What makes a story great? Well, sometimes it's a story that's told over multiple chapters. These franchises are the best at that. They tell massive stories that take multiple movies or shows to tell. They have characters appear over multiple entries. They carry plot lines for six, seven, eight films. All of these franchises are awesome. All of them are fun. Every time a new movie from one of these franchises comes out, I get excited. These are the ones that I've lived with and loved for a while. That said, here are my ten favorite movie franchises of all time.
10. The DC Extended Universe
The DCEU has gotten better. I used to despise it. But, since Josstice League, they haven't really had a bad movie. They've kind of gotten back on track. They've embraced this fun, campy vibe of superhero movies while also occasionally letting directors take their films their own route. You have a universe that can appeal to younger audiences with Shazam! and Aquaman but also to adults with Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad. Throw in an awesome project like Zack Snyder's Justice League, and you've got something cool. Hopefully the DCEU continues to climb, especially since Henry Cavill is officially returning as Superman.
9. The Terminator
I've always enjoyed the Terminator movies. To be fair, I've only seen three of them (Terminator, T2, Dark Fate), but I have fun with all of them. Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are just dumb fun, but the Terminator films have a clever element to them. Most of that comes from James Cameron and his creativity. The concept of the first Terminator is a really cool one, and it's followed up by an amazing sequel. Blockbuster action and thrills galore make Dark Fate a solid legacy tale for Sarah Connor. The Terminator movies are good. I don't know if that will stick after I watch the middle three, but I really, really like them.
The Spider-Man films are a really cool set of movies, because they aren't connected, but they come to a head in No Way Home. I don't love the Raimi trilogy. I love the original, but the second and third are dated and cheesy. The TASM movies are underrated. They aren't great, but I enjoy them. The MCU trilogy is absolutely fantastic. I love all three of those movies. Throw in Spider-Verse and you've got a cool series of films with an iconic lead hero and some great, great villains.
7. Mission: Impossible
The Mission: Impossible films are great. It's one of the most consistent franchises out there. Since Tom Cruise puts a crazy amount of effort into his films, the quality of this franchise is ridiculous. The spy movie genre is not one of my favorites, but Mission: Impossible crafts some awesome characters and jaw-dropping action. The stunts that Cruise performs in these movies are NUTS. I cannot wait to see how Mission: Impossible wraps up in the next few years with the Dead Reckoning movies. If those are great, this franchise could move up.
The Scream franchise is one of the most inventive horror franchises out there. It's so fun. There's multiple layers to it; first, the meta humor. I love a horror franchise that makes fun of horror movies. Backing off of that is the homages to other horror films. Scream may make fun of horror, but it's also a love letter to scary movies, so that's always awesome. And, of course, the whodunit mystery. Whoever's behind the Ghostface mask is always a mystery, so you're just figuring it out alongside the characters. It's an awesome premise that's always executed with a sense of fun that I just love.
For those that don't know, The Dark Knight is my favorite film of all time, so I had to put the Batman films on here. I love Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises as well. The Batman is a great new take on the character. The Burton / Schumacher films are okay. They certainly aren't the quality of the later stories. Batman is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. His rogues gallery is also fantastic, and the film representation of them has been off the charts amazing. I love this franchise and these characters and I cannot wait to see years more of Batman in film.
From here on out, this ranking gets tough.
4. Toy Story
This is what I mean when I say this ranking gets tough. The Toy Story franchise is basically perfect. All four films are probably in my top fifty favorite movies of all time. They are all fantastic, fantastic movies that tell very different stories. I have tons of nostalgia for the first three. I grew up watching Toy Story 3 on repeat. It has fun characters and stories of friendship that you can enjoy as a kid, but when you understand what's going on as an adult, you realize how complex the characters are and how layered these stories are. The Toy Story movies are, quality-wise, the best series on this list...I just have a slightly closer connection to the top three.
3. Harry Potter
I've been a life-long Potterhead. Some of my most cherished memories are reading the books and getting excited to watch the movies. I've gone to Universal Studios London and seen the sets and the costumes that they actually used to shoot the film. My love and nostalgia for this franchise cannot be stated anymore. With the exception of Chamber of Secrets, I like all of the Harry Potter movies. I love some of them, but what gets me is the overarching story. I love Harry's journey and his battle against Voldemort. I love watching the wizard duels. I love the wacky cast of supporting characters. I love how you feel the stakes and tension increase with each installment. I love the practical effects and INCREDIBLE production design. I love so much about Harry Potter. And I do not count the Fantastic Beasts movies in this, because they are not that good.
2. Star Wars
The original Star Wars trilogy is the greatest film trilogy ever made. It's perfect. It's flawless. All three of those movies are fantastic. They gave us iconic heroes and villains with some of the most recognizable imagery in film history. While the other films and shows have never, ever lived up to those three, this world is unlike any other in pop culture. I love the characters. I love the story. I just love being in the world of Star Wars. While the films are of varying quality (besides the original trilogy), I just love the vibe of Star Wars. It's been such a massive piece of my life. I love it to death.
1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Two weeks after Infinity War came out, I went to see it on a Tuesday night after school with my dad. I was a casual Marvel fan. I didn't really know that all the movies were connected. I had seen the previous two Avengers movies and I wanted to see Infinity War. Little did I know that that movie would basically change my life. Infinity War blew my mind. I loved everything about it. It led to my love of Marvel, which subsequently led to my love of movies. I owe so much to the MCU. I absolutely adore this story. I adore this world. These characters are some of my favorite of all time. The MCU is more than just a movie franchise to me. It's so much of my life. It's so important to me. It's one of my favorite things ever created. It's the best.