7. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Often regarded as the very best Star Wars movie, the 1980 space opera movie Empire Strikes Back packs quite a punch and for a good reason as well. The lightsaber battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker was marvelously brilliant and the plot twist that followed is an iconic part of cinematic history.
Empire Strikes Back would not only bag an Academy Award for Best Sound but would also be presented with an exclusive Special Achievement Academy Award due to its stunning visual effects.
6. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Seven years had passed since The Terminator hit the theatres and the fans kept clamoring for a sequel. Director James Cameron and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up once again for a thrilling sci-fi action flick only to taste even more critical acclaim.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day utilizes highly advance visual effects and a gripping plot that primarily features characters evolving with a richer depth so it was no surprise when the movie won four Academy Awards from its six nominations.
5. Aliens (1986)
Director James Cameron pops up in the list once again due to his spectacular work on the sci-fi action horror movie Aliens. It was a sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien and expanded Sigourney Weaver’s badass character of Ellen Ripley in an even more thrilling alien adventure.
Apart from the overwhelmingly positive reviews showered on the movie, Aliens received seven Academy Award nominations and deservingly won two for Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects.
4. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
The writers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe certainly know how to keep their audience engaged with every passing movie. While the franchise has several movies that could be accommodated in this list, the recently released Avengers: Infinity War deserves the most pats on the back.
3. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
With already two movie installments, one could have only imagined how would have director Sergio Leone manage to make The Good, The Bad and The Ugly stand out from the previous films.
With Clint Eastwood returning for his critically acclaimed role of The Man with No Name along with Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, the result was arguably the greatest western movie of all time that would lay out the groundwork for movies that shared the same genre.
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan certainly did the impossible by utilizing comparatively lesser-known comic book villains such as The Scarecrow and Ra’s al Ghul in order to reconstruct the once-acclaimed Batman franchise. Batman Begins was a marvelous success and expectations were high for a sequel.
As soon as the trailers for The Dark Knight were released, predictions came pouring in to indicate that the movie would be better than Batman Begins, largely due to Heath Ledger’s outstanding portrayal as the Joker. The Dark Knight lived up to the hype and now holds the status of the best superhero movie of all time.
1. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Hailed as one of the very best movies ever made, The Godfather is a timeless masterpiece of cinematic history. Winning three Academy Awards, it only made sense for Paramount Pictures to make a sequel.
The Godfather: Part II definitely had its fair share of dilemmas that could have halted it from being better than its predecessor. For example, Marlon Brando refused to reprise his career-defining role of Don Vito Corleone for a flashback scene.
Despite the odds, The Godfather: Part II won twice as much as Academy Awards than the first film and became the very first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Our list cannot get completed without mentioning these awesome sequels as well that were way better than the originals:
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
- Dawn of the Dead (1978)
- Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Did we miss any great title in our list of the top movie sequels better than the original? Share your thoughts in the comments below!