Nemesis vs. Mr. X — Which Iconic Resident Evil Villain is Officially Superior?

Both Resident Evil 2 and 3 feature their own iconic villains in Mr. X and Nemesis, but when comparing the two, which reigns supreme?

By Logan Moore

April 3, 2020

Resident Evil 3 finally hits store shelves today (for those stores that are still opened) and it brings back one of the series’ most iconic fiends to the forefront: Nemesis. For many, other than being able to play as Jill Valentine once again, Nemesis will likely be a large reason why they decide to pick the game up, as the tank-like creature has long-been considered one of the best villains in the history of the Resident Evil saga.

However, in this new era of Resident Evil remakes that we’re living in, RE2 ended up having an equally iconic mutated monster of its own: Mr. X. The top-hat-wearing, right-hook-throwing behemoth that ended up chasing you through the Raccoon City police station in a large portion of Resident Evil 2 proved to be the breakout star of last year’s remake and both scared and entertained fans endlessly.

After playing through both games myself, it was hard not to immediately draw comparisons between Nemesis and Mr. X. Each character serves a similar purpose in each of their respective games, though the way they go about stalking the player is a little bit different. As such, the more I played through the newly released RE3, the more I started to question who actually was better in these remakes: Mr. X or Nemesis? Well, that’s what we’re going to break down right now to officially decide who reigns supreme when comparing these iconic Resident Evil titans.

Also, just to clarify, we’re only going to be comparing Mr. X and Nemesis here based on how they’re represented in each of their respective Resident Evil remakes versus the original games. Got it? Okay, good.

Strength and Abilities

Compared to every other enemy type that you come across in Resident Evil 2, Mr. X is a menace. Playing as either Leon or Claire, you can unload every shotgun shell and grenade launcher round that you have at him and he’ll still keep coming at you. Equipped with his raucous fists of fury, Mr. X can make mincemeat out of both Claire and Leon if he gets up close. Plus, that’s not even taking into account his final form, which sees him hacking and slashing with a gargantuan claw-like arm.

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Nemesis, on the other hand, has way more tools at his disposal. At a baseline level, the main antagonist of RE3 can tie you up with his tentacles or beat you to a pulp with his fists. He’s also a weapons specialist and can utilize powerful tools such as flamethrowers and rocket launchers to make Jill Valentine’s life a living hell. Not to mention, he’s also nigh unkillable. Even if you think you have Nemesis beat, there’s a good chance that you don’t.

Mr. X is absolutely no slouch, but in a 1v1 fight, Nemesis dominates and it’s probably not even very close. Resident Evil 3‘s iconic villain is still one of the most powerful in the franchise’s history. Good luck with taking him down.

Edge: Nemesis

Scare Factor

Other than the zombie dogs, which all Resident Evil fans can agree are horrifying, Nemesis was likely considered to be the second-spookiest villain in the franchise’s history up to this point. While scripted in the original RE3, it felt like Nemesis always had the potential to burst in on Jill in any situation and immediately begin trying to kill her. Resident Evil 3 was an incredibly stressful game for a variety of reasons when it first launched in 1998, but Nemesis was what made you truly panicked while playing.

That said, in the RE3 remake, Nemesis doesn’t do much to really instill fear in the player. Sure, he explodes through brick walls a time or two just like the Kool-Aid Man, but he never feels as menacing as he did in the original. Part of this is likely because many of the moments that prominently feature Nemesis are much more scripted than they were even in 1998’s edition. In the moments where Nemesis is chasing you through Raccoon City, well, he’s really not that hard to get away from.

Mr. X, on the other hand, is perhaps the most terrifying villain that the Resident Evil series has ever had. The way in which he stalks you about the RCPD throughout a large portion of Resident Evil 2 makes you nervous about ever leaving a safe room. Even when you aren’t coming face to face with Mr. X, you can still feel his presence in the police station. Those large, size 22 boots that he’s wearing (I don’t actually know his real shoe size) can be heard stomping around and reverberating throughout the entire building. While Mr. X might not always know where you are, you always have a decent idea of where he’s at, adding a sense of constant dread to Resident Evil 2.

Nemesis might be the more iconic Resident Evil villain up to this point in time, but in these new remakes, it’s hard to consider him as someone that’s actually scary. Mr. X, on the other hand, is arguably one of the most iconic gaming characters in years purely because of how frightening he is.

Edge: Mr. X

Visual Aesthetic

Look, Mr. X might want to punch you to death, but at least he’s looking dapper while doing so. One of the main baddies of Resident Evil 2 has the decency to wear a nice leather jacket, a fedora, and comes equipped with some belts tightened around his neck. I don’t know why he has those belts around his neck, but hey, at least he’s trying to look fashionable. Not to mention, Mr. X clearly cares about his clothes. In RE2, you can shoot his hat off of his head as Leon or Claire, only for him to show up again later wearing it. Mr. X leaves no hat behind.

Nemesis, on the other hand, looks like he’s wearing a garbage bag throughout large portions of Resident Evil 3. While it’s technically a body bag (I think?), it’s still doing Nemesis no favors. I know I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing something like that. Plus, Nemesis has also got this weird device hooked to his chest that I truly have no idea what it does. Is it something that’s helping to keep him alive? Is it the equivalent of a fanny pack where he stores snacks in case he gets hungry? Why on Earth does he have this?

Also look, Nemesis: I’m also not trying to be mean, but you should probably go see a dentist. And a plastic surgeon. There’s a lot going on with that face, pal, and you could use some help.

Meanwhile, Mr. X? Extremely handsome. If I had a daughter, I’d let Mr. X take her to prom.

This is an easy decision. Mr. X takes the cake.

Edge: Mr. X


Look, this might be a weird thing to compare, I know, but it’s important to look at how the Resident Evil community views both Nemesis and Mr. X. And what better way to do that than to compare the mods that are currently available for each character?

Last year when Resident Evil 2 launched, Mr. X immediately became the most-modded character of the year. Some mods saw him taking the form of Pennywise, while others let him stomp around the police station while DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” blares.

However, despite being so new, Nemesis already has a fair share of mods that fans have created for him as well. Likely the most notable is the one that you see above, where Nemesis is stripped down to nothing but a speedo. You can also clearly see that he’s also been working on his abs and is preparing to hit the beach later this summer. Nice job hitting the gym, Nemesis.

It’s also worth noting that both Mr. X and Nemesis each have Thomas the Tank Engine mods as of this very moment. What exactly does that say about society? Well, I’m not really sure, but I think it’s a positive.

At this time, it’s still too early to see what the community might whip up for Nemesis. Heck, Resident Evil 3 just came out today, after all. As such, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see who truly has the edge in this category.

Edge: Draw


While Nemesis will likely always be more iconic purely from his standing in the original Resident Evil games, Mr. X is officially the better character in these remakes that Capcom has released. Not only is he more intimidating, but he’s more fun to try and avoid and deal with altogether. By comparison, Nemesis, as our own reviewer Ricky Frech put it, is kind of just a nuisance in RE3 remake.

Mr. X will be remembered for years to come based on how Capcom executed the character in Resident Evil 2. Even though Nemesis will still always be beloved in the hearts of every Resident Evil fan, it’s very likely that Mr. X now will looked upon more fondly by many, myself included.

All hail Mr. X.

Winner: Mr. X

Resident Evil 2 and 3 are both available for purchase right now on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

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Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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