From spinoffs to main entries, there are quite a few Resident Evil titles fans can now play with one, or multiple friends. In the twenty-year-plus history of the series, about a third of these games offer multiplayer in some respect. The very first game actually had co-op in mind, but that idea was scrapped.
The following games feature co-op as a main feature and not as an afterthought. They also must be, more or less, featured in a main game scenario. So, while Umbrella Corps does have multiplayer, it isn’t exactly the same. These games are ordered by release date from furthest to nearest.
Updated June 2nd, 2021 by Tristan Jurkovich: In the twenty-year span of the series, not many games were co-op at least in the traditional sense. What was listed in the original entries are the core games one can team up with a buddy in order to slay zombies and/or other mutated masses. What is co-op though except a smaller portion of multiplayer?
That’s why it was decided to go back and look at every game in the series that not only had co-op but multiplayer features as well. It may seem natural to brush aside poorly received titles like Umbrella Corps, but maybe that’s the exact type of Resident Evil experience one might be looking for. There are no judgments here, only facts. So, let’s expand the list with more titles.
12 Resident Evil Outbreak
Release Date: December 11, 2003 (Japan)
Current Platforms: PS2
The very first Resident Evil game to offer co-op was on PS2 via Resident Evil Outbreak. It released in 2003 in Japan and year later in North America. That same year Japan also got an expansion which would again follow a year later in North America. The concept of this game was to play online with other people and escape Raccoon City as ordinary folks.
Players could assume the role of a waitress, or reporter for example. Each character had their own skills and the best one to play as solo was the cop, Kevin Ryman. That’s because he was better armed than the rest. However, the more people one had, the easier the game was like a real co-op experience. It was a little too ahead of its time for the PS2’s online infrastructure.
11 Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
Release Date: November 13, 2007
Current Platforms: Wii, PS3
The next co-op game would be awhile after that as Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles did not launch until 2007 for the Wii. It was a Wii title first which was followed by an HD remaster on PS3 in 2012. The game went through Resident Evil 0, the GameCube remake of Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. It was an on-rails light-gun game that supported two players locally.
10 Resident Evil 5
Release Date: March 13, 2009
Current Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Shield Android TV
It featured the return of Chris Redfield with his new partner Sheva. It was built with co-op in mind from minute one, but players could still play it alone with Sheva acting with AI. Those that played it solo had a lot of complaints about how poorly the AI was balanced though.
9 Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
Release Date: November 17, 2009
Current Platforms: Wii, PS3
This was another light-gun, on-rails experience. It released on the Wii in 2009 and it covered Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil Code: Veronica, and some new content as well. It too would get a PS3 upgrade years later. It didn’t change the formula too much in that it felt more like an expansion than anything else. That said it did review fairly well despite it not being a revelatory experience.
8 Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Current Platforms: 3DS
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D released in 2011 on 3DS, a few months after the system’s initial debut. It combined elements from the Mercenary missions from the fourth and fifth game and turned them into a co-op experience. It was kind of like Monster Hunter but with Resident Evil. Playing through scenarios from Resident Evil 5 was impressive for the hardware, but there wasn’t enough there to make it standout. That is to say the reviews were average.
7 Resident Evil: Revelations
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Current Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, 3DS, Wii U, Switch, PC
The sequel to this game would include standard co-op throughout the entire game and across two campaigns. This game was heralded as a return to horror for the franchise in 2012, starring Jill in a single-player adventure. However, there was also Raid Mode which was essentially a horde style of multiplayer. One could play it alone or with a co-op teammate.
6 Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Current Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
The campaign is single player only, but there is a versus four-player co-op mode that pits the USS against the U.S. Special Ops teams. It’s an option but this 2012 PS3 and Xbox 360 game was not good then and it is definitely not good now. A better multiplayer focused experience can be found in the pack-in for the Resident Evil 3 remake aka Resident Evil: Resistance. That was players fighting through waves of monsters while someone else controlled them. It’s not strictly the best co-op example, but it still counts.
5 Resident Evil 6
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Current Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Another poorly reviewed Resident Evil game from 2012 was the sixth main installment. This expanded the idea from Resident Evil 5’s co-op even more by offering three distinct campaigns.
Players could go through the stories of Jake and Sherry, Leon and Helena, and Chris and Piers. While nice to have three games in one sort of, it was an example of quality lacking in the excess of quantity. Playing with a friend does help alleviate some of the tedium.
4 Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Current Platforms: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, PC
This also had multiple campaigns, but in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, they switched off between chapters. Players got to finally control Claire Redfield again along with her new tagalong Moira. Barry also made a return for the first time since the first Resident Evil and the first time he was actually playable. An even younger girl, Natalia, followed him around.
After the fiasco that was Resident Evil 6, this was trying to throwback to some classic gameplay styles. The first Revelations game did this as well and technically had co-op but only in the multiplayer mode. It’s worth mentioning here because the Raid Mode is fun, but it doesn’t need its own dedicated entry.
3 Umbrella Corps
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Current Platforms: PS4, PC
This 2016 spinoff came out of nowhere and is not remembered by most. It doesn’t even have Resident Evil in the title. It was the first full release in the series that was dedicated to multiplayer only without any kind of campaign gimmick. Similar to other shooters, like Call of Duty, it features various modes to play against hordes of other players solo or with teams. It is one of the worst games reviewed on Metacritic.
2 Resident Evil Resistance
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Current Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
This was a separate game that was included with the purchase of Resident Evil 3’s remake in 2020. Players assumed the role of teenagers trapped in an Umbrella experiment wherein one person would be controlling the opposing side.
A good example to liken this game to would be Evolve since that saw players cooperating against one single player with overpowered odds. This game was reviewed decently but support for it ended fast and the player base soon vanished.
1 Resident Evil Re:Verse
Release Date: Summer 2021
Current Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
This is the latest multiplayer game in the franchise which came free with Resident Evil Village. The core mode is a death match type of scenario. What sets it apart from other multiplayer focused entries is the fact that the game is cel-shaded, giving it a distinct look.
It also has some classic villains and heroes from the series. On the hero side there is Leon, Chris, Jill, Claire, Ada, and Hunk. On the villain, or Bioweapon side, there is the Fat Molded, Hunter Gamma (γ), Nemesis-T Type, Jack Baker, and Super Tyrant. While people can download it right now, the game is not out in full yet. There was a beta period that received middling impressions.
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