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The 10 best Resident Evil protagonists, ranked

Zombies don't have a chance with these heroes.

The criteria to be a great Resident Evil hero include being well-versed with artillery, stopping bio-engineered viruses from spreading, being extremely attractive, and punching a boulder on at least one occasion. Underneath the blood, sweat, and zombie tears are some of the most endearing protagonists in video game history, filled with memorable moments and cheesy dialogue. We adore these characters no matter how absurd the plot can get in the Resident Evil games, and these are the 10 Resident Evil Protagonists we love the most.

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Related: The 10 best Resident Evil villains, ranked

The best protagonists in the Resident Evil series

10. Alice

Image via Sony and Bloody Disgusting

This list is not limited to only video game protagonists; Alice from the live-action Resident Evil film series deserves to be on this list just as much as any other character from the games. While fans of the games have been critical of the six live-action films by Paul W.S. Anderson, the movie’s mark on the Resident Evil franchise is undeniable, and Alice deserves to be recognized for that. Alice goes through a lot in the six motion pictures, becoming an action icon within the film industry.

9. Sheva Alomar

Image via Capcom

Sheva Alomar’s personality serves as a counterpoint to Chris Redfield’s stoicism, adding life to mostly dreary and drab Resident Evil 5. Whereas Chris is literally one step below being a superhuman, Sheva keeps the game grounded with her down-to-earth personality and intelligence. Sheva has yet to appear in the series after 5, but we hope she will return sooner rather than later.

8. Sherry Birkin

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Sherry Birkin was an adorable little girl during the events of Resident Evil 2, and because of her young age, you didn’t want to see any harm come to her. The Resident Evil games are dark as is; no one wants to see a kid die. She would later return all grown up in Resident Evil 6, becoming one of the main leads of that game. She is a character that grew alongside the franchise, serving as a reminder of how far the series has gone and living proof that the protagonist’s actions have positive outcomes.

7. Ada Wong

Image via Behaviour Interactive

Ada Wong is like a femme fatale that somehow ended up in a horror series about the zombie apocalypse. Ada has become a significant sex symbol for the series, with her fashionable clothing and always pristine makeup making her a popular video game character back in the day. Though she’s been with the franchise since Resident Evil 2, her motivation and backstory continue to be shrouded in mystery.

6. Rebecca Chambers

Image via Capcom

Rebecca Chambers lacks the badassery showcased by Jill Valentine and Ada Wong, but she offers a different flavor of protagonist in the series. Rebecca is more emotional than the other main characters in the series, actively crying in scenes and being vulnerable. Her sensitivity is never overplayed and only makes her come across as more human than the rest of the protagonists.

5. Ethan Winters

Image via Capcom

Ethan Winters is more of a blank slate of a protagonist than any other character in the series. Ethan doesn’t have a distinctive personality, and we never see his face, yet what we do know about him has endeared him to the hearts and minds of fans all over. He’s a dedicated family man who went to hell and back to find his wife and rescue his daughter. There is nothing more wholesome than a protagonist saving his family.

Related: Review: Resident Evil Village is a terrifying classic horror experience

4. Leon Kennedy

Image via Capcom

Leon Kennedy is the cool guy among the Resident Evil heroes. After surviving the Raccoon City incident on his first and only day as a rookie police officer, Leon has already seen everything when he’s sent to a small foreign village to rescue the President’s daughter in Resident Evil 4. His unflinching personality served him well in the Resident Evil series, transforming him into a fan-favorite character.

3. Jill Valentine

How to get the Jill Valentine trophy in Resident Evil 3 Remake
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Jill Valentine was the first Resident Evil protagonist to return to the franchise, taking up solo duties as the lead in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis after sharing the protagonist role with Chris in the first Resident Evil game. Jill is an icon in video games, one of the earliest playable female characters in the PlayStation 1 era. She is associated with some of the franchise’s best dialogue, including “Jill Sandwich” and “master of lockpicking.” She’s stoic like her partner Chris, but she is still cool, and we love her.

2. Chris Redfield

Image via Capcom

Chris is the original male protagonist of the Resident Evil games, and his defining personality trait is that he is kind of a jerk. He’s also ripped as hell and loves punching boulders. His ultra-serious personality and over-the-top superhero actions have led him to develop a somewhat divisive reception from fans. However, it is his no-nonsense attitude that we love about the character. In a life-and-death situation where bio-engineered monstrosities are wreaking havoc on the globe, Chris is the type of man you want on your side.

1. Claire Redfield

Image via Capcom

Of all the Resident Evil protagonists in the franchise, Claire is the most realistic character out of all of them. She was only a college student looking for her big brother in a city that ended up being the most dangerous place on Earth. Despite having to shoot her way throughout Racoon City, Clair never became cold or detached like the other Resident Evil heroes. She remained compassionate and friendly in all her appearances, serving as a role model for others like Sherry. She adds the human element to the franchise, exemplifying empathy and hope throughout the series.

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Misael Duran
Freelance Writer who's been working with the Gamurs Group since 2019. I have over six years' worth of experience in Journalism and video game writing, having worked for sites like TheGamer, CBR, Pro Game Guides, and IGN.