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Ghostbusters: All Movies Ranked From Worst to Best


Ghostbusters movies ranked
Credit: Sony Pictures

For the longest time, it seemed that Ghostbusters II really was the end of the franchise, but by 2021, Ghostbusters: Afterlife came about, and gave birth to its sequel, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. So, without further ado, here are all the Ghostbusters movies ranked from worst to best!

Ghostbusters (2016)

For many, it goes without saying that the 2016 'Ghostbusters' reboot is easily the worst of the Ghostbusters movies ranked.

While many would argue that the film never stood a chance, given the wave of controversy that followed the original trailer (if PKE meters could detect controversy, it would have been off the chart), the hard truth is that this film is simply good.

There are undoubtedly plenty of fans who like the film, and if you happen to be one of them, then that's great, but for the rest of us, it's easy to pretend this film doesn't exist.

Nevertheless, it's a real stinker and made no attempt whatsoever to be anywhere near as memorable or as creative as the first movie. Or as funny, as scary, or anything that makes that 1984 classic so darn good.

Ghostbusters movies ranked
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Credit: Sony Pictures

Paul Feig's reboot was just that - a carbon copy of Ivan Reitman's supernatural sci-fi comedy, but without a shred of imagination or originality.

While there's an argument to be made for some of the visuals in the movie (the neon-style ghosts are neat and the end boss does look pretty cool), the fact that its strongest points are surface-level stuff isn't really a compliment.

Cringe-worthy humor, a paper-thin plot, and horribly shoehorned cameos from the original cast, Ghostbusters (2016) is nothing more than a (very) cheap imitation.

Ghostbusters II (1989)

Ghostbusters movies ranked
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Credit: Sony Pictures

Despite being beloved by many fans, Ghostbusters II remains a bone of contention with others in all of the Ghostbusters movies ranked.

Perhaps it's because it doesn't really offer up anything new other than the supernatural villains it has in store. Or maybe it feels like a re-tread of the original film.

Either way, the general consensus is that the 1989 sequel simply feels a little flat for the most part.

With that said, there's still a lot of enjoyment to be had here, and while the film could have been a bit more tightly wound, it's still a worthy enough successor to the classic that is the first movie.

Set five years after the events of its predecessor, Ghostbusters II finds the team out of business, as it seems New York has already forgotten they saved the world from Gozer.

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Credit: Sony Pictures

There's a lot to love with Ghostbusters II, though, and even at its bare minimum, it's a great ride.

The gang's all here (including Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and Rick Moranis), and there were some thrilling sequences, whether it's when our boys are caught in a river of psycho-magnotheric slime, or when they're piloting the Statue of Liberty to face off against Vigo!

As far as sequels to classics go, Ghostbusters II is not the blob of slime many claim it is, and its themes about the effects of negative energy are still pretty relevant, perhaps now more than ever.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

The long-awaited threequel to the original two Ghostbusters movies has already upset a lot of people, and is now being accused of "giving in to toxic fandom".

So it seems the Ghostbusters franchise can't really win no matter what they do. Although such reviews are likely being written by those who love the reboot, perhaps a little miffed that they won't be getting a sequel to that film (and thank Gozer).

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is shrugging off the controversy, though, and has made a blast at the global box office on its opening weekend.

But does the film deserve the success in this Ghostbusters movies ranked list? And is it living up to what a lot of diehard fans are saying?

The short answer is yes - it's a darn good film. If you want a film that's high in both supernatural energy and nostalgia, then Afterlife won't disappoint.

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Credit: Sony Pictures

The film picks up 32 years after the original, but this time finds us in Summerville, Oklahoma.

Egon Spengler has died and has left his daughter Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two children Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) an old farm, whose basement and barn have all the Ghostbusters equipment. Why? Well, because there's something strange in this neighborhood, too!

While Ghostbusters: Afterlife does fall short during its somewhat anti-climactic third act, it still has a few sweet surprises up its sleeve that will either make you punch the air or cry. Or both.

Ghostbusters (1984)

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Credit: Sony Pictures

Were you really expecting any of the other Ghostbusters movies to be at the top spot? Of course not!

The original 'Ghostbusters' is not the kind of film that can be easily bested by any sequel or reboot in all of the Ghostbusters movies ranked.

Even the brand-new Ghostbusters: Afterlife, despite being a nostalgic love letter, doesn't even come close. After all, the original 1984 classic is Lightning in a Bottle.

The film became a worldwide phenomenon on its release, and in the decades since has garnered one of the biggest fanbases ever, rivaling even the likes of Star Wars. And does the film deserve all that praise and worship? Absolutely.

The very best of the Ghostbusters movies blends comedy with sci-fi, and though it has family appeal, it's also bursting at the seams with innuendos.

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Credit: Sony Pictures

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this film, though, is that it was probably a bit of an accident.

There's no doubt that director Ivan Reitman and writers Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis were trying to make a great comedy, but a film with middle-aged men busting ghosts and a giant marshmallow man attacking New York City really shouldn't have worked - but it did, and we love it.

Ghostbusters (1984) is easily one of the greatest films of the '80s, and while the film is, of course, subjective, if anything else on this list is at the top of yours, then you must be possessed!

Where Does This Leave Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire?

The next Ghostbusters film releasing in theaters is Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the direct sequel to Afterlife. Considering we'll have to wait until March 2024 to place our bet on where it belongs on the Ghostbusters movies ranked, stay tuned for more updates on this article.

Read Next: Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife Worth Watching?

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