The 15 Best Resident Evil Characters Of All Time

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Resident Evil is a classic of survival horror, and one of the titles that brought the genre to life in the first place.

The franchise came a long way since its original release on the PlayStation back in 1996.

Year after year it gets new games, spin-offs, and animated films.

After 25+ years, Resident Evil has amassed a wealth of unforgettable characters that are beloved by fans.

They’re actually some of the most well-known faces in gaming, and their influence extends far beyond Resident Evil, into series like Marvel vs. Capcom and Super Smash Bros.

As a long-time fan, I know very well who I’d want with me in case of a zombie apocalypse. So let’s take a look at some of the best characters in the Resident Evil franchise.


15. Sheva Alomar

Sheva Alomar Resident Evil 5 screenshot

First appearance: Resident Evil 5 (2007)

Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one in the world who liked Sheva in RE5.

Good thing I’m the one writing the rankings!

This underappreciated BSAA agent brought real co-op to the Resident Evil franchise in the best way possible.

She’s also great as an AI-controlled companion with the bravery to take on an 8ft tall executioner with a stun baton.

On a more superficial note, she’s one of the hottest ladies in the franchise. Her DLC outfits were fire!

Capcom really needs to bring her back.


14. Lisa Trevor

Lisa Trevor in Resident Evil (2002)

First appearance: Resident Evil (2002)

Lisa Trevor was the daughter of the architect behind the Spencer Mansion, who was killed upon its completion to protect its secrets.

Always concerned with efficiency, the scientists experimenting in the facilities decided to silence the girl and her mother by turning them into test subjects for the Progenitor Virus.

Decades later, Lisa survives as a deformed but seemingly immortal monster in a perpetual search for her missing mother.

We learn of their tragic story slowly through in-game notes from the researchers, and even Lisa’s own diary, which documents her depressing descent into madness.

That this horrible monster is just a little girl, alone and scared, makes it much more chilling.


13. The Merchant

The Merchant RE4 screenshot

First appearance: Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Resident Evil 4 is full of remarkable characters that will live on in our memories for decades to come.

But none are quite like The Merchant.

Despite being infected by Las Plagas, this peddler remains in complete control of his intellectual capacities and can set up shop in the most unlikely places, making him everyone’s best friend in the Spanish countryside.

No matter where you are, he’s got just what you need, stranger.


12. Alexia Ashford

Alexia Ashford in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica

First appearance: Resident Evil: Code Veronica (2000)

One of the most interesting villains in RE history is Alexia Ashford, an English noble family member with close ties to the infamous Umbrella Corporation.

Much like Albert Wesker and other villains in the series, Alexia was a genius consumed with her own thirst for power.

She sought to ascend to godhood as a new life form through the T-Veronica virus – and she actually succeeded, at least for a little while.

Regrettably for Alexia, the stars aligned against her.

Even a god would have trouble dealing with Wesker and the Redfield siblings at the same time.


11. Ethan Winters

Ethan Winters Resident Evil Village screenshot

First appearance: Resident Evil 7 (2017)

Fans of long-lived series like Resident Evil have a tendency to write off new characters without giving them a chance.

But Ethan Winters has earned a place on this list with grit and clenched teeth.

Despite having no training whatsoever, Ethan manages to drive the Baker family back and becomes instrumental in controlling the viral-enhanced mold outbreak in the bayou.

Hell, he even gets his hand sawed off only to put it back together with some chewing gum and duct tape minutes later.

Wait, what?

Go play Resident Evil Village if you want to know how he pulled that feat off.


10. Luis Sera

Luis Sera in Resident Evil 4

First appearance: Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Who could ever forget the single smoothest Spaniard in RE4?

Luis has a sleek fashion sense and a tendency for witty remarks.

He always has a cheesy one-liner ready, which works perfectly to cut the tension in some of the game’s most intense moments.

He technically helped Los Iluminados engineer bio-organic weapons like El Gigante, but it’s hard to argue with a doomsday cult once you’re in their home turf.

His death is easily the saddest scene in the entire game.


9. Rebecca Chambers

Rebecca Chambers Resident Evil Zero screenshot

First appearance: Resident Evil (1996)

Some characters are interesting, others are bad-ass – and Rebecca?

She’s just plain adorable.

This medic is an unlikely survivor from the STARS Bravo Team, who had to brave the horrors of the Arklay Mountains way before Chris and Jill set foot in the mansion.

Despite her painfully cute & almost child-like appearance, this medic proved to be one of the most resourceful characters in the series.

Her smarts definitely served her right during her stay at the Spencer Mansion, and she went on to become a leading researcher in viral outbreak counter-measures.

If Resident Evil was an RPG, she’d be the healer.


8. Barry Burton

Barry Burton in Resident Evil: Revelations 2

First appearance: Resident Evil (1996)

The measure of a man is what he does with power.

