The adventure with Capcom’s horrors began in 1996 and it continues to this day. Its chapters throughout the years have been shaped by the characters: heroic protagonists, villainous antagonists and everyone in between. They have played a significant role in shaping the series’ lore, storytelling, and gameplay.

The Resident Evil franchise has become one of the most successful and iconic video game series of all time with millions of copies sold worldwide and a dedicated fan base.

We root for the protagonists, but we also love the villains whose characters have been superbly rendered. The world of Resident Evil is a battle between good and evil, but there is also room for various shades of gray. The antagonists are not simply evil – very often they have sorrowful backstories, which we gradually discover as the gameplay progresses.

Criteria for Ranking

Almost every Resident Evil hero has had their moment – as we’ve mentioned the characters are the strength of the franchise – but let’s check which of them are the most beloved ones. When comparing characters, what mattered to us was not the time of their appearance, but rather the “it factor” which made a lasting impression.

Ranking the Top 15 Characters

Let’s find out which 15 characters from the Resident Evil franchise are best remembered and most beloved by fans.

#15 Piers Nivan

First appearance:Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire

Like the true soldier he was, he had one job – to safeguard Chris Redfield. Despite not being given a chance to further develop and having his fate sealed, he played his role in the plot perfectly.

Piers Nivan

With the tragic backstory of losing his family to a bio-terrorist attack at a young age, his character was very convincing. Piers is known for his loyalty and bravery; he is often putting himself in danger to protect Chris and others. His sacrifice in the game’s final moments has also contributed to his popularity among fans.

#14 Barry Burton

First appearance:Resident Evil (1996)

Barry is one of the original characters in the series and has become a fan favorite due to his cheesy one-liners and father-like personality. He is often offering guidance and support to the younger members of the team.

Barry Burton

Moreover, Barry is a skilled marksman and his weapons expertise is highly valued by his fellow STARS members. His appearance in the Resident Evil Remake was particularly well-received by fans.

#13 Jack Baker

First appearance:Resident Evil 7 Teaser Demo: Beginning Hour

Jack is a former construction worker who had been infected with a fungal-based bioweapon which turned him and his family into aggressive, mutated beings known as the “Molded”.

Jack Baker

You might not be able to tell at first glance due to his monstrous appearance and actions, but Jack has a tragic backstory. He and his family were forced into becoming hosts for a bioweapon by a mysterious organization. This aspect has made him a sympathetic character to some fans.

#12 Rebecca Chambers

First appearance:Resident Evil (1996)

She is a member of the STARS Bravo team where she serves as a medic. Rebecca is known for her intelligence, resourcefulness, and determination.

Rebecca Chambers

Throughout the series, she has played a key role in the uncovering of various bioterrorist plots and has assisted the series’ protagonists in their fights. In addition to her medical skills, Rebecca is also a skilled pianist known for her love of music. She is a beloved character among the fans of the series due to not only her distinctive qualities but also her contributions to the overarching story of the franchise.

#11 HUNK

First appearance:Resident Evil 2 (1998)

The popularity of U.S.S. HUNK, a member of the Umbrella Corporation’s elite special forces unit, stems from his mysterious backstory and impressive combat skills.


He is often seen as the ultimate “badass” character in the franchise and his appearances are highly anticipated.

#10 Jake Muller

First appearance:Resident Evil 6

Jake Muller, the son of the infamous bio-terrorist Albert Wesker, is initially a mercenary, but later on he becomes involved in the fight against the C-Virus outbreak.

Jake Muller

He teams up with a franchise veteran Sherry Birkin, with whom he has a complex relationship. Throughout the game, Jake’s story arc revolves around him coming to terms with his lineage and his father’s legacy. Jake is loved for his sarcastic personality and cocky attitude, which is entirely different from the more serious and stoic protagonists in the series.

#9 Carlos Oliveira

First appearance:Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Carlos is known for his bravery and dedication to helping others.

Carlos Oliveira

He is a fan-favorite due to his daringness, loyalty, and his role as the love interest of Jill Valentine, one of the series’ most iconic characters. These two characters share a close bond throughout the game.

#8 Sherry Birkin

First appearance:Resident Evil 2 (1998)

Sherry has faced numerous dangers and threats throughout the series, but she has always managed to emerge stronger and more resilient.

Sherry Birkin

Her backstory and her connection to the Birkin family also add an intriguing element to her character, making her one of the more complex characters in the series. Moreover, her relationship with Jake Muller adds a new dimension to her character.

#7 Ethan Winters

First appearance:Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Everyone would love to have a friend such as Ethan Winters. Despite not having formal training in combat or survival skills, he can outsmart and defeat various enemies he encounters throughout the game.

