Terminator Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

Terminator movie series is one of the highly successful film franchises with overall revenue of over $3 Billion. Created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd, Terminator expands from six sci-fi action films to comics, novels, and other media with a story about waging war against an artificial intelligence military machine network called Skynet.

Many actors and actresses enacted various roles in the films, with only Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger recurring as Sarah Connor and T-800 Model 101 Terminator. Despite being a successful series, the six feature films were not equally perceived by the audience, with critics panning few films. So, to make it controversial, I have ranked the Terminator movies from worst to best.

Also Read: DCEU Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

6. Terminator Genisys

Genisys Terminator Movies Ranked

Terminator Genisys is the fifth film in the franchise, and it follows the story of Kyle Reese, a soldier from the post-apocalyptic war against Skynet sent from 2029 to 1984 to save Sarah Connor from a Terminator. Despite having performers like Emilia Clarke, John Clarke, Jai Courtney, and also Arnold returning as Terminator after his absence in Salvation, the film lacked a solid story to keep the audience engaged. It is confused with an altered timeline theory and a ridiculous Terminator model with machine phase matter only to complex the fight sequences.

Watch the movie on Prime Video here

5. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Rise of the Machines Terminator Movies Ranked

Rise of the Machines is the third installment in the series and the first film without the involvement of James Cameron as a writer or director. Being a sequel to T2, the film explains that Judgement Day is not avoided but postponed and still happens. And a Terminator is sent from the future to kill John Connor and his future Lieutenants, including his future wife. The film felt similar to its predecessor and didn’t offer anything extraordinary or new except for a female Terminator brilliantly portrayed by Kristanna Loken.

Watch the movie on Prime Video here

4. Terminator Salvation

Salvation Terminator Movies Ranked

Set in the post-apocalyptic war, after Skynet destroyed half of humanity in a nuclear war, the film focuses on the rise of John Connor as the leader of Human Resistance and his fight against the Skynet. Christian Bale stars as John Connor in this film, and the only movie in which Arnold is not a part of with only his face used in CGI for T-800 Terminator models. I liked this film because it is the only film which doesn’t focus on saving either Sarah Connor or John Connor, rather the latter is shown leading the war against machines.

Watch the movie on Prime Video here

3. Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator Dark Fate Movie Review

After looking at how they’re starting to massacre his creation, James Cameron returns as the writer for this sixth installment (maybe, the last one in the Terminator Franchise) after 28 years. This is a direct sequel to Terminator and T2: Judgement Day, and also sees the return of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. In the film, the machines from the future send a Terminator back in time to eliminate Dani Ramo, who would lead the Human Resistance’s war against them.

The Resistance sends one of their soldiers Grace back to protect her, and a chain of events leads Grace and Dani to join with Sarah Connor and the T-800. The fans criticized the maker’s decision of taking out the primary character John Connor at the very beginning of the film and taking the film forward as a female-centric. It was seen only as a response to feminism rather than an actual character film development. But, Terminator: Dark Fate was a perfect end to the Terminator Franchise, with Arnold assuring that he won’t be back this time.

2. The Terminator

The Terminator Movies Ranked

It is the first and the OG film, co-written and directed by the visionary James Cameron. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger in the titular character, Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will one day become the leader of Human’s resistance against machines in a post-apocalyptic future.

Michael Biehn plays Kyle Reese, a soldier sent back in time to protect Sarah. Terminator is still considered one of the best science fiction films to be ever made. For a film made in the 80s, the film was ahead of its time and helped James Cameron strengthen his career and launched Arnold as a leading man in movies.

1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Judgement Day Terminator Movies Ranked

This is the best of the bunch. The second and the last film directed by James Cameron in this franchise, has Arnold returning as a reprogrammed Terminator, this time to save John Connor from another advanced Terminator model. What makes this the best film is the tight screenplay, Linda Hamilton’s acting, and nerve-racking action sequences. By far, Judgement Day is one of the finest made action films that I have seen or that would ever exist.

Watch the movie on Prime Video here

Also Read: David Fincher Movies Ranked
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Nirmal Raj

Nirmal Raj

A cinephile from the Kollywood Capital, Chennai.

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