Terminator Movies In Order [In what order should I watch the Terminator movies]

What will happen if the machine around you becomes self-aware? Well, the Terminator movie series explains that! It tells the story of the fight for survival between humanity and machines. Here is the list of all Terminator movies in order of release

  • The Terminator (1984)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
  • Terminator Salvation (2009)
  • Terminator Genisys (2015)
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

About Terminator Movie Series

The terminator series started in 1984 and with a run of 34 years, the franchise has released six installments in the series that are based on the story of the machine sending their Assassin Robot from the future to change Alter the future.

Terminator Movies In Order: How To Watch Terminator Series?

The Terminator series started in the year 1984 with its first installment that introduces you with the plot and main characters in the series. The first movie explains the first event when machine sends their killer robots to kill Sarah. further with other 5 different movies the story continues to the final fight between humans and Machines for survival.

Are all the Terminator movies connected?

All the movies in terminator movie are connected to each other and continues the story from last event in previous film. All the movies are based on various events where Skynet sends their killer robots from future to alter the course of the final fight.

Do you have to watch Terminator in order?

All the terminator movie are connected to each other in terms of story and involves many reference to previous events. Besides, the series has a very distorted timeline and is filled with jumps between future and past that makes it extremely important to watch the terminator series in order.

In what order should I watch the Terminator movies?

There are mainly two order that you can follow to watch the entire terminator series. You can watch it following the series of events or you can follow the series based on the release order. The series has a very distorted timeline and involves installment that completely changes ignores previous film.

The best order is to watch Terminator movies in order of release so that you can follow the story and all the events. Here is the list of complete terminator movies in order of release aka the best order to watch terminator movies.

The Terminator (1984)

  • Director: James Cameron 
  • Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield
  • Written By: William Wisher Jr., James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
  • Runtime: 108 minutes

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

  • Director: James Cameron 
  • Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick
  • Written By: William Wisher Jr., James Cameron
  • Runtime: 153 minutes

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

  • Director: Jonathan Mostow 
  • Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken, Claire Danes
  • Written By: Michael Ferris, John Brancato, Tedi Sarafian
  • Runtime: 109 minutes

Terminator Salvation (2009)

  • Director: McG 
  • Stars: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood
  • Written By: John Brancato, Michael Ferris, McG
  • Runtime: 115 minutes

Terminator Genisys (2015)

  • Director: Alan Taylor 
  • Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney
  • Written By: Alan Taylor, Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier
  • Runtime: 119 minutes

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

  • Director: Tim Miller 
  • Stars: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes
  • Written By: David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes, Billy Ray
  • Runtime: 128 minutes
The Terminator (1984) first movie on the list of all Terminator movies in order of release

The Terminator (1984)

The movie starts with the arrival of Terminator(Assassin Robot) from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor. The Terminator manages to locate Connor in a nightclub and attacks her but Sarah is protected by Kyle Reese, a soldier of Humanity.

Kyle explains everything to Sarah that in future a Defense Network, Skynet will become self aware and will Initiate Nuclear war and John Sarah’s Son will lead Humanity against the war with Machines. Terminator is sent from future to kill Sarah before John is born.

Kyle and Sarah teams together to fight with deadly Terminator to protect humanities future.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) second movie on the list of all Terminator movies in order of release

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The movie starts after 11 years of first movie events. John, Sarah’s child is living with his foster parents because Sarah is arrested and imprisoned in a mental hospital when she tried attempting to bomb a computer network.

Machines a sent another Terminator, T-1000 from 2029 to kill John, while John sends T-800 to 1984 to protect his younger self. T-800 protects John and helps Sarah to escape from Hospital when John orders him.

Sarah and John learns that Miles Bennett Dyson is the one who created Skynet and about Judgement day. Sarah, John, and T-800 teams up together to do everything that takes to prevent The Judgement Day.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) third movie on the list of all Terminator movies in order of release

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

After the dead of Sarah, John is living hiding in L.A. but soon Skynet finds the location of John and sends out a New Terminator, T-X from future to 2004 to kill of the members of human resistance. To protect John and his future wife, resistance of Humanity has sent reprogrammed T-800.

