Box art - Resident Evil 2 Remake

Resident Evil Play Order: What Order Should I Play the RE Series In?

With 14 core games and 10+ side stories, figuring out the play order of the Resident Evil series can be a chore. Additionally, several games in the series have been remade, and some have multiple variations all with their own quirks. Below we’ll give our recommendation for what order you should play the Resident Evil games in, and which versions of each are the best.

What order should I play the Resident Evil games in?: The essentials

Resident Evil Box Art

If you’re just looking to get the core experience of the Resident Evil series you only need to play 12 of the 24 available games. These twelve games comprise the majority of the series’ lore, and all of the side games stem from them in some way.

If you’re wanting to get the core Resident Evil experience you should play in this order:

Note that this is a strict chronological order except for the placement of Resident Evil 0. RE0 does take place before all the other games, but it’s not the best introduction to Resident Evil. The gameplay is similar to the first four titles in the series, but is different enough to be intimidating to newcomers. It’s one of the hardest of the classic-style entries, and the partner system and lack of item boxes are something that should be approached after you finish a few of the games. Furthermore, there are story elements in RE0 that can only really be appreciated once you’ve gotten knowledge contained in RE1, 2, and 3.

For the rest of the games, just play them in chronological order. RE0 is the only oddball in the series timeline, and the rest of the games just build on what was in the ones before it. It’s also important to play the DLC bulleted under some of the games. Resident Evil 7 in particular has quite a bit of DLC that wraps up some of the loose ends from the main story, and gives the game a more proper conclusion.

What about RE2 and RE3 remake?

Resident Evil Play Order RE2 RE3 REmake

Resident Evil 2 remake and Resident Evil 3 remake are definitely worth playing (especially the RE2 remake). However, their canon status is somewhat in question. While they both follow the source material pretty closely, there’s enough difference to call into question whether the originals are still the canon or if the remakes have superseded them.

As of now, Capcom hasn’t firmly stated whether RE2 and RE3 remake are the new canon or if they’re set in an alternate reality. The latest game, Resident Evil Village, doesn’t refer to past games (aside from RE7) enough for us to infer this answer one way or another. So, until we hear otherwise, we’ll be placing RE2 and RE3 outside of the main series canon (and thus outside of the essential playlist). However, players should check them out regardless.

What order should I play the Resident Evil games in?: The completionist

Resident Evil Characters

If you want to play every single Resident Evil game available, you’re gonna need to clear your calendar. There are 24 games (plus some DLC), as well as other media, that make up the complete lore of Resident Evil. Some of these games are non-canon, but if you want to get the full, unadulterated Resident Evil experience you’ll have to play all of them.

Since these games weren’t all released in the order they appear in the Resident Evil timeline, we’ll be listing our preferred play list below. These go in rough chronological order, though some games (especially the Chronicles spin-offs) take place over multiple time periods. Our list notates each game, whether or not it’s canon, and which platform we suggest you play it on for the best experience as well as any side content that contains series lore. The CGI movies (not the live-action ones) will be added to the list as well, as they are canon and fill in some details between the events in the games. We’ll also insert where the canon manga belong as well as the singular (Japanese-only) canon novel.

  • Resident Evil 0 (PC)
  • Resident Evil Remake (PC)
  • [Novel] BIO HAZARD The Wicked North Sea
  • Resident Evil 2 (GCN Version on Dolphin with HD Pack)
    • The 4th Survivor
    • The Tofu Survivor (Non-Canon)
  • Resident Evil 2 (2019) (PC)
  • Resident Evil 3 (PC)
  • Resident Evil 3 (2020) (PC)
  • Resident Evil Outbreak (PS2)
    • Outbreak
    • Below Freezing Point
    • The Hive
    • Hellfire
    • Decisions, Decisions
  • Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 (PS2)
    • Wild Things
    • Underbelly
    • Flashback
    • Desperate Times
    • End of the Road
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Non-Canon) (PC)
    • Echo Six Prologue Mission
    • Echo Six Expansion Pack 1
    • Echo Six Expansion Pack 2
  • Resident Evil Survivor (PSX)
  • Resident Evil: Code Veronica X (PS3/Xbox 360)
  • Resident Evil Survivor 2 Code: Veronica (Non-Canon) (PS2)
  • Resident Evil Gaiden (Non-Canon) (Game Boy Color)
  • Resident Evil: Dead Aim (PS2)
  • Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles (PS3)
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (PS3)
  • Resident Evil 4 (PC + HD Project Mod)
    • Separate Ways
  • Resident Evil Revelations (PC)
  • [Movie] Resident Evil Degeneration
  • Resident Evil 5 (PC)
    • Lost in Nightmares
    • Desperate Escape
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2 (PC)
    • The Struggle
    • Little Miss
  • [Movie] Resident Evil Damnation
  • [Manga] Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire
  • Resident Evil 6 (PC)
  • [Manga] BIOHAZARD heavenly island
  • [Movie] Resident Evil Vendetta
  • Umbrella Corps (Non-Canon) (PC)
  • Resident Evil 7 (PS4/PSVR)
    • Bedroom
    • 21
    • Daughters
    • Not a Hero
    • End of Zoe
  • Resident Evil Village

As you can see, it’s quite the undertaking to explore the full Resident Evil lore. However, by following the list above you can get an exhaustive picture of everything Resident Evil.