Ethan Winters

One of Ethan’s defining traits which drives his actions is his love for his wife Mia. Fans admire Ethan’s relatable personality, resourcefulness, and dedication to protecting those he loves at all costs.

#6 Claire Redfield

First appearance:Resident Evil 2 (1998)

We met her as a college student who finds herself trapped in Raccoon City during a zombie outbreak.

Claire Redfield

Along with Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie police officer, she fights her way through the city to uncover the truth behind the outbreak and manages to escape in one piece. She is known for her bravery, determination, and loyalty to her friends and family.

#5 Ada Wong

First appearance:Resident Evil 2 (1998)

Ada is a mysterious woman who initially appears to be working for the Umbrella Corporation. She crosses paths with Leon S. Kennedy, which results in a deep and complicated bond between them.

Ada Wong

We remember her distinctive red dress and her ability to remain cool and composed even in dangerous situations. Her true allegiances and motives are often unclear, and she is known for playing both sides of conflicts to achieve her own goals. That’s why we can’t ever get enough of her.

#4 Albert Wesker

First appearance:Resident Evil (1996)

Albert Wesker is one of the most recognizable villains in the franchise, he is a brilliant scientist and skilled fighter who possesses enhanced physical abilities as a result of having been infected with the Progenitor virus.

Albert Wesker

His trademark sunglasses, black leather trench coat, and deep voice have become iconic elements of the character.

#3 Chris Redfield

First appearance:Resident Evil (1996)

Chris is a highly trained and skilled soldier who is proficient in various forms of combat and use of weapons – just the type of guy you’d rather have on your side.

Chris Redfield

He is known for his physical strength and endurance and he often serves as a leader and mentor to other characters in the series. Chris is also known for his determination and bravery in the face of danger.

#2 Jill Valentine

First appearance:Resident Evil (1996)

Jill is known not only for her outstanding intelligence but also for her determination and loyalty to her friends and allies.

Jill Valentine

Her trademark? A blue tube top and a beret, as well as her short hair and combat boots. We suppose that not everyone will agree with her placing second as many people see her as the undisputed number one.

#1 Leon S. Kennedy

First appearance:Resident Evil 2 (1998)

He first appeared in Resident Evil 2 as a rookie police officer and has since become one of the most popular and recognizable characters in the series.

Leon S. Kennedy

The golden boy of the franchise. Leon is loved not only for his high combat skills but also for his sense of humor and – let’s be honest – his boyband haircut and dreamy eyes.

Throughout the series, Leon has been involved in various conflicts and missions which he handled with style. His trademark leather jacket has become an iconic element of the character.

Honorable Mentions

Who ranks right behind these characters? Let’s see who is worth mentioning, but who didn’t make it into our Top 15. Certain characters only made brief appearances but were nevertheless very rememberable. Who should get a more developed storyline?

Sheva Alomar

First appearance:Resident Evil 5

Sheva appeared only in Resident Evil 5 as a new partner of Chris Redfield.

Sheva Alomar

She is a highly skilled fighter who is proficient in various forms of combat and the use of weapons. She is known for her agility, intelligence, and ability to think on her feet. She is considered to be one of the most underrated heroes in the franchise. Fans are still waiting for her return in a sequel or spinoff.

Nikolai Zinoviev

First appearance:Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Just a bad guy with a heavy Russian accent. He has known for his cold nature and willingness to betray his allies for personal gain.

Nikolai Zinoviev

It is not explicitly stated whether he’s dead, so there’s a small window of opportunity for him to make a comeback.

Ramon Salazar

First appearance:Resident Evil 4 (2005)

One of the villains that’s rather funny than scary.

Ramon Salazar

Salazar is a highly intelligent and manipulative character who is known for his sadistic nature and love of puzzles and riddles. On top of that, his ridiculous aristocratic appearance and overacting are for sure memorable.

Billy Coen

First appearance:Resident Evil 0

Yet another complex character with a traumatic past.

Billy Coen

Throughout Resident Evil Zero, Billy and Rebecca work together to uncover the secrets behind the Umbrella Corporation’s experiments and eventually confront the main antagonist, Dr. James Marcus. This storyline certainly had the potential to be developed more.


The characters of Resident Evil have become cultural touchstones in their own right, with many fans developing deep emotional attachment to their favorite heroes and villains. This has led to a wide array of merchandise, fan art, and cosplay which in turn has helped keep the franchise alive and relevant long after its initial release.

The characters of Resident Evil are essential to the series’ success and longevity. They have helped the franchise become a household name and have given fans countless hours of thrilling gameplay and unforgettable storytelling. Whether you love them or hate them, it’s hard to deny the impact that these characters have had on the world of video games and pop culture as a whole.