For over 25 years, the Resident Evil series has brought players deep into the depths of horror and bioweapons. Zombie outbreaks, corrupted village folk, super-powered executives, and large mutated monsters are barely a few of the creatures to be defeated. Resident Evil created some of gaming’s most iconic images, but the series as a whole has delivered by introducing powerful Big Bads and enemies to face along the way. This list will rank the series’ best antagonists who have left their mark and made the adventures so much fun to complete.
Note: Spoiler warning! The list will discuss plot points for the games and the overall series story.
BRIAN IRONS (Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles)
Raccoon City Police Department Chief Brian Irons is a memorable character from the early days of the Resident Evil series. He may have been a minor antagonist, but he left a lasting mark due to his deranged behavior. Prior to the Raccoon City outbreak, Irons was a corrupt and evil man who secretly killed several women as a serial killer, and when waves of zombies hit, Irons’ last taxidermy victim was that of the mayor’s daughter, Katherine Warren. Irons purposely thwarted the S.T.A.R.S. and helped Umbrella in their mission to control the city/cover up the crimes. His role as a villain grew in the Resident Evil 2 Remake where the players take control of Sherry Birkin, and tasked escaping Irons’ grasp in the orphanage. It’s a great world building side-quest that showcases how those in power in Raccoon City were just as villainous as the Big Bads in the series.
MORPHEUS D. DUVALL (Resident Evil: Dead Aim)
Morpheus is an oft-forgotten villain in the Resident Evil series. Part of this could be due to his only appearance being in a smaller game like Resident Evil: Dead Aim and that his villainous story wasn’t connected to the series’ main characters. Morpheus, however, is a great honorable mention based on his vengeful backstory. After the contamination at the Spencer Mansion in Resident Evil, he was framed by Umbrella for causing the accident. Morpheus was so bitter and angry that he stole several virus samples from Umbrella with plans to blackmail the world for $5 billion. Even his narcissism and mutations pale in comparison to that big of a financial scheme.
15. ALEX WESKER (Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Resident Evil: Resistance)
Alex Wesker is a prime example of how Umbrella’s influence affected the world from within the company. She was a high-ranking executive and scientist who worked under founder Oswell E. Spencer. Resulting from Spencer’s earlier experiments, Alex became a sister to series villain Albert Wesker under the genetically modified project known as the “Wesker Children.” Alex had no special abilities, but her influence lied within the company as she attained power, developed viruses, and sought a cure for her degenerative disease. Alex’s main first appearance came in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 where she led the spread of the new t-Phobos virus and tried to transplant her being into a new host. Alex was manipulative, her influence developed cult-like followers, and while her main body was defeated, she could make a return in the future due to her successful transplant.
14. MORGAN LANSDALE (Resident Evil: Revelations)
Morgan is an interesting case among Resident Evil villains. He’s one of the few antagonists who tries to complete his goal without mutating from the virus. and got himself arrested instead of being killed. Morgan was the former head of the FBC (Federal Bioterrorism Commission) who used his position to spread more bioterrorism attacks instead of stopping them. Due to his manipulative power, he was able to decimate cities. He gave terrorist samples of the t-Abyss virus. He betrayed everyone to ensure those viruses were transported to new locations. If it weren’t for the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), Morgan would’ve succeeded in hiding evidence of his wrongdoings and continued abusing his power on the world.
13. Nicholai Ginovaef (Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil 3 Remake, Resident Evil Outbreak, Resident Evil: Resistance)
Nicholai is the type of villain who acts solely in his own interest. Depending on the right price, he’ll work for anyone. Based on the Resident Evil series, he’s only worked for evil entities that have required his skills in killing, sabotage, and retrieving sought-after experiments. Nicholai has purposely destroyed evidence of a t-Virus cure, killed high-ranking scientists and team members, and betrayed his own team to complete Umbrella’s mission. Plus, what makes him even more terrible was that he betrayed Umbrella for another evil entity who just paid him more. Nicholai didn’t care who won or if Jill Valentine died—he only cared about causing chaos and ensured he got paid for it.
