Welcome to Gokuma's guide to these various series of Science-Fiction Greats. (I need to see more of the Horror ones. Have seen five movies with Jason but that's less than 42% of his movies.) If you haven't seen a good number of these you've been missing out. I've been careful to avoid any real spoilers.
Alien (1979) The original Sci-Fi Horror that started it all. Not all the creature effects have aged well though, but a great movie.
Aliens (1986) The best and greatest of the series.
Alien 3 (1992) Pretty good movie but is a downturn after the first two great ones. Little bit of rehashing the feel of the original though it is substantially different. Will kick you right in your feelings if you watch it right after Aliens.
Alien: Resurrection (1997) Alright Aliens Action Flick. 2nd worst of the series, but worth seeing, but some hollywood bullshit such as bullet time and superhuman swimming + record-breaking holding of breath. It may predate the Matrix by a couple years but the aliens can sure dodge bullets like Neo and the agents. Gotta give it props as probably the grossest movie in the series even though they may have toned it down before release. Fun facts: The offspring of the Queen is now a technically legally a Disney princess. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) did in fact make that behind the back basketball shot shown, in real life after many attempts. They just regret not keeping the ball in frame the whole time.
Prometheus (2012) Great Prequel to the series. Next best after the first two.
Alien: Covenant - Prologue: The Crossing (2017 short film)
Alien: Covenant - Prologue: Last Supper (2017 short film)
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Alien: Covenant - Advent (2017 sequel short film)
I haven't seen the three short films yet so I'm going to look them up on the tube. Alien: Covenant is probably the worst of the series. At least I think it is. The action is more realistic than Resurrection though. Covenant is a prequel sequel taking place after Prometheus and still before the original Alien. Seemed like some hollywood bullshit and it seemed to screw up the story and continuity to me. That Advent short film is supposed to bridge the gap between it and the original Alien so I will have to see it.
Predator (1987) The great original with Dutch (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger). People are always imitating the "Get to the chopper!" But I get a kick out of the line "The CIA has you pushing too many pencils." Takes place in a Central American jungle. A movie so great it produced not one but two governors!
Predator 2 (1990) The next great with Danny Glover playing Lieutenant Mike Harrigan. Takes place in a city. Really kickass movie.
Predators (2010) Alright movie but too much Hollywood bullshit. A main character seems to get his super bar totally full and whip out a super combo at one point. Another jungle one but substantially different. The weakest one of the series but I guess worth seeing.
The Predator (2018) (starring the Loonies) Not as good as the first two but I really liked this one. There may be some hollywood bullshit but there's quite enough good stuff to counter it. Out of all movies in any of these series that follow a sizable team of characters I liked this group the most.
It's kinda like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Vs. Predator.
Prey a.k.a. Predator: Prey (2022) Takes place way 300 years in the past before any other movie. It's better than last two movies. Time will tell if it's recognized as approaching the greatness of the first two, but I highly recommend seeing this one.
The order you watch the Predator movies probably doesn't matter, except 2 does reference the original so see those in order, even though Predator 2 has no one from the first movie. They really should have just numbered the third and fourth movies. In the Alien series they put an S on the end of the second one which made sense. With Predator they did that with the third and then for the fourth they used the original title with "The" added on the front. WTF? At least the fifth one goes with a different title and since it takes place 200 years before, it has good reason not to be called 5.
Alien vs. Predator (2004) - Good one taking place in Antarctica.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) - Literally the most forgettable of every movie I discuss here. All I remember is Aliens Vs Predator Vs Soldiers while it focuses on some group of teenagers in some town. I'm surprised it's rated R.
Fun Fact: There was a much earlier plot to an Alien Vs Predator movie being kicked around since the early 90's but never made. I'll have to find it and scan it.
The Terminator (1984) - Original great that started the series. Most consider it the 2nd best but some may say it's the best.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - The best of the series, though some balk at the idea of a terminator reprogrammed to be good. Fun fact: To prepare for playing the T1000, Robert Patrick studied the mannerisms of predatory birds.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - Not as good as the first two but has some great action sequences. Has the most hilarious deleted scene
in the whole series. May get a little hollywood bullshitty and there's certainly one part where it seems they thought they were being timely with some humor but it was just lame and seemed already dated soon as the movie was new. Future John Conner does not look right. Nick Stahl is not a big guy and with all the prosthetic makeup they piled on his head to make him look old and scarred, he looks kinda dwarfish in proportions. I still really like this movie overall but it's not one of the best of the series.
