Visual Cult Magazine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Resident Evil 4 was a breakthrough third-person shooting and survival horror game, and it was a huge step forward for the franchise. This, along with the box office success of the Hollywood live-action films, motivated Capcom to develop their computer-generated versions of the Resident Evil series.
To be clear, the animated Resident Evil films are in no way linked with W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil films starring Mila Jovovich as Alice. As the animated features take place in the same universe as the games, they are canon to the games and act as an essential handshake between games.
Alice isn’t even a character in the game, but several fictional characters from video games have been adapted for live-action films. The following is a list of the Resident Evil animated movies in order and context of where it falls in the series’ illustrious lore.
Find out more about the Resident Evil animated releases and how to watch them below.
1. Resident Evil: Degeneration
Director(s): Makoto Kamiya Writers(s): Shōtarō Suga Cast: Paul Mercier, Alyson Court IMDb Rating: 6.4/10 Runtime: 1h 38m Genre: Animation, Horror
Resident Evil: Degeneration, the first animated film in the franchise, was released in 2008 and takes place a year after the incidents of Resident Evil 4 but before those of Resident Evil 5.
Degeneration is significant as it provides Chris’s upcoming struggle in Africa some background by establishing Tricell as a real-world entity. Claire co-stars with Leon and has a substantial part in the film, although in a supporting role.
Anguished over the deaths of his loved ones in the Raccoon City T-virus outbreak, a man almost seven years later decides to release the last of the virus at the Harvardville airport.
Once again, this lethal virus has been unleashed. A new mutated monster is on a merciless onslaught of devastation and carnage, compelling Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield to end this infection and prevent history from repeating itself as it did in Raccoon City.
Yet, for better or worse, Degeneration remains the most authentic of the CGI flicks. The tone is similar to Code Veronica and Resident Evil 4, but there’s so much action that you’ve forgotten about the zombie apocalypse when Leon gets to the halfway point. The terrible animation quality hasn’t helped matters much, particularly because the character designs aren’t intended to elicit visceral responses.
The reunion of Leon and Claire is touching, and the references to Resident Evil 2 and 4 will keep devoted fans captivated. Degeneration brought Leon and Claire’s first comeback to the stage since the iconic Resident Evil 2, which is still freshest in fans’ memories owing to the brilliant remake. You should keep this in mind as the story unfolds.
Don’t miss out on the heart-racing action of “Resident Evil: Degeneration“! Get your copy now on Amazon to experience the thrilling animated movie that will have you hooked. Order today and prepare for non-stop excitement!
2. Resident Evil: Damnation
Director(s): Makoto Kamiya Writers(s): Shōtarō Suga Cast: Matthew Mercer, Dave Wittenberg, Ada Wong IMDb Rating: 6.4/10 Runtime: 1h 40m Genre: Animation, Horror
The 2012 release Resident Evil: Damnation is an improvement over the previous installment, Degeneration, and connects the events of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 while also setting up Leon’s journey for the latter.
After receiving word of a potential bioterrorist attack, Leon is sent to a fictitious Eastern European country. A group of rebels has taken up guns to overthrow their rotten Prime Minister, and she has responded by trying to wipe them out.
There is a high likelihood that either side in this conflict will have to use biological weapons. Leon is forced to intervene as both factions lose control of their respective legions of the undead. In this episode, the Las Plagas parasite is unleashed, turning the rebels into savages reminiscent of the Ganado.
At the film’s climax, the T-Virus is finally released, and an extraordinary confrontation unfolds between a group of Tyrants and a legion of lickers. Ada Wong also returns, taking Leon’s side but continuing to work for her ends. The video sets the stage for Resident Evil 6 by explaining how countries amid a war were capable of picking up the viruses.
With the premiere of Damnation, technology has made advances. Hence, the characters’ motions and facial gestures are smoother than in Degeneration. This also means the action is far more interesting to watch without being out of character.
The games Resident Evil 2, 4, and 5 are referenced in Damnation to provide context and depth to the narrative. Damnation reflects Resident Evil 6 at its worst, but it is a fun film that uses its setting well and gives fans a hearty dose of understated fanservice.
Experience the ultimate action-packed thrill with “Resident Evil: Damnation” – buy your copy now on Amazon and prepare for an adrenaline rush!
The 2017 CGI film Resident Evil: Vendetta takes place between the developments of Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil 7. Despite widespread belief, Vendetta is not a prequel to Resident Evil 7. The film has the least setup for the next game in the series, which makes sense given that Resident Evil 7 operates as a light reboot.
The re-emergence of the Los Iluminados cult, suspected to be holding a lethal virus that can be activated just by breathing it, presents a danger to the United States on par with that of The Umbrella Corporation. This novel strain can create undead and control them in a way comparable to Ganados. This is an excellent Damnation reference and a fascinating illustration of how the different viruses have intermingled.
Fresh off his ordeal in Resident Evil 6, Chris is there to support Leon in picking up the pieces after he has hit absolute rock bottom. It’s blatantly ripped from Chris’s story in RE6, yet Vendetta manages to salvage the situation. Nonetheless, Vendetta focuses mostly on the aspect in which action films excel: the action. Even if much of the storyline is incomprehensible, Resident Evil: Vendetta has the greatest animation of all of the films in the series.
We were reminded of the games thanks to the film’s frightening horror segments, enjoyable action scenes, and clever lore nuggets. Although not setting up Resident Evil 7 (which is probably a soft reboot, as indicated previously), the narrative does a good job of dealing with the aftermath of RE 6.
Add the heart-pumping action of “Resident Evil: Vendetta” to your collection – buy your copy now on Amazon and prepare for an unforgettable adventure!
4. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness
Director(s): Eiichirō Hasumi Writers(s): Eiichirō Hasumi, Shogo Moto Cast: Nick Apostolides, Stephanie Panisello, Ray Chase, Jona Xiao IMDb Rating: 5.8/10 Runtime: 26m Genre: Animation, Horror
To be precise, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is not a film but rather a four-part Netflix miniseries. Yet, its duration is comparable to a feature film, and the series is consistent with prior animated RE productions.
The premise of Endless Darkness revolves around Leon looking into a suspected hacking incident at the White House that allowed the undead access to the Oval Office. At the same time, on the other end of the globe, Claire, who works for a civil rights organization, comes across a child’s artwork of a zombie assault.
Because of their shared interest in these two events, Leon and Claire often work together during Endless Darkness.
Although Infinite Darkness does happen between two of the most action-oriented games in the Resident Evil series, it doesn’t mean it’s simply more of the same nonstop action and plenty of zombie killing.
The number of zombies and biological weapons destroyed in the four episodes is rather low. Still, it makes full use of any opportunity to remain true to the source material, which means there will still be violent scenes with plenty of blood and gore.
Unlike other Resident Evil films, this one uses dialogue to move the plot forward rather than gratuitous gore and cliched banter in both the animated and live-action predecessors.
While some tie-ins like Endless Darkness are designed to entice new audiences, others are more concerned with rewarding longtime fans. In the end, Endless Darkness appears to be a brief prologue designed to set up the series’ more substantive tales in the following seasons.
If you’re down to binge on these Resident Evil animated movies in order, then grab your snacks, and we wish you the best of luck! These CGI features’ take on the best-selling games will have you fixed on your screen while watching riveting champions take on terrifying foes.
Check out our review of the best Resident Evil games so you can find and put together every piece of lore to turn yourself into a true Resident Evil fan.