12. Oswell E. Spencer (Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil: Resistance)
Oswell E. Spencer is a figure whose power has been felt throughout the entirety of the Resident Evil series. He’s not the Big Bad players have to face at the end of a game, but he’s one of the shadowy villains pulling the strings within the Umbrella Corporation. Spencer had a hand in Umbrella’s creation, and while he wasn’t inflicting direct harm, his decisions within the company led to many terrible actions: cover-ups, murder, and unleashing B.O.W.s within Raccoon City, and his research led to the creation of viruses, namely the t-Virus. By the time we encounter Spencer in-person during the events of Resident Evil 5, he’s a shell of his former self, barely clinging to life. However, his past and name recognition involvement make him one of the most dangerous and best villains in the series.
11. Mr. X (Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles)
Resident Evil has its fair share of tyrants, but Mr. X stands out as one of its most iconic. Appearing in Resident Evil 2 (and the Resident Evil 2 Remake), this silent villain is an unrelenting monster who will chase you throughout the RPD until he kills you. No words, no stopping, only violence. Right from when he threw aside a crashed helicopter, you knew this Tyrant meant business. Mr. X is iconic for the dread he instilled from his short appearances. Resident Evil 2 Remake made the perfect choice of extending his time in the plot to both Claire’s and Leon’s stories instead of keeping him to just one.
10. James Marcus/Queen Leech (Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles)
If Oswell E. Spencer was the person who created the elements, James Marcus/Queen Leech was the trigger point for the start of the Resident Evil series. Dr. James Marcus was a co-founder of the Umbrella Corporation and helped to create the t-Virus. However, his lust for power and illegal experiments led to Umbrella/Spencer assassinating him and removing him from the company. One of his experiments (Queen Leech) absorbed his body, assumed his memories, and sought out revenge against the world and Umbrella for being wicked. Marcus/Leech caused the initial outbreaks in the Arklay Laboratory and the surrounding facilities/woods, which led to Raccoon City eventually having a zombie outbreak. Marcus/Leech caused a slippery slope that had global consequences!
9. Alcina Dimitrescu & Her Daughters (Resident Evil Village)
Alcina is Resident Evil’s version of a vampire. As an ageless countess in the Eastern European countryside, she lured unsuspecting victims to her castle to feed off their blood to stay alive forever. Alcina (and her three vampire daughters) may only be among the many supporting villains in Resident Evil Village, but her family stands out as the most instantly iconic of the game. She’s commanding, powerful, and has a flair for opulence as she throws furniture or hunts the player throughout the castle. Resident Evil Village is memorable just for introducing the world to the villainous Dimitrescus. Alcina and her daughters Bela, Daniela, and Cassandra use their vampiric insect-like powers to deal plenty of damage and make a good portion of Resident Evil Village into a thrilling cat-and-mouse stage.
8. Carla Radames (Resident Evil 6)
A doppelgänger with all the power and intelligence to rule the world. Carla Radames was a genius researcher who used her abilities to create the deadly C-Virus and further plans for global destruction. After being fooled into becoming a lookalike mutation of spy Ada Wong, Radames used her anger to form a bioterrorist group called Neo-Umbrella, which had goals of using the C-Virus to destroy the world. Radames successfully used her viruses to kill thousands, infect communities like Edonia and Lanshiang, and aided in the deranged plans of former ally/love interest Derek C. Simmons. Her placement on the best villains list comes from how destructive her moves hit; just her C-Virus gas alone toppled entire cities and triggered outbreaks. Plus, her lookalike and final mutation posed a strong threat against the heroes, even almost killing Ada once and for all.
7. Osmund Saddler (Resident Evil 4)
Amongst fans, Resident Evil 4 has long been lauded as the best entry in the series. Part of that acclaim is due to its roster of memorable villains, such as the enigmatic and cryptic cult leader Osmund Saddler. Saddler was a bio-weapon research chief who used his skills to create a thriving cult and paramilitary organization in hopes of taking over the world. He used a parasitic entity, known as Las Plagas, to create a new wave of enemies that Resident Evil fans had never encountered before. The zombies will always be the iconic enemies, but the Plagas had the extra dangerous edge during the exploration. Saddler posed a great fight against Leon S. Kennedy and nearly killed the President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, on many occasions. Plus, his menacing figure alone screamed “deranged cult leader” during every encounter.
