Players over the years have fallen in love with the Resident Evil franchise for many reasons.
Nearly every gamer around the world has at least heard of the franchise and that’s because of its iconic characters, story, and ever-evolving world. Possibly the most memorable part of each Resident Evil title is its bosses. While zombies and mutated dogs are absolutely terrifying, Resident Evil manages to create huge and terrifically terrible bosses even after more than twenty years.
While we wait for the next instalment in the series, here’s a look at some of the best bosses from the Resident Evil series.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the Resident Evil series.
A version of this list was first published in February 2019. It’s been updated since.
1. Lisa Trevor (Resident Evil 1)
Lisa Trevor is the daughter of George Trevor, the architect in charge of building the Spencer Mansion. Unfortunately, Lisa and her mother Jessica were taken by Umbrella after a visit to the mansion and forcefully experimented on. Jessica passes away and a group of Umbrella scientists attempt to trick Lisa into believing her mother is still alive by dressing up as her. Lisa isn’t fooled; instead, she’s disturbed and angered by the trick. In retaliation, she kills the scientist that had dressed up as her mother and tears her face off, believing it to be Jessica’s face, in the hopes of returning it to Jessica.
When players discover Lisa Trevor in Resident Evil 1, she has gone through years of horrific mutation. She’s also still continuously looking for her mother. Her boss battle is probably one of the easiest in the game – and if the player keeps Barry alive it’s even easier – but Lisa makes the list because of her heartbreaking backstory, and the fact that she’s basically unkillable. It’s a wonder that Umbrella didn’t just make a million of her rather than all those other failed experiments.
2. Jack Baker (Resident Evil 7)
Jack Baker is another practically unkillable force in 2017’s Resident Evil 7. He essentially takes on the role of a Mr. X-type character as he follows Ethan around his home, a constant threat. One of the most memorable moments from Resident Evil 7 comes when players think they are about to escape the Baker’s home. A police officer who comes to aid Ethan is quickly murdered, and players are forced to fight Jack in the small confines of the garage.
Later, Jack shows up again with a giant scissor-like contraption made of chainsaws. It’s basically one-hit-and-you’re-dead, cementing him as one of the Resident Evil series’ most terrifying bosses. And that’s not all: Jack shows up again and again, always just waiting to tear Ethan down. Of course, players will likely feel a little bit of regret at the end when its revealed that he was actually a sweet and loving father, made evil by the infection.
3. The Tyrant Model T-002 (Resident Evil 1)
This version of the Tyrant, code named T-002, was developed in Umbrella’s quest to create “the perfect lifeform”. It was the first of its kind to have superhuman intelligence, unlike its zombie counterparts. When ordered to destroy the Tyrant, Albert Wesker refused, waking the Tyrant up, and adding a bit of drama to his final moments in Resident Evil 1 where players are forced to fight off the Tyrant on two different occasions. Fortunately for Jill (or Chris, depending who you choose to play as), nothing can withstand the force of a rocket launcher from point blank range.
The Tyrant is a terrifying force who can kill players very quickly no matter how good their fire power was. This makes the final boss of Resident Evil 1, T-002, one of the greats. And being able to see his beating heart on the outside continues to be a nightmare we’ll never forget.
4. Lady Dimitrescu (Resident Evil: Village)
Possibly one of the most thirsted-after bosses in Resident Evil history, Alcina Dimitrescu is one of the four lords players must fight in Resident Evil: Village. Before fulfilling this role Lady Dimitrescu was a rich aristocrat who lived in a luxurious mansion. After being infected by Mother Miranda, Lady D gained incredible regenerative abilities and very large – ahem – claws.
Not only is Lady Dimitrescu terrifying as she wanders around the mansion, cutting players off again and again, but when she transforms into her more powerful, flying form she is absolutely terrifying. Not to mention really angry at Ethan for killing her three (sexy) daughters. Many players were disappointed to find that Lady D is one of the first bosses to be killed, but we’ll never forget all the times she stopped us into the ground.
5. Alexia (Resident Evil: Code Veronica)
Alexia Ashford plays a huge part in Resident Evil: Code Veronica and is, appropriately, the final boss of the game. After years of cryostasis, Alexia absorbs the power of the T-Veronica Virus and, much like Resident Evil 2’s William Birkin, is transformed into a more powerful monster.
