The Resident Evil franchise has been a staple of the survival horror genre since its inception in 1996 and has since expanded to include numerous video games, movies, and TV shows. While some entries in the franchise have been lauded as masterpieces of horror, others have been criticized for their lackluster storytelling and poor execution. With such a wide range of adaptations, it can be difficult to determine which ones are worth your time. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive ranking of the Resident Evil franchise, from worst to best, to help you navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of this iconic horror universe.
So grab your weapons and prepare to face off against hordes of the undead as we delve into the world of Resident Evil.
12. Resident Evil (2022 Netflix Series)
Resident Evil is a Netflix Original that serves as the latest reboot of the Resident Evil franchise but dreadingly ranks last on the list due to its confusing plot, weak characters, and lackluster action sequences. It’s a real disappointment to the franchise, to say the least. The series attempts to tell a new story set in the Resident Evil universe, with a focus on a new cast of characters and a new virus outbreak.
One of the biggest issues with the series is its confusing plot. The series jumps back and forth between different timelines and perspectives without proper explanation or transition, making it difficult for viewers to keep up with what’s happening. The characters are also weakly developed, with many of them feeling like generic archetypes rather than fully-realized individuals with distinct personalities and motivations.
The action sequences in the series are also underwhelming, with many of them feeling uninspired and lacking in tension. The series relies too heavily on jump scares and gore to create tension, rather than building it up through atmosphere and pacing. While the use of practical effects is a nice touch, the series ultimately fails to deliver the intense and thrilling experience that fans of the games are familiar with.
Another issue with the series is its inconsistent tone. At times, the series feels like a serious drama, while at other times, it feels like a cheesy B-movie. This inconsistency makes it difficult for viewers to fully engage with the story and characters.
11. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is the most recent movie in the Resident Evil film franchise and unfortunately lacks coherence and has a ton of subpar acting. The movie attempts to adapt the plot of the first two games in the series, with a focus on the mansion incident and the outbreak in Raccoon City.
One of the biggest issues with the movie is its lack of coherence. The movie jumps back and forth between different characters and timelines without proper explanation or transition. The characters are poorly developed, with many of them feeling like one-dimensional archetypes rather than fully-realized individuals.
The movie also suffers from subpar acting, with many of the actors delivering wooden performances. While some actors, such as Kaya Scodelario (who plays Claire Redfield) and Robbie Amell (who plays Chris Redfield), deliver decent performances, others, such as Tom Hopper (who plays Albert Wesker) and Hannah John-Kamen (who plays Jill Valentine), feel miscast and struggle to bring their characters to life.
In terms of action, the movie has its moments but ultimately fails to deliver the tense and thrilling experience that fans of the games are familiar with. The use of practical effects is a nice touch, but the movie relies too heavily on jump scares and gore to create tension, rather than building it up through atmosphere and pacing.
10. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)
The movie picks up immediately after the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, with Alice (Milla Jovovich) returning to Raccoon City to stop the Umbrella Corporation once and for all.
The movie’s plot is convoluted and difficult to follow, with many new characters and concepts introduced without proper explanation. The movie attempts to tie up loose ends from the previous movies, but it does so in a way that feels forced and unsatisfying. The new villain, Dr. Isaacs, is underdeveloped and lacks any real motivation beyond a desire for power.
The movie’s action sequences are also lackluster, with choppy editing and poor choreography. The use of slow motion can be distracting and takes away from the tension of the scenes. The final battle between Alice and Dr. Isaacs is underwhelming and fails to deliver the epic showdown that fans were expecting.
Additionally, the movie’s attempts at fan service feel forced and out of place. The return of characters such as Claire Redfield and Albert Wesker feels like a cheap ploy to appeal to fans of the games, rather than a natural progression of the story.
9. Resident Evil: Damnation (2012)
The movie features Leon S. Kennedy as the main character and revolves around his mission to uncover the truth behind a civil war in a fictional Eastern European country. Damnation’s animation is serviceable but lacks the detail and texture of other entries in the series. The characters’ movements and facial expressions can feel stilted and unnatural, and the environments lack the atmosphere and tension of the games. The movie’s plot is also lackluster, with predictable twists and an over-reliance on action sequences to drive the story forward. The new characters introduced in the movie, such as Buddy and JD, are underdeveloped and uninteresting.
The movie’s attempts at political commentary feel heavy-handed and poorly executed. The civil war in the fictional country of Eastern Slav Republic is meant to parallel real-world conflicts, but the movie fails to make any meaningful commentary on the issue. The villain, Svetlana Belikova, is also underdeveloped and lacks any real motivation beyond a desire for power.
While the movie does have some tense action sequences, such as the battle between Leon and the Lickers in the underground laboratory, these moments are not enough to save the movie from its lackluster plot and animation.
8. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021)
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a four-episode CGI animated series that revolves around the characters of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they investigate a mysterious hacking incident at the White House. The series’ animation is the first thing that stands out, but not in a good way. The character movements and facial expressions often feel stiff and unnatural, and the environments lack detail and texture. The color palette is also dull and lifeless, failing to evoke the atmosphere and tension of the Resident Evil games.
The series’ writing is also lackluster, with characters engaging in exposition-heavy dialogue that fails to build suspense or tension. The plot itself is predictable, and the attempts at political commentary feel heavy-handed and poorly executed. The series introduces a new villain, Shen May, who is underdeveloped and uninteresting. Her motivations are never fully explained, and her character feels like a caricature of a Chinese nationalist.
While the series does have some tense action scenes, such as the group’s confrontation with the zombie horde in the White House, these moments are not enough to save the series from its lackluster writing and animation. The series’ length also works against it, as it feels rushed and underdeveloped.
7. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) has an issue with overreliance on the action at the expense of character development and plot coherence. The movie features fan-favorite characters such as Alice, Leon S. Kennedy, and Ada Wong, as well as introducing new characters such as Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. The action scenes are plentiful and visually impressive, with standout moments such as Alice’s battle with the Axeman and the group’s escape from the Umbrella Corporation’s underwater facility.
However, the movie’s plot is convoluted and lacks coherence, with jarring tonal shifts and plot developments that seem to come out of nowhere. The character development is also lacking, with most characters reduced to one-dimensional archetypes or plot devices. For example, Leon S. Kennedy, who is a fan-favorite character in the video game series, is relegated to a secondary role with little to no character development. Additionally, the movie’s climax is unsatisfying and leaves many plot threads unresolved, setting up a sequel that would not be released until several years later.
Ultimately, Resident Evil: Retribution is a visually impressive but ultimately unsatisfying entry in the franchise.
6. Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)
This animated movie has intense action sequences and impressive animation, with fluid and detailed character movements and impressive lighting and camera work.
Vendetta features fan-favorite characters such as Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield, and Rebecca Chambers, putting a focus on action, with standout moments such as the opening sequence featuring a high-speed motorcycle chase and the final confrontation with the movie’s villain, Glenn Arias. The action scenes are well-choreographed and intense, with creative uses of weapons and special abilities.
Character development is also a strong point, with Leon’s guilt over his past failures and Chris’s determination to protect innocent lives being explored throughout the movie. Additionally, the movie introduces a new character, the skilled and determined government agent, Rebecca Chambers, who adds depth and intrigue to the story. Overall, Resident Evil: Vendetta is a successful entry in the franchise, with intense action sequences, impressive animation, and well-developed characters.
5. Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
The animated film Resident Evil: Degeneration, which successfully combines horror with action, is positioned in the middle of the list owing to the popularity of this combination. The plot of the film takes place in the same universe as that of the games, and it stars well-known characters like Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, who are shown with realistic designs and in settings with a high level of realism. Scenes in the film that create tension and suspense, such as the breakout at the airport and the encounter with the infected Curtis Miller, are examples of how well the film capitalizes on its focus on horror. In addition, the action sequences are well produced, with some of the most memorable moments include Leon’s struggle against the Tyrant and the decisive conflict with Frederic Downing, the antagonist of the film.
In addition to its horror and action components, the film excels in the way it depicts the character motives and personalities of its protagonists and antagonists. The spectator gets a better understanding of Claire’s resolve to defend innocent citizens and Leon’s battle with remorse over errors he’s made in the past, all of which contribute to the story’s depth and complexity.
4. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
The post-apocalyptic world of Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), which is placed fourth on the list, is notable for its excellent character depictions and original premise. The movie deviates from the previous installments in the series by adding new characters like Claire Redfield and the Alice clone, who add depth and intrigue to the storyline of the movie. As Claire is doing her best to look out for her fellow survivors and Alice is trying to find out more about her history, the movie does an excellent job of illuminating the inner workings of each character.
Memorable action sequences include the nail-biting getaway from zombie-infested Las Vegas as well as Alice’s fight with Dr. Isaacs in the film’s climactic moments. When Alice faces up against a swarm of undead and brings her entire might to bear, the climactic set piece is just breathtaking to look at.
3. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
The terrifying and action-packed Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) is a fantastic addition to the series, which focuses on both horror and action. The spread of the T-virus in Raccoon City is portrayed in a manner that is both horrifying and aesthetically spectacular in the film. When Alice makes her escape from a research facility, a well-executed and tense opening action takes place. The story is made more complicated and interesting by the inclusion of additional characters like Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira, for example.
The fact that Alice is continually forced to contend with new obstacles and dangerous adversaries, such as the Nemesis monster, serves to ratchet up the level of dread and tension throughout the film. At the most thrilling moment of the movie, Alice squares up against the nefarious Dr. Isaacs, who has become a monstrous shape as a result of being infected with the T-virus.
2. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
A great adaption of the series, Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) has various components that stand out from the rest of the game. The filmmaker, Paul W.S. Anderson, makes excellent use of 3D technology in the film, which brings the movie’s action scenes to vivid life and is largely responsible for the film’s outstanding graphics. The fights that Alice engages in against an army of clones and the combat that she has in midair with a huge executioner holding an axe are among the highlights of the game. The movie also presents new characters, such as the well-known Claire Redfield and the mysterious Chris, who provide a new dimension to the storyline.
The portrayal of Alice’s character also continues to advance as she is shown to be more vulnerable and approachable in comparison to how she was portrayed in earlier films in the series. It is noteworthy that despite being hurt by the executioner, she makes an effort to save her fellow soldiers. The confrontation between Alice and her squad and Wesker, one of the series’ most prominent antagonists, in the film’s climactic fight is another scene that stands out as being particularly memorable.
1. Resident Evil (2002)
There are a number of reasons why Resident Evil (2002) stands out among the various adaptations that have been released in the series. To begin, the movie is a faithful adaptation of the source material of the video game, and it includes well-known characters such as Alice and the Red Queen. It also combines some of the more traditional characteristics of the horror genre, such as jump scares, gore, and dramatic set pieces. In addition, the characters have a lot of depth, and their backstories and personalities are progressively unveiled as the movie progresses.
For example, Alice’s history and her links to the Umbrella Company are eventually exposed as the story progresses, giving layers of depth to her character. The film’s conclusion is especially noteworthy since it depicts Alice engaging in combat with the Red Queen and letting loose a horde of zombies into the offices of the Umbrella Company. In general, Resident Evil (2002) is a well-executed adaptation that mixes horror conventions with genuine storyline and richly-drawn characters to offer the prototypical zombie film. This results in a film that is a definitive example of its genre.