6. Eveline (Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil Village)
What was Resident Evil’s answer to F.E.A.R.’s Alma Wade? Meet Eveline, a genetically modified experiment that corrupted and controlled people with her mold abilities. Eveline was created by (you guessed it!) another evil group with plans to create a new bioweapon, but Eveline stands different from the rest of them for being the first E-Type virus monster AND having sentient abilities to manipulate everyone herself. Eveline was the true villain of Resident Evil 7. She corrupted the Baker family, her mold spread across the swamps of Louisiana (infecting many who got in her way), and her psychotic need for a family was what caused Ethan Winters to search for his missing wife, Mia. If she hadn’t been defeated, Eveline had all the powers to take over the world.
5. Mother Miranda (Resident Evil Village)
Mother Miranda’s influence can be traced back throughout the early days of the Resident Evil series. Thanks to her work as a biologist, her findings inspired Oswell E. Spencer to create the t-Virus and establish the Umbrella Corporation, as well as inspiring The Connections to create Eveline in their lab from Miranda’s dead daughter’s DNA. Plus, her work as a cult leader in Eastern Europe led to a new wave of bioterrorist corruption and villains, like Alcina and her daughters. Miranda is cryptic, deadly, and her multiple mutations pack a serious punch against every battle with Ethan Winters. She may not be the biggest supervillain in the series, but her influence impacted the series for decades.
4. The Baker Family (Resident Evil 7)
Even though Eveline was pulling the strings throughout Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, it was the Baker family who instilled fear in the players. Jack, Marguerite, and Lucas Baker were all infected by Eveline’s mold, and when they encountered Ethan, they each tried to hunt him down and kill him in vicious ways. And, their infection gave them superhuman powers, so they’re not easy to take down. All the players can do is outwit the Bakers, hide, fight them head-on, or work with their daughter Zoe to escape their clutches. The Bakers will do anything for Eveline … and that includes killing Ethan (or anyone who trespasses on their land) in one bloody way after another.
3. Nemesis (Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil 3 Remake, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City)
The most iconic of Resident Evil‘s tyrants comes in the form of Nemesis, an often-silent bioweapon who hunts down members of S.T.A.R.S. throughout Raccoon City. His appearance alone stands as one of the most recognizable elements of the series (there’s even a game named after him!). Nemesis has no purpose except to hunt down Jill Valentine and the other members of S.T.A.R.S. during the zombie outbreak. He will appear at random times, fight the players, and deal a huge mess of damage if you get in his way. His return in Resident Evil 3 Remake didn’t live up to the same magic, as his movements were pre-planned and his threat level severely reduced, but the terror he brought during Resident Evil 3: Nemesis can’t ever be forgotten. Nemesis then was just so terrifying!
2. William Birkin (Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Resident Evil: Resistance)
Dr. William Birkin was a high-ranking virologist who worked at the Umbrella Corporation creating both the t-Virus and the G-Virus. And, just like Nemesis, his mutation is one of the most iconic visuals/enemies of the Resident Evil series. Birkin’s work led to the initial outbreaks at the Arklay Lab and Raccoon City, and his involvement within Umbrella helped to make the corporation even more corrupt, like him helping with the assassination of James Marcus. Though, it’s Birkin’s mutation during the zombie outbreak that pulls him high on this list. The G-Virus mutation is a formidable villain who hunts down the player throughout the game, from his looming threat with the giant eyeball or his large monstrous forms. Birkin loses all sense of humanity; he shows the full extent of what the viruses can do in the Resident Evil series. His turn as the main villain makes Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 2 Remake some of the best Resident Evil games
1. Albert Wesker (Resident Evil, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Resident Evil: Revelations 2)
The number one villain on this list is the first villain of them all. Albert Wesker is a traitorous scientist and S.T.A.R.S. captain who used his powers and influence to further his bioterrorism plans. Compared to the other enemies on this list, Wesker made the most appearances throughout the Resident Evil series in his attempt to steal viruses, create bioweapons, and stop the players at every turn. And, his evolution from a stoic officer to a superhuman bioweapon showcased how dominant he was throughout the series. It took a rocket launcher and magma to defeat him once and for all (even then it wouldn’t be surprising if he found a way to return in the future). Wesker’s cold line delivery, his constant sunglasses, and his powerful appearances/abilities make him one of the best villains in gaming.
What’s your favorite Resident Evil villain? Did your favorite make the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.