Alexia’s battle is a difficult one as players must keep moving, conserve ammo and strategise to stay alive. Each of her forms force players to change tactics, eventually taking Alexia down, likely with only a few bullets left in their guns. Despite her many years frozen in time, Alexia doesn’t make it out of Antartica.
6. “It” (Resident Evil 4)
“It”, also known as U-3, is one of many memorable bosses in Resident Evil 4. Players encounter “It” inside of a storage container with very little space to move around, making the entire battle incredibly tense. Knowing that at any moment, It could jump down and choke Leon with its horrifyingly long tongue makes the entire scenario truly terrifying. Not to mention the fact that he’s pretty darn tough to take down.
The “It” boss is particularly great because it feels very claustrophobic. Players have very little room to run around and avoid the creature’s deadly moves – plus it’s a race against the clock to finish It off before each section of the container falls into the abyss below. While many of Resident Evil 4’s bosses are unique, fun and scary, the “It” fight may just be the very best.
7. Jill Valentine/Albert Wesker (Resident Evil 5)
Each boss fight in Resident Evil 5 is unique, requiring characters to use their environments, different weapons and more to their adventure. Perhaps the best of them all, though, is when players are forced to take down Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield’s nemesis, and Jill Valentine, his partner who has been corrupted by the Uroboros virus. At the beginning of the fight, Wesker informs players that he only has “seven minutes” to spend with them and thus begins the player’s timer. Not only do players have to duck and dodge Wesker, but they’ll have to avoid Jill as well.
After Wesker has to leave, he has Jill stay behind to finish players off. But little does he know that with the power of love and friendship, players are able to rip off that band-aid of a chest beetle and restore Jill to her former self. This battle is emotional and pretty difficult considering how Jill is able to move and climb quickly – but once Chris snapped her out of it, she was his same old partner.
8. Mr. X (Resident Evil 2 remake)
There’s just something incredibly menacing about the lovely hat and trench coat-wearing version of the handsome giant we all know as Mr. X. Particularly in the Resident Evil 2 remake. He shows up whenever players least expect and hits hard. Really hard. It’s also very fun watching him walk into the invisible barriers that keep him from entering safe rooms.
While Mr. X was also terrifying in the original version of the game, the Resident Evil 2 remake deserves credit for making him equal parts dumb and completely panic-inducing. Once players have given the game a few playthroughs, he’s a lot easier to avoid. But for first time players, Mr. X is a force of nature not to be messed with.
9. Bitores Mendez (Resident Evil 4)
Bitores Mendez, or “The Big Cheese” as Louis lovingly calls him in Resident Evil 4, shows up quite a few times before players fight him for real. This big guy gives Leon a few warnings but, being the stubborn hunk that he is, Leon simply doesn’t like to listen. Mendez might look like a normal trench coat-wearing giant (sound like someone else we know?), but when players finally do take him on, he takes on a completely different form.
And that form is… Scorpion Man? Centipede Creature? He basically becomes a horrifying creature that can grab, throw, choke and do all kinds of other totally unfair things to Leon. Eventually players can collect his eyeball (grim) to proceed in the story. The Big Cheese is all about intimidation, and he does a good job of it to say the least. He also has the element of surprise on his side as, we imagine, most first time players won’t be expecting him to just lose half his body right in the middle of the fight.
10. Nemesis (Resident Evil 3)
Who else could we round off this list of best Resident Evil bosses with other than Nemesis himself? He’s big, he’s terrifying, he’s lean, he’s mean and we all love him. Nemesis is another form of the Tyrant virus created by Umbrella over in Europe. Upon hearing of the outbreak in Raccoon City, Nemesis was sent to find and eliminate all remaining S.T.A.R.S members, all of whom knew that the outbreak was caused by Umbrella.
Nemesis, similar to Mr. X in Resident Evil 2, spends the entirety of the game chasing Jill Valentine around trying to eliminate her. What makes him so much more terrifying, though, is that he’s freakishly fast, and can pick players up and throw them around like rag dolls.
A special mention goes to the Nemesis from the Resident Evil 3 remake who transforms multiple times by the end of the game, each mutation more terrifying than the last. But classic 1999 Nemesis makes the top of the list for being one of the scariest and most persistent bosses in the Resident Evil franchise.