With the latest adaptation of the hit game and film series Resident Evil upon us, now is the perfect time to watch the original six movies and reacquaint ourselves with the chaotic world of virus-ridden zombies.


The Resident Evil movies aren't exactly lauded as the best video game film adaptations but despite this, they never seem to disappoint when it comes to box office numbers.

The franchise is the highest-grossing zombie movie series to date, as well as the highest-grossing film series based on a video game.

So, if you're wondering where to start with the Resident Evil franchise, the story simply follows the release order, so knowing how to watch them in order is just a case of seeing which films came out first.

As for the games, the films do borrow from them on occasion but it's normally very loosely so think of them as a separate timeline to the Raccoon City stories that we know and love from the gaming world.

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It's also worth noting that 2021's Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City sits outside the continuity of the original series, serving as a reboot, so is not included on this list.

Read on for everything you need to know about how to watch the Resident Evil movies in order.

How to watch the Resident Evil movies in order

  • 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)

Resident Evil

resident evil 2002

Released 2002

It is hard to believe that it was 21 years ago that the first movie in the Resident Evil series was released. Starring series mainstay Milla Jovovich as Alice, an amnesiac thrust into one terrifying situation after another, this borrowed themes and ideas from the first two games but tried to make them its own.

It also perfectly captures the surprise success of the franchise as this did not get great reviews when it was released, but it went onto make over 100 million at the box office and it is no surprise that sequel after sequel followed.

Where to watch: Buy the complete Resident Evil series on Blu-Ray at Amazon

Resident Evil Apocalypse

resident evil apolcalypse

Released: 2004

Generally thought of as the worst of the franchise, and for good reason, Resident Evil: Apocalypse should not be dismissed entirely as there are several strong action sequences that, arguably, rival the best that the whole series has to offer.

The biggest problem with it though is the plot which is hardly the most innovative, exciting or even coherent. That being said, not only did this also do well at the box office, but it actually surpassed what the original made and thankfully, things did get, marginally, better from this point onwards.

Where to watch: Buy the complete Resident Evil series on Blu-Ray at Amazon

Resident Evil: Extinction

resident evil extinction

Released: 2007

Things were not improving for poor Alice as the third film got underway. With Racoon City uninhabitable, she and several others attempt to traverse the Mojave desert wilderness to Alaska where they hope to find safety from the raging zombie apocalypse.

The premise was an interesting one and it allowed this to have a story much more compelling than the last, but it all did still feel a tad predictable despite some killer action sequences that still hold up to repeat viewing today.

Where to watch: Buy the complete Resident Evil series on Blu-Ray at Amazon

Resident Evil: Afterlife

resident evil afterlife

Released: 2010

Albert Wesker, the head of the Umbrella Corporation, was the main antagonist for the fourth entry in the franchise that had a decent supporting cast backing up Alice with Ali Larter (Heroes), Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) and Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy) among the castmembers.

While still not doing much to improve the series' overall Rotten Tomatoes score, this one did get some praise with the action being singled out as something to commend it for, and the plot itself was far simpler and a lot more engaging than what had come before - and yes, it made a ton of money too.

Where to watch: Buy the complete Resident Evil series on Blu-Ray at Amazon

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Resident Evil: Retribution

resident evil retribution

Released: 2012

Alice is trapped in an underwater facility in the Extreme North by the Umbrella Corporation and forced to try and escape in the fifth Resident Evil movie. Afterlife was praised for its 3D, visual effects and fight choreography, all of which were great and the compliments are fully deserved.

Unfortunately though, not so well received were the plot, the acting or the characters - which is not ideal. But fans of the series were not going to be swayed by reviews like that as they were certainly used to them at this point and no prizes for guessing whether this one also did well at the box office (it did).

Where to watch: Buy the complete Resident Evil series on Blu-Ray at Amazon

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

resident evil final chapter

Released: 2016

After six movies, the Resident Evil franchise as we know it came to a close in 2016 with The Final Chapter and interestingly, this is the one that was reviewed the best out of all of them - it's little wonder a reboot was announced quickly after this came out.

Recurring troublemaker and extremely evil Albert Wesker has been cloned and, unsurprisingly, he betrays Alice and the gang and pits them against the might of the entire Umbrella corporation in one final battle for survival.

Where to watch: Buy the complete Resident Evil series on Blu-Ray at Amazon

Looking for something to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.


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