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The 30 greatest Terminator moments

21. Gun Shopping - The Terminator

The Terminator Moment: Los Angeles, the T-800 has arrived! Due to the issue of inorganic matter being unable to travel through time, the Terminator heads to a local gun emporium to stock up on an arsenal of weapons.

Why Its Great: Because it raises a ton of amusing questions with regards to the Terminators inner workings. First off, it knows the guns it wants. It can see them on the shelf. But it waits until the gun shop owner has retrieved them all before he offs the poor bloke. Its both odd and utterly hilarious that a machine would be that lazy.

Memorable Quote: Terminator: I want a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range. Gun Shop Owner: Hey, just what you see pal!

20. Kyle Tells Sarah The Truth - The Terminator

The Terminator Moment: Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) and Sarah hurtle off in a stolen car after narrowly escaping the spray of bullets from the T-800 at a nightclub. Reese explains to Sarah the entire situation; her unborn son, judgment day, time travel...

Why Its Great: Kyle relays a huge chunk of exposition to Sarah, and it does the exact opposite of what giant info dumps normally do. It reels you into the mythology of the Terminator universe.

Memorable Quote: Listen, and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

19. Bad To The Bone - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: Back from the future butt-naked, the T-800 saunters into local roadhouse bar, The Corral, to deck himself out in biker garb.

Why Its Great: It riffs on the almost-identical scene from the first movie, when the Terminator kills a gaggle of punks. Except, obviously this time hes a good guy.

Memorable Quote: I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.

18. Surgery - The Terminator

The Terminator Moment: Holed up at his squalid digs, the Terminator slices himself up to restore his damaged robotics.

Why Its Great: From the moment the scalpel punctures its oozing arm wound its both repulsive and compelling - the close-ups of the expanding red laser retinas are just darn creepy. Also, the below quote hinted at something never mentioned again in the whole franchise: the living tissue of Terminators can die and become necrotic.

Memorable Quote: Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there?

17.The Crane Battle - Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

The Terminator Moment: A new brand of Terminator, the TX (Kristanna Loken) is hunting the now twenty-something John Connor. Lucky for him, theres another T-800 sent back to protect him from the upgraded fembot.

Why Its Great: The TX, whose adjustable bosom no doubt helped her commandeer a crane, drags the T-800 through an entire parade of windows in one long smash. Theres a fire truck and a squad of police cars involved too - possibly the best bit in the whole film.

Memorable Quote: No dialogue. Just explosions.

16. Daddy Issues - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: Stopping at Enriques for a brief pause in their gun-totin action, Sarah reflects on the situation while the Terminator and John goof around.

Why Its Great: While much ceremony is made about the Terminators ability to change, this brief interlude proves Sarah too can adapt.

Memorable Quote: Sarah's voiceover: "Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. The Terminator, would never stop. It would never leave him, and it would never hurt him, never shout at him, or get drunk and hit him, or say it was too busy to spend time with him. It would always be there. And it would die, to protect him. Of all the would-be fathers who came and went over the years, this thing, this machine, was the only one who measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice."

15. Sarahs Nightmare - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: Sarah treads slowly over to a playground, calmly watching the kiddies and their parents playing - when BOOM! A deathly corona of light spreads from the blast as judgment day begins.

Why Its Great: Shes dreaming, so the sight of those helpless youngsters turning to stone and blowing away like leaves isnt strictly real but special effects maestro Stan Winston outdoes himself. Its terrifying.

Memorable Quote: No words. Just Sarahs soul-destroying screams the moment the nuclear blast hits.

14. Marcus vs. T-800 - Terminator: Salvation

The Terminator Moment: John Connor has been shish-kebabed. So its up to the prototype infiltration unit, Marcus, to take out his updated newer version, the T-800.

Why Its Great: Much like James Camerons Terminator entries pit two robots against each other, this was the first time onscreen that audiences were treated to this set-up in the future.

Memorable Quote: (John Connor to the T-800): Do it you son of a bitch!

13. Mall Fight - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: Both Terminators arrive at The Galleria mall where John Connor is hanging out playing arcade shoot-em-ups. The T-1000 soon makes its presence known and the pair of robotic behemoths commence battle in a back corridor...

Why Its Great: The introduction of the T-1000s shapeshifting capabilities as it tussles with the T-800 is but one reason. Its the ambiguity surrounding the Terminators; which one is there to protect him? Once Arnie wraps his arm around the young lad and the bullets ping from his back thats a no-brainer. The sound mix of the thudding rounds penetrating his leather jacket and Edward Furlongs pre-pubescent screams is pretty darn cool.

Memorable Quote: Get down!

12. The Series Begins - The Terminator

The Terminator Moment: The opening card for The Terminator flashes on the screen with a summarised introduction to the story.

Why Its Great: The old school typeface, the simple declaration of events, atop a devastating scene of crushed skulls and metallic limbs - made it one of sci-fis most compelling intros.

Memorable Quote: The final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. Tonight...

Gem Seddon

I'm GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter. I'm a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator. You can find my byline on our best Netflix movies and best Netflix shows lists.