Spoiler alert: Steve is not one of them.
It was the franchise that completely defined the survival horror genre, and it also turned out to be one of my favourite all time video game franchises ever.
My first introduction to Resident Evil – seeing as I went for Nintendo 64 over the PS1 – was Resident Evil 2 (in my opinion the best game of the series, but that’s for another listicle). I was amazed at the incredible storytelling, jump scares, well-defined characters, and entertaining gameplay. I’m a fan of tank controls. Don’t @ me.
Over the years, Resident Evil has been pumping out more and more survival horror, including the iconic Outbreak series, and remakes of older games to give the newer generation a taste of what we had back in the day. During these years, we’ve been introduced to several characters of the franchise, from the dashing hunk Chris Redfield, to the friendly waitress Cindy Lennox.
We’ve been spoiled for choice of characters, and today I’m going to list my top 14 favourite characters from the Resident Evil franchise.
14. Alyssa Ashcroft
Getting started with an underappreciated character of the franchise, Alyssa Ashcroft was the determined reported from the Outbreak series, and my second go-to character in these games. Described as a no-nonsense journalist armed with a red power suit, Alyssa has quite an interesting backstory (only discovered if you play as her in the Flashback scenario in Outbreak File #2) and also has a pot shot skill which is extremely useful.
13. Ada Wong
Someone I’m sure people would expect to be higher up on this list, let me just say that while I think Ada is a badass, I just don’t think she’s that interesting. Her zero personality suits her assassin character, and I love how she’s always zipping about with her grapple gun in heels, but that’s all she offers to me really. One could say, however, that she invented #WasteHisTime because of how long she’s been stringing on poor Leon.
12. Becca Woolett
Just like Alyssa, I appreciate when a female character is given a skill that compliments a good attack plan; female characters are always given support roles in survival horror/action games like these, so it’s a good change. Becca is by far the best with guns in Resident Evil: Resistance which is made all the more better by her cute Southern demeanour and Daisy Duke outfit. She shows that you can be a sexy sassy Southern belle and still pop some zombie brains off.
11. Barry Burton
Mostly because he’s a daddy. Barry Burton is the protective father figure of the series that provides you with a sense of comfort, either as Jill Valentine in Resident Evil, or as Natalia Korda in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. His undying loyalty to the people he holds as family is the most endearing quality a character in a survival horror franchise could have, and we love him for it.
10. Cindy Lennox
My go to character in the Outbreak series, Cindy Lennox is the sweetheart girl-next-door character trope of the eight playable characters in the games. Starting off as a beautiful waitress at Jack’s Bar, she ends up playing a pivotal role in the team as she has a background in first aid; in particular, the mixing of herbs (no she’s not a weed dealer). While Alyssa had a more active role in the team, Cindy’s passive support role isn’t to be overlooked, and that along with the fact that she’s more liked by the other NPC characters, makes her a valuable character to play with.
9. Sheva Alomar
I was excited to see RE’s first black protagonist in the form of Sheva Alomar, and I was not disappointed. Again, one of the action/horror video game tropes is to have the playable female character be weaker than her male counterpart and be more of a support role. However, Sheva was every part an equal to Chris, and was a female lead that girls and guys can definitely look up to. I would definitely love to see more Sheva in RE’s future because one game was not enough.
8. Billy Coen
If you have a thing for bad boys (lol me) then you would like Billy Coen. A wrongfully convicted felon on the run, Billy meets up with Rebecca Chambers and they work together to get through the horrors of Resident Evil Zero. I’m known to heavily prefer playing as the female character when given the option, but I ended up preferring to stick with Billy in this game. He was so cool, calm and collected, even when the world around him was falling to pieces. Plus, again… he’s a bad boy.