Terminator Salvation (2009) - Back in the 90's with all that time after T2, I really wanted a movie of the future wars. This was a huge disappointment and definitely the worst movie in the series. Features none of the original actors, but only a badly faked CGI Arnold T800. Made the mistake of casting Christian Bale as John Conner when he just played Batman in the Dark Knight, so the whole time I just imagine him saying "I'm John Conner!" in his Batman voice aside from it looking like Bruce Wayne is in the Terminator Future. At one point the movie gets so cheesy it literally looks like a carnival ride where a huge terminator robot rises straight up from the water to attack, they shoot it, and it goes straight back down at the same speed it came up. It moved like a slow lift in DooM. Then there's a really hollywood bullshitty part with the main character the movie follows towards the end.
Terminator Genisys (2015) - This movie is quite alright as long as you don't try to make ANY sense of its story whatsoever and look at it as a crazy fan tribute film even though it's big budget hollywood. The CGI stuff is much, much more realistic this time around and it actually has Arnold since he's not busy being the governator anymore. The casting of Kyle Reese and Sarah Conner irks me. I'm wondering where this Kyle Reese got his protein shakes scavenging around in the bleak future because he's almost as big as Arnold. Did he find the ruins of a GNC? Then Emily Clarke is a noticeably tiny actress compared to the tall Linda Hamilton. Maybe the further altered timeline stunted Sarah Conner's growth. Still a great action movie
in the series
basically replacing the whole storyline, if you turn the critical part of your brain off. Because the story line simply does NOT and can NOT make sense. There is no fate but what they totally pull out of their asses.
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) - A great action movie, though sometimes way nuts. Saw it premier in a theater Halloween night and one scene I couldn't even follow the intense action on the big screen clearly but it was better watching on a smaller but sizable HD monitor at home. Storywise, a lot of people hate this movie. And people feel it went woke. I don't think it's that bad, though altogether the story bothered me and it gets Hollywood bullshitty unrealistic at some point with the human resistance part of future story, leaving you wondering how the resistance even got substantially on its feet. This movie will bother you if you just watched T2 before it. Director Tim Miller is total fan-baiting douchey soyboy who was talking shit during production. No wonder him and James Cameron were at odds and Cameron had to take control to finish the movie, which Timmy boy got majorly butthurt about.
There's basically four different story lines of Terminator movies:
The Terminator -> T2 Judgment Day -> T3 Rise of the Machines -> Salvation
The Terminator -> T2 Judgment Day alternate ending
Genisys going crazy and replacing the whole series.
The Terminator -> T2 Judgment Day -> Dark Fate (The James Cameron / Linda Hamilton Trilogy, though lumping Dark Fate together with the two original greats might enrage people as many recognize those being just the two good movies of the series and nothing after exists, regardless of regular or alternate ending)
This is the only story line to a lot of people:
The Terminator -> T2 Judgment Day regular ending
Robocop (1987) - Original great, As a bonus contains smartass parodies of depraved corporate commercialism. Disturbingly prophetic.
Robocop 2 (1990) - Screws up a bit hurting the continuity with totally changing the personality of characters (a sign of Hollywood not respecting its audience) and a much more negative overall depraved movie (actors felt so) but a great action flick. And continues the parodies. Unfortunately maybe even more disturbingly prophetic.
Robocop 3 (1993) - If Robocop still had balls, they definitely cut them off here. Was toned down and made more family friendly for a PG-13 rating in hopes of getting a bigger audience. They ended up getting less of an audience of course and lost money making it. Frank Miller wrote the original screenplay and was so disgusted at how it was butchered and neutered that he demanded his name be removed from the credits. Might still have some parodies but overall really freaking tame/lame.
Robocop (2014) - Haven't seen it yet so have no opinion or info to give, but it's gotta be better than Robocop 3. I think it's a reboot.
There was also a Terminator TV series, The Sarah Conner Chronicles, I never saw and two Robocop TV series. Can't remember if I saw any of the first series but I didn't even know the later short-lived Robocop Prime Directives series even existed. In comic books there's been more crossovers and the game Robocop Vs Terminator was on SNES and Sega Genesis. Sega one had more stuff uncensored but I know at least my SNES cart came in a cool box that was just part cardboard with a big hard plastic front case. It had funny alternate end credits if you pressed a button, but I only beat it with Game Genie because it was freaking hard. Also Mortal Kombat X had Alien, Predator, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface, while Mortal Kombat 11 has The Terminator (Arnold T800 ranging between original and Dark Fate version), Robocop, Rambo, Spawn, and Joker. Ash from Evil Dead/Army of Darkness was planned and Bruce Campbell was totally on board for it, but whoever owns the rights to the actual character is an asshole or just wanted too much money. The Arnold voice is an imitator but they actually got Stallone to voice Rambo. Mortal Kombat 9 just had Freddy Krueger and only on Playstation/PSP had Kratos.
In conclusion, it's best to see the first two movies of each series first, and the next best movie is the Alien prequel, Prometheus.