Entertainment

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Which science fiction films are the best? Vote up your favorites and add any that aren't already on the list.

What are the greatest sci-fi movies of all time? Science fiction films are among the most popular movies in cinematic history, with films like Star Wars and Aliens keeping audiences on the edge of their collective seats for decades. This list includes these classics, and many more, but it is by no means complete. Feel free to add your favorite sci-fi movies if they aren't listed, and vote for your favorites.

Want to see more of the best Sci-Fi? Here are the Best Sci-Fi TV Shows of All Time

Great sci-fi films include stories of extraterrestrial life, time travel, space travel, robots and more. Some of these amazing science fiction movies are more fantasy-oriented, while others are a bit closer to reality. Either way, sci-fi films keep audiences rapt with tales of science and technology, combined, at times with the supernatural.

Some sci-fi films are based on classic novels or short stories by such heavyweight authors as H.G. Wells (War of the WorldsThe Invisible Man) or Philip K. Dick (Blade RunnerMinority Report).

What are the best sci-fi movies of all time? This list of the best sci-fi films is also crowd ranked, meaning you can rerank your own greatest sci-fi movies. Your reranks can change the overall order of the films on the list! Also, if you love sci-fi, check out this list of the best new sci-fi shows of the last few years. 

list ordered by
1
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more
2
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more
3
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more
4
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss
The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more
5
Alien is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more
6
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young
Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more
7
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn
Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more
8
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton
The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more
9
Star Wars: Episode VI –Return ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand, and the third and final film in the original Star Wars trilogy. After a daring ...more
10
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more
11
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more
12
Inception is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard
Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph ...more
13
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni ...more
14
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman
The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more
15
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more
16
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston. Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, and James ...more
17
Predator is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers
Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill ...more
18
Ranker Video
Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd
Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more
19
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more
20
Close Encounters of the Third ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, ...more
21
Guardians of the Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
AndrewGreen added Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) forms a group of intergalactic "bad ...more
22
Ranker Video
Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou
Stargate is a 1994 French-American adventure science fiction film released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco Pictures. Created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the film is the first ...more
23
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
PascalWaitek added Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Doug Liman directed the film. The film takes place in a future where Earth is ...more
24
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
but chickens double d added Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg
Men in Black is a 1997 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. ...more
25
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kha... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 sci-fi film written by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer adn directed by Nicholas Meyer.