Does Resident Evil 3 take place before Resident Evil 2?

It's not clear at the beginning of Resident Evil 3 if the events happen before Resident Evil 2, but dig a little deeper and the timeline becomes clear.


Resident Evil 3 has players return to Raccoon City once more, this time as Jill Valentine. But as players slink through the zombie-infested streets, one question starts to solidify: Does Resident Evil 3 take place before Resident Evil 2? To answer that question, we need to jump ahead a bit to a later section in the game, so be warned, spoilers are to come.

Does RE3 take place before RE2?

The timeline of the Resident Evil series is likely a bit daunting for new comers. In fact, even the most recent titles, Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, can leave some players scratching their heads. But to answer the question of whether RE3 comes before RE2, yes, it does.

As players experience Resident Evil 3, they will begin to notice events that take place prior to the events of Resident Evil 2. The first time this becomes crystal clear is the first time players take control of Carlos at the Raccoon City Police Department.

resident evil 3 spoilers

At this point in the story, Carlos encounters none other than Marvin Branagh. For those that are a bit hazy on the details, Marvin is the Lieutenant that players encounter when playing as Leon. When Leon meets the Lieutenant, Marvin had already been bitten by the zombies. Cut back to Resident Evil 3, and Carlos sees Marvin before getting bitten. In fact, Carlos sees who bites Marvin.

Does Resident Evil 3 take place before Resident Evil 2
Lieutenant Marvin Branagh appears in both Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3. In RE3, players get to see how he suffered his fatal bite.

Another interesting piece of information RE3 reveals is how the police station gets its locker and shower room destroyed as seen in RE2. As Carlos moves through the station, he must destroy the shower wall in order to gain access to the S.T.A.R.S. office. This adds a nice explanation for the destroyed wall Leon encounters in RE2.

To complicate matter a bit, at some point throughout the story, both events start to happen at the same time. The reason why this is the case is that Raccoon City gets obliterated at the end of RE3 but we know Leon and Claire make it out of the city before this happens.

So what does all this mean? To put it simply, Resident Evil 3 takes place before Resident Evil 2 and then they begin to occur at the same time. By the end of Resident Evil 3, the events of Resident Evil 2 have concluded. For more answers to every question you have, check out the Shacknews Resident Evil 3 guide.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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