Tyrants have been a part of Resident Evil since the beginning, often serving as the final hurdle before our heroes can escape to freedom and conclude their mission. They’re all intimidating, but some are clearly (and terrifyingly) more capable than others, so we’ve ranked them all here. Note that we stuck to the Resident Evil games only for this list — no movies here. There’s no Lady Dimetrescu on this list either: although there’s a theory she’s a Tyrant too, it’s never been confirmed. Now let’s get ranking.
14. Tyrant C
It’s at the bottom of the list, which means we’re starting with “other dudes in big trench coats.” The Tyrant C is a foe in Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2, but we really don’t know much about it. Pure, bottom-tier cannon fodder.
13. Tyrant R
The Tyrant R is in the same boat and actually hails from the same game. At least it gets to transform into the monstrous look we expect from enemies that carry the Tyrant name. Even so, it’s pretty unremarkable.
12. Hypnos-T Type
Another on-rails shooter — Resident Evil Survivor in this case — means another unremarkable Tyrant. The one interesting hook for Hypnos is in the lore: the Hypnos gene that gives this creature its name will destroy weak cells inside a body, leaving only the strongest behind. Too bad that still results in a boring blue-gray guy.
Another Tyrant named after a Greek god, Thanatos appears in the first Resident Evil Outbreak. Unlike every other Tyrant on this list, Thanatos still looks mostly human, which is a good visual hook.
The T-103 has appeared a few times, and while there are plenty of better iterations of the enemy out there, it does at least rank ahead of the stragglers on this list. That’s because every Tyrant on this list so far is in some way a modified version of the T-103 itself. Being the forefather is worth at least a few bonus points.
Ivan’s name should really be written with quote marks because this villain from Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is obviously not some guy with the human name “Ivan.” It’s a T-103 in disguise, but its true form is eventually revealed. At least some effort was put into the twist there.
8. Tyrant 091
We’re not done with the on-rails Resident Evil games just yet. The Tyrant 091 appeared in Dead Aim, but its appearance is what sets it apart from other bullet sponges on this list. The tentacle arms are quite different from what the rest of its kind have on their bodies.
T-078 is one of two Tyrant types that cause trouble in Resident Evil: Code Veronica. This particular model uses its rock-like arms and fists to bust through walls like a battering ram. We’re not sure why it looks so sad in the face though.
Code Veronica’s Bandersnatch was spun off from the Proto Tyrant (who’s coming up next), and that somehow resulted in it carrying around one massive arm. It’s reminiscent of the Charger from Left 4 Dead 2, though it came nearly a decade before.
5. Proto Tyrant (T-001)
The Proto Tyrant is fought at the end of Resident Evil Zero. While it’s very reminiscent of the first Tyrant fight in the series, it’s not quite as exciting as some of the later models. Prototypes are important though: this Tyrant is like the alpha phase of an experiment that never really got a chance to develop.
4. T-A.L.O.S. (T-011)
We’re revisiting The Umbrella Chronicles for this one. T-A.L.O.S., the Tyrant-Armored Lethal Organic System, has kind of an annoying name, but it does make for a great boss. Tyrants are powerful enough, but putting one inside a suit of armor is a real recipe for destruction.
3. Tyrant (T-002)
It’s hard to beat the original (and only two do on this list). The T-002 is the first Tyrant Resident Evil fans faced in the original game when it busted out of the lab under Spencer Mansion. What follows is an intense boss battle that only ends when the Tyrant is hit by a rocket launcher — a strategy that has been repeated in numerous Resident Evil games since.
2. Nemesis-T Type
Of all the Tyrants on this list, Nemesis is the hardest to kill. Jill Valentine faces it numerous times in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, where the boss even gets its name featured in the game’s title. Some of its behavior and appearances were tweaked for the Resident Evil 3 remake, but it still stands tall (literally and figuratively) as a deadly stalker.
1. Mr. X (T-00)
It’s one thing to face a Tyrant in a boss fight. It’s another when one keeps popping up at inconvenient times, like Nemesis. Mr. X takes this even further, stalking Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield throughout the entirety of the police station in Resident Evil 2. Its reveal is terrifying, as it casually lifts a burning helicopter out of its path before striding toward the player and unleashing a devastating punch. When you hear those footsteps, it’s time to run: they might just be the most nerve-wracking sound effects in all of Resident Evil.