And in Barry’s case, it’s what he does with a .44 Magnum.

This often-overlooked character was the calm cornerstone of the STARS Alpha Team.

He was in charge of weapon supervision and coming up with witty jokes like the infamous “Jill Sandwich” quote.

He’s one of the nicest guys in the entire series without that hampering his ability to blow up zombie skulls left and right.

After this traumatic experience, Barry has done everything in his power to be a good family man – including fighting to protect them from bio-terrorism as part of the BSAA.



HUNK from Resident Evil 2 Remake

First appearance: Resident Evil 2 (1998)

HUNK is as mysterious as he is cool.

This one-man-army works for the Umbrella Security Service.

He was first introduced as a playable character in The 4th Survivor – a specially challenging mode in RE2 where you had limited resources.

Well, HUNK doesn’t need resources.

He’s cold, calculating, and ruthlessly efficient when it comes to killing – zombie or not.

After the Raccoon City incident, he even invented his own fighting style to deal with infected in an outbreak situation.

If I had to guess, it includes a couple of ballet moves.


6. Jill Valentine

Jill Valentine Resident Evil 3 (2020) screenshot

First appearance: Resident Evil (1996)

As someone who prefers to play a bad-ass woman when given a choice, Jill was the vehicle through which I first experienced the horrors of the Spencer Mansion, and later the Raccoon City Outbreak.

Also known (by Barry) as the Master of Unlocking, Jill’s smarts are second only to her bravery and sense of duty.

These qualities proved vital to her and her remaining team members to escape the Arklay Mountains.

Her appearance as a zombie survival veteran in the recent RE3 Remake was simply inspiring, and a great way to remind the audience what Jill is really about after the whole “controlled by Wesker” thing from RE5.


5. Ada Wong

Ada Wong in Resident Evil 2 Remake

First appearance: Resident Evil 2 (1998)

Sexy, mysterious, and a bit toxic, Ada Wong taught me what the term “femme fatale” really means.

Nothing is certain about Ada Wong besides her beauty and skill with a gun – or a crossbow.

Whoever she’s working for, she’s also working against – all in pursuit of personal motives unknown to anyone but herself.

Still, individuals and organizations in the criminal underworld keep coming for her unmatched skill and valuable connections.


4. Chris Redfield

Chris Redfield in Resident Evil Village

First appearance: Resident Evil (1996)

Much like the zombies he’s so good at neutralizing, Chris just keeps coming back – over and over.

After the nightmare at the Spencer Mansion, Chris has dedicated his life to fighting Bio Organic Weapons as a member of the BSAA.

Wherever zombies get up from their graves, Chris will be there to punch them back into the ground.

And I mean that literally.

While his recent dark and grizzled look from Resident Evil Village is pretty damn cool, my favorite Chris will always be the muscular Pillar Man from RE5.

I mean, the dude can punch volcanic rock boulders into submission!


3. Albert Wesker

Albert Wesker Resident Evil 5 screenshot

First appearance: Resident Evil (1996)

You can’t help but love some villains, and Albert Wesker is at the top of the list.

He’s brilliant, ravishingly good-looking, and can wear sunglasses indoors without looking ridiculous.

It’s not an accident that he’s so cool, either.

Wesker was the product of a eugenics program seeking to create the perfect human being.

Later in his life, he’d become obsessed with pushing evolution forward by engineering the end of humankind.

Like most great villains, he meets his end in the only fitting way for a superhuman megalomaniac – consumed by his power, burning in the fiery pits of a volcano.


2. Claire Redfield

Claire Redfield from Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019)

First appearance: Resident Evil 2 (1998)

Chris Redfield has dedicated his life to fighting bioterrorism on the ground as part of the BSAA.

Still, his biggest contribution to zombie suppression was training his sister before the events of RE2.

It must have been some severe training, considering this seemingly normal girl managed to survive the outbreak and went on to become a major bad-ass.

She has the soul of an activist, but the skills of a soldier.

Not to mention she’s grounded, relatable, and gets in-depth character development throughout the series – more than any other character.


1. Leon Scott Kennedy

Leon Scott Kennedy RE4 game screenshot

First appearance: Resident Evil 2 (1998)

Leon S. Kennedy has been kicking zombie ass since RE2.

But it was his appearance in RE4 that really put him in the spotlight – and saved the series from fading into obscurity.

In the time between the Raccoon City incident and his mission to rescue Ashley Graham in Spain, Leon went from police officer to James Bond.

Now he travels worldwide fighting bio-terrorism under direct supervision from the President.

He’s witty, smart, and great with a gun.

It’s no wonder the girls around him can’t help but swoon at the sight of Leon. Unfortunately for them, his heart is set on Ada – and wiping out bioterrorism, of course.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.