How to Watch the Resident Evil Movies in Chronological Order

While Resident Evil may have started as a video game franchise, Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich helped bring the series to the big screen with a film series that spanned six movies. The films feature characters and villains from the games, but they tell their own separate stories and star Jovovich as a newcomer 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 beginning, we have some very good news for you. All the films serve as sequels to their previous entries, meaning there is no difference between watching them in release order vs. chronological order. For even more good news, those that wish to just jump into the latest film, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, will be happy to know that it serves as a reboot of the film franchise with a new cast and can be watched without needing to see the prior six films.

With all that being said, we still wanted to provide you with a mostly spoiler-free look at how you can watch the Resident Evil movies in chronological order, and you can find that below!

The Resident Evil Movies in (Chronological) Order

The Resident Evil Movies in Chronological Order

1. Resident Evil (2002)

Where to Watch: Hulu

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.

Read our review of Resident Evil.

2. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Where to Watch: Hulu

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.

Read our review of Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

3. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Where to Watch: Hulu

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).

Read our review of Resident Evil: Extinction.

4. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Where to Watch: Hulu

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.

Read our review of Resident Evil: Afterlife.

5. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Where to Watch: Hulu

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.

Read our review of Resident Evil: Retribution.

6. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

Where to Watch: Rent or Purchase

The aptly named Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the last feature film in the series to involve 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.

Read our review of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

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

Where to Watch: Starz

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.

Read our review of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.

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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