7. Jill Valentine
I’m sure Jill being at number seven may shock people, but hear me out. Like I said before, my introduction to RE was RE2, so my first character choice in badass females was Claire Redfield. If I were to discover RE1 or RE3 first, then I think Jill would be higher on the list. Jill was the very first female badass in this series, serving as the primary character in both of the aforementioned games. Jill is loyal, intelligent, and a mf go-getter. I mean, she took out Nemesis all by herself!
6. Leon Kennedy
Another name that people are probably expecting to be higher on the list is Leon S. Kennedy. I could probably attribute to this to my preference of Claire as well. In the original RE2, Leon seemed a bit dopey and naive; but from RE4 onwards, Leon had developed a more mysterious vibe that, while he has good and pure intentions, you still question whether he’s really that wholesome. And as mentioned before, we love a bad boy. Leon just has terrible taste in women. If she keeps zipping away from you, she’s not interested bro. Speaking of Leon and women, actually…
5. Ashley Graham
Definitely a name that people won’t expect to be on this list at all. What I loved about Ashley – besides the ‘Nikki loves hot blondes’ trope – is the fact that she’s realistic. Realistically if I was thrown into a zombie-filled city, I won’t be able to pick up a grenade launcher and gun down William Birkin like I was spending money at Gucci. Realistically, I couldn’t jump across buildings in a tube top and a skirt while also fending off Nemesis. I’m not equipped for that, and Ashley was portrayed as someone who was clearly not equipped for the horror that was presented to her. (Granted, I’d be able to do more than throw a lamp.) Plus, how iconic is her green plaid skirt and orange turtleneck outfit.
4. Carlos Oliveira
My love for Carlos really exploded with the RE3 remake. Let’s face it: in the original RE3, Carlos was sort of a forgotten character. He served his purpose and filled his role well as the loyal soldier who suddenly has to question everything they’ve been taught, but he was pleasant. And a pleasant soldier isn’t anything remarkable. In the remake, however, he was given a rugged new look with the most wonderful mop of hair I’ve ever seen, and his rough-tough exterior complimented his altered personality well. And good lord do I want Carlos to save me from a raging tyrant now.
3. Claire Redfield
My first introduction to the RE series came in Claire Redfield and her pink denim vest and shorts combo. In my opinion, Claire was dealt the roughest hand of all the major characters in the RE series: not only was she thrown into the dark with no real combat training, but she was also given the task to care for Sherry in RE2 and then Moira in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. To take care of yourself in an environment like this is hard enough, but to be entrusted with someone else’s child is another story, and Claire managed to do it twice while looking fierce AF. Claire is the cool biker chick we all wish we knew. RIP Elza Walker.
2. Chris Redfield
Would’ve easily been number one had it not been for one minor character, Chris is the poster boy for RE and it’s very easy to see why. The first male protagonist of the series, and the main character featured in most of the RE games, Chris is everything you would want in a survival horror game. He’s tough, he’s protective, he’s vigilant, and good lord is he hot. I mean, physically conditioned for the role. He’s likeable but not too unrealistic in his action-packed role, he’s the guy you would want on your team if you were thrown into a zombie-filled city. Plus I will punch on with anyone who criticises his RE5 re-design, because let me tell you right now that I’d much prefer to be protected by the boulder punching Chris than the awkward soldier boy haircut Chris.
1. Jessica Sherawat
This’ll shock everyone unless you really know me. Jessica Sherawat is everything that I am or want to be. She’s beautiful; she’s sassy; she’s stylish; and she’ll kick your ass in a one-legged wetsuit and heels. The fact that Jessica can go on a top class mission and still find time to flirt with her partner, wear phenomenal outfits, and mention her sweet ass really makes her the Diva of all Divas tbh. I would die for this Queen, and I’m anxiously awaiting for her return to RE gaming. Granted, she shouldn’t have betrayed the BSAA, but we all have faults. Come on guys.
Now I’m just picturing a new RE game where the main character is Jessica who tries to redeem herself with the good guys by embarking on some stylish adventure into zombie world. Yaaaasss bitch. Come through with the goods Capcom!
– by The Black Widow