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How To Play The Resident Evil Games In Chronological Order

Over the last three decades, the "Resident Evil" franchise has become an absolute mammoth. From its countless mainline games and spin-off titles to its many film and television adaptations, there's no shortage of content for fans of the franchise to enjoy.

However, if you're a newbie to the series or you're looking to play catch-up on some of the older games in the franchise, you might be wondering what your options are. Since the original versions of the first three games in the "Resident Evil" series haven't been re-released in several generations of hardware, it can be difficult to know where and how to start with the zombie-killing franchise. Fear not!

Read on, and we'll break down how to play each of the mainline "Resident Evil" games — the ones tied closest to the series' wild ongoing storyline — in chronological order.

The early Resident Evil entries are easy to find and play

Starting from the top, "Resident Evil 0" was originally released on GameCube, but it has since become available on all modern platforms, including Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. The next chronological game would be the original "Resident Evil" for the PlayStation. Luckily for modern gamers, the remake of "RE1" is readily available on the same platforms as "0." This also goes for the "Resident Evil 2" and "RE3" remakes as well, which you should definitely play next to continue the story. However, it should be noted that the Nintendo Switch only offers Cloud-based versions of these games, which may turn some players off from buying them on that platform.

The next mainline game in the series is "Resident Evil: Code Veronica," which can currently be played on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. As of now, there are no plans to remake this entry, but the original is still a lot of fun and fills in the gaps between the third and fourth games.

Next up is "Resident Evil 4," which has been released on a staggering number of platforms since its GameCube debut. Modern fans have the choice once again of Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. Alternatively, players who are working their way through their backlog — or are just busy with other games at the moment — can simply wait for the remake of "Resident Evil 4," which arrives on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One in 2023.

Spinoffs and a few controversial sequels

Before getting to the other mainline entries, though, it's probably worth mentioning that the spinoff titles "Resident Evil Revelations" and "Resident Evil Revelations 2" are also tied to the central storyline of the series. When it comes to these two side stories, you have your pick of the litter, once again, as both are available Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One.

Now we're into the most divisive games of the "Resident Evil" franchise, "Resident Evil 5" and "Resident Evil 6." Although some fans may feel tempted to skip these due to their spotted reputations — especially since "Resident Evil 6" almost killed the franchise and Capcom has barely referenced these events since — completionists may still want to seek them out to see just how over the top the series became. Both games are available on the same platforms as the "Revelations" installments. The correct chronological order for playing these is "Revelations," "Resident Evil 5," "Revelations 2," and then "RE 6." 

Getting caught up with Biohazard, Village, and Shadow of Rose

Finally, this brings us to "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" and "Resident Evil Village," which tell the complicated story of Ethan Winters and his family. Both of the latest first-person style "Resident Evil" games are available on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. However, it again bears mentioning that these two titles, like the most recent remakes, are only available as Cloud Versions on the Nintendo Switch. Once you've played through "Village," you'll want to check out the game's "Shadow of Rose" DLC, which brings the Winters' chapter of the series to a close (for now) and offers some tantalizing hints about where the franchise could do next.

So, to break it all down one final time, the proper chronological order for the main "Resident Evil" games is as follows:

"Resident Evil 0"

"Resident Evil" 

"Resident Evil 2"

"Resident Evil 3: Nemesis"

"Resident Evil: Code Veronica"

"Resident Evil 4"

"Resident Evil Revelations"

"Resident Evil 5"

"Resident Evil 6"

"Resident Evil 7: Biohazard"

"Resident Evil 8: Village"