For over 25 years, the Resident Evil franchise has been one of the best-selling video game franchises, with over 130 million copies soon. So naturally, a movie franchise was soon created to further cash in on its popularity. Unfortunately, despite becoming a billion-dollar IP, the movies have largely been mediocre, with very few stand-out entries. But, if you’re a fan of horror and the Resident Evil franchise, they’re worth watching at least once, regardless of whether you think they’re good or bad. Here are all of the Resident Evil movies ranked from worst to best.
It is worth noting that the animated movies will be included; however, Infinite Darkness won’t be included as it was broken down into an episodic format, and Biohazard 4D-Executer was only created for Japanese theme parks and isn’t a movie.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
If you’ve already watched the first four Resident Evil movies, you have to watch this one to get to the franchise’s end, but the series has gone entirely off the rails. Dead people are brought back to life as clones. Most game cast make appearances with some of the worst character development seen in film history. Alice and Wesker’s superhuman abilities completely break any immersion the movie may have.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)
Thankfully, the Resident Evil movie franchise is finally over; please don’t make any more Paul W.S. Anderson. However, the movie does tie things together with the death of key figures in Umbrella and the release of the anti-virus to save humanity. Movie franchises are supposed to end on a high note, but The Final Chapter is anything but.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)
When the announcement was made that Welcome to Raccoon City was in production and would be returning to the source material and being based on Resident Evil 1 and 2, fans were delighted. From the leaked set images, it looked very promising, as it looked like a movie version of the iconic games. And then it was released…While it tried its best to stay faithful, and it did, for the most part, the movie didn’t seem to click. The story was lackluster, with Claire being relegated to a conspiracy theorist, Jill and Wesker being romantically to try and make viewers understand her pain when he reveals he’s the bad guy, and Leon being treated like it is his first day on earth. This movie should have been so much more than it is.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
If this movie’s plot was polished and Alice was removed, it could make for a good setting for a Resident Evil game. Unfortunately, while this is the movie that begins to tie everything together and has the most significant amount of video game characters in it, this is also when the series goes entirely off the rails to the point where this and the next two movies are only worth watching if you’re already invested in the series from watching the previous three. Afterlife takes a lot of inspiration from Resident Evil 5, with Wesker having superhuman strength and speed and Jill having her mind control device on her chest like in the game.
Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)
At the time of writing, this is the third and final animated Resident Evil movie and sees Leon and Chris reunite as it is set between Resident Evil 6 and 7. While it is the worst of the three animated movies, it is still fun to watch. There are better movies in the series, but if you want to see the iconic Leon and Chris mow down hordes and zombies and take on tyrants, you’ll enjoy checking this out.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
The third Resident Evil movie has a Mad Max feel to it, mainly filmed in the desert as the world has completely shut down as the T-Virus takes over and has turned most of the global population into zombies. Despite having characters from the games, such as Claire, Carlos, and Wesker, this is when the series first began to go downhill from a quality standpoint. At least the remaining entries in this list are going to be good.
Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
In 2008, Capcom decided to begin releasing animated Resident Evil movies; overall, they’ve been much better than most live-action movies. Degeneration sees Leon and Claire reunite for the first time since the events of Resident Evil 2, so if you’re a fan of that game, then you’ll want to check this out. Being animated, Capcom can make the movies feel more like extensions of the games, as opposed to live-action movies that sometimes feel completely isolated from the source material.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
The second Resident Evil movie is the one that ties closest with the video game series. Other ones have elements and characters from the games, but they seem more shoehorned in. Resident Evil: Apocalypse feels more like a movie adaptation of Resident Evil 3 if that game also included Alice. The iconic Jill Valentine co-stars in the movie as citizens of Raccoon City try to escape the zombie apocalypse. Like Resident Evil 3, Nemesis is the movie’s main villain, with him being Matt from the first movie after becoming infected by the Licker. Matt is experimented on by Umbrella and eventually turned into the classic Nemesis from the games. This is as good as the movies get, and it is a fun ride. I could have easily swapped the top three in any order because they’re all worth watching.
Resident Evil: Damnation (2012)
Many Resident Evil fans would argue that animated movies are better than their live-action counterparts, and for the most part, we would be inclined to agree. Resident Evil: Damnation is the highlight of the animated movies, although all three are worth watching. Leon Kennedy is back, with Ada Wong also making an appearance. The movie takes place shortly after the events of Resident Evil 5, with the Las Plagas still threatening the world. One of the movie’s highlights is seeing Leon take on multiple Mr. X tyrants and having Licker’s turn on the tyrant and fight to help Leon.
Resident Evil (2002)
When it comes to the Resident Evil movie franchise, it did peak right at the very beginning and has only been on a downward trend ever since. The Resident Evil franchise began in 1996, and the original trilogy of games propelled the name into the mainstream and made it one of the hottest horror series of all time. That meant that a movie adaptation was inevitable. However, before the release of Resident Evil, the script had gone through multiple changes, as well as multiple directors. Initially, the movie was set to be closer in line with the video games and be directed by iconic horror director George Romero. However, by the time the movie was released, Paul W.S. Anderson had taken the lead. There was a more significant departure from the games, with only a couple of iconic enemies appearing, but the cast were all new characters. Resident Evil showed excellent promise, but sadly it continued to go downhill, and despite being a billion-dollar franchise, from a quality standpoint, it never reached the heights of the first movie again, and the first movie was no masterpiece.
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