When T-X attacks Kate (future wife of John), T-800 protects her and takes John and Kate to Sarah Grave and collects several weapons. T-800 explains to John and Kate that previously they only postponed the Judgment day and he is here to escape the fallout of the new Judgement Day.

Terminator Salvation (2009) fourth movie on the list of all Terminator movies in order of release

Terminator Salvation (2009)

The movie continues further and sets in 2018 after “The Judgement Day” when Skynet was activated and several humans were killed. The movie starts with John Connor leading an attack on Skynet and learns that Machines have prepared a list to kill all the members of Resistance group of Humanity with Kyle Reese being their first Target.

John, Marcus (cyborg created by Skynet) and Kyle teams together to fight with Skynet.

Terminator Genisys (2015) fifth movie on the list of all Terminator movies in order of release

Terminator Genisys (2015)

the movie sets in 2029 and the movie start with John Connor preparing for the final attack on Skynet. To alter the future, Skynet sends a Terminator to 1984 to kill John’s mother Sarah while John orders kyle to protect her.

This movie completely resets the Terminator franchise and we learn that Sarah is a trained soldier and has prepared their own time machine to go to the year 1997. (Unlike terminator 1 Where Sarah is unaware of anything.) you can consider this movie as the reboot of the first Terminator film.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)sixth movie on the list of all Terminator movies in order of release

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

The Terminator: Dark Fate movie is direct sequel to the second installment is the series and continues the story of Sarah and John where they finally destroys the Skynet and prevent The Jugement Day in 1997. but the Threat to humanity is still not prevent as a highly advance Artificial Intelligence from 2042 sends a Terminator Rev-9.

Chronological Order of Terminator Movies

Terminator: Genisys is prequel to first movie in the series and tells the story of what actually happened on the day of final fight. But the movie is complete standalone and doesn’t corresponds to the story in the first terminator movie.

If you wish to watch terminator movies in accordance when the sequence of events, then here is the list of all Terminator movies in chronological order.

  1. Terminator: Genisys (2015)
  2. The Terminator (1984)
  3. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
  4. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
  5. Terminator: Salvation (2009)
  6. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

How To Watch The Entire Terminator Universe

Besides, six main movies in the series, the franchise has also developed a television series named The Sarah Connor Chronicles and two web series that tells additional stories around the plot of terminator. If you wish to add them into your time then here is the order that you should follow.

  1. The Terminator (1984) – Movie
  2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) – Movie
  3. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008 to 2009 – TV show) – Television show
  4. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) – Movie
  5. Terminator: Salvation (2009) – Movie
  6. Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series (2009) – Web Series
  7. Terminator: Genisys (2015) – Movie
  8. Terminator Genisys: The YouTube Chronicles (2015) – Web Series
  9. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) – Movie

Which Terminator is the best?

Despite distorted timelines and inconsistent storytelling, Terminator movies were a huge hit and the entire series is one of the popular Si-Fi action franchises of all time. but out of all Terminator movies, which terminator movie is best. Well here is have listed all Terminator movies based on audience ratings on IMDb.

Terminator moviesRatings on IMDb
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)6.2
Terminator Genisys (2015)6.3
 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)6.3
Terminator Salvation (2009)6.5
The Terminator (1984)8.0
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)8.5

Other Popular Movie Series to Make a Perfect Binge Watch


Terminator movie series is about a fight between machines and humanity. This movie will take you to the scene to find machines have become more powerful than human beings. But the only problem they face is humanity, and this machine will do anything to kill humanity.

Terminator series is one of the most popular Si-Fi action franchises running for 34 years. The series has a very confusing timeline and inconsistent storytelling. Here to help you out I have listed the complete terminator series in order of release and chronology that you can follow to watch the series.

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