watchworthy presents

The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated November 5, 2019 6.5k votes 672 voters 16.3k views 54 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite science fiction films that were released in the 1990s

With the rise of computer graphics technology for special effects, '90s science fiction films took the sci-fi genre to a whole new level, creating some of the biggest blockbusters in film history, including Jurassic Park, The Matrix, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The mind-blowing special effects of Terminator 2 got '90s sci-fi movies off to a solid start, followed by the even more impressive feat of bringing dinosaurs to life on the big screen in Jurassic Park. If you're a Will Smith fan, you already know that he was certainly at his peak during this time with two alien invasion features: Men In Black and Independence Day. Of course, if you like movies about the world coming to an end, then a 1990s sci-fi movies list isn't complete without Armageddon and Deep Impact

Other major blockbusters, such as Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, brought in a ton of studio money. 1995's Waterworld, was even turned into a live attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood in California! Vote up the best '90s sci-fi films below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section! 
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Terminator 2: Judgment D... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1991

Directed by: James Cameron

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

More Terminator 2: Judgment Day 

#9 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #32 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

Released: 1999

Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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

More The Matrix 

#160 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime 33 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Matrix' Trilogylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Released: 1993

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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

More Jurassic Park 

#4 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Here's Just How Wrong Jurassic Park Is About Dinosaurslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

4
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

Released: 1997

Directed by: Luc Besson

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

More The Fifth Element 

#8 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #56 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime Things You Still Don't Know About 'The Fifth Element,' Even After Watching It 500 Times On Cable

5
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

More Independence Day 

#4 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made 13 Things That Prove Pacific Rim And Independence Day Are The Exact Same Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

Released: 1997

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld

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

More Men in Black 

#7 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #497 of 721 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Ranker Video
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

Released: 1990

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. In 2084, a construction worker, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), suddenly finds himself embroiled in ...more

More Total Recall 

#15 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #147 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True

8
Ranker Video
Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou

Released: 1994

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

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

More Stargate 

#10 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #403 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #180 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

9
Ranker Video
Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer

Released: 1995

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce ...more

More 12 Monkeys 

#33 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #604 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Behind-The-Scenes Stories From '12 Monkeys'

10
Ranker Video
Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd

Released: 1990

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Back to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction Western film. It is the third and final installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and ...more

More Back to the Future Part III 

#93 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #114 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

11
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

Released: 1997

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier. The story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico and his ...more

More Starship Troopers 

#160 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #20 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #264 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

12
Ranker Video
Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen

Released: 1999

Directed by: Dean Parisot

Galaxy Quest is a 1999 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon. The film follows the adventures of a troupe of actors ...more

More Galaxy Quest 

#167 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #50 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies Why 'Galaxy Quest' Is Pretty Much The Best 'Star Trek' Movie Ever Made

13
Ranker Video
Sandra Bullock, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Black

Released: 1993

Directed by: Marco Brambilla

Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla in his directorial debut. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. The film was released in ...more

More Demolition Man 

#196 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #232 of 347 Movies with the Best Soundtracks Demolition Man Remains One Of The Most Underrated Movies Of The '90s

14
Ranker Video
Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

Released: 1997

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the ...more

More Contact 

#20 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #858 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #286 of 347 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

15
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the '90s
Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

Released: 1998

Directed by: Alex Proyas

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Dark City is a 1998 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer. The film stars Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, ...more

More Dark City 

#189 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #972 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

16
Ranker Video
Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Ethan Hawke

Released: 1997

Directed by: Andrew Niccol

Gattaca is a 1997 American science fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, with Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, and Alan ...more

More Gattaca 

#98 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #428 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time #15 of 161 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

17
Ranker Video
Patrick Stewart, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard

Released: 1996

Directed by: Jonathan Frakes

Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the eighth feature film based on Star Trek, and the first film to feature no cast members ...more

More Star Trek: First Contact 

#50 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #188 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

18
Ranker Video
Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler

Released: 1998

Directed by: Michael Bay

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Armageddon is a 1998 American science fiction disaster thriller film, directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film follows a group of ...more

More Armageddon 

#110 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #100 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

19
Ranker Video
Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Blythe Danner

Released: 1998

Directed by: Rob Bowman

The X-Files is a 1998 American science fiction film written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, and directed by Rob Bowman. It is the first feature film based on The X-Files series created by ...more

More The X-Files 

#915 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #338 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #495 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

20
Ranker Video
William Shatner, Kim Cattrall, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1991

Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a 1991 American science fiction film. It is the sixth feature film based on Star Trek, is a sequel to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and was the last ...more

More Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 

#74 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #195 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #101 of 159 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

21
Ranker Video
Laurence Fishburne, Jason Isaacs, Sam Neill

Released: 1997

Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Event Horizon is a 1997 British-American science fiction horror film. The screenplay was written by Philip Eisner and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Laurence Fishburne and Sam ...more

More Event Horizon 

#52 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #340 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies The Production Of Event Horizon Was Its Own Level Of Hell

22
Ranker Video
Julianne Moore, Steven Spielberg, Camilla Belle

Released: 1997

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a 1997 American science fiction adventure directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. The film was produced by ...more

More The Lost World: Jurassic Park 

#109 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #80 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

23
Ranker Video
Nicole de Boer, Julian Richings, David Hewlett

Released: 1997

Directed by: Vincenzo Natali

Cube is a 1997 Canadian science fiction psychological horror film, directed and co-written by Vincenzo Natali. The film was a successful product of the Canadian Film Centre's First Feature

More Cube 

#822 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #38 of 147 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

24
Ranker Video
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver

Released: 1994

Directed by: Peter Hyams

Timecop is a 1994 science fiction action film directed by Peter Hyams and co-written by Mike Richardson and Mark Verheiden. Richardson also served as executive producer. The film is based on ...more

More Timecop 

#27 of 40 The Best R-Rated Comic Book Movies #5 of 15 The Best Movies You Didnt Know Were Based on Comics

25
Ranker Video
Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker

Released: 1996

Directed by: Tim Burton

Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jonathan Gems. Based on the cult trading card series of the same name, the film features an ...more

More Mars Attacks! 

#26 of 190 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #409 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies ‘Mars Attacks!’ Was Tim Burton’s Ultimate Unregulated Experiment And It’s Stranger Than You Remember