After decades of producing some of the best and worst video games the survival horror genre has ever seen (though arguably the series divorced itself from that title as early as the fourth release), Resident Evil has never faltered in spinning a long-running story that fans just love to lose themselves in.
From the initial haunting at the Spencer Mansion to the recent soft-reboot that saw Ethan Winters being tormented by a psychic old lady (it's scarier than it sounds), Capcom have constantly added to the ever-expanding lore even through a multitude of genre changes. Arguably, there's one key element that's allowed them to succeed despite the constant gameplay and tonal changes: the characters.
The franchise's cast is one of the most extensive in gaming, so to stop this list becoming more bloated than the series' canon itself, it only includes characters who've starred in games considered part of the "mainline" narrative. If spin-offs also happen to include these picks then that's fine, but they had to be first playable in one of the core franchise entries. Sadly, that means no Barry Burton, despite him probably being the number one pick in all our hearts.