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25 movie sequels that are actually better than the originals

5. Back To The Future Part II (1989)

The movie: Marty and Doc get intertwined in a confusing mess of timelines after Marty tries to save his future son, but only ends up indirectly aiding bully Biff who uses time travel for his own nefarious ends.

Why it’s better than the original: The first movie may have set the standard, but the sequel’s timey-wimey silliness was the perfect expansion on the premise of the original.  

4. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

The movie: Indy goes in search of the Holy Grail after his dad - played by Sean Connery - goes missing when looking for the artefact. What follows is a race against time to get to the Holy Grail before the Nazis do.

Why it’s better than the original: The first two Indy movies are great, but they’re not Last Crusade great. Sean Connery’s casting was a masterstroke and Harrison Ford’s swansong as the whip-wielding archaeologist (we don’t mention the other movie) was a fitting send-off.

3. The Godfather Part II (1974)

The movie: Part sequel, part flashback, the movie deals with the advent of the Corleone family in early 20th Century America and the struggles it faces after the events of the first movie.

Why it’s better than the original: It’s one of the most beautifully-shot, engaging movies of all time. If it’s not on your movie bucket list, it really should be. 

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The movie: Arnie is back, but this time he’s a good guy. He’s here to save the day after Skynet sends a T-1000 back in time to murder John Connor and, in turn, kickstart the apocalypse. It’s not that simple, though, as the unrelenting T-1000 chases Schwarzenegger at every possible opportunity.

Why it’s better than the original:. A rollercoaster from start to finish, providing us with scene-upon-scene of iconic material; it’s scary just how easily Judgment Day outclasses its predecessor. 

1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The movie: Jedi-in-training Luke Skywalker must use all of his newly-earned abilities to stop the Empire’s swift revenge, including trying to stop his own father. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Leia are doing their level best to avoid the clutches of Darth Vader, who will stop at nothing to avenge his humiliation in A New Hope.

Why it’s better than the original: A sequel so good that it’s become shorthand for a franchise’s brilliant second outing. Everything you could ever wish for in a movie’s second instalment is here: it’s more ambitious, much darker, and is chockful of Star Wars’ best and brightest moments. Utterly unmissable. 

Bradley Russell

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).