Ghostbusters Movies Ranked: From the Worst to the Best!

Ghostbusters movies ranked: all of the franchise’s films listed from the very worst to the very best!

Last Updated on April 2, 2024

ghostbusters movies ranked

This weekend sees the release of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. Some will say this is the fourth Ghostbusters film, but of course, we all know it’s actually the fifth, as you have to count Paul Feig’s reboot to a certain extent. While critics have been cool on Gil Kenan’s addition to the franchise, fans seem to really be enjoying the film, which gives the OG Ghostbusters enhanced roles. All this got me thinking: what are the best Ghostbusters films? So, I had to do it – here’s my Ghostbusters Movies Ranked list. I’m sure this will inspire a little debate, so let me know what you think of this list in the comments below – even if you hate it. Note that this list is from worst to best.

Ghostbusters, 2016, reboot, ultimate collection, sony pictures, paul feig, ghostbusters ultimate collection

Ghostbusters (2016): 

Let me be clear: I didn’t hate Paul Feig’s female-led reboot as much as a lot of people did. I remember this being one of the most debated films of all time here on JoBlo, and when I gave this a mildly positive review I got angry emails for years! I’m not kidding. Even now, I sometimes get comments on YouTube saying, “We can’t trust this guy because he liked Feig’s Ghostbusters.” That said, it was a bad idea. I don’t know what possessed Sony to attempt to remake the original film with an all-female cast, but it was all but sure to torpedo at the box office as the discourse behind it became so politicized. I actually think this would have done okay had it kept the original Ghostbusters film canon. Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones all do their best here, and Chris Hemsworth is actually funny as their dopey secretary, but it was doomed to fail right from the get-go.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, box office

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire: 

So, in my review, I gave this a 6/10, but I was maybe “a little” harsh, as some Ghostbusters-fanatic friends of mine dragged me kicking and screaming to it earlier this week, and I actually had fun watching this with a crowd. Do I think it’s a great movie? No, as there’s way too much world-building going on, but Dan Aykroyd’s extended role is touching, and the ending re-teaming the original Ghostbusters put a smile on my face.

Ghostbusters 2: 

For a long time, the popular sentiment was that this was a bad sequel, but it’s not at all. While it’s nowhere near as good as the original, it has some great moments. The first third of the film is legitimately great, with us seeing the now broke, depressed Ghostbusters trying to eke out a living, with Bill Murray especially good at showing Venkman becoming a hack TV psychic host. I also like Venkman’s believably shitty New York apartment, with empty beer bottles beside the bed, expertly conveying how depressed he’s been since Sigourney Weaver’s Dana left him (I’ve been there, bro). That said, they made a massive mistake not bringing Elmer Bernstein back to do the score. I think if this had the old Ghostbusters themes, people would have liked it a lot more. I also like the romance angle between Rick Moranis’s Louis and Annie Potts’ Janine. 

The sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife is now filming, with Gil Kenan directing and Jason Reitman producing

Ghostbusters: Afterlife: 

One of the reasons I liked Afterlife so much was that Jason Reitman hit exactly the right tone, giving us a legit sense of threat, but also a nice American Graffiti meets Ghostbusters vibe that hit the perfect note for me. The ending, which reunites the OG guys with Egon’s ghost, hit me in the feels, and I really think this is an underrated movie. If you want to reboot a series in a way that brings in new characters but also doesn’t piss off the old fans, this is pretty textbook.

Ghostbusters Murray

Ghostbusters: 

Gee, did anyone actually wonder what my pick for the best Ghostbusters movie would be? Fact this, this movie is a masterpiece, with it hitting the sweet spot between comedy and horror so perfectly that it inspired many clones that could never pull it off like Ivan Reitman could. The score is great, the soundtrack is phenomenal, and the cast is God-tier. If you’ve never seen this movie theatrically, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to see it with an audience if you get a chance. I’ll never forget seeing this at TIFF a few years back with Bill Murray himself in attendance. It was magical.

So there you go. What would be your rankings? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.