

The plan didn’t work and the zombies escaped the lab. Alice and her team have to try to contain the outbreak by finding an anti-virus that is thought to still be in the Hive.

This first film included several references to the first two Resident Evil games, not the least of which was the first tease of the iconic Resident Evil 3 villain, the terrifying, rocket-wielding Nemesis.

2. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a direct sequel to the original film and brings back Jovovich’s Alice to once again take the fight to the undead. Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson did not return to direct this new film due to other commitments, but he did stay on as a producer while Alexander Witt took the helm. Apocalypse sees Alice attempting to escape Raccoon City before it is attacked by a nuclear missile that is attempting to stop the spreading T-virus plague.

Nemesis is also a big part of this second film and he’s seen terrorizing the survivors throughout it, but that is hardly the only nod to the games. There are many influences pulled into Apocalypse, including characters Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and certain shots that were recreated for live-action, including a shootout at police department in the beginning that is reminiscent of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and a scene in a cemetery that very much harkens back to Resident Evil CODE: Veronica.

3. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

2007’s Resident Evil: Extinction reveals that the T-virus has spread across the world. In addition to the return of Alice, the storyline also follows several attempts by the Umbrella Corporation to clone her, in hopes of replicating her powers. As the story progresses, the primary Alice and other survivors are working their way toward Alaska in an attempt to outrun the ever-expanding zombie apocalypse.

Extinction continues to bring in more aspects and characters of the games, including Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) and Albert Wesker (Jason O’Mara).


4. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Resident Evil Movies

Resident Evil: Afterlife is the first film after the original to see Anderson back in the director’s chair, where he stays for the rest of the series. Set one year after the events of Extinction, Alice and her clones work together to assault Umbrella Headquarters HQ and Albert Wesker. Unfortunately, all doesn’t go as planned and Alice finds herself without the powers that have assisted her so well in this zombie apocalypse.

Afterlife continues the streak of bringing in characters from the games, and this time it’s Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller) that gets the invitation.


5. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

2011’s Resident Evil: Retribution picks up after the events of Afterlife. Alongside introducing such game characters as Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb), Ada Wong (Bingbing Li), and Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), Retribution also sees Alice teaming up with Wesker in an attempt to stop the reactivated Red Queen AI from the first film, who now controls Umbrella and wants to eliminate all life on earth.


6. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

The aptly named Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the last feature film in the series to involve the husband-and-wife team, Anderson and Jovovich. It follows Alice as she returns to Raccoon City and the Hive in order to stop the Red Queen and Albert Wesker, but also reveals more of the origin of the T-virus and who is really behind all the chaos that has been building since the first film.


Bonus: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Directed by Johannes Roberts, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a reboot of the franchise and requires no prior knowledge of the movies. Along with the new director comes a new cast and a story that more closely follows the events of the first two Resident Evil games. Several familiar characters from the games and earlier movies return, including Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario), Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper), Leon Kennedy (Avan Jogia), Ada Wong (Lily Gao), and more. The film’s story is set in Raccoon City and tells the early days of a zombie outbreak.


Resident Evil Movies in Order of Release

  • Resident Evil (2002)
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
  • Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
  • Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)
  • Bonus – Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

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